The Basics of Bird Anatomy When it comes to bird anatomy, most pet bird owners have no clue about how the organs work and how the skeletal system is formed. You might not thing this topic is interesting, but it is very complex, and if you are going to know about birds, you are going to have a lot to learn! First of all, you have the respiratory system of the birds. They have a high oxygen demand because of the high metabolic rate. This means that they have a respiratory system that is much more efficient than the one a mammal or reptile has. They can ventilate their lungs much more easily, and the lungs are the sites of gas exchange. When it comes to their circulatory system, birds have a four-chambered heart, which is the same as most mammals. This means that they can get nutrients to their body as well as oxygen very easily. The bird's heart is going to beat much more quickly that the mammals heart, due to what they have to do to survive. The digestive system of birds is very interesting. Most of them have a muscular pouch that is called a crop which is formed along their esophagus. It helps them to soften food, as well as regulates the flow of that food through the bird's system, because the food can be stored in this pouch and used as needed. The Skeletal system of a bird is interesting as well. Because the bird is intended to fly, the skeleton is adapted for this. It is very lightweight, which would allow the bird to get off of the ground. On the other hand, it is very strong, so that it doesn't break when a bird takes off or lands. Birds also have a wide range of muscles, usually about 175, that are going to control how the bird moves. Birds also have very sharp eyesight, much better than that of humans. Birds are able to reproduce by making sperm and fertilizing eggs in order to breed. All in all, the anatomy of the bird is very interesting and different from that of mammals. If you are going to be a bird owner, and if you are going to know everything there is to know about your pet bird, it is very important that you do all that you can to make sure you understand how the bird's body works. This will help you to be a good pet owner, and it will help your bird to live a long and happy life. Aspergillosis and Your Bird We all love to have animals, but sometimes we need to be careful that we aren't causing ourselves more pain and suffering by having them. No matter what pet you have, there are risks that are associated with having that pet, and you are going to want to be sure that you know what they are and that you do everything you can to make sure that they don't' happen. First of all, when you have a pet bird or other animals such as birds in your yard or farm, you might run the risk of developing Aspergillosis. This comes from a fungus that can be found in compost piles or other areas where bird waste has collected. With your pet birds, there is little chance of getting Aspergillosis as long as you keep the cage clean, but if you have larger birds or if you have many birds on your property, there is a chance that you could see an outbreak of Aspergillosis if you aren't careful. There are several signs of Aspergillosis that you should watch out for. Since it is a general lung infection that comes from fungus, the clearest signs are going to be wheezing and coughing, as well as coughing up phlegm and an inability to breathe. You also might find yourself disoriented, and confused, or with a high fever. The best way to avoid getting Aspergillosis or any other diseases is always to make sure that you are running clean and safe establishments. This is both for the humans as well as for the birds. You want to be sure that your animals are living in quarters that can be easily cleaned, and that are cleaned often, and you have to be sure that you dispose of the waste in a way that is not dangerous. It does no good to clean out the bird waste if it is still going to be left somewhere that humans might come in contact with it and become sick. If you think that you or your family members have developed Aspergillosis you are going to want to be sure that you see a doctor right away. There are various stages to the illness, and the sooner you catch it the better you are going to be. You should always be sure that you are notifying your doctor about what is on your property and what you might have come into contact with as well. Love Birds? Breeding Pet Birds Everyone knows that to have a pet, you have to be sure you are following through with all of the things that you need to do to make your pet happy and healthy. Some people like to have animals and be involved in the breeding process, and this is a decision that you might decide to make. However, when you have pet birds, as when you have other animals, there are several things that you have to keep in mind before you begin breeding. You should never get into the business of breeding your pet birds or any other animal unless you want to do good things for the particular breed. You should never get into the business of breeding animals for the money, or for the experience. If you want to be breeding your pet bird, you have to be sure that you are doing it so that you can help the breed of bird that you have, and that you can do good things for the birds. You want to be sure that your motives are completely genuine, because breeding for money always leads to problems. After you are sure that you are breeding animals for the right reasons, the next step to take is to make sure that you have all of the knowledge that you need to be breeding that particular animal. With birds, this means that you have researched the type of bird you are breeding and that you understand what this kind