Features  |  Health  

Plumage As Beauty In Birds: Protect It

By Dr. Tunji Nasir   |   04 September 2015   |   11:05 pm  

BIRDSBIRDS are very adorable animals and they can be excellent pets, especially for individuals who don’t have the space for bigger ones. The lively atmosphere they engender by their drawling, chuckling, singing, talking, etc stimulates the environment, gives it a rhythm, gives it a song, creates a sense of companionship, a sense of fulfillment for the owner, who by now is pleased to harbour a piece of nature in his living quarters.

To me, one of the most fascinating additions the birds bring to our homes is their plumage, brightly coloured feathers in a cacophony and wide assemblage of shades and patterns, sometimes displayed arrogantly by these birds to show their grace. Check out the peacock in its grandeur and careless exhibition of its possessions.

It is such a marvel that the colours seen on the feathers of birds can only be matched by underwater creatures that are also blessed with varieties of carefully blended colours. But of what use are birds with balding plumage? Definitely not useful anymore as the pleasant distraction in the house. Sadly, a lot of bird owners in this country have at one time or the other experienced this perplexing phenomenon.

It thus goes without saying that feather and skin damage in birds should be prevented at all times in order to maintain the beauty of these creatures.

What should you do to achieve at least the minimum balance that will ensure that your birds are healthy at all times? Consider the following steps: (i) Birds need plenty of sleep.

Are you surprised? They need 10 to 12 hours of sleep every night, with a quiet, darkened atmosphere. (ii) Birds’ feathers do better in slightly humid conditions.

So, your indoor bird may require frequent access to bathing water/shower. (iii) Exposure to natural sunlight helps produce the vitamins necessary to keep skin and feathers healthy.

Indoor birds will benefit from daily exposure to natural light. (iv) Mites can cause damage to the skin and feathers. Treat existing infestations and prevent further exposure to these parasites. (v) Feed your bird adequately with foods containing premium amounts of vitamins and minerals and make sure this is done correctly.

Large amounts of seed consumed by birds may not be healthy, as they are not nutritionally complete. When a bird is always fed with this, without supplementation, the bird may not enjoy the benefit of essential micronutrients. (vi) Avoid feeding large quantities of homemade treats and foods, because of their high level of processing, which makes them to contain very small amounts of vitamins and minerals.

The danger of feeding large amounts of seed and homemade food is that these birds fill themselves up without really getting any nutritional benefit. (vii) Moderate your bird’s environment.

Don’t subject the pet to rapid change in temperatures, especially extremes, as it has a way of affecting skin and feather health. The birds are rapidly encouraged to moult. (viii) Homemade treats/foods are not to be totally avoided, but they can be made of freshly chopped fruits and vegetable mixes or a highly nutritious cooked food. (ix) Invest in a range of diet supplements that are available and indulge your birds in them.

If these points are carefully followed, you may well have contrived more than what the rainbow can offer in your living quarters. The birds have it; they will show it.



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