Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman
Summer is the scorching season that prompts us to maintain hydration and treat ourselves with water-rich edibles such as watermelon and various juicy fruits, even cucumbers which are considered fruit because of their seeds.
While we’re on the subject of fruit, we advocate for withholding acid-laden fruits like oranges and grapefruit.
Lingering acidic fruit sitting in the crop for hours can cause birdy heartburn which may trigger feather plucking.
When birds swallow food first goes into their crop and it may take up to 6 hours before it enters stomach number one, the Proventriculus.
This is a built-in survival hack nature programed into birds enabling them to “empty the crop” thereby rapidly dropping their body weight to enhance faster flight/getaway.
The heat of summer often makes us perspire and drives us to find sheltered areas to lower our body temperature.
So how do birds manage to keep themselves cool? Let’s explore fascinating details about avian adaptation to warmth, along with valuable guidance to ensure our feathered fellows remain content throughout the duration of the sweltering season.
Birds do not have sweat glands, meaning that no matter how scorching the temperature, you won’t witness perspiration trickling down their feathers or facial plumage.
Similarly, if you hold your bird and feel its feet, you won’t sense any sweaty sensation. In the event that you notice moisture on your bird, it is more probable that they recently had a splash in their water dish.
Birds in the wild often take advantage of puddles, birdbaths, and other water sources to relieve themselves from the heat by dipping into them.
This action aids in evenly distributing the droplets onto their skin. Likewise, our pet birds may also display the same behavior as they search for means to keep cool, turning to water for their relief.
If I see Chili, our only “I’ll take a bath any time” Quaker, dipping his head into his drinking water dish I’ll set up a Lixit bird bath inside his birdcage.
Birds utilize feathers not only for flying but also for insulation, serving as a protective layer to keep them warm amidst colder periods.
Similar to how we zip up our jackets when we feel chilly, birds snugly secure their feathers against their bodies to conserve their body heat.
In scorching seasons, when a bird experiences sweltering heat, it may raise its feathers as a means of cooling down akin to us unfastening our jackets.
Yet, if a bird displays puffed plumage and sagging wings while gasping with an open beak, it indicates the presence of heat stress – a condition far beyond mere discomfort caused by hot weather.
An urgent remedy for a bird exhibiting this conduct involves immediate relocation to a chilled environment, followed by a gentle haze of refreshing liquid (considering a moderate temperature, not extremely cold).
A Pedialyte Electrolyte liquid or powder should be part of your avian first aid kit.
It’s crucial to ensure that a bird accustomed to indoor surroundings avoids prolonged exposure to direct sunlight outdoors, keeping the time limited.
Speaking of taking your bird outdoors, don’t forget predators like prey birds, snakes, and large rodents ~ you’ve been warned.
Which is why you never leave the bird unattended. If you notice any indications of heat stress, promptly relocate the bird to a shady area or indoors, and carefully mist them with water at room temperature (avoid frigid water to prevent shocking the bird).
Ensure that your avian companion has daily access to rejuvenating, uncontaminated water.
The amalgamation of scorching summer temperatures and the inclination of numerous birds to immerse their food in the water dish can result in a bowl teeming with harmful bacteria.
If your feathered friend happens to be a fervent dunker, it is imperative that you exert additional effort in consistently replenishing their drinking water multiple times a day.
We use “vitamin water for our flock of 11. Lafebers soluble in quart jugs that refill all water dishes every 12 hours, except when the water gets really murky (Chili???)
Written by Mitch Rezman
Approved by Catherine Tobsing