Adopting A Rescued Bird

January is Adopt A Rescued Bird Month! Birds can make wonderfully entertaining and endearing pets. Despite their small size, Polly exudes a wealth of personality. While bird ownership isn’t suitable for everyone, these feathered creatures have garnered devoted admirers. Upholding animal welfare, we value those who choose to adopt rescued animals. We believe every animal deserves love and compassion. However, it’s vital to conduct thorough research and make informed decisions before adopting, particularly with birds. Our avian friends have unique care requirements, presenting a learning curve for novice bird owners. This article features advice from a local vet on adopting rescued birds.

Why Should I Adopt A Rescued Bird?

There are many reasons to consider giving a sweet bird a loving forever home. Polly is really fun and cute. They don’t take up much space in our homes, but can definitely take over huge chunks of our hearts. These colorful little fluffy balls can sing, and many can speak. They also look super cute dancing or playing, and can be very cuddly and affectionate. Of course, giving any animal a second chance can be extremely fulfilling.

Where Do I Find Adoptable Rescue Birds?

There are several places where you can find local birds that are available for adoption. Your animal shelter is a good place to start. You can also try various online marketplaces.

However, this is definitely a case of look before you leap. You’ll need to do lots of research first. Our feathered buddies vary wildly in terms of things like noise levels, life expectancy, and volume. Caring for a Macaw is very different from caring for a budgie! Some, like finches, are pretty quiet, while others, like the Moluccan Cockatoo, are very, very loud. (These guys can reach 129 decibels, which is louder than most concerts.)

Certain birds are more suitable for inexperienced owners than others. Finches and canaries are excellent options for new bird owners. Not only are they small and quiet, but they also bond more with one another than with their humans. This makes them perfect for those seeking a low-maintenance pet. Lovebirds are sociable creatures that thrive on companionship and are known for their vibrant colors and cuddly nature. Some other good beginner birds are the Cockatiel, Budgie, Parrotlet, Lovebirds, Canary, Pionus Parrot, and Amazon Parrot.

When doing breed-specific research, here are some things you’d want to consider:

  • Speech Capacity
  • Size
  • Life Expectancy
  • Trainability
  • Space Requirements
  • Companionship Requirements
  • Volume
  • Friendliness

Birds also all have their own unique personalities. Make sure you observe your potential pet. It’s important to make a connection, but it’s also important to make a good match. You’ll also want to learn as much as you can about Polly’s history and medical background. Take time to get to know your winged pal. Watch how she interacts with you and others, and observe her physical condition.

Your vet can also be a great source of information about choosing and caring for a bird. Don’t be afraid to ask!

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Birds get rehomed for a variety of reasons. In some cases, this is because they are, well, a bit loud. Not everyone wants a pet who will start singing Michael Jackson songs in the middle of the day. In other cases, it’s due to behavioral issues, which sometimes stem from improper care. This is sad, because often the problem here is a lack of understanding. Many people adopt birds without realizing how much care and attention they require. Some birds may also be dealing with health issues, or they may be particularly aggressive or unsettled due to trauma. These guys definitely need loving homes, but may be a bit too much for a new bird owner.

Do a little thinking and a lot of research. Adoption is forever!

Getting Ready For Your Rescued Bird

Before bringing your feathered friend home, ensure that everything is prepared and readily available. Polly will need a comfortable and safe cage. We’d recommend that you pick your bird before you go shopping. Different types of birds need different types of cages, so you need to get the right style. For instance, finches need more horizontal space, as they tend to fly across their cages instead of climbing up them.

We would advise getting the biggest cage you can afford. It’s a one-time expense, so go ahead and splurge! Before purchasing a cage, measure the spot you want to put it in, so you know how much room you have to work with. (Tip: It can be tempting to buy a secondhand cage to save money, but be careful: if the cage’s former resident was sick, it may not be safe.) Be sure to make the cage comfy for Polly. Add lots of toys and a variety of perches to the cage to make it fun and comfy.

Location is also important. Avoid exposing your pet to harmful fumes or loud disturbances. However, be mindful not to isolate your feathered friend too much. Birds can become lonely when left alone for extended periods. Many of our winged friends prefer corners, as they feel less exposed that way. A corner of a living room or family room is often ideal.

Your pet may also appreciate having some plants or trees near the cage. This will make her feel at home. Just stick with non-toxic options. Ask your Live Oak, FL veterinarian for more information.

How Do I Bond With A Rescued Bird?

Birds can also get very attached to their humans, so it’s important to keep this in mind. Polly may feel sad and depressed at being separated from her former master, and it might take her some time to settle in. In general, you should expect it to take at least a few weeks for your pet to feel safe.

There are things you can do to make this go smoothly. Here are a few suggestions:

Talk to your new pet! When you speak to Polly, she will pick up on the tone of your voice. Use a quiet, gentle, and friendly voice.

Be very gentle! It’s understandable that you may want to pet or cuddle your new bird, but it’s important to let Polly feel safe before you try to handle her. Be careful not to grab her or stick your hands in her cage. Always move slowly around your new pal, and offer treats and toys.

Put a comfy chair near Polly’s cage, so you can sit there when you want to read, scroll on your phone, or watch TV. This will help your new pet feel safe.

Offer snacks! A yummy treat can help you bond with your cute pet and build trust. That is true for all pets. (Snakes are an exception here, as they tend not to be as food-motivated as some animals, but that’s a different story.) It may take some time to figure out what your new buddy likes best. You can offer a variety of bird-safe fruits and vegetables, millet spray, treat sticks, or raw pasta. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Polly will need time to learn to trust you. That’s only to be expected. Don’t force things! You may find that you melt the first time your winged pal hops onto your finger or sings to greet you.

Conclusion: Birds can make really fun and charming little pets. Polly packs a lot of personality into a small body. And while having a bird isn’t right for anyone, our feathered friends have definitely made lots of devoted fans. Just do lots of research before adopting one.

Do you have questions about caring for a rescued bird? Contact us, your local Live Oak, FL pet hospital, today!

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