1.                  When choosing a particular species, we must take into consideration the conditions we are able to provide for a new family member and our knowledge regarding the bird breeding. Beginners should choose types that are easier to breed. Let’s buy birds coming from a reliable source: in good zoological shops, from native breeders or coming from legal import. Let’s not support smuggling which is full of pain and death.           
2.                  A pet is not a toy. It is capable of feeling pain, fear, hunger and thirst like we do. Kept in the cage or aviary, it is completely dependent on us. Be responsible and don’t forget that buying a bird is a decision for many years, and maybe even for all your life, especially owing to the fact that it becomes very attached to its owner and we cannot give it to somebody else just for trivial reasons.                  
3.                  In their natural habitat birds most often live in flocks. Kept at home as single pets and concentrating totally on a person, they become tame more easily and some species quickly begin to imitate human speech. Nevertheless, if we cannot devote a lot of time to our new flying family member, let’s decide to buy minimum two birds. Let’s not sentence a bird to loneliness!              
4.                  The more space we will give our pet, the better. There is no such thing as too big of a cage, there may be only too small cages. A bird must be able to sit on its perch without touching its tail against the sides or floor of the cage and its head against the cage top. The cage must be wide enough to allow a bird to spread its wings and long enough to allow it to flap its wings when moving from one perch to another. It is an absolute minimum that we must guarantee! A room for flying must be carefully prepared: close the windows and draw the curtains, hide valuable trinkets and poisonous plants, e.g. Dieffenbachia or Philodendron, turn off ignition sources, hide medicines, etc. 
5.                  Birds need daylight but they cannot be exposed to overheating (e.g. a cage standing in direct sunlight) or draughts. The best solution is to place a cage in a room that is most frequented by family members, at the height of our eyes, never on the floor because scared birds mostly fly up and when their cage is too low, it may be very stressful for them. At least one side of a cage should be placed against a wall to provide a sense of security.                
6.                  When buying a cage, check whether the space between bars is not too large in relations to the bird’s size. The pet’s home should be equipped with water and food bowls, perches to sit on made from branches of deciduous trees, of different thickness (never plastic ones!), “sport” equipment and toys. We should give our birds the opportunity to clean themselves and hang a bowl of water or spray them with water by means of a flower sprayer, used only for this purpose. The cage floor should be covered with pressed sawdust that is natural and helps keep the cage clean. If you want to have babies, choose breeding accessories suitable for a given species.               
7.                  Various types of birds have different food requirements. The basic food for species most often kept at homes, such as canaries, parrots or exotic birds, is a suitably selected mixture of grains. Birds will also eat fruit, green fodder, vegetables and eggs. The bird’s house must also have calcium and mineral sticks, sand, grit or crushed shells.             
8.                  Supplement the basic diet with vitamins and nutrients. If selected appropriately, they will also help obtain a beautiful colour of feathers, prevent thyroid diseases and encourage the birds to sing beautifully. They will also strengthen the bird’s body during moulting season or laying eggs.                                            
9.                  To keep your bird healthy, clean its cage regularly, change water every day and check its claws and beak (if they are too long, go to the vet to trim them). If your pet behaves differently than usual, is dejected, ruffles its feathers, sleeps a lot, loses its appetite, sits on the bottom of the cage because it finds it difficult to sit on the perch or if there is anything else that worries you, go to the vet who has appropriate knowledge about birds’ diseases. Except for sunstrokes, it is always worth increasing ambient temperature and put a lamp near the cage.                 
10.             Provide your bird with grain sticks. Not only is it wonderful full-value food, but also great fun referring to life in natural habitat. A pet looks for and picks delicacies, such as biscuits, eggs, honey, fruit, vegetables, etc. Providing entertainment, sticks help release energy of pets that spend every day of their lives in limited space. What is more, thanks to a wooden strip, sticks contribute to wear down their incisors and claws.





