Guest Author - Heather Thomas
Celebrate responsibly, with a little advance planning ensure your bird has a safe and happy 4th of July holiday. As bird owners we must consider how the holidayís events will affect our birds and make any necessary accommodations ahead of time.
Holidays bring food into our homes that are not usually present. Be sure all your guests know to ask prior to feeding your bird anything. If you intend to have a large group and are concerned your wishes will not be honored, move your bird into another area of the house before your guests arrive. Remember foods like chocolate and avocado, the primary ingredient in guacamole, are toxic to your bird. Avoid serving these foods or make it very clear to your guests that your bird cannot have even a small amount of these foods.
The holidays introduce stressors that are not typically part of your birdís everyday life. The 4th of July presents a set of unique circumstances; fireworks can be very frightening for your bird, especially if it is high strung to begin with. Whether you will be home for the evening or not, it is best to move your birdís cage away from windows and into a quieter place in your home. If you will be away for the evening, provide your bird with some of its favorite treats and fill all foraging toys to provide a good distraction and ease stress.
If your plans include a houseful of guests, now would be a good time to check your birdís wings. With extra guests, doors are opened and closed more than usual providing your bird with ample opportunity to be startled and fly from the safety of your home. It is best to keep your bird in its cage during times of high traffic but double check its wings to see if they need a trim before your guests arrive. Even if your intention is to leave your bird safely in its cage, an unknowing guest or child may let it out at an inopportune time.
Since your bird will likely spend more time in its cage this holiday, make sure you provide a variety of toys to divert your birds attention from destructive behavior such as feather plucking, destructive chewing and excessive vocalization. A combination of chewing and climbing toys should provide your bird with ample entertainment.