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Birds are Family Too – Tips on How to Travel with a Pet Bird – Part 1

By Wyld’s Wingdom

Pet-friendly travel is a growing segment of the travel industry,but most people simply think of travelers bringing a dog or cat along when they hit the road. According to a 2012 report by the American Veterinary Medicine Association,there are over 8 million pet birds in the U.S. Many bird owners consider their feathered friends part of the family and would like to bring them along when they travel. Of course,there are also times like a family relocation when it’s necessary to travel with a pet bird as you move to a new home.

Your feathered friend can now travel stress free in the Caitec Perch &Go clear bird carrier

Travel with a pet bird can be done,but it’s essential to plan ahead and take a number of factors into consideration. Bird owners will need to get their bird ready for travel,make sure they have the proper equipment and supplies on hand for the trip,plan for climate and other environmental conditions,research any legal requirements for transporting their bird into other states or countries,check airline regulations if flying and make arrangements for bird-friendly accommodations on the road.

Bird Supplies and Equipment You Will Need
Whether driving or flying,there are some basic items you’ll need:

  • A safe travel carrier is essential for your bird.  The carrier should be large enough for your bird to turn around,and should always have a properly sized,sturdy perch mounted low.
  • A dripless water bottle and appealing treats for the carrier
  • A perch or stand to attach to the carrier is great for use in the hotel room.
  • A variety of pet bird toys  that are familiar to the bird and can be used at the destination.
  • When actually traveling,the toy must be one that does not swing about
  • with the motion of the vehicle so that the bird is not injured during
  • transit.
  • Food,water and snacks for your bird –If you are packing fresh fruits and veggies,make sure you have a way to keep them from spoiling,such as a small insulated bag or cooler with cold packs.
  • Harness
  • Cage cover or towel
  • Cleaning products such as spot removers,wipes and paper towels (remember the 3 oz. rule for liquids when flying)
  • First aid kit containing styptic powder in case of broken feathers,beak or nails

Play Gyms for Birds – More than Just Fun

By Wyld’s Wingdom

Bird owners know that their pets are intelligent,curious creatures that need mental stimulation and varied activities. Being in a cage 24/7,no matter how well-equipped,does not provide enough variety and play time for a bird. Lack of stimulation can lead to undesirable behaviors such as feather plucking and screaming,as well as general unhappiness. This is why play gyms are an important bird care accessory for many bird owners.

Bird gyms provide an out-of –the-cage experience that is fun and allows the bird to feel like he’s part of the family. Working bird owners can use the play gym as a regular part of the daily routine in the morning or evening. Helping the bird adjust to spending time on the play gym allows the bird to see and be a part of what’s going on around him,but also play independently.

In order to stimulate and entertain the bird,the play gym needs to be interesting and fun. There should be a variety of toys and activities incorporated into the play gym. Also be sure the play gym is appropriately sized for the bird – look at perch sizes and general scale of the play gym components. Find a spot for the play gym that is near family activities,such as dining,doing homework or watching TV. Any bird will benefit from the addition of play gym time on a regular basis.

Tips for Keeping Your Pet Birds Warm in Winter

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.

Wholesale Pet Bird Supply Specialist –What Do They Bring To The Table?

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.”

Is Your Pet Bird Happy?

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.

The Importance of Pet Bird Perches and Stands

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

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.

Why are There so Many Types of Pet Bird Toys?

Double Doily

Double Doily

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.

Pet Bird Care – Bathing and Preening

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.

Tips For a Successful Pet Bird Shop…Your Employee Tool Box.

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.

Pet Bird Care –Bird Beak Basics

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.