Cold Weather Preparation For Parrots And Other Birds Kept Outside
When the cold weather hits be prepared, a full bird is a warmer bird. Feed extra food and add things like popcorn, wheat bread, corn bread, corn on the cob, rice checks, cheerios, vanilla wafers, cornbread (more than usual, among other things) even peanuts can be added. I prefer almonds, walnuts, and pecans, because they are more nutritious than peanuts. Of course for smaller birds feed things that they can eat such as walnuts shelled (an example of one of the may things that can be fed to smaller birds as well) where as your large birds can crack them the smaller ones need help.
I use red lens heat lamps to warm them in addition to covering them. The red lens allows them to see to forage for food at night to keep themselves warmer, they also give off heat, and the red lens is not nearly as hard on their eyes as a bright white light would be thus allowing them a much more peaceful sleep.
You can cover cages with bisque and other plastic sheeting just beware that when the sun shines on it you can have the green house effect, so remember to roll up a side or two early in the day or you can cover cages with sheet like material (cloth, but with no loose threads that birds can reach) if you are away and it warms up unexpectedly you will not have to worry about the green house effect. I recommend clear for bisque (no black) white to light colored cloth (no dark colors) so the birds can still experience day light and not be left in the dark, “day and night” (daylight hours being a very important factor in a good breeding program, as well as an over all wellness for all creatures).
Remember also if temperatures really dip those of you whom use PVC perches, those pipes can freeze and little birdie feet will stick right to them. A few years ago I knew of a case where a Macaw had to have part of his foot amputated because of this very thing. We use larger perches than required by each species of bird in our aviary, because that way they can actually sit on their feet with their feathers covering over them. Wooden perches are not going to freeze like PVC.
Above all clean fresh water is vital, don’t assume that ice in the bowl is going to melt, you make sure they have water. This is important for all creatures. So people think I’m obsessive about my birds, that’s OK I probably am, but I will not drink yesterdays stagnate water, so why should I make my birds, dogs, cats, and other animals?
Please note this is a simplified form of how I care for my outside birds. It doesn’t include what we do for our chicks in the nest in the case of an emergency or how we deal with hypothermia should it arise. In the case that the parent birds get off the nest during the night, I can tell you the light in itself often helps a scared pair of cockatiels or other birds find there way back to the nest, eggs, and chicks in the dark.
Source by Lisa M Sweet