Birds are very hardy creatures and can remain long-time companions if a few steps are taken to maintain their health. These include 5 basic areas.

Feeding A Balanced Diet
Feeding a proper diet assures that your bird receives all nutrients necessary for resistance to disease, as well as colourful feathering and good spirits. In most parrots, the seed-and-fruit-only diet will result in a life span of just 5 – 10 years! Seed diets fed to birds are most often deficient in adequate protein, vitamins and minerals and provide excessive calories. Insist that your feathered friend accept new foods. With healthy birds, you can safely remove the regular food items for up to 12 hours while offering new foods.

Proper Sanitation
Bird owners can help to prevent infectious diseases in many ways. “Drafts” do not cause disease; however, bacteria can. The fear of drafts is so common that many birds live in poorly ventilated environments. Covering a cage is not necessary if a home is maintained at a constant temperature of 65-78 degrees Fahrenheit. Bacteria and fungi, which can grow in the bird’s environment (cage, water dish, food dish, perches, toys, cage litter) can multiply and cause illness in birds with reduced resistance. These items should be regularly washed and then disinfected.

Learn to Recognize Possible Signs of Illness
Learn to recognize signs of illness in your bird. Birds naturally try to mask signs of illness in order to look less appealing to predators. Small changes in appearance or behaviour can be very important. A Veterinary examination should be scheduled at the onset of any of the following signs of illness in your pet bird:

• Fluffing or sleeping in the daytime
• Poor feathering
• Decreases in talking or singing
• Body swellings
• Discharges from the nose or eyes
• Sneezing or wheezing
• Lack of new feather growth
• Changes in feather colour
• Rapidly growing beak
• Changes in quantity or quality of droppings (the white part should always stay white)

Behaviour Management
It is important to start Behavioural Management principles with your feathered friend at an early age. Prevention is more successful than dealing with a problem (chewing, biting, screaming, etc.) after the fact.

Regular Veterinary Examinations
Delton Veterinary Hospital and The Bird Doctor recommend veterinary examinations twice a year to assure the health of your pet bird. Birds hide signs of illness; many of the cases seen by our clinic involve very ill birds in critical condition due to a lack of preventative care. We also recommend that parrots be microchipped for identification and recovery purposes. To schedule an appointment, please call us at 780-475-9225 or email us at birds@deltonvet.com