Most pet bird species come from areas with warm, tropical climates. Because their bodies are built to endure heat, cold weather can mean big trouble for an exotic bird with no protection. To make sure that winter weather doesn't put your pet's health at risk, keep the following tips in mind when preparing for the changing seasons:
- Move the cage away from doors and windows. Birds that are positioned near doors and windows are at risk of being exposed to icy drafts. Move your pet to an interior location to prevent the chills.
- Consider covering the cage at night. Using a cage cover after the sun goes down can work wonders for helping to maintain a comfortable temperature within your bird's environment.
- Try temporary insulation. Seal off windows and unused doorways with a shrink wrap insulation kit. It will not only help keep cold air out, it will keep the warm air in.
- Use caution when heating. Wood burning fireplaces, as well as both kerosene and electric space heaters can pose a threat to your pet's health. The smoke and fumes from the wood and gas can wreak havoc on a bird's respiratory system, and many electric heaters contain non-stick coating, which is notorious for causing birds acute illness and death.
- Monitor closely for signs of exposure. A chilled bird is a bird with a lowered immune system. Keeping an eye out for common symptoms of illness can help prevent any weather related health problems from snowballing -- no pun intended!
Since we keep our house cold, I am investigating alternatives to keep our new cockatiel warm. Your input is great! Thanks! Also found on Amazon.com a snuggle "house," which, it seems, is polar fleece where the bird can go in and warm up. Then, there is an electric pole perch which I'm not too sure about because of electromagnetic interference, etc. Anyone try snuggle houses before? Also, can they be washed? Any other ideas? Thank you in advance! Joy