By Wyld’s Wingdom
As the weather cools down,it’s important to remember that birds need additional care in winter. Many of our exotic and pet bird breeds are originally from warm,tropical climates and cold temperatures can be a health challenge. Here are a few guidelines for pet bird owners to keep in mind during cooler temperatures that will help them keep their pet birds healthy and happy.
Bird owners should move the cage to a draft free location,away from windows and doors. Moving your bird’s cage to a central location in the home can make a big difference in keeping deadly drafts and cold air away from sensitive birds. Shrink-wrap insulation kits can be used on windows and unused doorways in winter to keep cold air out and warm air in. Increasing the humidity indoors in winter is also good for birds,eliminating dryness and excess dander.
Keep Your Pet Birds Warm with a Cozy Snugglie
Remember that birds are sensitive to smoke and fumes that can come from wood,gas or kerosene heaters. Some electric heaters are treated with a non-stick coating,which can create fumes that are deadly to birds. Some radiator-style electric heaters can be effective,but be sure to check on possibly harmful coatings.
Bird owners should definitely have a cage cover on hand. Covering the cage at night will help keep birds cozy. Some birds enjoy snugglies and snoozies to help keep them warm at night. Heat lamps can be used,and infrared bulbs will create a glow that does not interfere with the bird’s sleep cycle. It’s important to choose only a bird-safe heat lamp recommended for avian use. Pay attention to the bulbs used in the heat lamp – any bulbs coated with polytetrafluoroethylene can emit toxic fumes when overheated. There are also ceramic heating elements that can be used for birds – from those that clamp onto the cage to heat panels that are placed around the cage. These are specifically designed for animal and avian use. Infrared heat panels that attach to the cage are also an energy-efficient way to keep your bird cozy this winter.
Comforting warmth and shelter for pet birds.
In addition to keeping your bird warm,you’ll want to ensure that heating your home doesn’t result in a lack of humidity. If so,there are a few simple things you can do to provide the proper conditions for your bird. Regular baths,showers or light misting should be continued throughout the winter months. You can also increase humidity in the home by using a vaporizer or humidifier designed for birds. Other options include placing shallow pans of water on radiators or in the oven when you’re pre-heating it,or simply leaving the bathroom door open when you shower to allow the steam into the house.
Feeding your bird a healthy,vitamin-rich dietthroughout the year will help boost its immune system and stay healthier despite changes in temperature. Bird owners should make sure the winter diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables to maintain optimal health.
Of course,keeping a watchful eye on pet birds throughout the winter is important. As you make changes to your bird’s environment,be on the lookout for signs of overheating,such as panting,extended neck or holding the wings away from the body. Also keep an eye out for signs of any health problems – exposure to cold temperatures can lower the bird’s immunity and result in illness. At any time of year,simple bird care and monitoring will ensure that pet birds stay healthy and happy.
By Wyld’s Wingdom
When stocking a bird department or a specialty bird shop,it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the products available. There are specialty products for birds of all sizes,and supplies such as cages,food,supplements,toys,and educational materials,to name a few. Some are high-quality and made by reputable manufacturers,while others are not. It’s impossible to stock everything,yet how do you know where to begin? A great bird department or shop should have a carefully chosen selection of quality products that bird owners are looking for.
There are many sources of information in the avian world,and it’s important to find knowledgeable experts with years of experience in the industry to tap into for the best information on bird supplies,products,care and trends. Birds are amazing and complicated creatures,and in order to have a successful bird-related business,it’s important to have reputable sources to turn to. Working with wholesale pet bird supply specialists is the first step in building and maintaining an avian business that pet bird owners trust and will return to consistently.
Mary Wyld,of bird supply wholesaler Wyld’s Wingdom explains,“We are bird lovers who opened our doors in 1986 and have remained committed to providing our retailers with the best information and advice on all things bird. Over the years we have passed on our knowledge of and experience in bird care,safety and wellness,along with staying on top of industry trends and building relationships with quality manufacturers that we trust. What’s great is that we pass all of that along to our customers,who in turn pass it on to their customers – the bird owners.” Wyld points out that this is a win-win situation – everyone from the successful retailer to the customer to the birds themselves benefits from the wholesaler’s dedication.
