Brontosaurus Staff Tip: Keeping your bird warm in Winter by Amie Chinchio
As we all begin to feel the chill of winter setting in, so do our pets. Birds in particular are sensitive to the cold, especially our exotic parrots like Conures, Quakers and Amazons whose bodies are made to endure the warmer weather in the South America.
A bird that is cold over an extended period of time has a lowered immune system, so to help prevent diseases, keeping our birds warm in winter is a great defence. So here’s a few tips to keep your birds warm safely in winter:
– Use a cage cover at night, this will help to insulate the cage and prevent any drafts from getting to your bird.
– Move the cage away from doors and windows, this will prevent any cold winds or breezes giving your bird a chill.
– Be very mindful when using indoor heating. Fireplaces, wood burning heaters, electric space heaters and gas heaters produce smoke and fumes that are detrimental to your birds respiratory system and are not recommended for use around birds.
– It is safe to use an air conditioning system provided the air is not pointed directly at the bird, the warm air will dry out the birds respiratory system and cause respiratory problems. If your bird is in direct line of the air conditioner unit just place a cover over the front, leaving the sides open will still let the warmth access the cage.
– Heat lamps are a great external source of heat for your birds, placing one outside of the cage and aiming above a perch will give the bird a basking spot that it can happily come and go from as it pleases. By making sure you get the right size and wattage you can give you bird a warm toasty space during those really cold snaps. However once you turn the lamp off the heat will disperse and the bird will need to find an alternative source of heat.
– Bird tents or happy huts are another way for a bird to help retain its warm. These are a small tents made of various shapes, styles and sizes that hang inside the cage. They are often made of a light fleece, cotton material or leather and help to hold heat and circulate the birds own body heat back into it. However these should be checked daily for chew marks and if your bird begins to unravel or chew the tent they should be removed from the cage and replaced.
– For outside aviaries or chicken coops, try to find a position in the yard or by the house where they can be protected from the wind and have a good amount of sunshine during the day for both warmth and vitamin D.
– For outside birds be sure to provide a sheltered area like a nesting box or covered in place of the cage where they can retreat to if they need.
– Feeding at night is a simple way to help heat your bird. When birds eat their metabolism starts up and this can help warm the bird from within, so topping up those food bowls at night are a simple way to help with keeping your bird warm.
Using these tips you can keep your bird both warm and safe during these cooler winter months. Don’t forget, the team at Brontosaurus pet store can help you find the best solution for you and your feathered friends during this chilly winter.