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Old 11-07-2011, 02:10 AM
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Re: How do you keep your birds warm in the winter?

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Yes I know but they're one of the very few species that's learned to adapt! I used to own a Quaker. But most can not....That's one of the reason why Quakers are being outlawed in so many states!!!! Along with big nest that they make and threat to farmer's crops, etc.
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:13 AM
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Re: How do you keep your birds warm in the winter?

My Quaker would of been 11 years old now if he was still alive....I raised him as a chick....One of the best birds I've ever owned, I miss him lots....One of my dogs killed him at 7yrs old....
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:24 AM
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Re: How do you keep your birds warm in the winter?

.. and then you have ringnecks taking over England...
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:41 AM
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Re: How do you keep your birds warm in the winter?

Well that's another one....just very few! I just read about that one the other day....

Most can not survive, for one they're not native species and doesn't know how to adapt! Second, most would freeze to death come their first winter! Or get sick and die as they're not raised out in the wild to adapt! Our captivity birds can catch cold pretty easy, sure they can adapt to cooler temperature, but not draft or freezing temp. We keep our house on the cooler side, BUT when you see your birds all puffed up, then there's a problem! IF your willing to take the risk, that's really up to you. For anyone who promotes it then having to take them to the vet because they got sick, think for the bird's best interest, not what you think might work. Have my lost birds in the past due to sickness? Yes I have! I used to raise them for years.
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:42 AM
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Re: How do you keep your birds warm in the winter?

A lot of them get lucky as people feed them through their bird feeders, otherwise they really have no food to eat!
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:32 AM
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Re: How do you keep your birds warm in the winter?

Quote: Originally Posted by MikeyTN View Post
Well that's another one....just very few! I just read about that one the other day....

Most can not survive, for one they're not native species and doesn't know how to adapt! Second, most would freeze to death come their first winter! Or get sick and die as they're not raised out in the wild to adapt! Our captivity birds can catch cold pretty easy, sure they can adapt to cooler temperature, but not draft or freezing temp. We keep our house on the cooler side, BUT when you see your birds all puffed up, then there's a problem! IF your willing to take the risk, that's really up to you. For anyone who promotes it then having to take them to the vet because they got sick, think for the bird's best interest, not what you think might work. Have my lost birds in the past due to sickness? Yes I have! I used to raise them for years.
A video was posted not long ago about IRNs in England... They look like they're thriving...
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:49 AM
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Re: How do you keep your birds warm in the winter?

Mikey- It is not the cold so much as other weather issues. A bird in the cold (reasonable cold, not sub zero) will generally adapt fine, unless it has underlying issues (parasites, ill health, etc). What kills birds is cold weather is usually NOT the cold itself, but events like frost and snow and wind. For example, budgies. Budgies live in the desert, they tolerate amazingly hot temperatures in the day, and freezing ones at night. Budgies escape in Canada all the time, survive pretty well (if having access to food), even in the cold, until the snow or frost gets them. Similarly, (healthy, well fed) birds in an avairy seem to have no issues with the cold on it's own. It's on a windy night, a frosty night, or during snow that they succumb. Thats why aviaries out of tropical areas need sheltered areas or nest boxes or similar for the birds to roost in to escape the bad weather. I'll never forget the time a friend forgot to cover her cockatiel aviary (Wind proof sheeting) one night and lost her favourite two birds because of a heavy frost ):

And, as someone from a tropical area inhabited by tropical parrots originally, they do have to deal with some very cold weather on occasions. Not as frequently as sub tropical or other birds (like savannah and grassland parrots) but they have adapted to it none the less, perhaps not as well geared to it as a grassland bird, but they HAVE adapted. Otherwise every time we had a cold snap all our native birds would die off.

In short, unless your bird is ill, being exposed to extreme cold, snow, frost, rain or other bad weather, which it shouldn't be if you are keeping them inside, I would not be overly worried. Mild cold (10 C/50 F) without detrimental variables like snow, frost, etc is something most/all species of parrots in captivity encounter in the wild regularly and can cope with easily. I wouldn't advocate deliberate keeping tropical parrots below that, but people do (we get -5 C/23 F nights here regularly, people keep birds outside, and provided they have adequate shelter, none of which I have seen heated, mind you, they have been more then fine.)