Experienced pet bird supply wholesalers stock quality products from manufacturers
Wholesale Pet Bird Supplies
with solid reputations. There will always be fly-by-night companies trying to cash in on trends in the pet industry,but those with knowledge of bird health and potential dangers in new or cheaply made products will pass on doing business with them. The focus should be on providing quality products that enhance the lives of pet birds,because happy birds bring happy customers back to their retail source.
It’s essential to stay on top of discoveries in the world of avian health and wellness as well. From healthy diets to supplements to toys that stimulate pet birds’ minds – a quality wholesaler will know what’s new and important to pass along to bird owners. There will always be new and better formulas,creative ideas and enhanced safety features in new products,and an expert wholesaler can advise retailers on what’s important to carry now.
Wyld encourages retailers to look for wholesale pet bird supply specialists who offer great service and advice and are easy to communicate with. “We really take our retailers ‘under our wing’ and assist them in putting together a bird department that features the best selection of products. We know what’s important to bird health and what consumers are looking for,” Wyld says. “The bottom line is,if our retailers are a success,then we have succeeded too.”
Avian Fashions Birdie Hoodie
By Wyld’s Wingdom
Birds are unique non-domesticated animals that we oftentimes share our lives with. Their individuality and intricate nature makes them exciting and entertaining pets. Kept birds do have special needs though in order to ensure their happiness remains at optimal levels when kept in captivity. Here’s a list of essential steps to keeping a happy and healthy pet bird:
Birds are creatures that are adapted to movement and flying. Be sure to house them in the largest enclosure possible in lieu of open sky.
Similar to the above space,birds need a safe space to fly in for daily exercise. This should be out-of-cage in a designated area away from other pets or hazards for your bird. You can also provide a harness or other type of secure enclosure so your pet can enjoy the outside with you!
As highly intelligent creatures,birds need entertainment to sustain them. You should offer a variety of changing bird toys to decrease boredom and try to socialize them with other birds and humans for enrichment. You can also teach your bird skills or develop games to cultivate intelligence and learning. Talk to a professional at your local pet store for ideas or resources for bird training games.
Feed your bird a healthy and varied diet that includes seeds,grains,beans,fruit,cooked and raw veggies,and formulated pellets. Another critical part of their diet should be access to sunlight,as birds need vitamin D to promote bone health.
Birds enjoy bathing! Each week provide a small container filled with water to allow them to clean themselves or you can also lightly mist your bird with a small spray bottle full of water to promote feather and skin health. Be sure whenever your bird bathes,they are able to air-dry in a warm environment so they don’t get sick.
• Flock Time
As social creatures with an inquisitive nature,birds enjoy company. By placing bird stands throughout your house,your bird can join you and observe your activities for “flock time.”
Bird ownership can be a rewarding activity by building and sharing your home environment with an intelligent pet. Making sure your bird has what it needs to thrive is essential in a happy and healthy pairing.
By Wyld’s Wingdom
Perches and stands are important parts of a pet bird’s environment. But one simple perch won’t provide the benefits that a variety of perches and stands can. Birds need different shapes and sizes of perches and stands for exercise and foot health,as well as adding interest to their world. Perches can be uniform in shape – circular,rectangular,or oval – and come in a variety of sizes. Bird owners should purchase the size that is designed for their bird. Irregular shaped perches are usually made of branches,which simulate a more natural environment.
The Percher by Caitec
Rope and other flexible types of perches give birds a different type of surface to hop onto,and swings provide exercise and fun. Having a stand for a bird to use outside of the cage is also a good idea. It is a safe spot for the bird to observe and participate in family activities. Shower perches are great for bathing pet birds or allowing them to enjoy the humidity of the bathroom when showering. Shower perches can also be attached to a window.
Perches with coarse surfaces are beneficial for nail and beak conditioning,but shouldn’t be the only type of perch provided. These surfaces can be too rough on a bird’s feet if they have to spend long periods of time on them.
