|fter a long, stressful day at work, what happens to you? You may become irritable or short-tempered, right? Well, the same is true for birds. They feel the weight of stress just like we do, sometimes even more so. When your bird is stressed she can become irritable, short-tempered, even aggressive. As a way to cope with the stress and anxiety, she may start engaging in destructive behaviors like
picking her feathers or mutilating her skin. Also, if your bird is under constant stress, it may lead to fatigue, illness, weight loss, a weakened immune system, deteriorated plumage, or more. To protect your precious pet from the negative effects of stress, use the following tips to create a serene, stress-free environment for your bird.
Sense of Safety and Security
In order to relieve stress in your bird's life, you need to make her feel safe and protected in her cage. Birds are prey animals in the wild so they're constantly on the lookout for possible predators. Take a careful look at her surroundings to make sure there's nothing that will make her feel threatened or anxious. For example, to your bird, a spinning ceiling fan overhead may look like a predator that could swoop down and snatch her up at any minute. Also, having a 360-degree view can make your bird feel vulnerable from all directions, so place an Avian Background on one or two sides of her cage.
Birds need their beauty sleep just as much as we do. However, if your bird's cage is located in a room where there's late-night television viewing or other activities, your bird may not be getting the sleep she needs. For instance, the television's shadows bouncing all over the walls and ceiling may appear threatening to your bird, causing sleepless nights and stress. Our Cage Covers are an easy way to let your bird sleep peacefully, and when used to cover part of the cage during the day, they provide a secure hiding box inside the cage to make her feel calmer and more safe. If it's noise that's keeping her awake at night, use a separate cage, placed in a dark, quiet area, as a sleep cage. Economy cages, like the Clean Life Ranch Cage, allow you to give her another cage without breaking your budget.
Birds need a place to retreat to in order to escape stressful situations. For example, if your bird spots a predator outside the window or there's a lot of commotion outside of her cage, she'll need a place to hide and relax. Simply place our Bird Tent over your bird's favorite perch to offer instant security. Or, hang one of the Snuggle Sacks in her cage. These complete enclosures help ease stress in active households and provide the perfect nighttime roost.
Exercise helps birds beat stress and blow off steam, just like it does for us. So, in order to help your bird de-stress, provide plenty of outlets for exercise inside and outside of your bird's cage. Swings are a great option for in-cage exercise. The Triangle Rocker Hanging Bird Toy encourages balance, coordination, and strong leg muscles. Ladders also provide an acceptable outlet for exercise and help develop your bird's muscle coordination.
Cages themselves can provide the exercise outlet your bird needs. Playtop cages, like the Select Series Rancho Cage and the EZ Care Bow Front encourage birds to climb and exercise with their activity-filled playtops. With ladders, perches, hooks for hanging toys, and more, your bird can play to her heart's content. Flight cages also help promote exercise by giving your bird room to spread her wings and fly. The Flight Cages offer your bird plenty of workout room at an amazingly affordable price.
Playstands are also an essential part of your bird's workout program. Read our article "Encourage Exercise With Playstands" to learn more.
Boredom can cause stress, so make sure your bird has enough engaging toys and activities in her cage to keep her entertained and rotate them frequently. Foraging toys, like Crazy Cubes and Push/Pull Forager keep your bird engaged and entertained while replicating foraging activities in the wild. Brainteasers, like the Carousel Crazy Cubes challenges your bird to solve a puzzle before receiving her treat or toy reward.
Keep boredom at bay by satisfying your bird's other natural instincts as well – preening, chewing, and shredding. The Nature Clusters contain enormous bunches of natural materials to outlast even the most ambitious chewer. Shredder toys, like the Parrot Piñata and preening toys, such as Apple Tree or Fruit Bowl Natural Toys provide your bird an acceptable outlet for shredding and preening, redirecting her away from feather plucking.