Tag Archives: q&a

Should I quarantine and provide preventative medicines and cures for communicable diseases to my new birds before introducing them to the rest of my flock?

Yes you should quarantine new birds rather than just introducing them to your flock. Do not however treat with pet store antibiotics or other over the counter medications.

The new birds may or may not have anything that the resident flock may have. Just giving medication when there is no reason to do so creates problems. The new birds should be taken to an avian veterinarian who will take a sample for culturing and antibiotic sensitivity testing. The veterinary will also give a physical examination to the bird including weighing, listening to heart and respiratory system and other parameters. In some cases blood testing may be done. Continue reading

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Why do my birds keep getting sick with the common cold or other minor infections?

First of all, birds do not have what humans call a “cold”. For birds, it can be a Chlamydial organism, a Mycoplasma organism, or bacterial infection (many types of bacteria can cause respiratory disease).

Wild finches get Chlamydia psittaci which clogs up their sinuses and upper respiratory tract, making it difficult if not impossible to eat. There has also been Mycoplasma infections which do much the same thing.

Continue reading

Why won’t my female finch stop laying eggs?

This is a multi-factoral problem. There are cues in the cage, cage furnishings, light cycle, nutrition, and other birds present that keep the hen “in season”. A seed diet may exacerbate this as it is high in fat. Hopefully this bird is on a pelleted diet with greens available.

Does the bird have a natural light cycle (meaning short days in the winter) that we could manipulate back to the short day, long night cycle: i.e. 8 light, 16 dark. Sometimes removing the nest housing and nesting materials helps – some hens though just lay in their food dish. Try for sparsity of toys/no mirror or reflective surfaces may help.

If this doesn’t work, your veterinarian can administer an injection of a synthetic hormone which stops sex hormone production and brings the hen out of lay. This is often the best way to go, and it gives the hen the much needed rest. I take it from the question that there is no male. Two females housed in the same cage may both trigger each other for laying. It is a complex problem.

Answered by Cathy Johnson-Delaney, DVM, Dipl. ABVP-Avian Practice, Dipl. ABVP-Exotic Companion Mammals.

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