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VACTF Manual: Chapter 6: Animal Care Practices

Birds (parakeets, canaries, parrots, etc.)

Terminology
Female - hen
Male - cock

Basic Animal Care Practices

  • Fresh, clean water should be available at all times.

  • Should have access to appropriate seed mix or pelleted diet at all times. Seed container should be checked to ensure that it really contains seed and is not filled with the empty seed hulls. Fresh fruits and vegetables should also be provided daily for most birds.

  • Should have a perch or several perches to rest on and to move about.

  • Should have access to "cuttlebone" or some other type of material that allows the bird to sharpen its beak. Also provides a source of calcium.

  • Should be provided with a cage that allows them to move about freely. Cage should be placed in area free from drafts. Room in which birds are kept should be temperate in temperature - not too hot and not too cold.

  • Cage should be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent buildup of feces and to prevent diseases.

Additional recommendations

Veterinary care for routine beak trimming as needed; also to check for respiratory and intestinal diseases.

Signs of neglect/cruelty - what to look for

Appearance of animal: feathers fluffed up (indicates fever, illness, or that room temperature is too low.); hard to tell if emaciated, but best indicator is to feel the bird's breast bone to determine if it is too prominent.

Housing Conditions: overcrowding (weaker birds bullied and pecked by dominant ones); filthy cage; no fresh water or food.

Behavior: dull, minimally responsive, not interested in surroundings, depressed; drooping; "hunched" with feathers fluffed.

If any of the elements above are present, arrange to have a veterinarian examine animals.

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