In short, be aware of the cold, and what your birds tolerance is. If he is not used to the cold he probably does not have the down or enough insulation to cope with it. Acclimatise him accordingly if possible. If he goes through a regular summer/autumn/winter/spring cycle and moults in accordingly and appropriately to the weather, is healthy and not being exposed to the elements, he will be fine.

It's one thing to be aware of the cold, it's another to make it a worry when with sensible thought it does not need to be. Plenty of tropical animals adapt to seasonal variations easily. Parrots can adapt to cold easily if you do it right, it's frost and snow, wind and rain, that are the problems. If your bird is inside I wouldn't be worried. I'd be MORE concerned about sudden drops and rises in temperature then steady cold any day.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 11-07-2011, 04:27 AM
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Re: How do you keep your birds warm in the winter?

it's also worth mentioning this.

Apple seeds contain cyanide, but we still feed our birds apple. Why?

Because we can remove the risk by removing the seeds.

To not feed our birds apple because the seeds contain a negligible amount of cyanide would be overkill, right?


Similarly, we sometimes have to keep our birds at cooler temperatures. Why?

(Because sometimes we can't afford to live in a tropical paradise, or to heat our homes to a constant 25*C all year, every year. Because that is overkill. But mainly it is the following.)

Because, like with the apple, we can minimise and even eliminate the risk involved just by basic thought. You wouldn't feed your bird seeds containing cyanide, you wouldn't stick them outside on a sub zero night. But you WOULD feed your bird de-seeded apple, and you would keep them inside, away from draughts and other issues at a cold, but not dangerous, 10*C/50*F provided you have acclimatised them.

Caution is one thing. Caution is good! It makes us think about our actions and plan accordingly. Overkill is another.

Anyway, you know what is more dangerous then keeping birds at a steady temperature? Flicking the thermostat on and off and putting them through constant temp swings.

At night, my house in winter is a comfortable 16-18*C where my bed and the cage is. During the day it is a steady 13-15*C as I am not home, with the heater programmed to come on if it drops below that for Alex's sake. This is ok for both me and him. In fact, we are more sensitive to the cold then birds!
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Last edited by Amber; 11-07-2011 at 04:33 AM.
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:52 AM
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Re: How do you keep your birds warm in the winter?

While I second the idea that our birds are more resilient to cool temperatures than some think, the examples of feral flocks 'thriving' is really a bad argument for that.

A *population* of feral parrots may survive and thrive, while at the same time any given *individual's* odds of surviving the winter could be very low.

The thought that a population of dusky conures could survive a winter and reproduce to replace the lost numbers is of no comfort if Auggie's odds of survival are 30-40%. I hope to do better at providing him a home than nature would give him in a land foreign from his own.

Or as Tennyson noted:
"Are God and Nature then at strife,
That Nature lends such evil dreams?
So careful of the type she seems,
So careless of the single life;"
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:25 AM
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Re: How do you keep your birds warm in the winter?

Quote: Originally Posted by Auggie's Dad View Post
While I second the idea that our birds are more resilient to cool temperatures than some think, the examples of feral flocks 'thriving' is really a bad argument for that.

A *population* of feral parrots may survive and thrive, while at the same time any given *individual's* odds of surviving the winter could be very low.

The thought that a population of dusky conures could survive a winter and reproduce to replace the lost numbers is of no comfort if Auggie's odds of survival are 30-40%. I hope to do better at providing him a home than nature would give him in a land foreign from his own.

Or as Tennyson noted:
"Are God and Nature then at strife,
That Nature lends such evil dreams?
So careful of the type she seems,
So careless of the single life;"
Good point!

Also worth noting that natural selection would come into play with those feral birds. Say a flock escaped, or enough birds of one species to form a flock from individual escapes, or whatever. Those without the capabilities to survive the winter would die, leaving those who have the capability to endure the bad weather to survive and pass on their genes, meaning each individual in the next generation has a higher chance of being 'cold resistant' and so on. Eventually the genetic makeup of the whole flock shifts to the favourable 'cold resistant' genetic combination (genetic drift). Birds that could not survive would die off while those that could (not only in cold, but in foraging and everything) survive to reproduce... Therefore, they are genetically more resistant as a group to the weather, and are NOT a fair comparison for domestic birds without that intense pressure to survive. Thats a very oversimplified version, but it's the basics.
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