The beautiful season is coming … and our birds too can suffer from the heat! Amandine Diot has an article on the subject, good reading!
The beautiful days are fast approaching, summer is setting in, the sun is shining, the temperatures are rising… The days are getting hotter and hotter and even the night temperatures are struggling to drop… And this can last several days or more , we then enter a heat wave period. A rough time for all living beings.
Parrots are birds native (mostly) to the tropics where temperatures and humidity are often high. So why would the summer heat and the heatwave be difficult for a parrot to bear? This is a question that many homeowners ask themselves. Our birds have become acclimatized to our regions and therefore react strongly to extreme temperatures. What most people don’t realize is that the heat of summer is much more of a problem for our parrots in captivity than the cold temperature of winter. The body reacts very differently between extreme hot and cold temperatures. In very cold weather, when temperatures are negative, the body activates the “priority organs” option and directs the main blood flow to vital organs (sometimes to the detriment of the extremities). Our only concern is to keep our birds warm. And we have the solutions for that: to bring them home, to provide a source of heat, to give a richer diet …
However, in conditions of extreme heat, birds are at a disadvantage for two reasons. First, they do not have a sweat system (sweat glands) like mammals that cool the skin when moisture is evaporated by these famous sweat glands.
Second, mammals with few sweat glands compensate by releasing heat (exactly evaporating) through the mouth to regulate their temperature. But birds have a dry bill, and cannot benefit from this solution. If we see them panting, when they are hot, it is more a reaction to heat stress than a way to cool off.
In hot weather, you should be especially careful with your older and overweight birds. They are even more sensitive.
Recognize a bird in “overheating”
You can easily spot a bird with hyperthermia:
- he breathes hard, his beak wide open
- he holds his wings away from his body
- he may be on the ground
- he keeps the plumage plated
- he behaves in an anxious or stressed manner.
If your bird is really ill and you have to take its temperature, remember birds naturally have a much higher body temperature than ours is around 39.5 ° C – 40 ° C with variations depending on the cash.
Gestures to be banned
Here is a list of things not to do:
- leave your bird in front of the window (the sun turns, a window in the shade in the morning can be in full sun in the afternoon), at the risk of finding it dead in the evening on returning
- force your parrot to shower, cold water on hot body can cause death by hydrocution
- forcing your bird to drink, risk of taking a wrong turn (not to mention the trauma and loss of confidence)
- put a ventilator in front of the cage, increased risk of sinusitis
It is important to try to cool the bird or its environment as much as possible. Here are five solutions to help your parrot in hot weather.
1- Keep your bird in the shade
It’s a good idea to let your bird get the fresh air outside and enjoy the sun, but like us, too much direct sunlight can quickly cause overheating or sunstroke. To avoid this, make sure that your bird ALWAYS has access to a sufficiently large shaded area so that it can escape the sun at all times.
Modify your installation if necessary by covering the roof or a very sunny side with a canisse breeze for example. You can easily remove it to let the birds benefit from the freshness at night.
Prefer natural materials (canisses, bamboo) rather than sheet metal or plastic which increase the heat tenfold.
2- Bring fresh water
Access to water is essential in hot weather. Make sure to bring fresh water several times during the day. Water allows your parrot to rehydrate and cool off.
Put a bowl of water in the shade, bacteria will develop less quickly.
Be generous with water bowls! Bring it high, on the ground, etc … Especially if your aviary houses several individuals, I have already spoken about it in previous articles, but a little reminder is always good to take: place your water tanks in an intelligent way so that ‘they stay clean as long as possible, for example away from under a perch to prevent droppings from falling into them.
3- Fresh fruits and vegetables
Your parrot having a balanced diet, its bowl therefore includes fresh fruits and vegetables every day (divided into several meals). Regardless of the weather, it is important not to leave these foods at room temperature for too long so as not to allow bacteria, flies and other insects to contaminate the food. In hot weather, it is even more important to pay attention to the freshness of the food and to collect the bowls within a few hours.
When the weather is hot, parrots appreciate fresh vegetables and fruits even more, they refresh them, hydrate them …
Be inventive in your presentation: on a skewer, in aquatic enrichment, iced, in fruit juice …
4- A parrot in the mist
Cooling the environment is important in the event of a heat wave, ideal before or after the hottest hours. Several solutions are available to you :
- Cool the aviary with a little water jet on the walls, roofs and ground (never on the birds)
- Mist the aviary and / or the birds: misting means sprinkling fine droplets, your parrot must not come out soaked! You must then spray near or next to your bird, leaving it the choice to enter or exit the mist at will. Never force your bird at the risk of losing its trust in you. Remember that confidence is lost very quickly and takes a long time to be regained.
5- Aqualudic occupations
A hot day is also an opportunity for your parrot to play with the water! So bring him some “water fun” occupations!
- Bring moistened plants (leafy branches, salad, grass container)
- Ice cubes
- Put her toys in a bowl of shallow water
I strongly recommend that you keep your bird calm during hot weather (no free flight, no training, no abseiling…) in short, no physical efforts which would unnecessarily overheat the machine.
Here is what to spend a serene summer! Enjoy the summer period and have a good vacation!
Amandine Diot, June 2019, Parrots and the summer heat, article available online: https://mon-perroquet.fr/les-perroquets-et-la-chaleur-estivale/, consulted on June 13, 2021
An information nest © – June 2021