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New Bird Check List

Bare minimum supplies before the bird goes home:

Cage

o Large enough to flap wings and not hit toys (big enough for your bird)
o Narrow enough bar spacing so head cannot get between the bars
o No converging bars or places where bird could get caught
o Dome top preferred - it gives the bird much more play space when you aren't home, and it is preferable not to have your bird climbing on the top of the cage freely, as territoriality and dominance behaviors can result.
o Safe (no lead, cadmium or zinc) powder coating or stainless steel
o Tough enough to withstand your bird's strong beak
o Easy to clean

At least 3 right-sized perches of somewhat varying diameters appropriate to your bird's foot size

o Wooden, natural branches preferred, not slippery, placed lower down near feeding stations
o Grooming perch or pedicure perch for beak and nails (avoid sandpaper), placed in the highest part of the cage so the bird will roost on it
o Rope perch (cotton or sisal) - keep ropes trimmed so the bird can't get its feet caught in loose strands when playing with toys

At least 2 feeding cups that your bird cannot destroy

o Fit the cage and the bird (not too deep for smaller birds)
o 2 spare cups are recommended for your convenience

Play Area

o Somewhere your bird can play away from the cage with toys to play with
o Some kind of playground, play area, playstand, bungee
o Placed in a room where you spend a lot of awake, active time
o Don't let the bird be up too high (above your head)
o Easy to clean

Toys

o Enough toys to rotate between cage and play stand. At least 3 toys in the cage and at least 2 on the play stand at any one time.
o made from different colorful materials
o sized appropriately for the type of bird they are
o All birds should have toys that meet the following characteristics

§ Destructible
§ Indestructible
§ Noisy - bird-tough bell
§ Dangler to swing from
§ Preenable
§ Foraging (treat holder or food skewer)
§ Snuggly toy
§ Take apart, moveable parts
§ Hand held

o Avoid toys with dangerous materials or dangerous construction
o Some birds prefer very detailed toys, others prefer big hunky ones; get the kinds that your bird prefers, or get a variety to learn what is preferred at the moment

Bird-tough carrier with a perch and place to hang a toy

Appropriate food for your bird

o Whatever diet the bird is used to for transition
o Good pelleted diet (Harrison's Bird Diet preferred)
o Veggies
o Hand-weaning pellets or other comfort food

Good bird behavior book

o We prefer Sally Blanchard's Companion Parrot Handbook

Mister bottle for showering your bird

Before you take your bird home, be sure you have an appointment with a qualified Avian Veterinarian (a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians) to make sure your bird is healthy.

 

Additional things you may want to acquire for your bird:

Swing of some kind - most birds LOVE to swing around

o Hang inside the cage or from the playstand or from the ceiling or other mechanism

Plastic chain or ladder

o Climb back up from the bottom of the cage or from the bottom of the play stand

Shower perch

o It is easier to bathe your bird in the shower with a shower perch that either stands in the shower or attaches to the wall of the shower

Small portable perch for training or focused project time with your bird

Bird-safe disinfectant for deep-cleaning the cage

Bird-safe houseplants checklist

Sleep cage or travel cage

o Provide a nice quiet place apart from the main-stream of your house so your bird can get a solid 10 hours of sleep

Privacy area

o Privacy tent or swing with lots of hanging pieces like a curtain where your bird can retreat

Gram scale

o Monitor your bird's weight with a gram scale that weighs amounts more than your bird weighs
o Include a perch for your gram scale so your bird can stand on something familiar while being weighed

Other dietary items

o Sprouting kit
o Soak n' Cook food mixes
o Other healthy food treats

Subscriptions to bird-related magazines

o Companion Parrot Quarterly
o Parrots Magazine (a British publication)
o Bird Talk Magazine

Emergency supplies kit and first aid information

Full-spectrum lighting

Local bird club membership

Air cleaner

Trick training instructions and props

Bird leash

Earplugs for people when the going gets too loud

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