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Photo Credit: cleareyes007 via Compfight cc
Aviculture is a popular hobby for many Australians. While canaries, pheasants, lorikeets, society finches, lovebirds, cockatiels, and parakeets are common and beautiful pet birds to keep, exotic birds are also gaining immense following. You can own, breed and trade exotic birds within legal bounds.
Buying exotic animals

The Australian government follows and regulates strict laws to help reduce the illegal trade of endangered or exotic species. Also, the government endeavors to prevent habitation of feral animals in the country to avoid the spread of new and uncontrolled diseases in the local bird population.

If you are a bird enthusiast and like to keep exotic birds, you have to be careful and meticulous in keeping records to prove that you procured the birds through legitimate channels. Record keeping reduces the risk of illegal bird trade.

License for Bird keeping

The type of license depends on the size, species and number of exotic birds you own. If you only keep native ones, then you don’t need a license.

Avicultural license

This license is for native birds and costs about $10 per year. The price decreases to $5 per year if you have a senior card.

Permit for Exotic Birds

Exotic birds are covered by the Agricultural and Related Resources Protection Act. These birds are regarded as agricultural pests and the permit costs over $30 per year. For some birds, you will be required to keep both advanced bird permits and advanced avicultural license.

Medical Care for Exotic Birds

All birds- native or exotic – require complete medical exam after every 72 birds. This ensures protection of both the bird keeper and the birds because exotic birds may carry foreign germs, diseases or bacteria that require close monitoring, vaccines, and cleansing. You have to keep track of their shots and meet with a specialist avian vet regularly.

You have to be very vigilant to catch the faintest or the earliest signs of diseases. This is mainly because wild birds are habitual of masking their illness to not look weak. Contact your avian vet immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms:

·         Discharge from eyes, beak and nares

·         Watery droppings

·         Wheezing, listlessness, sneezing

·         Loss of appetite

·         Fluffed sitting

·         Vomiting

·         Bleeding

You should also keep styptic powder that is available at the pet store and use it as an antiseptic agent to stop the bleeding. Common injuries occur when the blood feather is hurt.

Grooming Your Exotic Pets

If you are keeping exotic birds, you have to make sure that the feathers are clipped regularly. Nails should also be kept short lest you get scratched. Bird baths have to be arranged regularly because your feathery friends love bathing. You can fill your sink with tepid water and use it to bath your birds. Your friends will like it a lot.

Never leave your winged friends on their own near water because parrots don’t know how to swim. Be close to them while they bathe and take care to towel off excess water after they are done.

Ensure Safety

Common sense should prevail in this matter. Simply avoid placing your birds close to stuff that they can chew such as leather shoes, laces, wires, small items of plastic or glass. Non-toxic cookware can be harmful to the birds’ health.

Toys

Birds are highly intelligent creatures. They like to play and are very tactile so to keep them entertained; you can get toys for them but make sure to avoid wires or attachments that can harm them. Give them your time and attention, and they shall blossom.

Spend Quality Time with your Winged Friends

Exotic birds are not just objects of decoration. They are very much alive and need your love and attention to remain healthy.

The relationship between you and your birds is what makes aviculture so special. For this, you need to be patient and learn new interesting and entertaining ways to spend time with them. Over time, you will be rewarded with a unique relationship.