Whereas birds will not be as in style or prevalent amongst pet house owners within the state of Virginia as cats or canines, there are nonetheless many retailers that particularly cater to fowl house owners and the wants of their pets.
One place, proper in Falls Church, is the American Hen Firm. Positioned alongside Lee Freeway at 7219 Lee Hwy, Falls Church, the locally-owned pet retailer has been serving the Washington, DC space for over 20 years.
Carrie, one of many caretakers, spoke to me about what it’s prefer to personal and take care of a caged fowl like a parakeet, macaw or cockatoo (birds that fill the within of the shop, entrance to again, in quite a lot of colours and sizes).
The first factor is ensuring that the fowl will get “recent water, recent meals” each day. Speaking about her personal routine each with the birds at American Hen Firm and her personal pets, Carrie said that the cages have to be cleaned “on a regular basis.”
Whereas cleansing out fowl droppings, she defined that it is vital for an proprietor to “monitor the poop, ensuring that [the bird] is consuming sufficient.”
For bigger birds, like Parrots, “recent veggies are actually good.” Papaya can also be a great choice for fowl meals, as it’s “good for his or her intestine.” In the case of child birds, Carrie says that “we feed them numerous formulation. After [the] formulation, we use pellets.” She talked about that ZuPreem is their go-to model on the retailer.
Lots of the birds within the store will be seen hanging off of or chewing on varied toys inside their cages. Carrie defined that toys — ones made out of “balsa wooden, pine or dragon wooden,” which birds prefer to “chew on and destroy” or cholla cactus, plentiful in “nooks and crannies” — are a key a part of a fowl’s day by day life . Toys are “nice for his or her beaks and their brains,” says Carrie.
She added that “numerous birds like issues that make noise,” like bells. There’s additionally a form of concrete perch which will be positioned in a cage and on which birds can “file their nails.”
It helps to have plenty of toys and to “alternate [them] in order that [the birds] do not get bored.” Along with the sorts of toys already talked about, Carrie remarked that “youngsters’ foam, shredded paper [and] dried corn husks” are additionally good objects for a fowl to play with.
Apart from all of the colourful birds — which fill the store with their cacophonous, but bubbly, “fowl speak” — one other apparent attribute of American Hen Firm is the humidity. In keeping with the Finest Mates Useful resource Heart, a nationwide animal welfare group, it’s “necessary to buy a humidifier for each room through which” a fowl shall be saved. It’s essential to have a humidifier with a built-in hygrometer, ensuring to not exceed 60 p.c humidity — as that’s sometimes when mould begins to develop.
Setting the humidifier “at 55 p.c humidity will guarantee” that the fowl “lives in as humid an atmosphere as potential with out mould rising.” Humidity is a pet care requirement for each form of parrot, which helps maintain their pores and skin and feathers wholesome.
American Hen Firm, along with promoting birds and fowl provides, additionally gives grooming and boarding companies with skilled care that features clipping their wings and trimming their nails.
One other retailer within the space, a bit additional out, is Wild Birds Limitless, positioned at 2437 N Harrison St, Arlington. Michael Zuiker has owned and operated this franchise retailer since 1991.
Wild Birds Limitless specializes within the sale of fowl meals, feeders, fowl baths and homes and quite a lot of poles and baffles — which act as blockers that assist forestall squirrels from leaping onto the fowl feeder; in addition they assist maintain the fowl seed in a single place.
For these trying to develop their parameters and interact with different fowl house owners and birders, there’s a state-wide group referred to as the Pet Hen Affiliation of Virginia, based mostly out of 5652 Haden Highway, Virginia Seaside. The PBAV — which originated as a membership in 1982 — helps to advertise training, analysis, conservation and accountable breeding practices with regard to unique birds corresponding to finches, canaries, budgies and parrots.
The group is made up of pet fowl house owners and veterinarians, pet retailer house owners, rehabilitators, shelter house owners and breeders, working to help additional fowl training and conservation.
In keeping with the Virginia Division of Agriculture and Shopper Providers, it is vital, “earlier than bringing a wild or unique fowl into Virginia,” to “test with the Virginia Division of Wildlife Sources to make sure that possession of the fowl just isn’t prohibited or restricted.
If you’re a resident of Virginia or are shifting to Virginia, there aren’t any entry necessities so that you can usher in your private pet birds.”
“If the fowl is meant for use for any function apart from being a private pet (corresponding to providing it on the market or adoption, breeding it, or utilizing it for promotional functions) the fowl will should be accompanied by a Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) issued inside 10 days previous to entry into Virginia.”
To be taught extra in regards to the American Hen Firm, go to americanbirdcompany.com; to be taught extra about Wild Birds Limitless — Arlington, go to arlingtonva.wbu.com. To seek out out extra in regards to the Pet Hen Affiliation of Virginia, go to pbav.org.