We love birds, but we also know that birds are not built to handle the cold. That’s why you’ll often see them fluffing their feathers, huddling together in a group, or seeking out sources of heat when it’s cold outside. But how can you keep your bird warm in winter?
Read on as a local vet talks about how the cold affects your bird and ways to keep Tweety warm during the winter months.
Feathers are a bird’s best defense against the cold. Birds will use their feathers as a way to trap body heat. This is called preening, and it happens automatically when the bird gets cold. A bird will also fluff up its wings if it’s cold, which we call wing fluffing.
Feathers are a bird’s primary means of insulation, which means if you have an indoor cage for your pet bird during the colder months, you’ll want to make sure it has plenty of room to stretch out comfortably.
When you’re cold, it can be hard to think about eating. But a bird is like any other living creature: if it doesn’t get enough food and water, then it will be in danger of dying. Most birds have the same dietary needs as humans—carbs, proteins, and fats—but they need more protein than we do because they are so small.
Birds depend on the warmth of their environment to keep them comfortable, so they generally won’t eat or drink much when they are cold or wet. To ensure that your bird stays hydrated year-round (and especially during winter), change your cage bedding daily so that you can monitor any dampness in the cage itself (or droppings) and replace dirty dishes with clean ones every day.
Here are a few more tips for keeping your bird warm in winter:
Keep the cage out of drafty areas. Make sure that it’s not exposed to direct sunlight, as this can cause overheating and dehydration.
Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation in the area where you keep your pet’s cage, so it doesn’t get stuffy with moisture buildup or develop mold issues.
Provide a heat lamp to help keep the room temperature up (but make sure it isn’t too close to anything flammable).
If you have more questions or wish to schedule Tweety for a checkup, please feel free to call us, your local vet anytime!