Should Our Family Get a Bird?
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Birds are popular pets around the world. A bird is an intelligent, beautiful, affectionate animal. Birds can make wonderful companions, but they aren’t for everyone. If you are considering adding a bird to your family, here is a list of pros and cons of bird ownership.
Pros of Bird Ownership
- There is a large variety of birds that make great pets. As you begin researching bird species, think about what you are looking for in a pet: Companionship? Beauty? Song? Learn about a number of bird species and consider your desires as well as the bird’s needs for housing, nutrition, and attention.
- Birds are incredibly intelligent. They can reason, problem-solve, and even perform tricks. Many varieties of parrots can rival the intelligence of a human toddler. Some birds may sing and whistle or learn to imitate speech. Many birds have enormous amounts of personality, and their owners find their antics incredibly entertaining.
- Birds can be very lovable and affectionate toward their owners. Cockatiels are a very popular type of bird pet because they’re cuddly and enjoy crawling right up into your lap. Many varieties of birds also enjoy being hand-fed and having their feathers stroked.
- Birds are active and inquisitive. They need ample room to move about. A safe indoor area is important for flying birds to get good exercise. Birds with clipped wings can get exercise by climbing, swinging, flapping (if provided with ample space), playing with toys, and climbing on structures.
Cons of Bird Ownership
- Many birds are noisy. Vocalizing (squawking, chirping, talking) is an important part of most birds’ social communication, but this vocalization can quickly bother many people, including children.
- Birds are messy. A bird will continually eat throughout the day, dropping and discarding bits of food everywhere. Bird owners also must contend with bird droppings. Birds are instinctively programmed to chew and shred wood, whether it is a perch, toy, picture frame, or furniture. Birds will also chew on nearby electrical cords, paper, and curtains.
- Birds aggravate allergies. Birds continually shed “feather dust” – particles of feathers, which may trigger asthma and allergies in some people.
- Birds require a fair amount of care. The Association of Avian Veterinarians released a statement on Basic Bird Care that highlights the daily needs of pet birds. If you are an active family, it is important to remember that most birds do not enjoy travel, and you will need a reliable pet-caretaker if you plan on being gone for any amount of time.
- Birds need veterinary care from a qualified avian vet (one who specializes in bird care). Proper vet care for birds can be expensive since it will include an initial examination as well as annual well-bird examinations.
The song of a bird is an appealing addition to many homes, but before getting a bird, it is important that you carefully weigh the pros and cons of bird ownership. If, after careful consideration, you think that a bird is right for you, talk with a qualified veterinarian about finding a bird species that best fits your family.