3 Captive bird care myths debunked

white cockatiel in cage standing on grooming perch
Read in 8 minutes
Myth 1: If you want your bird to be in top shape you must serve him or her organic bird food.


We offer USDA certified organic bird food pellets from Harrison’s.

It’s refuted the one of the best bird foods on the market.

We also offer Totally Organics, another fine organic blend.

The biggest misconception to organic is its purity.

The majority of people assume organic means fully natural and pesticide free but this is not close to the truth.

If you visit this page on the US Goverment’s EPA site you’ll learn that pesticides are an accepted practice for any category of organic food is long as the “Pesticides (are) derived from natural sources (e.g., biological pesticides) may also be used in producing organically grown food.”

The reality is that organic farmers for the most part use more pesticides than non-organic farmers.

If an organic farm is anywhere near a large city, rainwater helping the plants grow is laced with all the pollutants in the air from the city.



Studies done by universities in Boston, Kansas City and L.A. sited  dangerously high levels of lead that had leached into the soil of these 3 city all serving urban organic farmers.

We’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

Myth 2: Never use sandpaper or grooming perches in your bird’s cage.

 A recent article I read by a renowned avian veterinarian denounced “sandpaper covers” over perches and should never be used.

Ask 9 out of 10 vets what they think of grooming perches and they will tell you to stay away from them because they can cause bumble foot or open foot sores.

The article is about treating obesity in birds and relates to the treatment of a blue fronted Amazon who was suffering from serious nutritional issues.

The article can be read in its entirety here

Who’s going to argue with a vet?


With the smallest of birds like canaries, finches and even budgies, birds that you are not typically going to physically handle outside of the cage, the length of their nails isn’t much of an issue unless they grow so long they cannot hold onto perches nor get around comfortably.

Some sort of nail trimming has to take place.

Canaries and finches are soft bills so beak trimming is not a problem but once we get into Cockatiels, Conures or hook bill parrots in general that we expect to have interaction with outside the cage, nails and beaks need to be cared for.

Extra sharp nails cling to clothing making the transfer of a bird from your clothing sleeve to your hand a bit tricky.

Birds, especially Eclectus parrots can have beak overgrowth issues with 100% seed diets.

Out of control beak growth has to be dealt with.

An overly long beak may also be a sign of liver problems so a visit to your avian vet would be in order.


He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.