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Multi Essentials for Birds

Herbal multivitamin, digestive aid and energy booster for birds.

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How To Take Care of a Bird

Pet Care Tips 5 min read
Small pet bird perched on a woman's hand and resting their beak lovingly on her nose. How to take care of a bird

Keeping pet birds can be very rewarding but caring for them requires a lot of responsibilities. Before bringing a bird home, it is important to learn about them and how to take care of a bird.

Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class Aves characterized by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a strong yet lightweight skeleton.

There are many different species of birds and how to take care of a bird will differ for each one. In this way, talking to a veterinarian that is a specialist in birds is highly recommended. It is also helpful to review how the various types of birds differ based on their lifespan, personality, noise level, care requirements, etc.

Talking to a veterinarian that is a specialist in birds is highly recommended.

What are Common Types of Pet Birds?

Some studies have estimated 9,700 different kinds of birds, including flightless birds, such as penguins. However, the most common and popular type of pet bird is Parakeets. They are very friendly and affectionate pet birds when properly trained and cared for. Other common pet birds are Cockatiel, Finch, Auscape, Lovebird, Monk Parakeet, Dove, Parrotlet, Parrots, etc.

What is the Average Lifespan of a Pet Bird?

The average lifespan will really depend on the breed. For example, Parakeets live an average of six years but can live as long as 18 years. Cockatiels live 16 years on average, but many have lived for more than 30 years. Finches live an average of four to five years, but life spans of three times that have been documented.

What Should You Feed a Pet Bird?

The diet will vary depending on the species. However, you should feed your bird based on breed and a combination of both high-quality commercial food and some natural food. For example, your bird’s diet should include a variety of fresh vegetables. Most birds love dark, leafy greens, zucchini, and broccoli, as well as other vegetables such as squash, shredded carrots, snow peas, parsley, cucumbers, and romaine lettuce. Avoid avocado, onion, and garlic, which can be harmful to them.

It is very important to talk with a veterinarian specialist in birds to make sure that the diet that you are offering to your pet bird is adequate. An unbalanced diet can bring a lot of health problems and sometimes can be life-threatening.

Yellow cockatiel perched on a human's hand in front of a living room window

How Should You Handle a Pet Bird?

When handling your bird, it’s important to remember to always be as gentle as possible. Never squeeze your bird or hold it too firmly, even if they resist handling. Doing so could break one of your pet’s bones, damage their internal organs, or worse. Most birds cannot do any serious damage to a human when trying to be handled. It’s important to note that some of them can bite hard and peck while others can make intimidating noises.

Some birds such as ducks, chickens, cockatiels, and cockatoos do enjoy a little cuddling and petting. It depends on how the pet owner handles the bird and the bond between the pet owner and the bird.

Enclosures and Enrichment for Birds

Cage doors should be large enough for your bird to enter easily, but make sure they are secure so your bird cannot open them. Place the cage in an area that is free of drafts, away from kitchen heat and cooking fumes, and out of heavy “traffic” areas in your home.

In general, birds need places where they can hide from predators and inclement weather. Trees, shrubs, meadows, and even rock walls provide such shelter. Natural sources: Native trees and shrubs of different densities and heights give birds places of retreat and safety.

The best toys for your bird will depend on your bird’s species, personality, likes, and dislikes. Watching your pet and some trial and error will help you to discover what kind of toys your bird likes the most. Pay attention to the materials used for your bird’s toys and ensure that they are all non-toxic.

Exercise and Hygiene

Finding fun toys for your bird to toss around and play with outside of the cage can promote good exercise habits as well. For example, things like ropes and ladders for your pet to climb on can encourage movement and the working of major muscle groups in your bird.

Regarding hygiene, dirt, dust, feces, leftovers, and feather dander accumulate constantly in the cage. It is essential to scrub down the entire cage at least once per week with a non-toxic disinfectant soap and hot water.

A lovebird perched on a branch inside of a bird cage. An example of how to take care of a bird and provide enrichment

Proactive Care For Birds

Many NHV supplements are safe for birds and are beneficial for supporting their overall health. They can be used proactively or to support feathered friends with diagnosed health conditions. All of the supplements are vet-formulated and in liquid form for easy administration.

PetOmega 3

Recent research has shown that balanced omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in the diet are good for a whole host of bodily functions. Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids are essential for egg-laying, bird growth, and immunity. It is rich in vitamin A, D, and E. Vitamin A is important for cell development in the embryo. For proper absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus, your bird requires vitamin D. It also helps with bone growth and eggshell formation. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and helps maintain cell membranes.

Natures Immuno

This blend of five mushrooms can have many benefits for your pet bird. Mushrooms are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamin B, copper, and potassium that are essential for your pet bird’s well-being.

Turmeric

Studies show that Turmeric aids the health and lifespan of birds. Turmeric helps the stimulation of the digestive system, the rate of growth, and the weight of birds. However, Turmeric is an anti-coagulant. As a precautionary measure, avoid it when a bird is molting or has an issue with a broken blood feather.

Milk Thistle

The main reason for administering milk thistle to a pet bird is for treating liver issues. Liver disease in birds usually is caused by a poor diet, high in fat and calories, which can lead to a distended liver, breathing issues, and poor feather quality. Pharmaceuticals and viral or bacterial infections can cause liver disease as well. Therefore, adding Milk Thistle to your bird’s diet may help alleviate liver issues.

Multi Essentials

We recommend adding vitamins to your bird’s diet as they are helpful for general health. Vitamins that your bird needs include vitamin A, E, D3, and B-complex. Vitamin A is an important vitamin for the skin. Therefore, adding Multi Essentials can help fill the lack of vitamins in pet birds.

Yucca

You can find yucca root in many commercial foods because it is rich in saponins and phenolic compounds with antioxidant effects. Dietary yucca may enhance immune function in pet birds, which was attributed primarily to its saponin component.

Coccidial infection in birds causes parasitic enteritis in multiple parts of the intestinal tract, leading to poor performance, loss of pigmentation, diarrhea, and mortality in severe cases. A series of studies showed that Yucca also has anticoccidial effects.

Therefore, adding yucca to your pet bird’s diet can be an effective food additive to promote the absorption of nutrients, blood profile, and antioxidant enzyme activities in pet birds.


Learning how to take care of a bird can seem overwhelming but there are many resources that can help. As mentioned, talking to a veterinarian with a specialty in birds can help you find answers to complex questions. You can also contact the team of NHV Pet Experts at any time for questions about natural support and supplements. You can start chatting with us now by tapping the button below.

Dr. Amanda Nascimento DVM, MVSc, PhD

Dr. Amanda Nascimento DVM, MVSc, PhD

Dr. Amanda completed her undergraduate degree in veterinary medicine in 2010 and graduate studies in veterinary pathology (MVSc. 2012 and PhD 2016) at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo. She completed her post-doctoral training at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine – University of Saskatchewan in 2018. Dr. Nascimento will be hosting her own blog series and sharing her knowledge with our extended NHV family.

Published: June 29, 2022

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