Famous for its ability to imitate many sounds, mynah birds are wondrous, lively creatures. Much like other birds, they preen, scratch and take naps during the day even after a night's sleep. However, they require different care than your average parrot or parakeet.. For instance, mynahs need a larger cage than most parrots their size, because of their wild flight patterns, and if you're keeping more than one, an aviary is ideal. Caring for you mynah properly will lead to a healthy, happy bird and a great bond with its owner. Here are some suggestions how to keep a mynah bird.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Spacious cage or aviary
- Myna pellets
- Occasional peeled apple or pear
- Clean water
Feed your bird mynah pellets. Avoid giving the bird synthetic vitamins designed for parrots, as the pellets have been formulated for all its nutritional Give him small pieces of ripe fruit, peeled apples or pears for a one-a -week treat. Avoid fruits like grapes, blueberries, strawberries and (pitted) cherries, since mynahs have a hard time digesting them. Orange and other citrus as well as pineapple have too high an acidic content, and should also be avoided.
Provide a large water dish for drinking and bathing. Change it at least twice a day. Letting the bird splash around will him or her happy and encourage preening and upkeep of his plumage.
Use several layers of newspaper to line the bottom of the cage. Due to their diet, they droppings tend to be wetter. You need to change the newspaper at least twice a day. A good rule of thumb is to do it when you first wake up and then around dinnertime.
Try a few toys in the cage like a ladder, bell or movable beads, but don't be surprised if most mynah birds ignore them. In this way they differ from keeping parrots and parakeets, who mostly love toys. Mynahs prefer to be outside the cage and amuse themselves that way.
Do not attempt to trim its toenails. Instead, try using natural (nonpoisonous) branches instead of regular circular perches. It would be also helpful to place a rock at the bottom of the cage and another in the play area to give the bird a variety of surfaces to perch on. If you do decided to use regular perches, you can buy sand perch covers that are disposable and act like natural nail files to keep their toenails trimmed.
Know that mynah birds do not interact so well with other birds, especially those who are smaller, such as parakeets. An attack or fight might occur, so it's best to decide if you want to keep a mynah or a few species of birds.
Tame your mynah early if possible when it is still a fledgling. Mynahs are not known as cuddly birds, but do like to sit on arms and shoulders if tame. Repeat phrases continuously and often if you want your bird to learn how to speak.
Tips and warnings
- Note that usually one mynah bonds best with its owner if it's the only bird in the house, but people who have also raised two mynahs as fledglings and kept them in a cage together have got the birds to learn to speak, although they might not be as shoulder-tame.
- Avoid buying a Bali mynah, which unlike most mynahs, are white in colour because they are an endangered species. You also technically need a Federal permit to own them.
- Never keep more than two mynahs at a time. Three can cause mate-confusion and isolation of the third bird.
- Avocado is poisonous to mynahs.
- While they eat worms and insects in the wild, there is no need to bring these into your home, as the pellets provide great nutrition.