We’d like to get a bird as a pet but hate the idea of buying one from a breeder. Is it possible to adopt a bird? What do we need to know prior to getting one?
Bringing Home A Birdie in Brooksmith
Dear Bringing Home A Birdie,
Thank you for your willingness to explore bird adoption before heading directly to a breeder or pet store! According to the website petfinder.com, many people do not realize there are thousands of birds that are looking for forever homes. Birds are beautiful, often exotic animals that are fun, social and smart creatures – some even talk!
These attributes have made birds popular pets in recent years. However, people often have unrealistic expectations about the amount of love and care it takes to properly care for a bird, which in turn has led to the unfortunate increase in birds at shelters.
In fact, January is officially “Adopt a Rescued Bird Month,” and so there’s no better time to bring a feathered friend into your flock. However, there are some considerations to take into account before adopting a bird to ensure you find the right companion for your family.
Do you have sufficient space to keep a bird?
Birds are great if you don’t have an abundance of space, but it is still important to provide your bird with a cage large enough for it to stretch its wings. Not only that, but it would be ideal to have a fully enclosed room where you can let your bird fly freely from time to time.
Would you like your bird to talk?
African Gray parrots and Amazon parrots are considered the best talkers. However, just like with any animal, a talking bird takes time and commitment to establish a relationship to teach your bird how to talk and what to say.
What about maintenance?
For less maintenance, smaller birds such as parakeets, canaries, finches or lovebirds will be your best option. Would you like a baby bird? Baby birds called “unweaned” birds require hand-feeding until they can eat on their own. While this is great for developing a very intimate relationship with your bird, it does require a unique level of commitment to properly care for your baby bird. If you are unsure, it is recommended to adopt a weaned bird that is able to eat on its own.
The other important thing to take into consideration is the lifespan of most birds. Most birds live eight years or longer, but the average lifespan is between 30 and 50 years. Some even live as long as humans! It is important to fully understand the potentially lifelong commitment you may be making when adopting a bird.
Once you’ve determined if your home is the right fit for a bird, call around to local shelters to see if they have any adoptable birds or know of a shelter that does.
Do you have a question for Tabby? If so, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pet of the Week
Meet Charlotte. Charlotte was rescued from a kill shelter, just minutes from death’s door. She and her brother, Charlie, are now in foster care and would love a loving home in the new year. They are sweet, playful kittens who will grow up to be show-stoppingly beautiful! Tabbies are known to be very playful and sweet, so there’s no doubt that Charlotte and Charlie will be the perfect addition to your family. To learn more, go to www.saveacatrescue.org.