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How should I house my pet bird?
Birds are highly intelligent animals that require regular exercise and mental stimulation. It’s important to ensure these needs will be met when choosing how to house your pet birds.
Any enclosure should provide a large space relative to the size of the bird, to allow for free movement and flight. Where birds are permanently confined in a cage they must have regular access to a flight aviary or opportunities to fly in a safe environment (such as indoors).
Birds require sufficient horizontal and vertical space to allow for natural free movement and flight. Please note that birds usually do not fly straight up and down vertically (like a helicopter) therefore cages that are narrow with a lot of vertical space but not a lot of horizontal space often do not provide adequate or suitable dimensions for pet birds.
An interesting housing environment will ensure your pet birds don't become bored when they are confined. Providing a varied diet, movable perches, objects for them to play and interact with, and other types of environmental enrichment will make your bird's life much more enjoyable.
Most bird species are highly social, living in either groups or at least pairs in the natural environment. Pet birds should be housed in groups or pairs of compatible species or individuals to ensure that their need for social contact is met.
Housing should also:
Care with wire caging
Due to the presence of zinc and lead, galvanised wire may be toxic, especially to parrots. The risk of poisoning can be reduced by thoroughly brushing the wire, removing loose metal flakes and 'dags' of galvanised iron that could be swallowed. New wire should be washed with a mild acidic solution such as vinegar followed by a rinse with water. Weathering the new cage for twelve months also helps reduce the risk. Ideally, leave new wire mesh to weather naturally before using it to construct the cage.
Regardless of these precautions, wire chewing birds need to be regularly monitored for signs of poisoning. The selection of wire gauge size should be based on the birds’ potential ability to chew through the wire, and the wire's suitability in deterring predators and vermin. The potential to chew through wire depends on species as much as size. 16 gauge (1.6mm) wire is suitable for most medium sized parrots and 17 gauge (1.7mm) is suitable for most small to medium sized parrots and finches. Mesh size depends on the size of the smallest birds. Common sizes are 12mm x 12mm for small birds, and 12mm x 25 mm for larger birds.
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