Chickens are great, comical creatures that have been domesticated for thousands of years. Keeping backyard chickens was common 100 years ago, but in the 1950s the advent of factory farming and inexpensive store-bought eggs led to a decline in its popularity. However, recently there has been a resurgence of interest in keeping one’s own chickens, both for pleasure of fresh eggs and for the entertainment pet chickens offer. All domesticated chickens belong to the same species, Gallus gallus. There are hundreds of different breeds within this species. However, all chickens have the same basic requirements to remain health: a good quality diet, a clean environment and protection from the elements and predators.
We would like to send out a belated (but well deserved) CONGRATULATIONS to our former employee Dr. Sarah Hawkins for graduating Cum Laude from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Class of 2016! Sarah now practices as an associate veterinarian at Hurst Veterinary Clinic in Hurst, Texas. We are so proud of her and send her the best!
There are many species of birds such as robins, scrub jays, crows and owls that leave the nest and spend as many as 2-5 days on the ground before they can fly. This is a normal and vital part of the young birds’ development. The birds are cared for and protected by their parents while they are on the ground, and are also taught vital life skills such as finding food, identifying predators and flying.
Although owning a pet bird may seem like an easy and fun endeavor, there are many challenges associated with maintaining happy and healthy birds. Some pet birds are caged most of their lives and get rather lonely without the stimulating contact between people or with their instincts. Adding this sort of stimulation to your birds life can improve his or her overall happiness, and being in a cage all the time won’t seem so bad. Significant aspects of natural behavior are denied to varying degrees for birds kept as companion animals. Examples of these include flocking, social interaction with other birds, foraging on a variety of foods, and flight. Birds are social, loud and messy. When kept in captivity they deserve the owners’ tolerance to exhibit these normal behaviors.
When it comes to feeding your pet bird, you want to add a variety in what they eat. Giving your bird a seed only diet is not healthy in any aspect for your birds diet. Could you imagine eating the same meal every day? Humans and birds alike need a more complex diet that consists of foods high in nutrition such as fruits, veggies, seeds, and sometimes even table food.