Stop Feather Picking in 2022 With 3 Simple Steps

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by Diane Burroughs November 10, 2021 4 min read

The holidays are here and things are starting to get stressful!

Between work, parties, family gatherings, cooking holiday meals...it feels like there are just too many things going on at once.

Your bird feels it, too. Learn how to ease the strain on your bird with these must-know holiday bird stress tips.

While holidays are always fun and exciting, pet parents need to be vigilant and keep an eye out for their pets. Holidays can bring with them potential dangers for our household pets and bird stress.

This is why it’s best to always be two steps ahead and ready for anything that may come your way.

In this blog post, we wanted to go over five tips to prepare your bird for the holidays. We’ll also go over a few safety tips.  

Here are 5 Tips to Prepare Your Bird for the Holidays 

Holiday bird stress

1.  Give Your Bird Plenty of Exercise

Exercise is an integral part of your bird’s daily routine. It helps prevent obesity, but just as important, it helps reduce boredom (and the behaviors that come with it). 

Activity is an all-natural remedy for holiday bird stress. It’s a great way to help your pet stay happy and healthy over the holidays.

Did you know that parrots are natural athletes? They love to stretch their wings and exercise on a daily basis. Keep your parrot's energy up and healthy with these great tips!

Give your bird plenty of perches to encourage him to exercise inside the cage. Set up foraging stations near several of the perches. Better yet, get your bird a play stand and a bird harness or out of cage time exercise. 

2.   Make Holiday Travel Plans Early

Planning on visiting family during the holidays? Make arrangements far in advance. First thing’s first: Decide if your bird will be joining you on the journey.

  • If you’re taking your bird along, you should look into how to travel in the car with your bird.

  • If you won’t be able to take your bird along, research boarding or pet sitters who are experienced in bird care. Your local bird store or avian vet is a good place to start.

  • If your bird gets depressed while you're gone, set up their cage area with a smart TV, and film family footage for them to watch while you're gone. YouTube Bird TV shows can also provide much-needed bird enrichment while you're away.
Holiday bird stress

3.  Create a Comfy, Safe Space

There are likely to be a lot of people over your home during the holidays. Some birds find all that activity stressful. If this is the case with your feathered friend, they need some quiet time in a comfortable and safe space.

Set up a people-free safe space where your bird can retreat to, rest, and make sure no one disturbs him. Be sure to include items your bird loves in there—like his favorite toys.

This will help your bird stay calm and stress-free while you’re busy entertaining your guests.  

4.   Make Sure That Your Bird Gets Plenty Of Sleep

Sleep is as important for your bird as it is for you. Holidays can be stressful for your feathered friend, too! It may not be easy for your bird to fall (or stay) asleep with all the people around. Most birds need 10-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. It's hard to squeeze this in during the holidays.

A sleep cage might be just the solution.  Here is the sleep cage that we use to help our birds get shut-eye.

Keep little kids away if theyarestressing out your bird ordisrupting its sleep.Make sure everyone respects yourbird'sboundarywhile it is in thesecurearea, andthat theydon't disturbhim/her.

5.  Try Supplements for Bird Stress

Bird stress cansetoff destructive behaviors like feather plucking.  Also, stress is not good for your bird’s overall health and well-being. Try a calming bird supplement to keep your bird calm.  Loose Organic Chamomile Flowers are a natural way to help your bird stay calm and relaxed.

Bonus: Holiday Safety Tips for Birds

While we’re on the topic, let’s go over some holiday safety tips as well:

  • Don't let your bird get in the Christmas tree. He may swallow some of the smaller ornaments on the tree, and that would be a disaster.

  • Don't put on candles or spray fragrances around the house. Fragrances can be lethal for birds so it is best to avoid them all together.

  • Tell guests that chocolate is toxic to birds! Not many people are aware of this and they might unwittingly endanger your bird. 

Diane Burroughs, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist trained in ABA therapy techniques. She specializes in avian anxiety disorders and is certified in Nutrition For Mental Health. Diane has written a number of bird behavior books and she offers behavior consultations. She's developed a range of UnRuffledRx Science-backed Parrot Wellness Supplies.

Diane's products have been featured in the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery and at Exoticscon, a conference for exotic pet veterinarians. Her bird collars & supplements are stocked in avian vet clinics and bird stores throughout the US. With over 30 years in the field of behavior, Diane has created thousands of successful individualized behavior plans that help pets thrive.

TAGS: #BirdStress #HowToHelpAStressedBird

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