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Exercising a Bird

 Submitted by Michael Adams on January 8, 2010

Just as human beings need to exercise regularly to stay fit, animals and birds also need to use their bodies adequately to lead a normal, healthy life. Pet owners are well aware of the necessity to exercise dogs regularly, but there are many who do not realize that it is just as essential to make your birds exercise on a regular basis too. The natural capacity of birds for flying implies that their bodies are meant for vigorous physical exercise.

Thus, pet birds whose wings have been clipped and are mostly confined to their cage are likely to develop ailments such as rise in the blood sugar levels, obesity and cardiac disorders, which may seriously affect the quality and length of their life. It is generally sufficient to exercise your bird every alternate day or even daily if your pet is particularly energetic and fond of playing outside the cage. You should ideally let the creature out of its cage mid-morning or early afternoon and let it play freely inside the house.

If you want to avoid a mess, you may leave the bird free in an enclosure that gets direct sunlight and free air. Do not exercise the bird when it is hungry or has just had a meal. Late afternoons and evenings are also times when birds like to rest and doze so you should not try exercising your pet during these hours of the day.

A few simple ways of exercising pet bird are suggested here. If your bird is reluctant to fly, let it out of its cage, place it on a perch or over its cage, move away a little and hold out a particular tempting treat in a small tray. This will encourage the bird to fly or at least flap its wings vigorously, which is the best form of exercise you can give your pet. Another easy way of making the bird flap its wings is to set it atop a Dowel rod and move it up and down repeatedly. A few minutes of this exercise conducted daily is sufficient for the bird, especially if its wings have been clipped. If your bird is already overweight, it may take you a few weeks to get it into the habit of exercising. But you must persist and praise and reward the creature by treating it with its favorite toy or food whenever it exercises.
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