8 Simple actions you can take to keep your bird healthy

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1 – Weigh your bird

Birds are prey animals. Evolution has taught them that if they look weak they are more subject to an attack by a predator in the wild. Thus it is not uncommon to see a bird appear to be healthy one day then fall over dead the next because there’s no visual symptoms like you can see with a cat or dog.

One of the most precise tools you can obtain for a mere $19 is our best bird scale ever which can be used to weigh birds from budgies to large macaws.

When you weigh your bird regularly at least twice a month you can easily see large swings in weight gain or loss possibly indicating an illness without being visible by looking at the bird.

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Tips on Painting & Restoring Older Bird Cages

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I think the main reason that people don’t try to paint older bird cages is because of what they’ve heard or read about the harmful effects of lead, zinc and so forth. The point that needs to be made is the most the paints sold in the US for the past 40 years can be safe for human infants – as long as it’s dry.
 
Our government really wasn’t thinking about our birds – they were looking out for our children. The government has gone to great lengths to ensure that paint sold for use in the home is safe. 

The confusing issue is something called “Flashing”. Flashing describes the chemicals that you should be concerned about, evaporating from the paint. These are solvents known as “VOC’s” (Volatile Organic Compounds). VOC’s are why you need to keep the area you’re painting the cage in, well ventilated even when using what are known as safe paints. 

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Cook Comfort Foods for Your Birds

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The weather is cooling off and humans like to begin cooking comfort foods such as pots of chili, chicken and dumplings, bean soups and other hearty meals to warm the tummy and spirit. The same applies true to your parrots.

As the weather becomes colder, we slowly lower our indoor temperatures unless we don’t care how high our heating bills run. It is important to remember that if you are cold, your birds are chilly as well and need to have supplemental heat such as thermo perches or heated cage panels that allow them to position themselves at the temperature they prefer.

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Joyce about taking birds outdoors

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On Sun, Oct 16, 2016 at 12:54 PM UTC, Joyce wrote:

Hello,

We live in southern TX, and would like to take our Amazon outside since the weather is so nice this time of year. I will purchase a cage of course, but my concerns are what types of bugs and disease am I potentially going to expose her to? She will also be in a covered patio. How do I keep her safe?

Thank You,

Joyce

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Carl’s Severe Macaw – Is it plucking, molting or over-preening?

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Why are those feathers in the cage floor? Is it plucking, molting or over-preening?

We recently received an email from a subscribe of Sunday Brunch that I am sharing with you below:

I recently adopted a 15 year old Severe Macaw whose previous owner had a terminal illness. I could tell the Macaw had been taken care of meticulously from the written records of her care from Hatch Papers to recent complete blood panels however I never had the opportunity to question the previous owner concerning details of ‘Bandit”. I knew the moment I saw her that  I wanted her as I owned a Severe 30+ years ago and have known several over the years but none as sweet as this little girl.

We spend at least an hour each day cuddled up and grooming each other, over the last month I finished

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What humidifier is right for my bird?

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Hi Jo-Anne

 Keep in mind there is not a lot of Teflon in humidifiers most are more metal and plastic but if you’re not sure check with the manufacturer.  
While most studies indicate that PTFEs & PFOAs offgas at temperatures above 500 degrees Fahrenheit, there is information that some formulations will offg as between 360 degrees and 450 degrees Fahrenheit. I don’t think Teflon is your problem with a humidifier.  Continue reading “What humidifier is right for my bird?” »

How do I get my bird to take a bath?

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Young Girl Vacuuming Hardwood Floor

We hear this a lot – the reasons your bird needs to bathe are endless and we’ll talk about the whys later. In the meantime here’s a quick tip.

Place your bird in or near the sink and turn on the water – slow trickle, not a rush, tepid temperature. Then go turn on the vacuum. Many birds feel the sound a vacuum makes is similar to that of rushing water. This sound may help coax their little butts into taking a shower. 

bathing supplies this way

 

Using weight to diagnose bird illness

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Weighing your bird weekly is the best way to detect illness early. Birds are great at hiding illness and rapid weight change is positive indicator that you bird needs further attention. 
 

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Average weights of common pet birds

