Prepare Your Birds for the Summer
Prepare Your Birds for the Summer Summer is here! It’s time to relax and to go on holiday, even for our lovebirds. They now need to rest from the exhausting breeding season. This season might be
Prepare Your Birds for the Summer
Summer is here! It’s time to relax and to go on holiday, even for our lovebirds. They now need to rest from the exhausting breeding season. This season might be the most important for them as they will be taking a well-deserved break. That is why we have to make summer as comfortable as possible for them.
We all know how hot summer can be in certain parts of Spain, for that I will share some tips with you about WATER and FOOD supply.
Fresh and clean water have to be provided. We have to do this no matter the season, but especially during summer. Heat will cause the water to evaporate and overheat more easily so we will have to pay close attention to the drinkers.
Please note that freshwater does not mean cold water. We should never provide cold water to our birds, tap water would be a better option as its temperature is more stable.
If we cannot pay a visit to our lovebirds every day during summer, we can place two drinkers in each cage or a higher quantity of drinkers in the aviary. Also, you can use an automatic watering system in your aviary.
I use one myself and it provides excellent results. In summer, I try to combine the automatic system with nipple drinkers just in case the automatic system fails so they are left with no water.
Still talking about water, we can also provide our birds with a bath inside and outside the cage/aviary so they can get wet and keep their plumage in perfect condition. In my aviary, I use outdoors baths twice a week. I try to change the water very frequently as it gets dirty very soon.
Another way to keep them cool is to spray them with water several times a week. This option is not as good as the bath, because they will not have the possibility to choose the right time for them to get wet. Nevertheless, lovebirds love taking baths so it should not be a problem for us to choose the time.
In summer, we should reduce fats from lovebirds’ diets, for example, sunflower seeds and high in the fat mixture should be replaced for fresh food like: vegetables and fruits which contain a higher percentage of water and no fats.
Think about our behavior in summer and transfer them to lovebirds. During summer we prefer eating light and fresh food like ice-creams and cold drinks, among others. We should do the same with our lovebirds so they live as good as possible during this hot season.
We will provide them with fruit and vegetables every day. Leftovers have to be taken away as heat will cause them to decay sooner. As we already mentioned in another entry, the most advisable fruits and vegetables to give to our lovebirds are: strawberry, orange, apple, pear, grapefruit, mandarin, lemon, papaya, grape, red pepper, green pepper, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, escarole, corn, green bean, lamb’s lettuce, artichoke, cabbage, spinach, green peas, etc.
Also, let’s review the food that our lovebirds cannot eat: avocado, potatoes, pumpkin, milk, meat, soda, alcoholic drinks, chocolate, sweets, salty food, coffee, persil, etc.
Other important aspects to have in mind in summer are the temperature and the materials used for the construction of our aviary.
The temperature of the aviary
Apart from the food and water, in summer we have to be careful with the temperature. As we already know, Spain is a country of high-temperature contrasts between the north and south.
We have to be more careful in the southern and inland regions than in northern regions. Depending on the area where we live in and whether if it is hotter or colder, we will have to be more or less careful with heat.
We have to monitor the temperature of our aviary no matter if the aviary is outdoor or indoor.
We have to pay special attention to the air conditioner. We should not keep it at low temperatures or place the cage or aviary in front of the air conditioner, so the airflow does not hit it directly.
The ideal temperature for our aviaries in summer is 22-23º.
High temperatures can make our lovebirds get ill and facilitate the development of parasites. That is why we should clean our aviaries more frequently during the hot season. In my aviary, I mostly use a mixture of water and ammonia for cleaning the cages and walls, after that, I dry the surfaces with a dry cloth.
For the floor I recommend you to use water with bleach. Also, there are insecticides that are harmless to our birds. We can use those in the aviary and cages.
Materials for the aviary
Other crucial aspects that we should have into account when heat comes are the materials used for the construction of our aviary. Stones and tiles are heat insulators, so they are good materials to make our own aviary from scratch.
We should avoid using aluminum or metallic sheets if we want the aviary not to become a sauna during summer. If we see that the temperature is just too high, we can use some insulation materials so the temperature of our aviary gets more stable during summer or winter.
By Miguel (Agapornis Arias)
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