Preparing Your Pet Bird for Winter
Brrrr! Climate changes can be hard adjustments for anyone, including your bird. With winter approaching, it's important to know how the cold weather affects your bird and what steps you can take to prepare for winter. Climate changes can be stressful for your bird and detrimental towards his physical health, so it is crucial that you help your bird adapt to these changes.
Most birds come from a much different climate than ours. They are used to high humidity and warm temperatures all year round. When we turn our heaters on during the cold months, the humidity inside our homes can decline significantly. There are numerous steps that you can take to ensure that your bird is comfortable during the winter months.
Steps to Prepare for WinterFirst, be aware of the lack of humidity within your home. It helps to keep your bird's cage in a room with a humidifier and to periodically mist your bird with water to mimic the humidity and rain in his natural habitat. For a smaller bird, you can place a small bird bath with very shallow water in his cage instead of misting.
It's also important to watch the temperature within your home. Birds don't react well with environmental shifts, so try not to let the temperature within their cages to shift dramatically. Also, make sure that your bird isn't exposed to cold drafts or heat sources that emit fumes. Instead of using a space heater, you can purchase bird-safe heat lamps to keep a constant temperature within your bird's cage. Other options to keep your bird warm include thermo perches and thermo pads, such as the Snuggle Up Bird Warmer.
Although good and diverse nutrition is always important for your bird, it is even more important during the winter months. When birds become stressed during climate changes, their metabolism shifts and they are more vulnerable to health problems. Make sure your bird is receiving proper nutrition, including all the vitamins and minerals he needs to function properly.
Lastly, your bird is used to receiving 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness all year round. Our changing seasons can confuse and stress out your bird. Full spectrum lighting with a timer is beneficial for birds because it helps keep their routines similar while still providing them with needed sunlight.
Low humidity, shifting temperatures, and stress can lead to decline in physical health and feather picking. Make sure to keep your bird occupied during the winter months so that he doesn't succumb to boredom and bad behavior. As always, watch your bird's behavior, droppings, and food intake for changes that might indicate stress or disease.
Climate changes can be a shock to you and your bird, but if you take the necessary steps of preparation, you can make the transition smoother for both of you!
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