Not only for humans but also for numerous pet birds, a hard time begins with the winter: They are no longer allowed outside and are instead exposed to the dry air in heated living spaces. In addition, many birds come from the south and are not used to the dark and cold season in Europe.
We have therefore put together tips for keeping birds in winter and hope that you and your feathered friend will get through the cold season well.
Heating Air Dries Out the Mucous Membranes
Wintertime is always also heating time. However, thanks to modern heating devices, the room air is always very dry, which can be problematic not only for humans but also for birds: The low humidity makes the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract dry out more easily and humans and animals are more susceptible to infections. A humidity between sixty and seventy percent would be ideal.
One idea to optimize the room climate can be to hang up so-called evaporators, which can be attached directly to the radiator. Caution is advised here, however, as these aids tend to mold quickly and spread mold spores in the warm air.
You can just as easily fill ceramic or clay bowls with water and place them on the radiator. They are much easier to clean. Therefore, with regular cleaning, the risk of mold formation is minimal.
Another, even more, elegant method of making the room climate more pleasant is to use indoor fountains. The larger the water surface, the more water evaporates in the room. But be careful, too much humidity also disturbs the indoor climate. Mold formation can easily occur at values above seventy percent. A hygrometer provides information about the current humidity value of the room.
Lack of Sunlight Promotes Vitamin D Deficiency and Changes Hormone Production
However, it is not just the indoor climate that plays an important role in keeping birds in winter. In addition, many of our feathered friends lack daylight. After all, most of the birds kept in Germany originally come from Australia and Africa. In their home countries, they often get more than ten hours of sunlight a day.
This is also vital for the animals that have found their home here. If these birds are kept in rooms without windows or in a room with very little light, they will quickly show serious damage to their health.
For example, a lack of light can trigger an insufficient supply of vitamin D. Just like in humans, the vitamin is only converted in birds in the body with the help of UV light.
Hormone production is also dependent on exposure to the sun. In the case of disturbances, brittle beaks, but also feather plucking or other psychological problems can occur.
Bird Keeping in Winter: Artificial Light Has a Positive Effect
Of course, no artificial light can completely replace the effect of UV light, but it is a good idea to offer the bird artificially created UV light. Specialized bird lamps in various designs and price ranges are available from specialist retailers. It is important to find out more beforehand.
A Balanced Diet Makes an Important Contribution to Bird Health
Of course, a species-appropriate and healthy diet plays an important role all year round. However, when it comes to keeping birds in winter, it is particularly important to provide your feathered friend with a sufficient amount of fruit and vegetables and thus cover all of his vitamin requirements. If you are dealing with a real fruit grouch, vitamin supplements may also be fed. Of course, you always have to make sure that you never exceed the prescribed maximum daily dose.