Birds are naturally curious creatures,and will want to have a variety of vantage points to keep their eye on what’s going on,as well as comfortable and safe places to rest and sleep. Perches and stands also create an environment that encourages exercise and activity. All of these factors add to the health and well-being of any bird.
By Wyld’s Wingdom
The variety of pet bird supplies and specifically bird toys on the market today might seem like overkill to new pet bird owners,but those experienced in avian behavior and care know that different types of bird toys are made for a reason. Just like children,birds have likes and dislikes when it comes to toys. Birds also enjoy variety to keep their interest piqued (again,just like your children do),and different toys stimulate important bird behaviors that are exhibited in the wild.
It’s important to narrow your selection to those toys that are the appropriate size for the bird. Toys should be non-toxic and able to withstand chewing,rough play and cleaning.
Birds enjoy a wide range of activities,and bird owners can be on the lookout to see which types of toys their bird might enjoy. Some toys provide comfort by allowing cuddling and snuggling,some require manipulation and problem solving,while others encourage preening. Foraging toys encourage birds to work for their food,as they would in the wild;while exercise toys like swings and ladders promote physical activity. Foot toys allow birds to hold and grasp,building dexterity through an enjoyable activity. Chewing toys are also important,and bird owners should know that these toys will be destroyed and need to be replaced.
It’s a good idea to have a rotation of toys for pet birds to prevent boredom. Changing out the toys on a regular basis also allows the bird owner to clean and inspect toys for damage and wear. The stimulation and activity provided by a variety of toys make a significant contribution to the happiness and health of any pet bird.
The bathing and preening process is one that is very healthy for pet birds. Most birds enjoy bathing,whether splashing in a bird bath or shallow dish of tepid water,or being lightly misted. Slightly warm water is fine for bathing birds,or there are specially formulated sprays developed to gently clean most types of pet birds. Bird owners should always read the label carefully before using any product on a pet bird.
Bathing is important for pet birds because it stimulates preening. Preening isn’t just putting feathers back in place (like combing your hair) – it’s actually much more. Most birds have a uropygial gland that secretes an oily substance that helps waterproof the bird and also contains vitamin D precursors. The substance is spread throughout the feathers when the bird preens,and actually helps nourish the bird as the precursors are converted to vitamin D3 when exposed to UV light. The bird then ingests the vitamin D3 when it preens later and this helps with calcium absorption.
Preening removes dust,dirt and parasites from the bird’s feathers,keeping the bird healthy. It also puts the feathers back in position for better insulation and smoother flight.
Pet Care –Preening:Rico Preening Before Bed Time
Birds can fluff,preen and dry off naturally in a warm spot. Bird owners may not want to bathe their birds in very cold weather,but when winter conditions in the home get dry,the humidity of a warm bathroom can help with respiration and allow the bird to bathe,preen and fluff naturally.
By Wyld’s Wingdom
As a pet shop owner,giving your pet bird department staff the best tools for dealing with a wide range of customers and situations is an effective way to keep customers coming back and reduce staff turnover. Confident,well-trained employees will appreciate their work environment and pass on their positive feelings to customers.
It’s a good idea to develop an employee handbook that outlines policies and procedures. An employee handbook can address rules,expectations,and the ways in which employees should represent your business and brand. This is the first step in developing effective retail associates who are reliable and responsible.
Developing an employee training program can save time down the road when bringing new staff on board. Take the time to create your training protocol once,and each new employee will receive the same consistent information on store basics such as opening and closing procedures,cleaning and pet bird care,handling sales and returns,stocking and inventory,and the customer interaction techniques outlined in the previous sections. The manual can cover greetings,collecting information,assisting customers through conversation,etc.
Product knowledge and general pet bird care knowledge are other areas that will require training for your bird department associates. If you have birds in your store or department,your employees should be trained on the basic information about the species you carry. Customers will look to sales associates as the “experts”,so they should be able to answer questions and provide information about various bird species.
