Exercising your pet bird

01 Jul 2019

We all know that dogs should be walked regularly to stay healthy. Similarly, cats should have regular play sessions to keep them entertained and active. But how do you keep a bird fit and healthy?

With the diversity of pet bird species available, as well as differences in the level of handleability shown by each bird, it can be tricky to ensure they get adequate exercise while staying safe. We’ve put together three tips for keeping your pet bird fit and healthy – in any environment.

Safe indoor flight area

The easiest way to make a safe indoor flight area for your bird is to close all of your windows, turn off your fans and open all the internal doors of your house to provide a large jungle gym for your feathered friend!

Ideally, all birds should have time outside their cage every day, to help them exercise, explore and stay mentally active. Ensure you have no volatile odours such as essential oil diffusers, candles, incense, Teflon pans, paints and perfumes out whilst your bird is indoors.

Safe indoor play zone

If your bird is unable to fly due to clipped wings or some other condition, provide a safe indoor play zone for them instead. A living room or some other open space in your house with the doors and windows closed will provide a large ground space for your bird to explore.

Provide toys and items for them to play and manipulate in this space. Daily time in this safe indoor play zone is ideal and keep an eye on them while they play to ensure they don’t get into any trouble outside their cage.

Safe outdoor aviary

If making your house into an indoor play space for your bird isn’t possible, another good option is a large flight aviary outdoors. A converted garden shed, or a purpose-built aviary can provide enough room for your bird to fly, as well as allow them to see outside and interact with wild birds.

Install some natural wooden branches to act as perches at various heights and add some freshly collected vegetation from edible plants to provide further enrichment. Various bird toys can also provide enrichment and entertainment for your bird.

Birds should be able to exercise daily. If you normally keep them in a relatively small cage indoors during the day, ensure they have time outside this cage every day in either an outdoor aviary or within an indoor flight area in your home. Birds kept in strict confinement will not only suffer poor physical fitness and health but are also more susceptible to stress and behavioural disorders. Chat to your avian veterinarian for more tips and advice on keeping your bird fit and healthy at home.

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