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Can I borrow my neighbor's bird and put it with my bird so they can have babies, then give it back?

No, birds are not like dogs where you can use them for stud service. Two birds should be put together to bond, but not all do, and then hopefully they’ll like each other, mate, and have babies. This can take a short time or years. Sometimes they will never mate at all.

Should I cover my bird's cage?

Covering your bird’s cage is a personal preference. Some owners cover their cage to give the bird a sense of bedding down for the night in a dark environment free from distractions. Birds should have ten to twelve hours of darkness for proper rest.

Why does my bird regurgitate its food?

Often a bird will regurgitate to its owner, and this is the ultimate sign of affection. Just as a bird would feed its mate or offspring in the wild. Pet birds try to feed the person or people that they are most bonded to.

My female cockatiel is alone in her cage and lays eggs all the time. Will they hatch? What should I do?

No. You need a mature male and female for the eggs to hatch. It is very common for a female cockatiel to lay infertile eggs. What you need to do is allow her to lay her batch (clutch) generally four to six eggs and sit on them. After approximately twenty-one days take the eggs away. She may or may not lay more eggs. Never take the eggs away as they are laid. This will cause her to keep replacing these eggs thus depleting her body of calcium. When laying eggs a fresh cuttlebone or calcium block should be supplied and as always a good diet. Just because your bird is laying eggs does not mean she wants to have babies. Sometimes we simulate spring in our homes. Having extra lights on and added warmth during the fall and winter months makes some birds believe it’s spring. As a result, they’re hormonal levels raise and they start laying eggs. Some believe limiting their daylight by covering her cage to coincide with the sunset will help minimize egg laying during the winter months.

Does my pet bird need a friend?

A tame bird that is bonded with a person does not need another bird for company. Trying to introduce a new bird into the same cage often has one of two results. The two birds may fight and have to be separated, or if they do get along they may eventually bond so strongly that the once tame bird no longer needs the companionship of its owner. A bird that is not tame may benefit from the company of another of its kind, but there is no guarantee that two given birds will get along. Two tame pet birds of different species should always be housed separately. In addition to the problems discussed above, a larger bird can easily injure a smaller bird in a dispute. Caged separately but placed side by side two birds can still vocalize back and forth and keep each other company. This maintains the bond they each have with their owner as well as being safer for the birds.

Why does my bird pluck its feathers?

Why a bird feather picks is one of the hardest questions to answer. At the first signs of a bird plucking it should be seen by an avian veterinarian to rule out any medical reason for the behavior. Boredom and lack of stimulation can be reasons for feather picking as well as sexual frustration. Sometimes they start picking and it just becomes a very bad habit. This is a question with no real answer. Toys that a bird can shred and destroy can be used as a distraction from picking, increased baths can sometimes have good results also. Keep in mind, just because a bird picks its feathers doesn’t mean it’s neglected. Feather picking can be an owner’s worse nightmare.

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