Encourage employees to familiarize themselves with inventory,and make educational resources on bird species and care available. Holding regular meetings or training sessions before or after hours will give you an opportunity to go over popular products and how they can be introduced and explained to customers. Role playing is another effective way to work through product knowledge and how staff can effectively listen to customers and direct them to the products they need. Regular meetings will also keep everyone up-to-date on new products,new displays and promotions,and industry news.
Consistent mentoring and training of employees can often give staff a sense of ownership and accountability,which ultimately adds to your pet store’s success.
By Wyld’s Wingdom
Bird beaks are complex and vary from species to species,based on feeding habits. This vital organ is made up of bone,vascular layers,Keratin,and dermis and continually grows. Keratin is the same protein found in fingernails,hooves and horns,so you can get an idea of how beak growth occurs. A bird’s beak can grow from 1 to 3 inches per year,depending on the species. The part of the beak closest to the bird’s head contains nerve endings and blood supply,while the tip of the beak is more like a fingernail and doesn’t feel pain.
The bird naturally keeps growth in check by wearing down the beak through normal activities like feeding,grooming,chewing,using the beak for climbing and rubbing the beak. It’s generally thought that a healthy bird will wear down the new growth of the beak so that it always looks the same.
Birds can have an overgrown beak as a result of limited activity,but it can also be a sign of trauma,abnormal development,nutritional deficiencies,liver disease or virus in certain species. An overgrown beak can be trimmed using a Dremel tool,clippers or scissors,and care must be taken to not trim too much,causing pain and bleeding.
Pet bird owners can promote healthy beaks by providing birds with proper nutrition,pet bird chewing toys and perches to rub the beak on. Bird owners should keep an eye on the beak and look for cracks,lesions,discoloration and overgrowth. Please consult a veterinarian or avian specialist for guidance about any abnormalities of the beak.
A varied diet is important for pet birds,but sometimes birds can act a lot like stubborn kids when it comes to trying new foods. As with children,it’s best to start introducing a variety of foods when the bird is young. Morning is the natural foraging time for birds,and can be the best time to try a new food. Incorporate new foods into the dish with the bird’s usual diet to encourage him to try it,or prepare a dish of the new food and put just a few of his favorite treats in the dish. This will force the bird to forage through the new food to find the treats,and hopefully will taste the new food in the process.
Try offering fresh foods raw or cooked,warm or cool,etc. You may find that your bird prefers one way over another. If the bird doesn’t eat new foods in the dish,try hanging or clipping chunks or leaves in the cage to encourage nibbling and gnawing. Birds are attracted to bright colors,so try to incorporate fresh,vibrant foods to entice the bird to investigate.
Birds may try new things when in a “family dinner” setting. If everyone is eating pasta,cereal or veggies and the bird sees everyone enjoying it,he may just want to try it too! Be patient and try various things,and no matter what,always provide your bird with plenty of healthy pet bird foods and treats.
There are many opinions out there about bird nutrition and what compromises a healthy diet for pet birds
AviTech Premium SuperFood Mixture
. Some experts recommend seed supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables,some will add pellets into the mix,and some recommend a diet of only pellets. This can become confusing for pet bird owners.
Avian nutrition research is an ongoing process,and although the bird food industry has been instrumental in developing basic nutritional guidelines,new discoveries are always being made. One fact that most experts agree on is that a diet that consists of seed only –especially the sunflower seeds and peanuts that many birds prefer – is not nutritionally complete and can result in a vitamin deficiency. vitamin A deficiency is common in pet birds and often goes undiagnosed.
Preventing a vitamin deficiency can be tackled by feeding a formulated pellet diet,supplementing a seed diet with vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables,or by adding vitamin and mineral supplements to the bird’s diet. Some supplements are designed to be added to the water dish,while other powdered vitamin supplements can be sprinkled over soft,fresh foods.
Some fresh foods that are rich in vitamins include dark,leafy greens such as kale,which contains vitamin A and calcium. Broccoli is full of vitamins A,K,B2 and C,and birds often enjoy holding a stalk of broccoli while eating the florets. Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin A,vitamin C,calcium and potassium. Birds love mashed sweet potatoes and this is a great way to introduce this healthy food at a young age.