s the decades pass, we learn more and more about aviculture. Although birds have been kept for thousands of years, it hadn't been until the 1970's - relatively recently - that humane keeping and taming of exotic birds was consistent. We have come a long way from a parakeet in a cage with a bowl of seed, a cuttlebone, and a mirror to peck at!
The result of the widening popularity of keeping pet birds is that they are living longer lives. Many birds are significantly exceeding what their maximum life span would be in the wild! Parrots commonly outlive their dog and cat friends and some can even outlive their human companions.
The life span of pet birds range from 4-12 years for certain species of Lovebirds all the way up to 35-80 years for a Macaw! However, a bird is considered geriatric when it can no longer reproduce.
Remember that health and longevity start from hatchling on up, so the better care your bird receives throughout his life, the better chance he will have to live a long and healthy life.
|Other age-related problems that your avian veterinarian can diagnose and treat include:
- Vision problems, including cataracts
- Heart disease
You can expect geriatric birds to lose muscle tone, show less luster in their plumage, and have some loss of skin tone. Supplements containing Essential Fatty Acids may help with the latter two conditions
The outlook for even better bird care is improving as everyone from the bird owner to the breeder to the veterinarian learn more about keeping these affable companions healthy.