Whether you keep chickens or have a parrot as a pet, the winters can be harsh on the bodies of your avian friends. A bird’s body is not well equipped for cold temperatures, even in well-insulated, sheltered areas. Besides keeping the birds inside a sheltered space, there are other tips you should follow to keep any pet bird warm in the winter.
Cage covers will go over the cage the bird resides in. The covers, particularly winter-crafted covers, help trap the heat within the cage. It is best to put these kinds of covers over the cages when it is “night out”. That way, you can peep pet birds warm at night with a cover and in the daytime, they can enjoy the sun.
Whether it is a cage for a finch or a chicken pen, where the avian home is located in the home or barn is very important. That is because improper insulation can make cold drafts fly into the area. Unless you properly insulate the windows and walls, it is best to move the pens or cages away from drafty areas. Keep the pens or cages in a safe, central spot where heat is not being lost from the home or barn.
Heaters and heat lamps are a direct way to apply heat to a bird when it is very cold. Like a space heater, the heaters act as portable, plug-in heaters that can safely warm up a bird when they are under or close to it. The heater and also heat lamps can provide some pleasurable amounts of heat to a cold bird.
One sign to tell if your bird is cold is if they ball themselves up, covering their legs and feet. A bird’s legs and feet are susceptible to the cold, so when the bird balls up, they are doing it because they are very cold. A heated perch is a good investment to keep bird legs warm. The perch heats up to a gently warm temperature, heating the feet and legs of the bird. This helps keep their blood and tissue in their legs warm and can generally help the bird stay warm.
Like the cage covers, tents act as little shelters within the shelter the bird lives in. These tiny tents are insulated so the bird can hop into them to stay warm. The tents can fit into most cages and pen, and they give the bird the option to snuggle into them when they are cold
The deep litter approach is one way to create a heat source for the birds. Instead of cleaning out the coops for the pens or cages the bird is in, the deep litter approach requires you consistently adding more bird litter on top of bird litter. This approach needs to last over long periods of time, such as whole seasons. As a result, there will be a layer of litter mixed with excrement on the bed floor of the cage or pen. This can actually trap and emit heat for the bird.
Plenty of Toys
Exerting oneself and having fun through physical activity can help anyone feel the warmth of an increased metabolism and body temperature. Having lots of toys in the cage or pen can really help the bird stay active during the winter months, as well as warming themselves up through exercise.
Put Birds Together
Depending on how many birds you might have, it is a good strategy to keep birds together in the same pen or cage. Although you want adequate, human space, the tighter the quarters, the easier it will be for the birds to roost together. This can help the birds use each other for warm comfort during the winter.
A bird’s metabolism helps keep them warm, which is why eating consistent meals will be very helpful for the bird. However, many suggest feeding extra rich food at night, like corn, to the bird. As a result, the bird will feel full and their bodies will digest a complex food that can help with the bird’s body heat.