Taking home a new baby bird is a major adjustment for both bird and owner. Most young birds do well in their new homes. However, occasionally problems may be seen: Sometimes a young bird may not have weaned properly before been sold; some more timid birds may not eat well during the adjustment period; and sometimes the stress of moving to a new home may trigger some diseases. You, as the new owner – and therefore caretaker of your bird – must watch carefully for the first few weeks to be sure the new bird is settling in well, and especially that it is eating enough food in the new environment.
The West Toowoomba Vet Surgery strongly recommends a new baby bird check up to determine if your new bird is starting off at a good weight and has no hidden medical problems. We recommend you bring your bird in for examination within a few days of purchase.
Is my bird eating?
The best way to tell if your bird is eating enough food is to examine its droppings. Many timid or ill birds will go to the feed dish and either pick up food but drop it, or eat much less than they actually need. Therefore, just watching your bird eat is not enough to determine if he/she is eating enough. Droppings are the most reliable indicator.
Droppings consist of a white portion (which is solid kidney waste), a liquid portion (which is liquid urine), and a faecal portion, which changes color depending on pigments in the diet.
Normal droppings: full, brown to orange to green color, depending on pigments in the diet, with a white portion, and then a variably sized ring of liquid.
Abnormal droppings: all white with no other portion, or with a fecal portion that is small, dry, and dark green to black in color. Bright red blood in the droppings is also abnormal. (This should not be confused with the orange pigment seen after birds eat red coloured pellets or other foods.)
One abnormal dropping does not indicate a sick bird! However, several in a row might indicate a problem. If you see averal abnormal droppings in a short period of time, contact us immediately!
Other signs of potential problems:
- Constant crying or begging noises.
- Sitting fluffed up or sleeping frequently during the day
- Perching or sleeping on the bottom of the cage
If you see any suspected signs of illness call the West Toowoomba Vet Surgery immediately. If it is after normal business hours and you are very concerned contact the veterinarian on call rather than wait for the Surgery to reopen.