Bird Care

There are a huge variety of birds available as pets in Australia. Each variety has unique characteristics, colours, sizes, temperament and special needs so it’s important that you learn and gather as much information as possible. This will help you choose the right bird for your needs and also cater adequately for the bird’s needs too.

Some birds like handling but others don’t. All birds are enjoyable to watch, listen to and have around. Some birds are great talkers, others have a beautiful song and some bring endless fun antics to each day.

Learn all you can about the type of bird you are getting. Equipped with knowledge and understanding, you will have a better idea of what to expect. You'll then be able to provide the pet bird care it needs and the result will be maximum enjoyment. Also be aware that some Australian native birds may only be kept with a license.

Buying a bird is a serious commitment for at least five years but some birds can even live as long as you! Keep in mind the following helpful checklist when making your decision:.

  • Which bird? 
    A canary or budgerigar is a particularly good pet for a family with very limited space or modest means. They are suitable for people living alone, especially flat dwellers. The care of these caged birds could hardly be more simple or undemanding, but the individuality they show depends on the degree of freedom they are allowed and on the stimulation provided by their surroundings and their companions. If considering a cockatoo or other large parrot ensure you know what you are taking on - while they can be fantastic pets they need a lot of attention and if bored or lonely can become quite loud and destructive.  

  • Male or female: 
    Only the male canary sings and whistles, and the male budgerigar is usually easier to teach to talk. There are important differences to be aware of between the genders of each species.

  • Health care routine: 
    Please ask one of our vets regarding a good health care routine.

  • Housing: 
    A well-designed and built aviary is the most satisfactory housing for birds, enabling them to live with freedom of movement and adequate opportunity for flight. Circumstances often dictate that birds are kept in cages, usually manufactured of metal with wire mesh screening. The minimum size of cage to house one bird will depend on the breed of bird. Queries regarding cage sizes are best discussed with one of our vets. The cage should be positioned in a well lit, sunny area where the birds will have frequent human contact, and in which it will be safe to be released for exercise if possible. A portable cage stand permits the birds to be repositioned for their comfort. Appropriate perches of varying size must be provided as well as well-secured food and water troughs. The food and water receptacles should not be positioned beneath bird perches and any accidental contamination of the food and water by bird droppings must be removed immediately.

  • Activities: 
    Ladders, bells, ropes, swings, mirrors, and suitable toys provide some stimulation for a caged bird, but avoid over-furnishing as this will crowd the cage and may result in injury. Consider using natural branches rather than dowel perches - your birds feet will be much happier!

  • Protection: 
    At night the cage should be covered over to permit the bird to rest and to protect it from draughts. Should the cage be placed outside the house at any time, it must be in a position that is safe from predators - cats and wild birds – that could scare or directly injure the bird. Birds should not be left in the sun without shade and should be protected from overheating on hot days.

  • Cleaning: 
    A tray on the floor of the cage will collect excreta and should be removed each day and thoroughly cleaned. The cage itself should be easy to scrub out, while water and food troughs and perches should be easily removable for cleaning purposes.

  • Handling: 
    It is important to train your bird to be handled, especially to permit examination for signs of ill-health. Begin by letting them become accustomed to being handled in the cage. Soon they will become finger-tame, and then they may be able to be handled outside the cage. It will require a good deal of patience and gentleness when handling birds, especially canaries.

  • Feeding:
    The caged bird's basic diet will vary with the species.  For most parrots this will include bird pellets, some seeds, fresh fruit and vegetables.  Bird vitamins may be used to supplement the diet of fussy birds.  A seed only diet is never advised and if this is all your bird will eat it is worth calling us to discuss some tactics!. Fresh water is essential to a bird’s life and must be replenished frequently in hot weather or if it becomes fouled.

At Vet 2 Pet we treat a range of animals including birds.  We are proud to refer clients to the bird clinic in Melbourne when if required similarly to how a dog may be referred to an orthopedic surgeon for complex bone surgery.  Their website is a fount of reliable information and we highly recommend anyone who owns a bird takes the time to look through the materials available. 

To visit their site please click the following link: