Every Thanksgiving, the president of the United States pardons one very lucky turkey. However, that doesn’t mean you should go adopting your Thanksgiving dinner. While turkeys can make great pets, they’re not suited for a city or even a suburb. Many birds are — parrots, parakeets, canaries and cockatiels, to name a few — but there are things to consider before adopting a feathered friend.

Feeding is important, since not all birds eat the same things. For example, certain parrots have a diet of fruit, plants and nuts while some cockatoos eat insects and seeds. Consult your vet before starting Polly on the Atkins diet.

2 Like people, birds need their space. When purchasing a cage for your high flyers, make sure it is large enough for them to spread their wings and take off. According to the Humane Society, the cage should be covered by a sheet or cloth at night to keep lights out.

3 Just like rock stars destroy their hotel rooms, your feathered friend might decide to make a mess of his cage. Cleanup is a very important part of caring for a bird — leftover food and droppings can attract insects and bacteria, so cover the bottom of the cage with newspaper.

– Wendy Diamond is a pet lifestyle expert, author, animal rescue advocate and editorial director of Animal Fair magazine, www.animalfair.com

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.

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