Things to Consider Before Buying a Bird
Some people buy birds on impulse because they are cute. Those that do not research into the interest usually end up regretting their actions. Many birds are abandoned, abused, or in shelters because of this. Before you even attempt to buy a bird, take a step back and reflect on the following questions.
Will you love and care for your bird no matter what?
Some birds will never talk even if they are from a species with a reputation for being good talkers, such as budgies. You can try to teach your bird to talk, but if he cannot comprehend or never manages to, you should still love him all the same. Do not get a bird if you think you will lose interest in him shortly after you discover he is unwilling or unable to talk. If you are, then you are buying a bird for all the wrong reasons.
Some birds are biters, possibly because you have not earned their trust, they are scared, in a fowl mood (yes, birds can get moody, especially during molts), or you are handling them the wrong way. Do not get a bird if you think you will neglect him because he never becomes friendly for whatever reason.
Do you have time to devote to a bird?
Birds are sociable creatures and require daily interaction from their owner(s). It is unfair and cruel to keep a bird in its cage all day and ignored! They also require a little maintenance daily to ensure that they have adequate food, clean water, and sanitary living conditions.
Depending on the species, small birds can live for 5-30 years given proper care. Can you assume responsibility/interest in him this long?
Can you tolerate a certain degree of mess and noise? Does your living condition allow such things?
Birds are messy creatures. They produce droppings approximately every 15 minutes and expel it regardless of where they may be at the time. They discard seed hulls, worn out feathers, dander, and feces, and a combination of these things will be seen flying out of the cage and floating around the room the bird is kept in. A daily vacuuming routine is called for to keep the mess at bay.
Because birds are extremely sociable creatures, they make a fair amount of noise. It is cruel to buy a bird and expect him to be quiet. If you live beside neighbors, put them into consideration. Sometimes a birds' twittering or call can penetrate walls.
Does your budget allow for a bird?
The bird itself may not be expensive but keep in mind that he has many other requirements. He will need a cage, toys, food, treats, medication, and vet visits. All these expenses add up – will you be able to afford them? Some people believe that a $20 bird should not be brought to the vet even if sick because vet visits are worth more than the bird itself. If you agree with this “logic” save yourself the trouble and spare the bird of your ignorance by not buying a bird. Birds are living creatures and when ill, will need medical attention like any other living creature.
Are you or someone you live with allergic to animals?
There are some birds that are known to be cleaner than others with respect to dander production. However, this is not to say that it is always okay for an allergic person to have birds. People have different immunity strength so some people will react stronger than others. Take this into consideration. If you are unsure, talk to your family doctor before getting the bird.
Do you have other pets?
The main concern here lies in cats and dogs – potential predators of small birds. There is an on going debate on this matter. Many people have cats and dogs that respect and love the birds or ignore the birds altogether, but this is not always the case. Be very cautious. Small birds are defenseless, they can easily fall prey to a cat or dog. Take into consideration the temperament of your current pet(s).
Do you have children or very young sibling(s)?
Young children can inflict harm to small birds. Most do not intentionally set out to do so but it does happen. They must be taught to respect the bird and to treat him kindly. Extremely young children (those who are 5 and under) should not be given full responsibility to care for a bird. They simply do not have the capacity to do so. Instead the bird should be a family pet. When the infant wishes to play with the bird, the event should be supervised.
Do you travel a lot?
If you do then you must be able to find a "bird sitter” while you away from home. A bird sitter should be someone who is knowledgeable about birds (it could be a friend, family member, your next door neighbor, or a professional bird-sitter).
If you are in a situation where you cannot get someone to care for your bird and you are constantly on the go (such as taking a vacation or business trips every weekend or very often for days), consider not getting a bird. You cannot leave your bird a home alone for days regularly – this is called neglect!