Some people may say I'm a Grinch and want to take the fun out of Christmas by telling people not to buy a bird on the Holidays.
I have good reasons.
The holidays are never a good time to buy a budgie or canary or conure or any type of bird for a pet to give to someone. Unless that person you are buying the bird for is prepared ahead and knows what they are getting into.
surprise someone who may not even want a bird with a new pet bird, there is nothing worse then you handing a cage and new pet bird and a box of seed to someone and say Merry Christmas this bird will be great company for you and they are easy to keep.
This is not true. Birds are NOT that easy to keep.
Birds don't make great pets to someone who has no prior knowledge whatsoever on how to properly care for a bird.
Birds don't just eat seeds. Birds shouldn't be in round cages or small cages, the cage you bought for this bird to give to whoever may be a small size and not acceptable to allow a bird a healthy life. Will the person you are surprising this bird with know about cage size, exercise, proper fresh foods, bathing, free flying time or safety issues needed to be concerned with? Like the dangers of cooking with teflon cookware or candles and air fresheners?
Its a huge responsibility being handed to someone who may not even want the bird in the first place.
Birds are often nervous and easily spooked when they first go to any new home, depending on your lifestyle family Holiday's are crazy busy with friends and family coming and going with lots of noise and laughter music and activity. It's just too overwhelming to the new bird that's trying to settle into its new home environment. Often the bird gets shoved in a corner somewhere and watches while its feeling frightened of all the activity around it.
Can you imagine being a new bird in a new home and 10 new faces keep coming up to the cage making noises in the birds face while cooing, "its soooo cute!" No bird needs this invasion when it should be settling in with its new owner quietly and slowly. Trust is one of the most important things a bird needs to build with its new owner. A bird can't be calm and trustful of a bunch of people invading its space.
I've seen surprised new owners end up with a bird they didn't want in the first place feeling bad because they didn't want to tell the person who gave them the bird they don't want it. The bird ends up suffering when this happens, the new owner will eventually try and get the bird to a Humane Society or shelter or they offer it up for sale on some site like kijiji or craigslist.
I've seen the ads placed by people who often put in comments they say they didn't want the gifted bird in the 1st place.
This means the birds life is shuffled around again as its relocated somewhere that might be temporary like in a shelter before someone adopts it. This is just not fair for the bird and can be avoided if you think about the bird first.
This is my whole point..... its all about the bird and the life the new bird should be living with their new owner.
Think about the welfare and health and life this bird is going to experience. It's all about keeping the bird in the best atmosphere possible during the holidays.
NOW, if you have kids who want a bird and you are considering it please do your homework first.
Look up the bird type and breed and size of bird you want.
Think about the noise this bird can make and will it be something you can live with?
Learn about the birds diet and cage size requirements.
Learn about things you need to bird proof in your home to assure the bird will be living in a safe environment.
Think carefully where you will get this new bird from, a pet shop? a proffessional breeder? A shelter?
Think ahead about where this birds cage/home will be once you bring it home, it shouldn't be in a child's room or the kitchen. It should be where the family is most often to spend time and hang out. Remember the bird needs to have its own quiet time in the evening and not be bothered with loud TV or stereo noise. It should have its cage covered so it may sleep and deal with issues like molting or should it come into breeding condition etc.
Learn about what you need to buy to house the bird in its cage, perches extra dishes, toys cuttle bone mineral blocks etc.
Make sure to visit and Avian Vet and do a wellness check with your new bird.
Yes, any new bird you bring into your home should have a wellness check up at an Avian vets office to rule out disease or health issues. This is a cost you need to consider.
Also, birds do get ill. Do you know you should put money away each month towards any vet bills you may need to deal with in the future?
It's your responsibility to assure this bird has the very best life. This bird is just as important as your pet cat or dog or other.
Please be responsible and do your homework if you do want to buy a pet bird for someone during the holidays.
Really it would be better for you to do this after the holidays are over when you have the hustle and bustle of activity in the home back to normal and you can focus on this new birds life as it settles in with you and your family.
Happy Holidays to all.