of bird needs to thrive and what its breeding and producing of babies takes from the owner. You have to be sure that you have all of the things that are necessary, and that you have done all of the research that you have to do to make sure that the breeding can be successful. The last thing that you have to be sure that you are doing is being a responsible breeder. This goes along with breeding of any animal, not just your birds. Being a responsible breeder means that you are willing to learn about the birds, and that you are willing to find homes for any offspring that you might have. Being a breeder that is responsible is something that you have to strive to be, and there are a lot of things that go along with it. This is why breeding of animals is something that you have to think about and make wise decisions about first. Choosing a Vet for your Bird Pet birds can be more complicated than you think they'd be. You might believe that pet birds are easy to handle, easy to train, and easy to own. However, the reality is that they are actually quite difficult because they take a long time to get to know and to train, and if you are going to own a bird and do it properly, you have to be sure that you know all about the bird beforehand, and that you are willing to take the time that is necessary to do all of the things that you have to do in order to be a proper bird owner. One of the things that you have to be sure you do as a good bird owner is to find your bird the right kind of vet that will help you in your bird ownership. There are several things that you can do as you search for vets to make sure that the one you choose is going to be best for you and for your bird. First of all, most vets will claim to know a little bit about birds, because most vets are trained in all around animal care, so they have had a small amount of training when it comes to birds. However, if you are going to be having birds in your life, this means that you are going to invest in these birds. Therefore, you want a vet who has also invested a lot of time into learning about birds. The fact is that all birds are different from all other animals and all species of birds are different from one another, so you have to be sure that the vet you are picking knows not only about birds, but about the type of bird that you have. You want to know that your bird is going to be in good hands, and so you want to ask some questions of your vet to see if your vet really understands birds and not only that, but if he or she really understands your type of bird. You can ask questions of your vet that you already know the answer to, in order to see whether or not your vet really knows what he or she is talking about when it comes to birds. Also, you should ask him or her how many birds he treats on a regular basis, and where he looks for information if there is something that he doesn't know about. Remember, your vet will be one of the most important person in your bird's life, so choose one wisely. Cleanliness and you Pet Bird's Health We all want to make sure our animals are healthy, and we especially want to make sure that any animals we have in our homes are going to be healthy and therefore are not going to be a danger to anyone living in our house. The fact remains that many times animals that live in our houses with us cause more disease and problems than we are aware of. So, it is important that your pet bird is kept clean, and that he doesn't leave any diseases around for himself, or for you. There are several steps that you can follow to make sure that your bird is clean and healthy. First of all, choose a good spot for his cage. You have to be sure that this is a place that is away from directly sunlight, but where he can still see the sun and the changing of the day and night. You also want to make sure that this place is not going to get too hot or too cold, and that there won't be any drafts. The next step is to make sure that the cage has a liner that can be easily cleaned, and that there is something in the bottom that you can catch all of the debris in that can also be taken out and cleaned regularly. Besides for whatever is in the cage, you have to have another layer to keep your home clean. This can be accomplished by getting a cage net, or hanging something underneath where the cage is to catch anything that falls out of it. No matter what, you are going to deal with some stuff on the floor beneath the cage, so you should have it in an area of the home that has a floor, which is easy to clean, and preferably not carpet. It is important to make sure that you clean your bird's cage on a regular basis because your bird is going to make a mess, and it is much more healthy for the bird if the cage is cleaned. Also, you are going to find that if you clean the cage on a regular basis, there is less of a smell, which is going to make your life better. The key to keeping a bird healthy and happy is to keep his cage clean. This can be done by making sure that you empty the bottom of the cage on a regular basis, and that you are picking up anything that is a mess around the cage. This will keep your family safe and happy and healthy as well. Is my Pet Bird Sick? Having a pet can be a very good thing for you and your family. And pet birds are often among some of the most popular pets that you can get. They are great for families with children and lots of responsibilities, because as long as you do a few things for them, you will find that they demand less of your time than cats and dogs do. However, like all animals, birds might get sick, and because they are less common than cats and dogs, and because you are going to interact with your bird much less than your cat or dog, you might find it difficult to tell when your bird is sick. