Birdies for beginners
Mike Pidduck, chairman of the Rand Avicultural Society, shares four top tips when buying a pet bird.
- You need to decide what you hope to get out of them, and much more important, what you are prepared to offer them in return.
- A single, tame and talking pet needs a lot of regular attention. A pair of birds won’t become as tame, but will keep each other company. If you’re prepared to take on the responsibility and joy of a single pet, be certain to buy a newly fledged baby – an adult will never become truly tame.
- To teach your bird to speak, you should keep him (or her) away from other birds, start young and be regular and patient with your lessons. Fifteen minutes of repetition, twice a day, every day should do it.
You’ll need a good stock of the following:
- Seeds: A good mixture including millet, oats, canary seed and, for lovebirds especially, a little sunflower.
- Soft food: Avi-plus parakeet, or a little moistened stale bread should be offered daily in clean dishes.
- Fruit and green food: Greens and a slice of fresh fruit (not avocado) should be offered as often as possible.
- Grit and minerals: Supply a mixture of crushed, untreated charcoal, oyster-shell grit, river sand and a powdered mineral supplement.
- Fresh water: Clean, fresh water for drinking and bathing must be available at all times.