No matter whether you've been keeping pet birds for years or only days, odds are that when it comes to the health of your feathered friends, you have questions about how to provide the best possible care for your pets. Take a look at the information below to discover the answers to some of the most common bird health care questions, learn what you can do at home to prevent medical problems in your pet, and find out the keys to making sure that your bird lives a long and happy life.
My bird seems "out of sorts." Could it be sick?
Any significant change in your bird's behavior or appearance should be looked at as a possible symptom
of a health problem. Disheveled feathers, lethargy, lack of appetite, and diminished vocalizations are among the most common symptoms noted, but it's important to also look for more subtle things that could tip you off to a problem with your pet. If in doubt, schedule a prompt appointment with your bird's vet to get a professional opinion on the status of your bird's health.
There is an egg in my bird's cage! Will it hatch?
It can happen to anyone who owns a female bird -- nonetheless, finding an egg in your bird's cage out of the blue can be quite a shock and surprise! The truth is, however, that unless your hen
has been exposed to the company of a male bird shortly before laying her egg, there isn't a chance that the egg will be viable, and it will not hatch. It is completely normal and even necessary for single female birds to lay an egg now and then, so there is no need to start planning for babies if you find one in your pet's cage.
My bird is gaining/losing weight. Could this cause a health problem?
Any change in your bird's weight should be considered a cause for concern, and should prompt a trip to visit an avian vet
as soon as possible. This is especially true if you suspect that your bird is losing weight, which can be a sign of intestinal parasites, absorption problems, and a variety of other illnesses and disorders. Keeping a close eye on your bird's weight can often be the best way to monitor your pet's overall health, so it can pay to invest in an accurate bird scale and do weekly weigh-ins to keep a log of any fluctuations.
Can aggression be a sign of illness in birds?
People often become irritable when they don't feel good, and the same holds true for pet birds. While sudden bouts of aggression
are most often the result of normal hormonal fluctuations in parrots, it is never a bad idea to get your bird checked out by a vet if he or she begins acting abnormally, especially if the change in behavior seems very acute. Your vet should be able to tell whether or not your bird's aggression is due to pain or illness, or a normal surge in hormones and breeding behavior.
I've noticed my bird plucking his feathers. Should I call the vet?
The only time it is considered normal for birds to pluck their feathers is when they are preparing a nest for eggs -- and even then, they usually pluck only a few. If you observe your bird plucking, it can be taken as a sign of intense stress
at a very minimum. In extreme cases, it can be a sign of potentially fatal disease, so be sure to get any plucking bird a veterinary appointment as soon as you can.