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to make sure you are paying good attention to your pet bird, and to make sure that you notice when they are sick. One of the best ways to tell when your pet bird is sick is to listen for changes in their song. Singing is the way that birds communicate with the outside world. You might think that they are just chattering, but if you really pay attention you will begin to notice that your bird has a distinct sound and makes noises at different times of the day. It will probably have one song that it has in the morning, and one in the evening. Also, your bird might make noises when it sees you, or sees other members of the family. There will be noises that it makes when you change its food or water, or when you put something in the cage. As a responsible pet owner, you should be aware of these noises. That way, you can notice when they change. If your bird stops making the noises that they have always made, or makes new noises you have never heard before, they might be sick. Like sounds, your bird will develop movements that you should be able to recognize. You should be able to see where it likes to perch, and what kind of movements it likes to do during the day and night. If you see that your bird isn't moving as much as it usually does, or is sitting on the floor of the cage instead of on its perch, it might be sick, and you should pay some attention to it. Also, if it is moving much more than usual, and trying to fly out of the cage, it also might be sick, and there should be something done about it. Talk to your vet immediately. Is Your Pet Bird Losing Feathers? If your pet bird is losing feathers, you may be concerned, and rightfully so. Losing feathers could be a sign of serious medical illness or behavior problems. Birds who are losing their feathers should be of concern, and you should call your vet immediately to determine the reason your bird is losing his or her feathers. In the most basic sense, feather loss occurs either spontaneously or is self-induced, but each behavior can cause real medical problems. Molting is generally normal for a bird. As long as you see new feathers growing and there are no bald spots on your bird, there is usually no reason to worry. Your bird may pick out some feathers, but this is fine as long as your bird is generally in good health. There are many medical conditions that can cause feathers to fall out or can case your bird to pull out his or her own feathers. Your vet can tell you about all of these diseases and determine what problems your bird may be having. Parasites are a common problem. They can cause your bird to pick at his or her skin and accidentally pull out feathers. They can also damage the follicles, preventing new feathers from growing. Inflammation of the follicles themselves can also be a problem. You usually cannot see this by looking at a bird, but your vet can determine if this is a problem with your bird by doing a feather follicle and skin biopsy. This kind of inflammation is commonly cause be yeast and bacteria. If you do see something wrong with your bird's skin, this could be dermatitis, another cause of feathers falling out. A bird will pick at this inflamed skin, causing the feathers to fall out. As the bird plucks the feathers, the condition only worsens. Allergies are another common cause of feathers falling out in a bird. In fact, a number of thing in a bird's environment can cause the feathers to fall out. If the cage is not clean, your bird may pick at dirty feathers. Zinc in the cage can also cause a chemical reaction in your bird, which may be a reason for a bird's feathers falling out. Feathers falling out can also indicate very serious diseases. Internal tumors can cause a bird to pick at a certain site, and problems with the thyroid can cause feathers to fall. In general, if your bird is losing excess feathers, it is important to call your vet to determine a solution to the problem. BR>
Good Eats for your Pet Bird It is hard to be pet owner these days, because you have so many choices of food, and so little experience to tell you what the right types of foods are. There is also a lot of information out there, some of which is good, and some of which is going to lead you in the wrong direction. In order to really be a good bird owner, and to make sure that you have given yourself every chance to learn about good bird care, you really need to do your research when it comes to pet nutrition, to be sure that you are giving your bird the best life that you can possible give it. When it comes to bird nutrition, the important thing that you remember is that there are certain things birds eat, and there are certain things that they cannot eat. Getting your bird a bird food from a store is going to be generally good for your bird, as long as you are sure that you are getting the right type. You need to be sure that you know what kind of bird you have, and that you make sure the food has your bird's type on it, to provide your bird with the best nutrition. Also, you can feed your bird other things as well. There are many things that are made that are good for birds, including millet sprays and food sticks that have been fortified so you can put them in the bird cage and therefore make sure your bird is getting the right nutrition. Another thing that you can do is make sure that you give your bird plenty of fresh things that they would find outside, grains and fruits, and other things that are good for your particular species of bird. Remember that if you are going to be feeding your bird things that you aren't buying as bird food, such