Food Mistakes With Birds

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default Food Mistakes With Birds

Post  FinchG on Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:00 am

Like a Star @ heaven "The bowl looks full but it's not!" Learn how to recognize eaten seed vs. edible seed. Birds who eat seed leave behind hulls that can be mistaken for whole seeds. I've heard of owners leaving the food bowl in without changing it for days, resulting in a bird that starves to death "with a full foodbowl." (Food and water should be replaced daily at minimum.)

Like a Star @ heaven "If it's not on the ground, it's not food." Some young birds, especially young budgies, don't know how to eat (or drink) from their new bowls. They don't recognize the contents as food; they only know how to eat seed off the cage floor. If you notice a new bird not eating from its bowl for a long time, you may want to try lowering the foodbowl and/or putting a shallow saucer of food on the floor for the bird to see if it eats from there. (Some young birds don't yet understand clear bowls -- they try to eat through the clear walls -- so you may need to show your bird which part of the bowl is open.) Experiment and try different ways of teaching the bird where to get its food.

Like a Star @ heaven "Where's my water? I can't find any!" The same applies to water as with food: young birds don't know that a particular container contains water. Try showing the bird the water moving around in the container, or get a little drop to drip from the edge near the bird. After a while, the bird usually gets the idea that there's water in the container. If switching to water bottles: show the bird how the water bottle works (make sure it sees water dripping from the nozzle, etc.), and never switch completely away from a bowl until you're really sure the bird knows how to drink from the water bottle. Watch for "jammed up" water nozzles whenever you clean and refill it -- make sure the bird can get water from it when you put it back.

Like a Star @ heaven "Is that all I get??" It's safer to over-feed a bird at first, rather than risk starving the bird. Reduce quantities only once you get a good feel for how much the bird needs. Experiment to make sure you're right. Birds can get fat, especially on some diets, but err on the cautious side.

Like a Star @ heaven "You poisoned my water!" Some birds will refuse to drink water with medicine (and/or perhaps vitamins) added. Observe the bird carefully for the first few days. Know your bird's limits; some birds will give in and get their medicine, while others will still refuse to drink to the point where it can hurt them. A good vet can find some other way to medicate your bird, other than the water.

Like a Star @ heaven "I'd rather starve than touch that!" Whether because they hate the food or just don't know it's food, some birds can and do starve to death rather than eat new foods. (And even if a bird nibbles at something, it doesn't mean he understands it's food; Make SURE he's swallowing it and knows it's food!) In switching to new foods, always make sure the bird is eating enough food of some sort to stay healthy. et). A finch has a high metabolism and requires frequent meals, so while one night of hunger may be OK for a larger healthy bird, more than that can be dangerous.

Like a Star @ heaven "All I want is seed." As stated elsewhere, a seed-only diet is insufficient. Some birds, especially those that are not tame, may be next to impossible to convert to a healthy non-seed-only diet. Start young -- young birds are much more willing to try out new foods. Suggestions on how to teach your bird to eat veggies and pellets.

Like a Star @ heaven "That's REALLY not food for me." It happens that sometimes, really clueless owners will try to feed the bird something inappropriate, like in the story I read in Bird Talk of an owner trying to feed a toucan a certain sugary cereal associated with a cartoon toucan -- but real toucans are carnivorous! Make sure you get food appropriate for your bird.

Like a Star @ heaven "Ewww, my bowl is gross." Clean the water and food containers thoroughly daily! (More often if there's poop in them.) Tip: to rinse away stubborn detergent, spray on some vinegar, and then rinse thoroughly in water. (Very useful for water bottles.) Watch for nooks and crannies in bowls and bottles where germs hide, such as the corners: if the surface feels slimy, you have a bacterial build-up!

Like a Star @ heaven "Not watching the bird eat/drink/play/sleep is OK; it'll be fine." Wrong!!! First time owners ESPECIALLY need to learn to observe a bird. Learn its body language. Find out how to tell if it's healthy, sick, lonely. Anticipate its needs; always provide fresh food and water, and make sure it eats and drinks.
mit.edu

star1 Have more to add? Feel free to put more, this could help the new finch owner.


FinchG
Lots Of Societies, 11 Gouldians, 4 Orange Cheek Waxbills, 2 Orange Weavers, 3 Spice Finches,1 Quaker, 1 Conure and 2 Lineolated Parakeets


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