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Giving A Rescue Bird A Forever Home: Tips For Adopting Polly

January 1, 2024

Happy New Year! January has already gone to the birds: it’s Adopt A Rescued Bird Month! This is a wonderful cause, and we are happy to help! Adopting a rescued bird can be a beautiful and rewarding experience. That said, it’s important to do a little thinking and a lot of research. In this article, a Mattoon, IL vet offers tips on adopting a rescued bird.

Things To Consider Before Adopting A Rescued Bird

There are many great things about feathered friends: they’re adorable, small, playful, curious, and often absolutely hilarious. That said, it’s also very important to do some research and make informed decisions before adopting. That is especially true with birds. Our winged pals have some very specific care needs, so first-time bird owners will face a bit of a learning curve.

There’s a huge need for people to adopt rescued birds. Sadly, birds are often abandoned and/or rehomed. In fact, parrots are sometimes rehomed as many as seven times during their lives. Some were rescued from neglectful situations, while others have been put up for adoption after unfortunate circumstances, such as the death of a beloved owner. People who thought they wanted a bird later changed their minds and surrendered them.

While we love seeing birds get second chances, we aren’t advising that anyone immediately rush out to get one. Adopting is a big decision, and not one to be taken lightly. Polly is also a messy roommate, and may be a bit loud. She’s also not a good fit for homes where she’ll be exposed to strong fumes, such as cigarette smoke.

Do some research, and make sure you’re committed to caring for your feathered buddy for the rest of her life.

Here are a few factors to consider:

  • Space Requirements
  • Companionship Requirements
  • Volume
  • Speech Capacity
  • Size
  • Life Expectancy
  • Trainability
  • Friendliness

Ask your Mattoon, IL vet for more information.

Getting Ready For Your Rescue Bird

A secure and cozy cage is essential. We’d suggest picking the type of bird you want before purchasing a cage, as each bird has unique needs. Finches, for example, require a wider cage to accommodate their tendency to fly horizontally, while parrots prefer to climb. (Some parrots also amuse themselves and their humans by singing, dancing, mimicking car alarms, and hanging upside down, but that’s a whole other story.)

Before purchasing a cage, measure the space where it will be placed, so you will know how much room you have available. It’s a one-time expense, so go ahead and splurge! (Tip: it can be tempting to buy a used cage to save money, but be careful. If the cage’s former resident was sick, it may not be safe to use.)

Location is also important. Avoid exposing your pet to harmful fumes or loud disturbances. However, do not isolate your feathered buddy too much. Birds can get lonely when left alone for extended periods of time. A corner in a living room or family room is often ideal for our winged friends. Your pet may appreciate some plants or trees close to the cage to make it feel at home. Add lots of toys and a variety of perches to make the cage fun and comfortable.

Making Your Home Safe For Rescued Bird

You’ll need to do some bird proofing. Make sure anything that could be dangerous, like plastic bags, small objects, and candles, is removed or secured. Window coverings, fans, and toxic plants are also dangerous, as are many types of fumes. Ask your Mattoon, IL vet for specific bird proofing tips.

Getting Your Rescue Bird Settled

Transitioning to a new home can prove difficult for any pet. Birds are no exception. These beautiful creatures form very strong bonds with their owners. This is especially crucial to keep in mind when adopting a rescue bird. Polly may feel sad and depressed after being separated from her previous owner. And, if your feathered companion has suffered mistreatment in the past, it may require significant effort on your part to gain her trust.

When you bring Polly home, place her in her cage and let her adjust for a few days. Although birds require free time, it’s important for her to feel settled first. 

Never force attention on your winged friend. Let her take her time getting used to you. Sit near her cage whenever you read, scroll on your phone, or watch TV. When talking to Polly, use a gentle, friendly tone of voice. She might not understand what you’re saying, but she will notice the way you speak.

Snacks can be very helpful in gaining trust. Offer your little buddy bird-safe fruits and vegetables, millet spray, treat sticks, or raw pasta. Just stick with options that you know are safe for her. For more information, contact your veterinarian.

You might want to touch or cuddle your new bird, but it’s more important that you don’t scare her. Don’t grab her or stick your hands into her cage, and don’t startle her with sudden movements or loud noises. 

It takes most birds at least a few weeks to adjust to new homes. Be patient, and don’t push things. Love takes time! 

How Do I Choose A Rescue Bird?

Our feathered buddies vary wildly in terms of things like noise levels, life expectancy, and volume. Caring for a Macaw is very different from caring for a budgie! Some, like finches, are pretty quiet, while others, like the Moluccan Cockatoo, are very, very loud. (These guys can reach 129 decibels, which is louder than most concerts.)

Certain birds are more suitable for inexperienced owners than others. Finches and canaries are excellent options for new bird owners. Not only are they small and quiet, but they also bond more with one another than with their humans. This makes them perfect for those seeking a low-maintenance pet. Lovebirds are sociable creatures that thrive on companionship and are known for their vibrant colors and cuddly nature.

Then we have parrots. Lots and lots of parrots, each with their own unique needs and personalities. The budgie or parakeet, for example, is a small and lively little companion that is absolutely charming, while the vivacious African Grey Parrot is sure to keep you entertained with its wit and antics. Just look before you leap: many parrots are intelligent, active, and, well, a bit extra.

There’s also Polly’s unique personality to consider. Take some time to quietly observe your potential pet before adopting. It’s important to make a connection, but it’s also important to make a good match. Find out as much as you can about Polly’s history and medical background, and see how she interacts with you and with others. You’ll also want to get an overview of her health. Ask your Mattoon, IL veterinarian for more tips on choosing your winged buddy. 

In conclusion, giving a rescued bird a second chance at happiness and a new forever home can be very rewarding. Just make sure that you do plenty of research before bringing any pet into your home. Birds have very specific care needs, and represent a serious and long-term commitment. 
Do you have any questions or concerns about your bird’s health or care? Please don’t hesitate to contact us! As your Mattoon, IL pet hospital, we’re here to help!

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