Your bird’s five welfare needs

Bucktons, committed to cleanliness, consistency and quality.

1. A suitable environment

Providing an environment that allows birds to mimic the behaviours of birds in their natural environment, as much as possible, is vitally important to the general wellbeing of your pet birds. It allows birds to use their natural instincts and behaviours, which will ultimately improve their quality of life.

Flying time is essential for birds to keep fit and healthy through plenty of exercise, like they would in the wild. Birds will be fitter when kept in an aviary, but keeping them in a cage and allowing them lots of time out to play and interact will often be just as good.

Here are our recommendations:

For any bird the bigger the cage the better. However if your bird spends lots of time outside of their cage and they are only using it at night or for a rest, it does not need to be over large. They should be able to spread their wings without touching anything inside the cage, such as toys or treats. Their tail should not hit the floor.

As explorers they love to climb, so horizontal bars are perfect. Make sure the cage door is sufficiently tall and wide, to allow you to lift your bird out of the cage on your finger, without them hitting their head.

A square or rectangular cage is recommended. Birds will feel more secure if the cage is situated near a corner, so that two sides appear solid.

Place the cage well above ground level, preferably at human head height, so that they are out of the way ofpotential predators, like the cat.

Keep curtains open to enjoy the view. On nice days, place them outside in their cage so they get Vitamin D as well. Always ensure that they have access to shade, so that they do not suffer from heat stroke.

Cover the cage with a cloth at night, to ensure that they get a good night’s rest.

Perches. These need to be of a varying diameter to exercise their feet. Although uniform plastic or wooden dowels might be easy to clean they are not as effective as natural branches, which can then be replaced regularly when they become dirty. Some birds will chew the wood, so use branches from fruit trees such as apple or pear. Make sure you clean the branch thoroughly before putting it in the aviary or cage.

Do not use sandpaper on perches as they do not help to wear the toe nails down, and lead the bird to foot problems

On the floor. Shelf liner paper or plain newspaper make suitable covers to catch faeces and can then be easily rolled up and disposed.

2. A proper diet including fresh water

All bird species have different dietary and feeding requirements, that’s why we have developed a range of foods, tailored specifically for your bird’s needs. All birds’ diets require a balanced and varied diet of seed, fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as healthy snacks and a constant supply of fresh, clean drinking water.

A food that is clean and dust extracted will help limit the risk of respiratory disease.

Ideally you should have two food containers; one with food and the other for fresh fruit and vegetables.

3. Ability to express normal behaviour

All birds tend to be social creatures and communicate in a variety of different ways, often vocally or by nuzzling up to you whilst you watch television. However, you should never forget that at heart, even if captive bred, they are still wild animals so need a lot of time and patience to train them. In fact, the more time you spend with them the better.

By providing obedience training and consistent handling, a bird will understand what is required and lead to positive behaviour.

Therefore, make sure you develop house rules early on and these will be maintained through good training.

We recommend you should NEVER have your birds wings clipped

4. Companionship and other pets

Many birds are very sociable. This is related to how they would live in the wild. If birds are naturally flock birds, like the Finches, it’s important that they are kept in pairs so they can have the companionship they crave from other birds.

Some of the slightly larger birds like the psittacines, such as the Lovebirds, Senegals or even the Budgie, are often hand reared and imprinted. This means that they often see humans as their fellow birds. Provided they are given lots of time to be social and interact with people, they will be relatively happy without living with other birds.

Budgies are highly social creatures, living in large groups in the wild, so these birds enjoy communicating to inform others where they are and what they are up to.

5. Protection from and treatment of illness and injury

Preventing your bird from getting ill or injured by providing them with a suitable diet and environment to live in. If they do become ill, they should be diagnosed and treated rapidly.

Regular health checks are ESSENTIAL to ensure they remain fit and healthy.
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