Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Does your bird need a little fresh air?

Question: Is it safe for a parakeet to go outdoors in a cage?

Answer: Some birds really enjoy going outdoors for a little fresh air and watching all the exciting activities of the outdoors.  Who doesn't love some fresh air and sunlight every once in a while.  However, some birds may become very frightened if taken outdoors, so please be sure your bird will enjoy the outing.  If your bird is not used to the outdoors, you may want to start with only a few minutes outside, making it a fun time with lots of praise, and increasing the time outdoors as your bird becomes more adjusted to all the sights and sounds.

Often people prefer to take their bird outside in a cage to keep the bird safe, rather than using a harness.  You will need to make sure all openings on the cage such as openings for feed cups, are securely fastened, just as the door should be, making sure your bird does not escape the cage.  We strongly recommend a bird never be left outdoors by itself.  If your yard is not fenced in, you can never be certain a stray dog might spot your bird and even if only curious, could cause an unfortunate accident happening to your bird.  Even a fenced in yard won't guarantee a wandering cat won't see your bird and try to reach it.  There have even been cases of snakes crawling into cages, so a bird can never be too safe if left alone.  

Also consider the daily temperatures and make sure they are comfortable for your bird.  A bird should never be left in the sun to prevent overheating and possible death.  A bird that has become too warm will often hold it's wings out to try and circulate air around it's body to try and bring the temperature down.  Your bird may also breathe with an open mouth and if this occurs, should be taken back indoors to cool down immediately.  There should always be the choice of shade so your bird can move in and out of the sun when it is ready to.  Just remember if you live somewhere where 90 degrees in the shade is miserable for humans, then it's going to be too hot for your bird for more than a few minutes.  

Just like humans, a bird can get used to the cool air conditioning of a home and might be better with only short fresh air trips before or after the hottest parts of the day, and be sure when your bring your bird back inside there are no direct air vents blowing on the bird.   

So by all means, do enjoy some fresh air with your bird!