Parrot Parrot

Does a Bird Make a Good Gift?

English Budgie and Wild-Type Budgie

During the gift-giving season many people decide to surprise family members with a new pet. It is exciting to bring in that special present with a new cat, dog, or bird. However, before bringing a young bird into your home during the holiday, you should take a few things into consideration.Holidays Are A Busy Time

The biggest issue can be the amount of activity that goes on in most homes during holiday periods. Relatives visit, children are out of school so they have friends over, you bustle in and out to take care of holiday shopping. Those who celebrate Christmas know how hectic that day can be. Excited children tear the wrapping off gifts. Parents put together toys that need assembly. This can be a very hectic time to bring a young bird into your home.

When a young bird first joins your household it will be a bit nervous. You are the new “flock” and it takes them some time to trust and bond to you and other family members. They may be a bit more flighty than usual, startled by sudden movement. When a nervous bird is in unfamiliar surroundings, then can become quite panicked. Screaming, overexcited children only add to the tension these birds can feel.

Is the New Bird Eating Enough?

It is important to observe a new bird carefully during its first week in a new home. Some birds become so nervous they may not eat enough. The stress of change in environment and diet can cause diarrhea. A change in temperature can cause respiratory illness. This is not a time to be so busy that you cannot keep a close eye on your bird. It is also a tough time to get a visit with an avian veterinarian because many offices are closed during the days around Christmas and the New Year. If you decide to bring a new bird home at this time, check in advance to make sure a qualified avian vet will be available during the first week the bird is in your home. It is generally a very good idea to take any new bird to an avian veterinarian during the first 48 hours after purchase, and many guarantees require that you do so.

Supervision & Children

If you are extremely busy entertaining family and friends, the new bird may at the mercy of children too young to understand the consequences of their actions. If you have children in your home, especially children under eight years of age, this can lead to an unfortunate accident that could harm your new pet. Young children should be supervised at all times when handling a bird. Remember, most pet birds have clipped wings and can easily end up running about on the floor where they can be tripped over, stepped on, or kicked by running children.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

It is never a good idea to give a pet bird to someone who has not explicitly stated that this is a gift they would like to receive. This type of pet requires a long-term commitment and should only be in a home where it is totally accepted. A bird in a home where it is begrudgingly kept will not be a happy creature.

Is There a Better Way?

I like the idea of giving a “New Bird Gift Certificate.” This can be something you create yourself with a photo of the soon-to-arrive pet. You can also purchase the cage and toys in advance and attach the photo of the bird to the cage to let your family know this is the bird who will occupy the cage in a short time. By doing this you can avoid the risks of introducing a young pet during the holiday season. You also create a certain amount of anticipation and excitement. This is an excellent solution that creates a wonderful feeling. You can remind your children that the bird wanted to spend the holidays with its current owner or clutchmates and will be home with you as soon as the time is right!

Here is a sample of what you could attach to the cage!

Is There a Better Way?

I like the idea of giving a “New Bird Gift Certificate.” This can be something you create yourself with a photo of the soon-to-arrive pet. You can also purchase the cage and toys in advance and attach the photo of the bird to the cage to let your family know this is the bird who will occupy the cage in a short time. By doing this you can avoid the risks of introducing a young pet during the holiday season. You also create a certain amount of anticipation and excitement. This is an excellent solution that creates a wonderful feeling. You can remind your children that the bird wanted to spend the holidays with its current owner or clutchmates and will be home with you as soon as the time is right!

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