NESTOR ® for BIG PARROTS i.e. great fun with grain sticks

Decision regarding the purchase of a big parrot needs to be carefully thought out. One the one hand, we must answer a lot of questions. Will the bird be more important than furniture, curtain rods, wallpapers and knick-knacks? These are the things it will certainly test out its beak on. Will we find enough time for our parrot? It will be missing when left alone at home, e.g. some species, like African Great Parrots, desperately miss their owners. Are we ready to clean up after our parrot when we give it the opportunity to fly? Have we got enough space for quite a big cage-aviary? On the other hand, if our answer is “yes”, we can be certain that we get a wonderful friend for many years, and maybe even for all our life. It will love us all its parrot-size heart. We also need to think about the type of a parrot. If we do not want a bird that flies too much, we should choose a parrot with a shorter tail that likes climbing, e.g. African Great Parrot, Amazon or Cockatoo. Having a big flat or house, we can buy Ara. 

NESTOR ® for CANARIES i.e. colourful feathers and cheerful warbles

Wild canaries still inhabit Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores in flocks of 30 to 60 birds; in the breeding season they couple. Canaries were brought to Europe in the fourteenth century, thanks to Portuguese sailors. They delighted people with their beautiful warbles, easily adapted to life in cages and therefore people began to breed them, at the beginning in Spanish monasteries. Due to high prices and trend towards canaries, for many years the way of reproduction was a closely guarded monks’ secret and only singing male canaries were sold. Today there are many types of canaries, kept for their singing, feather colour or sophisticated body build. These birds are very sensitive to draughts, colds, nicotine smoke and leaking gas. They live about 10 years.

NESTOR ® for EXOTIC BIRDS i.e. something for grain lovers

Saying “exotic birds” we most often think about birds belonging to the family of Estrildid Finches, such as Society Finches, Zebra Finches or Cut-Throat Finches. Estrildid Finches, we know about 130 species, inhabit Asia, Africa and Australia. Most of them feel bad in cages open on all sides. Therefore, the best solution is to enclose at least the back side, or better, also two sides of the cage. Some species, like Society Finches or Zebra Finches, are perfect birds for beginner breeders. Other types, like delicate Gouldian Finches, are recommended for more experienced bird lovers. Food for Estrildid Finches is suitable also for exotic True Finches (e.g. African Yellow-Fronted Canaries), especially when it is combined with the food for canaries (also True Finches, but having specific needs). True Finches are also Bullfinches, European Goldfinches and Chaffinches. However, they are protected species and therefore must not be kept in captivity.    

NESTOR ® for PARROTS i.e. remember about iodine

Among many species of small parrots, Budgerigars are considered the most popular decorative birds worldwide, which are bred in millions in many colourful varieties. They come from Australia where they live in couples making flocks. In 1840, a British biologist John Gould brought the first Budgerigars to England and they quickly gained popularity in Europe. At the beginning they were brought from the Antipodes Islands. Breeding began when it was discovered that they hatched in hollows and not, as it was thought, in flat nests. Soon, apart from green-yellow colours, characteristic for specimen living in the wild, new colourful variations appeared: blue, opal, yellow and others. Budgerigars are sensitive to lack of iodine and therefore their diet needs to be complemented with this element.

NESTOR ® for MIDDLE PARROTS i.e. wearing down overgrown beaks and claws

Among many species of middle parrots kept at home as pets, including e.g. the Eastern Rozellas, the Mulga Parrots or the Parakeets, the hearts of the largest number of breeders were captured by mild and quickly taming cockatiels. Similarly to their bigger friends, belonging to the same cockatoo sub-family, they have a wonderful crest that, depending on the mood and situation, goes up or lays flat on their head. Coming from Australia and living 15-20 years, cockatiels were brought to Europe in about the middle of the nineteenth century. They fly a lot and constantly and they must have the opportunity to move also outside the cage. It is worth knowing that food for middle parrots is suitable also for small lovebirds. Buying parrots, and lovebirds in particular, we must check whether they have not chosen their mate already in a shop; if so, they cannot be separated and made unhappy. Their name, lovebirds, was not given by chance.

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