Domesticated birds have been popular as pets for more than 4000 years dating back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. Even today there appeal as companions to humans spans the globe.
The talking abilities of parrots enchants there owners, even one’s living in stylish apartments in New York, Paris and London to tribes people living in scattered village communities across the Amazon basin or in the rain forests of West Africa.
Why Do We Love Keeping Domesticated Birds?
When the European settlers arrived in Australia in the 1700s they started to keep one of the smaller native parakeets as pets. Since then, these birds, better known as budgerigars, have become the most widely kept pet birds in the world.
The song of the canary was responsible for the introduction of these rather plain-colored, greenish finches to Europe in the late 1400s, from the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa. Now, domestic canaries possess singing abilities that are vastly superior to those of there wilder relatives.
Canaries since have also evolved into birds displaying a wide range of colors, and many distinctive varieties have been developed by breeders which are popular in bird shows and exhibitions.
The exotic appearance and coloration of soft bills and finches underlies there popularity. They are a constant source of fascination in a suitable aviary, and the challenge of breeding such birds successfully appeals to many people. The same applies to pheasants and doves and these all thrive in a planted aviary.
Caring for domesticated birds has become a lot more straight forward over recent years, thanks to a better understanding of their nutritional needs. Special foods for all types of birds, ranging from hummingbirds to flamingos are produced commercially, with each one formulated to match particular needs.
This, in turn, has been valuable in persuading parrots to breed successfully.
Better general health means that if a bird does fall ill there is a greater change of making a full recovery.
Even advances in the field of equipment have helped to revolutionize the housing of birds, which also contributes to there overall well-being.
Many people start out with a single pet bird (like myself), and before long decide to construct an aviary. The exhibition side of the hobby often appeals to people once they have experience with bird breeding.
Local clubs, catering for all types of birds provide ideal ways to meet fellow-enthusiasts in there area, even to those not interested in exhibiting. There are also national groups that cater for particular types of birds such as parrots or budgerigars, and the larger one’s may operate through local branches. They also produce newsletters or magazines for there members that keep them up to date with the latest bird trends and shows.
Starting Out With Birds
Once you have decided to keep a bird as a pet, it is vital to consider the options before committing yourself to a particular species, otherwise you could end up choosing an unsuitable type of bird for the following reasons:
- may not settle in your particular environment
- too noisy and the neighbors start to complain
- if you have more than one type of bird in the same aviary, make sure they get on with each other
- environment is either too hot or to windy
Having to find a new home for the birds soon after acquiring them is likely to be traumatic for all concerned, especially if it is a bird that is used to human company.
Draw up a checklist to help you to decide. Consider things like the bird’s talking ability, how easy or demanding it is to look after, its lifespan, its accommodation requirements and how destructive the species is. Large parrots need stronger cages as they tend to chew everything in sight.
Your budget is another important consideration. Suitable housing for any bird is always expensive and often more expensive than the actual bird. If you cannot afford both at the same time, rather by the housing first so you don’t have to house your bird in unsuitable accommodation. It may start to pluck its feathers out as a consequence, and this can easily become an habitual problem.
The prices do vary. A young, hand-reared parrot chick will cost twice as much as an older, untamed bird, but if you are seeking a pet, it really will pay dividends to select a young one that has been reared in the home.
If you are building an aviary, it may be worthwhile constructing it in a part of your garden where it can be expanded as your interest in bird-keeping develops over time.
There is also a wide price variance among exhibition birds, because of there pedigrees, and it pays to research carefully so that you can be certain you are getting the best value for your money.