as fruits or grains, you should research your type of bird and what you plan on giving it. Most of the fruits you will find are going to be good for birds, but you have to be sure that you look up your particular bird first, as there are some birds that cannot handle certain things. Above all else, you must find information that states that the food you want to give your bird is good for it. Otherwise, don't give it to your bird. That could be very dangerous. Obesity and your Pet Bird It may not seem like a common problem, but obesity in pet birds can really take a toll of your pet's health. In reality, many pet birds are obese. When your pet bird is obese, he or she is at risk for a number of medical conditions and may be more susceptible to diseases. If your pet bird is obese, it is important to talk to your vet about how to help your bird lose weight and begin to maintain a healthy body weight instead. The first step to treating obesity is, of course, determining if your pet bird has a problem. Each pet bird species has a different target weight--you wouldn't expect a macaw to weight the same as a lovebird! There's also a range for bird weight, just like humans. Birds are typically weighed in grams, and this can be done at home if your bird is well trained or your bird can be weighed at the vet's office. Either way, your vet should be able to tell you if your pet bird is of the right weight. You can also look for signs of obesity in appearance. Like humans, birds can get a double chin, which is basically a roll of fat under the beak. Fat also causes the feathers to fall out, so bald patches indicate large deposits of fat. You should also be able to see depots of fat on your bird when handling him or her, and so you should look for yellow or white deposits under the skin, especially around the thighs and upper breast. If your bird is obese, it could be because your bird is not getting enough exercise or is eating a diet that is high in fat. This is really a possibility if your bird is fed human foods, which are very inappropriate. You can help your bird with the obesity problem by stopped this kind of feeding, and you can add toys to the cage and play with your bird often to help him or her be more active. You vet can also help you help your bird get back to a normal weight. Certain medications are possible if you bird is developing other health problems due to obesity. Low-fat diet food is also available for your bird. When you care about your bird's health, you give him or her the best care possible. Talk to your vet about ways to keep your bird from getting obese and prevent disease. Birds of a Feather Flock Together: Your Pet and Social Needs Getting a pet bird is something that you might have thought of as a great first pet, or an easy pet for your family to get. However, you might not know that pet birds actually require a lot of work, and that in order to have a bird that is mentally and physically healthy, you not only have to make sure it has a good vet and a good diet, you also have to make sure that it is properly socialized. Birds are very social creatures and they get lonely a lot. Most of the birds that you will find to have as pets are going to need a great deal of socialization. There are several ways for you to do this. Depending on the kind of bird you get, a good idea would be to train the bird to be outside of its cage and interacting with humans at least once every day. However, we all know that people have very busy lives and that this isn't always an option. If you cannot spend time with your bird every single day, the alternative is to make sure that you have two birds that can live together. This is actually the best way to have pet birds, because that way the bird is never going to be lonely and will always have something else to interact with. If you are getting a pet bird, chances are that you need a cage and all of the supplies anyway, so getting another bird is only a small amount of money more, and it is going to be the best way to keep your bird healthy. The fact is that it is not just out of niceness that you should have more than one bird for yours to interact with. With most birds, if they don't have interaction with people each day, or with another bird, they can actually go insane. This is something that is quite troubling, and is going to lead to many health problems. The best way that you can do it is to make sure you have a big enough cage and have two birds. You should also have some mirrors for your birds to look into to make sure that they are thinking there is more to see. Many brightly colored toys are a must as well, and if you are going to leave your bird for a period of time it is always a good idea to leave a radio playing softly in the room that they are in so that they don't get so lonely. Toxic Household Items for Birds If you have a pet of any kind, safety should always be your number one priority. There are so many things that humans use in their daily lives that are toxic to the animals we protect. No matter what kind of animal you have as a pet, you have to be sure that you are never allowing them to be harmed in any way by something that they might find on the floor or in your home. With birds, this is especially important. For most birds, who spend a lot of their time, if not all of their time, in a cage, most of the items you have in your home won't be able to hurt them. However, if your bird is allowed to fly around your house (and remember that it is good for all pet birds to spend some time each day outside of their cages) you have to be sure that your home is bird proof. All of your household chemicals and things that they might eat should be put away and put into