Tag Archives: veterinarian

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.

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Which human foods are safe for my birds?

Foods to avoid include anything that is human junk food, high in fats. Avocado is generally toxic to birds. I would avoid any processed food especially if it contains xylitol. Fresh produce (vegetables and fruit) is usually preferred as supplements.

If the finch is on a good pelleted diet, then supplements should only be fruits and vegetables. If the finch is on a seed diet, then produce is necessary to get adequate vitamins and minerals. A seed diet can also be supplemented with bits of whole grain bread or oatmeal. I recommend getting your finch on a pelleted diet, occasionally with crushed nutriberries (Lafeber company) and greens (such as parsley, cilantro, leaf lettuce, etc).

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Why is my male bird fighting with his babies?

I am assuming the chicks have fully fledged and are not food dependent on the parents anymore. In the wild, the chicks would leave the parents, and so there would be what is perceived by the male, direct competition.

It is recommended you remove the chicks from the parent birds due to this competition and territoriality factor.

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

Do I have to clean the feces inside my bird’s cage? If so, how?

Yes its necessary to keep the cage clean and remove feces/urates (white part of the dropping) preferably on a daily basis. Line the bottom of your cage with newspaper or paper towels. These can be rolled up and disposed of daily. Remove the grill in the bottom of your cage if it is present or just put the cage papers on top of it.

Perches can be washed and dried as needed. I use the back of a table knife to scrape droppings off of perches. You can use a dilute vinegar and water solution (1 tablespoon white vinegar to 1 cup water) for a cleaner to wipe down soiled cage bars. Water dish should be cleaned daily. Anywhere there are droppings you need to removed them preferably daily.

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

I just found an abandoned wild baby bird in our yard and gave it to my pet bird to foster. They seem to be doing great. Is this ok?

If the pet bird is feeding the baby wild bird, then leave it be at this time since you are unlikely to reunite the wild bird with its mother. There are some viruses and bacteria that wild birds may carry that could infect your bird.

At this time, I would let things continue since it seems to be working. However, if the baby wild bird becomes much larger than your (I am assuming finch) then it could become too much for your bird to do. Watch your bird closely for signs of fatigue and weight loss.

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

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