Expecting your new bird home?
So after putting a lot of thought and research to it, you have decided on your Perfect Match. And it’s time to bring your new feathered friend home. ❤
Adding a New member to the family can be pretty exciting for us. However, to our pets, moving day is probably one of the most stressful days these animals have to go through. So, as a responsible companion, we should do our best to ease this transitional phase as much as we can to our beloved pets.
And making them feel at home, is a bit different when it comes to birds.
When dealing with cats and dogs, whose ancestors have been tamed for millions of generations, is one thing. But with birds… It’s a whole different story. And chances of anxiety are even higher if the bird’s adopted or have been mistreated before.
These first few days with your bird are very important in establishing your relationship. And thus, we have to be prepared beforehand.
1. Bird Proof your home/ bird’s room:
I can’t stress enough how important it is to bird proof your home or your bird’s room. If you just try to google how much stories and accidents birds owners tell. You would know why this is extremely crucial for your birds safety.
‣ Some plants are toxic to birds, so make sure you do your research and remove any toxic plants.
‣ Make sure the stove, fans, air conditioners and any machine that could potentially harm your bird is off and far away from the bird’s room.
‣ Don’t use any air fresheners, bugs sprays, perfumes, toxic fumes, or basically anything that could potentially harm our respiratory system as “humans” for even 1% around your birds.
Because, their respiratory systems are extremely sensitive, and many of these things could not just harm them, but may actually kill your birds.
‣ Remove any Electrical wires, sharp objects, mirrors, and any other object that birds could chew on or crash into and harm themselves.
‣ Remove any wooden item you care about. Birds, and more specifically parrots just love to chew things. And their favorite choice is always wood. So remove any wooden or basically any item that you really care for away from your birds, and make sure you place several chewing toys for them instead.
2. Preparing the Cage:
Assuming you have already done your research, chose your matching bird, and the proper cage size for him. Now the first thing you need to do is; to prepare the cage your bird is going to be settling in.
Buy the right food, perches, bird stand and toys for your bird’s specific breed, and have them ready inside the cage.
It’s important to; ask the previous owner or the bird’s shop about his diet. Because sudden changes could cause digestive problems and even more stress. However, you can always change up your bird’s diet slowly if you think his current diet is not very healthy for him.
3. Cage Placement:
No matter what type of bird you’re bringing home, there are certain common rules to placing their cages.
Now where should you place the cage?
‣ Ideally, you should place the cage in a room where the family spends most of their time. However, if you have a toddler or another pet, then you should place the cage in a quieter room specially for the first few days until the bird is less anxious and starts to get to know and trust you enough. Then you can move the cage.
‣ Place the cage on a higher ground.
Birds are prey animals. So in the wild they tend to feel safer standing at the highest points of the trees, where no animals could reach them, and they can see everything. The closer they are to the ground, the more stressed and vulnerable they can feel. So place the cage at the highest place you can.
‣ Place the cage against a wall.
At least one side of the cage should be leaning to a wall. This will automatically give the birds a less space to be examining for predators. Which will make them less stressful.
‣ Don’t place the cage in the kitchen. Even though, this is a popular choice to many people. However, birds respiratory system is very sensitive and all the fumes from the stove, cooking and cleaning materials can be very harmful to your birds. Needless to say, the number of dangerous things that are placed in there like; knives and other sharp objects.
‣ Don’t place the cage in a balcony or outdoors, unless you are sitting there with them. Because again, parrots are animals, and placing a cage in such places can attract a lot of predators like hawks, eagles, cats and so many others. And the bird being in a cage, cannot defend himself or even fly away, will probably be eaten.
II. Settling in:
It’s important to Remember that, Birds are prey animals. And the way you approach your bird will decide whether he should see you as an enemy, or a flock member.
1. The Ride Home:
As humans, our first instinct to comfort things is to interact and talk to them.
Don’t talk to your bird on the ride home.
After meeting your bird for the first time, place him in his travel cage, get him in your car and drive home.
Don’t talk to him on the ride home, and don’t try to calm him down with your voice, or to tell him how excited you are to take him home.
I know you’re probably gonna wanna talk to your bird, but It’s very important to remember again how much he is traumatized right now.And this will probably be the first time he’s hearing your voice.
So, don’t let their brain link your voice to stressful emotion, and later on, every-time he hear your voice, his brain will give him the same signals it gave him under stress.
You always want to create positive mind links between you and your bird.
Personally, when I bring home a new bird, I like turning on some soft soothing music in a very low volume, close the windows, and drive home.
2. Arriving Home:
‣ It’s very important to avoid any enthusiastic, loud voices and sudden movements with or around the bird when he arrives home.
‣ Place him in his new cage, and try not to hold him if possible. Just open the travel cage door in-front of his main cage, and let him fly in on his own.
It’s very important from the first day, to let your bird know that he is not going to be forced into anything.
‣ Don’t try to hold him as soon as you come home, or place your fingers through his cage.
I know how much you will want to hold your bird, and give him lots and lots of kisses… And you will get there, just not yet.
‣ Talk to him in soothing calm voice, sing and read to him. Let him hear and learn your voice and let him see you.
Allow him to get to know you from a distance, and slowly move closer and closer as your relationship evolves.
Respect your bird’s boundaries so you don’t break the circle of trust between you.
‣ Moreover, sometimes a bird will refuse to eat on his/her first day because they’re very nervous. But that’s okay. So don’t panic, Just comfort him, give him some space and let him settle in.
Interacting with the bird – The First couple of days:
For the next few day, let him see you going about, talk to him, and talk in-front of him. Yet, give him some space to see you and your family.
NEVER approach your bird from behind, or take him by surprise. But rather, approach him from the front and don’t look directly into his/her eyes.
At this point, the bird is getting to know you and understand your routines and behaviors, just as you are getting to know his. So open his cage door, and just go about with your life.
Change his food and water regularly while talking to him in a calm voice and observing his body language.
The Most Important thing in any relationship is trust. Gain your Bird’s trust, and you get a long, happy life with an amazing, and affectionate Companion…
However, depending on your bird’s personality and the bird’s breed, let him go by his own pace, and your relationship with him will evolve one day at a time.
Never take it personally
Birds are very smart and moody. And it’s totally normal to have a certain progress with your birds, but then someone makes a mistake, and tomorrow his back to stage 1 in your relationship.
So just give it time, depending on where he came from, how he was treated before and some other genetic details…
Some birds would take a few days to tame, while other may take up to a year or more. Just be patient and give them a lot of your time, and lots and lots of unconditional love. ❤
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Hope you found that useful.. I’ll See you next time