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Tips For Adopting A Rescued Bird
January 1, 2023

Well, January has gone to the birds: it’s Adopt A Rescued Bird Month. If you want to start 2023 out on a positive note, there’s no better way to do it than by giving a rescue bird a happily ever after. However, this isn’t something to take lightly. Adoption is forever! A local Las Vegas, NV vet offers some insight on adopting a rescued bird in this article.

Research First

Sadly, thousands of pet birds are abandoned every year. Birds raised in captivity cannot survive in the wild, so many end up languishing in shelters for years. A lack of understanding is a big part of the problem here. Many people adopt birds without realizing how much care and attention they need. Do plenty of reading before adopting Polly, including some breed-specific research. This is especially important if you’ve never had a feathered pet before. 

Don’t Expect Perfection

Polly isn’t the neatest roommate you can find. Birds love to chew and shred things, and won’t really care if they are eating your furniture or an actual toy. Be prepared to pick up after your winged pal! 

Polly Needs Free Time

Polly needs a comfy, roomy cage, but she shouldn’t be kept in it too long. Your feathered buddy will need plenty of free time every day. You’ll need to be diligent about birdproofing. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Air Quality

Birds have very sensitive lungs, and they can quickly get sick by breathing in fumes from perfume, candles, chemicals, and even cookware. Polly should never be exposed to vapors or fumes. Ask your vet for more information. 

Be Prepared To Commit 

Many rescued birds are recovering from illness or injury. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for them to be coping with their own form of PTSD as well. This often stems from neglect, abuse, or a traumatic experience. However, Polly could also be upset at being separated from a previous owner. This happens more than many people realize, especially with larger birds, as many of them have quite long lifespans, and sometimes outlive their owners. Make sure that you’re ready, willing, and able to provide your winged companion with the love, care, attention, and veterinary care she needs for the rest of her life. 

Our Advice and Tips For Adopting A Rescued Bird in 2024

What are the typical costs associated with adopting and caring for a rescued bird?

Adopting and caring for a rescued bird involves several costs. The initial adoption fee can vary, typically ranging from $50 to several hundred dollars depending on the species. Basic setup costs including a cage, perches, and toys can exceed $200. Ongoing expenses include quality bird food, vitamins, and supplements, which may average $30 to $50 monthly. Veterinary care is crucial, with annual check-ups and potential emergency visits, costing several hundred dollars per year. Additional costs can arise from grooming and unforeseen health issues, making financial preparation essential for potential bird owners.

How do you introduce a rescued bird to an existing pet household?

Introducing a rescued bird to an existing pet household requires careful planning and gradual steps to ensure safety and reduce stress. Start by keeping the bird in a separate room to allow all pets to adjust to the sounds and smells. Gradually introduce visual contact with barriers in place, such as through a cage or a glass door. Supervised, short interactions in controlled environments are essential. Always monitor body language and signs of stress or aggression. Patience is key; this process can take several weeks to ensure a harmonious integration.

What are the signs of illness or distress in rescued birds that new owners should watch for?

New owners should watch for several signs of illness or distress in rescued birds, including decreased vocalization, lethargy, ruffled feathers, changes in eating or drinking habits, unusual droppings, and signs of breathing difficulties like tail bobbing or labored breaths. Behavioral changes such as aggression or withdrawal may also indicate discomfort or illness. Additionally, visible abnormalities like swelling, discharge from the eyes or nostrils, and feather plucking should prompt immediate consultation with a veterinarian to assess and treat potential health issues.

How do you establish a healthy diet for a rescued bird?

Establishing a healthy diet for a rescued bird involves providing a balanced mix of pellets, fresh fruits, and vegetables, tailored to the specific species. Pellets should form the base of the diet, comprising about 60-70% of their intake, as they are formulated to provide essential nutrients. Fresh fruits and vegetables add variety and additional vitamins, but should only make up about 30% of the diet. Avoid avocados and chocolate, which are toxic to birds. Consult a veterinarian to customize a diet plan, especially for birds with specific health needs.

What are some effective methods for socializing a rescued bird that may be fearful of humans?

Socializing a rescued bird that is fearful of humans requires patience and gentle methods. Start by spending time near the bird’s cage daily, talking softly to build familiarity without forcing interaction. Gradually introduce treats from your hand to create positive associations. Use toys and play as indirect ways to engage and reduce fear. Consistency is key, as regular, calm interactions can build trust. Avoid sudden movements or loud noises. Once the bird shows comfort at these initial stages, slowly progress to offering perches on your hand or finger under supervised conditions.

Do you have questions about caring for a pet bird? Contact us, your local Las Vegas, NV animal clinic, today!