Birds are amazing creatures - intelligent, affectionate, fun, playful, and social.
But they are not just fun and games, birds require specific care and are susceptible to shock injury or even the smallest change to their environment.
One of the biggest environmental changes happens during heatwaves in the summer. This is why it's important to school yourself in how to keep your parrot cool during the hot months.
Think of your bird as a highly tuned Nascar - they have a lightweight body, with bones that contain "air sacks" that make flight easier, and almost every feather on their bodies have a purpose.
It only takes a few snips off a few feathers and your bird can be rendered flightless.
How birds can really compare with a Nascar is in how they "run". Birds naturally run hot in fact, your average bird has a standard core temperature of around 105 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius. This makes them very susceptible to overheating. Their body is adapted to a year-round temperate climate.
Birds require an incredible amount of energy for flight and their bodies as a whole are geared around this. As a result, they have a fast metabolism and a relatively large heart that beats up to 1000 beats per minute. In comparison that's around 10 times faster than a human heart during exercise.
Your bird can overheat very quickly and if it's not caught and corrected on time, could lead to death.
We've put together this quick reference guide to help you care for and monitor your birds regularly to help prevent dehydration and overheating from happening.
If your bird is breathing through his mouth or panting, holding his wings away from his body, or is on the floor of the cage behaving in an anxious or stressed manner, these could be a sign that he is starting to overheat.
2. Keep Your Bird At A Healthy Weight
Birds are just like humans - a poor diet can make your bird overweight. This can lead to the same complications that overweight humans face including overheating.
So make sure that you introduce "live foods" to your bird's diet to ensure optimum weight and health.
(Are you providing your bird with a healthy diet? Check out our dietary recommendations for birds here.)
It's nice to be able to let your bird get some fresh air outside and enjoy the sunshine, but just like us, too much direct sunlight can rapidly cause overheating.
You can help prevent this from happening by ensuring that your bird ALWAYS has some shade and can escape the sun whenever she wants.
4. Cool Your Bird With A Misting Spray
When your bird shows signs of overheating, it's important to have a misting bottle on hand. It should also be used as part of your birds daily care regime.
Misting helps your bird maintain his core temperature which helps prevent dehydration and overheating.
On a fun note, birds LOVE to bathe and get wet, and you'll find that your bird will really enjoy these "baths" and often will lift up its wings and feet so that you can get those hard to reach places.
This can be a fun experience for both you and your bird, while at the same time, helping to ensure she doesn't overheat.
CAUTION: never spray your mister directly at your bird, otherwise, they will quickly develop an aversion to both you and misting.
Spray near or next to your bird and allow them to enter or exit the mist at will.
As the trust grows between you and your bird this becomes less of a problem but take care in the beginning, as birds can lose their trust very quickly. Lost trust can take an extremely long time to get back.
(Our bird lovers rave about the UnRuffledRx Aloe Vera Spray we have in our store. It's a great way to help your bird stay cool for the summer!)
Make sure that you always have a bathing dish full of fresh, clean water at the bottom of the cage and that it is replaced at least once a day.
As well, it's important to make sure that your bird has plenty of freshwater to drink, and this should be replaced daily too.
Nasty bacteria grow quickly in a water dish that contains food particles or other debris.
And there you have it!
If you follow these tips you should be able to keep your bird safe, healthy, and happy through the summer!
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