From the beginning of our lives with Petra, I have been seeking the best way to care for her. I got on an emailing list for conures (a type of parrot) and asked a lot of questions. I got a lot of help from the people on that list.
I put a couple of pictures of Petra on Facebook the other day. I got a lot of interesting results, which will end up helping me to care even better than before.
Petra, unfortunately, plucks the feathers off her chest. She didn't do this at the beginning of her life, but somewhere down the road, she picked up this terrible habit. Needless to say, my pictures of Petra resulted in a lot of people feeling sorry for her. What had I done wrong or left out that she would not look as pretty as all the other conures whose pictures were also posted into this Facebook forum?
Someone was impressed that Petra was 28 years old and asked me what it was that I did to end up with a bird that is that age, when she should have only lived to be 25. I came up with a list of things I did. Some were to protect her. Some had to do with how I fed her. There were other things I did as well. I thought I would write some of them here, and hope they will help other bird owners.
Now that people feel sorry for Petra, after seeing her with her bald chest, I went on the Internet and studied some more and also asked the other bird owners for wisdom. I will write those ideas on the bottom. I just ordered some products and hope they work to help Petra to stop pulling out her feathers!
Bird Health And Safety Tips:
1. Never cook with Teflon or other non-stick pans around the bird.
2. Never give the bird avocado, chocolate, alcohol, or mushrooms.
3. Use organic produce whenever possible (I have heard of birds dying by eating the toxins in the plant)
4. Do not smoke around the bird or use candles.
5. I open the curtain to let sunshine in during the day.
6. I feed half of a seed mixture and half pellets (approximately).
7. Keep cats away from birds.
8. Make sure bowls are clean. Give clean water a couple of times a week.
9. I put powdered calcium in the bird food (this helps with egg laying too).
10. I have a video player and a radio on in her room.
11. Never let a draft reach your bird. Keep the cold air from coming through windows and doors.
12. Give the bird time out of the cage. A playpen is a good idea. Probably about 4-6 hours is good.
13. I take out peanuts from the bag of bird seed. Peanuts can contain a mold that is harmful to birds.
14. Interact with your bird. Birds thrive on interaction.
15. If there is ever a threat of fumes or chemical toxins in the air, protect the bird by insulating the doors or windows to keep out the fumes. Birds lungs are very sensitive.
16. I have a bird heater attached to her cage and use it when it is cold out.
It is good to cover the bird's cage at night, but I am not sure how necessary it is.
Here are some new things I am going to try:
1. Bach's Rescue Remedy - was recommended to help calm a bird, and maybe help reduce feather plucking. (Already came in the mail. Using it on my cat as well).
Rescue Remedy can be used for an immediate calming effect in any stressful situation,or when your pet needs help overcoming a variety of emotional or behavioral problems.Remedy can help your pet with-Visits to the vet, Fear of loud noises, Excessive barking or hissing, Shock, trauma or mistreatment,Loss of companion, Separation anxiety, Adapting to new surroundings.Rescue Remedy is suitable for use on pets of all shapes and sizes.
2. Featherbrite - Full Spectrum light bulb. Replaces real sunlight in room.
3. Featherbrite - Moon light - looks like a night light but gives effect of genuine moonlight.
4. Avitech Avicalm - Helps birds to become calm.
Avitech AviCalm calming supplement works miracles on screamers, feather pickers, nervous nellies, pluckers, chewers and just plain aggressive birds. It is a safe, non-sedating calming supplement that uses a compound found in green tea, FDA registered L-Thea nine which promotes a feeling of well-being without drowsiness. It is non-toxic and cannot be overdosed. Avitech only uses the certified and tested human food additive form of L-Thea nine in its AviCalm formula and receives a certificate of analysis for every lot delivered to ensure purity, the absence of heavy metals and not evidence of coliform organisms. The L-Thea nine is combined with malt dextrin, a non-sugar food-grade carbohydrate to allow for great taste and easy dosing. Just sprinkle over food. Use AviCalm together with Featheriffic! for optimum results. Birds love the taste. You'll see the difference! Made in USA.
5. Featheriffic - Helps bird's feathers
I hope this has been helpful for you and your bird. I have not tried the last 4 items listed, but will receive them next week. These items are Amazon Affiliate links, which simply means I will get credit with Amazon if you click on the link and order a product. Thank you for your support!