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Breeding Parrots, Cockatiels and Lovebirds.


Birds are very different from dogs and cats, so, you must find a special vet for your bird! Birds must be examined at least once a year.
It is true that taking your parrot to the vet can be quite costly, the main reason for this is avian medicine is still relatively new and the specialist care and attention needed, does cost money. On the positive front, more and more vets are taking a keen interest in aviculture and as it becomes more widely spread so costs will reduce. Hopefully!!


It is therefore within your interests to keep your parrot as healthy as possible. This can be achieved very easily and without much inconvenience to yourself. First of all you have to look at exactly what a parrot is. If the truth were to be known, he is one of gods great scavengers like most wild creatures. A parrot can obtain a gram of goodness from a kilo of trash. We take in many parrots that are in their 60s and have had nothing but sunflower seed and biscuits for their entire life, they have lived through wars where rations dictated what we ate, never mind our pets. Most old birds that arrive are very happy and seem perfectly healthy so why do we need to give them all the latest 'all-singing all -dancing' foodstuffs?


What you feed your parrot is entirely up to you, the secret really is Variety in Moderation and plenty fresh water. If he eats a little bit of everything offered he would extract the required vitamins and minerals for his body to utilise, obviously staying clear of the known toxic foods.

Due to a parrots genetic make-up they need to have unfiltered sunlight on their feathers so they can generate further vitamins such as D3, which is the vehicle for transporting calcium into the skeletal structure. So you can be giving him plenty of calcium rich foods but it may not be getting to where it's needed if he isn't receiving any natural sunlight, 20 minutes a day is sufficient, just keep him protected from high and cold winds and make sure he has the choice to get out of the sun if he wishes.

So we now have the diet and the sun bit correct, what next? Exercise, every living creature needs some form of it and parrots are no exception. A parrot's exercise may differ to what you think. If his wings are clipped how can he exercise? Easy, he will sit on his perch and flap like crazy giving him the cardiovascular exercise that is needed. He will climb about for hours on perches and branches that you have within the house, all you need to provide for him to get the correct amount is freedom, let him play with things such as tins of food on the floor, pushing and pulling them around this will all be beneficial to him.

Feather condition can be improved by spraying him daily with water. Very warm water and plenty of it, parrots originate from hot humid countries and therefore their feathers are used to having large quantities of moisture on them. So as long as you keep him out of any draughts, you can give him a real good dousing with lovely warm water. There are certain areas on a parrot that he cannot preen himself and that is why it is beneficial to have a companion.


Disease and recognizing disease

An important contribution to diseases among parrots is a poor inefficient diet. The diet should always be examined at the first sign of bad health, like loss of appetite or listlessness. Ailments caused by a poor diet are: problems with the feathers, beak or skin, brittle bones, overweight, diarrhea, epilepsy, respiratory problems and generally bad condition.

Parrot disease or psittacosis.
So called because it was first discovered among parrots, it is a disease that can be transferred from birds to humans and could, if worst comes to the worst, be fatal. It is caused by a bacteria called Chlamydia and is transferred by dust from excrements or feathers. This disease is often found among pigeons, and can also occur in other animals, living in the wild as well as domestic animals. Parrots in the wild carrying the disease, can show symptoms like secretion from eyes and nose, especially when exposed to stress. Parrots bred in captivity can be infected if they come into contact with wild birds.

Bacterial infection
Parrots are sensitive to other bacterial infections, like Salmonellosis and fungal infections, like Aspergillosis. Scrubbing the cage once a week with a mild disinfectant, will reduce the danger of infection.

Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD)
Once it was thought that 'Beak and feather rot' only occurred among cockatoos, but different sorts of parrots, in the wild as well as in captivity, are sensitive to this infection. Symptoms are deterioration of the plumage and deformation of the beak. Beak and feather rot is caused by a virus, which is easily spread among a group of parrots. Once present at a breeder, this disease will be hard to eradicate.

Picking the feathers and gnawing the toes
Behavioral problems like picking the feathers, gnawing the toes and stereotypical behavior are general among parrots that are alone in a cage and do not get enough attention. These problems are usually caused by boredom. These are only a few of the ailments common among parrots. Minor ailments can easily worsen and sometimes quickly lead to death.

So, if you have any doubts, visit a specialized veterinarian as soon as possible.

Do not keep parrots unless you are sure you can meet all their needs!!!!

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