If you?e ever traveled to a tropical location, you can better understand where your exotic pet birds came from. Since most exotic bird species throughout the country came from tropical regions, they prefer and thrive in humid environments. If you?e looking to get your first pet bird or you?e just looking for some refresher tips, here? some things about humidity and what? ideal for their comfort and health needs.
Understand Humidity & Birds
The first step is understanding what type of environment most exotic species are used to. “Since many species of pet birds are originally from environments that are warm and humid, the lower [humidity] levels in the average home could become a problem for a their skin and respiratory systems,?said Florida-based bird behaviorist Kim Bear. “As far as I know all species of exotic birds will prefer mid to high levels of humidity.?lt;/span>
Depending on where you live in the country, adjusting your humidity may or may not be a problem to keep your bird healthy and happy. Bear explains that levels of extreme humidity, that we may think is unbearable, birds find quite enjoyable. Giving the example of Florida, she explained that generally speaking, there are very few times of the year this area of the country experiences extremely dry air. However, many parts of the country are not like Florida, and can and do struggle with air that? simply too dry for birds.
Understanding What Impacts Humidity Levels
Along with where you live and seasonal changes, how you cool and heat your home makes a big difference when it comes to humidity in your home. “When running the furnace or AC, realize you’re taking moisture out so you have to put it back in,?Bear said. “You don’t want to entice mold or mildew or have moisture running down your walls but the bird probably wouldn’t mind it that high. Heating and air-conditioning typically will remove moisture from the air, so if the humidity level is too low, your bird could benefit from misting, showering, etc.?lt;/span>
How to Achieve Proper Humidity Levels
Determine the current level of humidity in your home with tools and observation.
“You can buy thermometers with humidity level features so you can measure [it]. If you’re dealing with a lot of static cling or shocking yourself when you touch metal, your humidity level is too low,?Bear says. “Try not to let the [humidity] level fall below 50 to 55%.?lt;/span>
If you have found your home? humidity level is too low for a bird? health and well-being, there are some simple, yet effective things you can do around the house. Bear suggests adding plants, water pans and humidifiers to increase humidity.
Running a vaporizer or a humidifier can combat overly dry home conditions. However, it should be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria and mold from growing.
Another way, to keep your bird hydrated is to let them enjoy a bath or shower. Whether it? running a faucet or letting your bird “run?through the stream, spraying them gently with water or letting them roll around in a water dish, these are great methods to let them have fun and stay hydrated. Another tip is to give them moisture-rich and water-logged foods such as pieces of Swiss chard or lettuce to keep them hydrated from the inside out.
Humidity Too Low?
If you don? keep humidity levels high enough, your bird might come down with an upper respiratory infection that can be caused by “too low ambient humidity?caused by either excessive air-conditioning during the warmer, summer months and indoor heating methods, including wood and pellet stoves or fireplaces.
Reacting to lower levels of humidity, bird? sinuses and mucous membranes can easily dry out. In reaction to the decreased humidity, your bird? nasal cavity and respiratory system instinctively secrete mucus to rid their bodies of any indoor allergens or pollutants from their respiratory system. After too much mucus and moisture accumulates, this nasal discharge may be sneezed out by your bird. According to the “Nasal Discharge” bird health article on BirdChannel.com, it can be clear or be colored “white, yellow, green or brown, or even blood-tinged, depending on the cause.?If you notice moisture on your bird? head or on their “cheeks? nasal discharge may be one cause of the wetness.
While maintaining proper humidity for your bird is an essential and serious issue, especially when you use alternate heating methods, it is easy to monitor and adjust for your bird? delight and health. Your bird will love you for it, especially those birds that enjoy taking a dip under the sink or in their bowl!
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