cupboards that are shut where the bird can't get. Remember, with birds, high shelves aren't the option, unless your bird has its wings clipped and cannot fly. If your bird is allowed out in your house, you have to be sure that there is nothing that they could get. On the other hand, you might think if your bird is always in its cage, you have nothing to worry about. This is true of anything toxic that might be laying around your house, such as bottles of cleaners or other things that an animal could get into, but that your bird can't because it is in a cage. However, you would be wrong to assume that just because your bird can't get out of their cage, they are safe. Air fresheners, carpet sprays, and any other cleaner that can get into the air is going to be possibly toxic to a bird. You should never spray any of these near your birds cage, and you should take care so that the fumes from any of these cleaners don't drift into the cage. You have to be sure that you remember that a bird is very small, and that it will only take a very small amount to kill a bird. No matter what it is, keep it away from your birds, and your birds will stay safe and healthy. When in doubt, talk to your vet. Trimming your Pet Bird's Wings There are a lot of things that you need to know about your pet before you become a pet owner. This is true no matter what kind of animal you have, and no matter what kind of situation you find yourself in what it comes to that animal. No matter if you have a dog, cat, or a bird, you have to do research before you make that animal a part of your life, and you have to be sure that you can do all of the proper things for that animal before you find yourself in a situation where you have to take care of an animal. If you can't take care of an animal properly you shouldn't have it, because it is not fair to that animal. One of the hardest things about owning a pet bird is learning how to deal with its wings. There is no magic formula for what kind of birds need certain things done for their wings, and what you should be doing. Most of the time, you should buy the pet bird in the condition that you want it to stay in, because chances are that it was done correctly wherever you got the bird from, and it might not be done correctly if you try to do it yourself. Trimming a bird's wings is one of these situations. There are so many things that you have to know about it before you can consider doing it. First of all, you have to take into account what kind of bird you have, and if trimming their wings is even something that is good for that bird. Then, you have to see if the situation you have the bird in even makes it possible to trim their wings. Lastly, depending on what type of bird you have and what situation you are putting that bird into, there are certain ways that you have to go about trimming the wings and there are certain ways that might hurt the bird if you do them. Trimming a bird's wings is something that should always be done by a professional. You should not assume that you can figure out how to do it on your own, because if you don't do it correctly, you can damage that bird forever, and might even cause it to die. If you are considering trimming your bird's wings, be sure that you have talked to the place where you purchased the bird, as well as to a vet, and that they both agree it is a good idea. Then, be sure that you find someone who knows how to trim your particular bird's wings. Great Expectations: What Happens when you Take your Pet Bird to the Vet Whenever your animal is sick, no matter what kind of animal you have, and you have to go to the vet, there are going to be lots of things that you are going to want to keep in mind. Of course, you are going to be taking your pet to the vet even when they aren't sick, because in order to have a healthy pet you need to be getting it a check up, just like you would a person. So, no matter what your reason is for taking your pet bird to vet, there are some things that you should keep in mind to make sure that it goes the way you'd like it to go. First of all, you should know your vet, and you should know what their policies are for taking your animals in. What kind of time frame do you need to make an appointment, and how long do appointments usually last? These are things that you can ask your vet before you bring any of your animals in, and these are things that you should be aware of so that you can plan your day accordingly. Something else that you should be aware of when you are taking your pet bird to the vet is that not a lot of vets know a lot about pet birds. In fact, unless you have spoken to your vet before about your bird, you shouldn't be surprised if your vet only has a brief knowledge about your pet bird. Therefore, you should bring in some information about your bird when you first go to the vet, especially if you have a rare type of pet bird, or one that you don't' think people around your area would know much about. If your vet says that he doesn't know much about birds, it is perfectly ok to ask for recommendations of vets that know more about birds and that can give you more information. Unless your vet mentions that he doesn't know much about your bird, chances are that he knows more than you do. So he is probably going to handle your bird and do things to it that you might not feel comfortable doing. You have to trust your vet with your bird, just like you trust your vet with your other animals. Your vet is trained in animal medicine, so he should know all about what to do. Also, if your vet gives you advice when it comes to taking care of your pet bird, you need to be sure to follow it!
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