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Where to position the bird's cage

Many owners of caged birds are conscious of providing the perfect in-cage environment for their pet, ensuring everything is just right to give the bird comfort, exercise and space. Some owners pay less attention to is the immediate surrounding environment outside.

Before we begin, we should point out that a bird should really be allowed as much time as possible OUT of the cage, free to fly around, in a safe room. The cage should ideally be used as the bird's 'bedroom' and should have adequate covered space inside so that the bird can get a bit of privacy when it feels the need (a small cardboard box is ideal for this).

Height and Level

Apply the Goldilocks rule here; not too high, not too low, but just right! Eye level is perfect as birds placed too low can become anxious and those above eye level will start thinking they are superior to you. Even higher than that and you run the risk of the bird feeling isolated. If the cage does not hang freely, ensure it is placed on a completely level surface.

Interaction

Caged birds need plenty of this from their humans and so their home should never be placed in a room that is infrequently used or it will become lonely. Again, try to find a happy medium as they don't want too much human interaction. As previously mentioned, providing your bird with a box in the cage gives them somewhere to go if they need a bit of privacy.

Windows and Walls

The centre of a room is not ideal for a cage; at least one side should be against a wall or other solid surface to offer a feeling of security and protection. Ideally, a corner should be chosen. The cage should be situated out of constant direct sunlight to prevent overheating and away from draughts. Direct sunlight (unfiltered therefore not through windows) should fall on the cage for some part of the day for vitamin synthesis. Where this is impossible special UV lamps can be purchased to mimic natural sunlight. Day length should minic 12 - 14 hours and 10-12hr darkness. With regards to windows, a lot will depend on your individual bird. Some hardy and confident types will have no problem being beside a window and would indeed be upset if they had this privilege taken away. Other more timid birds may be frightened if the outside environment is noisy or unpredictable; anything from dogs, cats and birds to storms, helicopters and aeroplanes can disturb and upset a bird. Temperature changes near a window are also more rapid, which can cause health problems in sensitive individuals.

Kitchen and Bathroom

Caged birds should NEVER be kept in either of these rooms. In the kitchen, exposure to cooking fumes or fumes from non-stick cookware and other household items possessing a non-stick surface made from polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) can be toxic to birds. Similarily smoke or burnt cooking fat fumes when inhalated lung oedema, difficulty breathing and often death before treatment can be initiated. The rapidly changing heat and humidity levels of bathrooms are unhealthy.

Toxins

Birds are extremely sensitive to many substances commonly found around the house, including chemicals found in air fresheners and scented candles. It is not only these man made products that pose a threat; plants such as poinsettia, oleander and azalea can all be dangerous to birds and should not be in the same room as the cage. Smokers should obviously not be permitted to light up anywhere in the vicinity of a caged bird. Passive inhalation of cigarette, cigar and pipe smoke can cause chronic eye problems, skin irritation and respiratory disease. Birds that live in homes with smokers may develop coughing, sneezing, sinusitis and conjunctivitis, which may resolve spontaneously, if the bird is moved to a location free of smoke. Some birds exposed to chronic second-hand smoke will develop secondary bacterial infections, as well, which can prove fatal.

Many common disinfectants and household cleaning agents release fumes that can be toxic or fatal to birds. Chlorine bleach, phenols and ammonia can all have dangerous vapors that can cause irritation, toxicosis and even death.

Common household aerosol products, such as perfume, deodorant and hairspray, can cause respiratory problems in birds. They may cause severe inflammation and difficulty breathing, and after large or direct exposure, death can occur. Any pump spray or aerosol using a propellant can be dangerous to birds, and these should not be used around birds.

Natural gas leaks can cause sudden death in birds. Any type of heater, used improperly or with inadequate ventilation can be deadly to birds. Carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas, can also be fatal to birds. Anyone with pet birds should have a working carbon monoxide monitoring device in the home, preferably in the room where the birds are kept. Second-hand smoke from marijuana can also cause severe depression and regurgitation. Burning foods, overheated cooking oils and smoke from a fire can cause fatal inhalations.

More information on the veterinary care of caged birds, along with details on pet insurance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page updated 21st Feb 2017, 08:54
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