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AVERAGE WEIGHTS OF COMMON PET BIRDS
 Get a great bird scale for $19
IMPORTANT NOTE about bird weights 
In most cases the weights are those of captive birds. There can be extreme variation in individuals, the weight being influenced by diet, housing, sex, sub-species and age. Where more than 10 or so birds were weighed, the highest and lowest weights were not taken into account if these differed markedly from the norm. Chick weights, with 5 or 6 exceptions, were of chicks hatched in the author’s care.
 8 Simple actions you can take to keep your bird healthy
TYPE SPECIES Average Weight (grams) Average Chick Weight (grams)
AMAZONS
Blue-fronted 275-510 (xanthopterys goes 400-500)  
Cuban 240 10
Double Yellow-headed 450-650 15
Green-cheeked 270  
Lilac-crowned 325 11
Mealy 540-700  
Orange-winged 360-490  
Spectacled (White Front) 205-235  
Tres Marias 500  
Tucuman 320  
Red-lored 350  
Yellow-billed 260  
Yellow-fronted 380-480 12
Yellow-naped 480-680  
Yellow-shouldered 270 10
Vinaceous 370  
CAIQUES
Black-headed 145-170 8
White-bellied 165 7
COCKATOOS
Galah 345  
GangGang 280  
Goffin’s 221-386 10
Greater Sulphur-crested 880  
Lesser Sulphur-crested 350  
Moluccan 640-1025 20
Palm 900 (Adults range from 600-1000) 18
Rose-breasted 281-390  
Umbrella 458-750 18
CONURE
Blue-crowned 84-100  
Dusky 90  
Greater Patagonian 315-390 12
Green-cheeked 60-80 5
Jenday 120  
Lesser Patagonian 240-310 10
Mitred 200 11
Nanday 140  
Orange-fronted 73  
Painted 55  
Queen of Bavaria’s 270  
Red-masked 200  
Sun 100-130  
Whiteeyed 140  
LORY
Blue-streaked 160  
Chattering 200  
Dusky 155 7
Rainbow 130 5
Red 170  
LOVEBIRD
Fisher’s 50  
Masked 50 (most females weigh more than males)  
Peach-faced 55  
MACAW
Blue and Gold 800-1292 20
Green-winged 900-1529 21
Hahn’s 165  
Hyacinthine 1200-1450 25
Illiger’s 265 11
Lear’s 940  
Military 900 18-20
Noble 190  
Red-fronted 525  
Scarlet 900-1100 21
Severe 360  
Spix’s 360  
Yellow-collared 250 12
MISC
African Ringneck 105  
Canary 12-29  
Cockatiel 90 4-5
Eclectus 375-550 16
Indian Ringneck 115  
Kea 1000  
Pacific Parrotlet 31-34  
Red-fronted Kakariki 100  
St. Vincent 580-700  
Zebra Finch 10-16  
PARAKEET
Alexandrine 250  
Barraband’s 140 5
Bourke’s 50  
Budgerigar 25-60  
Canary-winged 70  
Crimson Rosella 145  
Derbyan 320  
Golden-manteled 100  
Grey-cheeked 45-60  
Moustache 110-140  
Plum-headed 90 5
Quaker or Monk 90-150  
Red-rumped 60  
PARROTS
Brown-headed 125  
Cape 320 12
Great-billed 260 13.5
Greater Vasa 480  
Grey 380-554 12-14
Hawk-headed 250 11
Jardine’s 200 10
Lesser Vasa 280  
Meyer’s 120 5
Pesquet’s 700 18
Red-bellied 125 7
Scarlet-chested 40  
Senegal 110-130 6
Timneh Grey 300-360 12
PIONUS
Blue-headed 230-260  
Bronze-winged 210  
Dusky 200 9
White-capped 180

7 Edge of your seat tantalizing heart pounding bird bathing videos

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don’t blame me. marketing said to use that title.

Parrots in the wild bathe by receiving a gentle misting on a regular basis simply by enjoying the rain. In this video you’ll see a Lorikeet in Australia having a wonderful day sucking nectar from flowers while bathing courtesy of Mother nature. One-way Lorikeets get nutrition is just like Hummingbirds, from the nectar found in flowers.

This sounds simple enough but sometimes it can be a challenge to get your bird to accept the water coming from that strange thing in your hand. This video explains several techniques you can use to help get your bird to allow you to use a misting bottle in order to bathe him or her.

Sometimes all you need to do is introduce a dish big enough for the bird to bathe in. Fill it with water and let them figure it out. In this video you’ll see how a budgie can enjoy the benefits of a bath without a lot of room and still be not far from it’s bird cage. If you didn’t know better you’d think he was trying to swim. He certainly is enjoying himself.

There’s a reason they call them grass parakeets. Not all birds like to feel all that water against their body when they bathe. In this video you’ll see a method where lettuce is placed at the bottom of the sink so the bird can walk through the damp lettuce without feeling its body is being submerged in water. I certainly hope that wasn’t dinner

This Jenday Conure parrot is taking a bath in the bathroom sink. This solves a few problems. It gives you a bigger bowl for the bird to bathe in. You’re able to supply plenty of fresh water. The bathroom is a confined space so your bird can’t go very far. The sink is filled just enough for the bird to immerse its body.

Sometimes you need a little more room especially if you have more than one bird. In this video 2 Caïques are having their bath in the same kitchen sink but one seems to be saying to the other “quit hogging the water”. Caïques (these are Black Capped Caïques) are very entertaining birds, full of energy. It looks like they could do this all day

To bathe larger birds the most logical choice is an appropriate size shower perch which will easily mount on the tile surface of your shower or bath area with suction cups. As illustrated in this video you don’t necessarily have to get in the shower with your bird. A handheld shower head is very handy here as you can see and the African Grey agrees!

Your parrot may come from a much warmer climate. Although it may be cold outside we know your bird still needs to bathe. You really don’t want your bird to get a chill in the winter months if you are in a colder climate. Here’s one way of drying off your bird. 

 

written by catherine tobsing
approved by mitch rezman

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