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Saturday, 02. July 2011

How to Give a Bird Medicine
By birdscare, 09:25

If your bird has been diagnosed as being sick, your vet will most likely prescribe medication. At first, giving that medicine to your bird may appear to be an impossible task. If you adhere to some simple guidelines, you'll have the technique mastered in no time.

    Home Care

        1 Pay close attention to your vet's instructions, including proper dosage, number of times to administer daily and the total number of days prescribed. Don't be afraid to ask for them in writing.

        2 Ask your vet to demonstrate anything you are uncertain about doing, such as the best method for giving medication or the proper way to handle your bird.

        3 Prepare for emergencies. Find out who to call should you encounter an emergency. Ask if there is a pet emergency room in your area. Keep contact numbers handy.

    Giving the Medication

        1 Plan ahead and have all tools, equipment and medicine ready before restraining your bird.

        2 Retrieve the bird, using a towel to catch your feathered friend. It will protect and conceal your hands so the only thing your bird sees moving toward him is a towel. Avoid putting pressure on the bird's chest. It will interfere with his breathing.

        3 Minimize handling. Keep the time you handle your bird to a minimum. It will reduce stress and overheating problems.

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How to Care for a Sick Bird
By birdscare, 08:57

It is impossible for a bird lover to turn her back on a sick or injured bird. One common mistake people make is thinking that a bird is sick and needs to be rescued, when the bird is in fact a youngster that is just learning how to fly. If you see a bird on the ground that looks winded and disoriented take a look around. You will probably see two or three other birds flying around frantically. In this situation, walk away without touching the bird. However, if you find a sick bird, you can take the bird home to nurse it back to health.

        1 Contact your local veterinarian. Some veterinary clinics have programs in place where they will take a sick or injured bird that one of their customers have found, free of charge. This is the ideal situation for ill birds.

        2 Set up a hospital cage. A hospital cage doesn't have to be anything fancy, it can be an extra cage that you aren't using, a glass aquarium that you can cover with a screen, a pet carrier, or even a shoe box that has holes punched in it. Place the hospital cage somewhere far away from your own birds. Place the hospital cage somewhere that the ill bird won't be disturbed by pets or small children.

        3 Keep the bird warm. Sick birds should be kept in an environment that is at least 80 to 90 degrees F. The best way to keep the bird warm is with heat lamps, hot water bottles or heating pads. If you are using a heat light or heating pad, make sure that it is set up in such a way that the bird can't peck at the electrical cord.

        4 Allow the bird access to water. The biggest danger to sick birds is dehydration. If the bird won't drink, use an eye dropper and drip some fluids down its throat every few hours. Mix some Pedialyte in the birds water. Using Pedialyte is an excellent way to stave off dehydration.

        5 Keep food in the hospital cage. The type of food you keep in the cage depends on if the sick bird is a berry and seed eater, like a sparrow, or if it is a carnivorous species, like a Robin. If you are unsure what your sick bird eats, find out by thumbing through a basic bird identification book. To provide food for a seed eating bird, fill a dish full of bird food. Add some bits of cut-up cherries or some raisins to the mix. Carnivorous birds are a little more difficult. The good news is that, although they prefer bugs, these birds do supplement their diets with some seeds. The ideal situation for carnivorous birds is to set up a little dish of birdseed, with some suet mixed in.

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How to Keep Pet Birds from Getting Lice
By birdscare, 08:53

Birds in the wild have little tricks they use to keep from getting lice but not all problems are lice related. There are many problems that can occur with the feathers of a pet bird and the bird should be taken immediately to the veterinarian if viral diseases such as Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease, (PBFD) are suspected. Bird owners fear external parasites on their feathered friends, so, it is important to remember that lice are rare in pet birds with the exception of a type of mite that may be found in parakeets. And if a bird does have a problem with lice, in most cases, the problem only exists with the bird and they won't bite humans or other pets.

        1 Compare the vulnerability of different types of pet birds before making your selection and purchase. Some pet birds do not suffer from lice infestations very often, while other types are very prone to these types of attacks. Buying a bird that is less vulnerable will make a considerable difference all the way around and make your job as pet owner much easier.

        2 Gather up a dish full of ordinary sand from your yard or garden spot. Put it into your bird's cage so the bird can dust itself with it. This may cause a bit of a mess on the floor, not only of the cage but of the room in which the bird is housed as well but it is much better than your pet bird having fleas or lice.

        3 Keep a bowl of clean water in the cage that is separate from the bird's drinking water so it can have a bath. Most birds love to splash in water and caged birds are no exception. After they bathe they will preen their feathers and distribute natural oils throughout their plumage as a natural form of protection against lice. Another much less messy method is to take a squirt bottle of water and spray the birds to inspire them to preen.

        4 Using commercial lice sprays is another option for the bird owner, but if it is used at all it should be used only as a last resort. Be careful when you spray the chemical on the bird's feathers that you avoid getting it into its eyes or into its airway as birds are very sensitive. Covering the bird's entire head is a good idea during the spraying process.

        5 Keep the bird's cage as clean as possible by removing the droppings from the bottom of the cage to keep the insects from being interested in moving into the cage. This also prevents the bird from walking in it's own droppings and picking up bacteria on its feet which can lead to parasites.

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How to Know Your Bird's Body Language
By birdscare, 08:46

Teaching a bird to talk isn't going to teach it to tell you what it wants all the time. You need to learn your bird's body language as it's the key in communicating to you many important things relating to its health and happiness. Read on to learn how to know your bird's body language.

        1 Watch your bird's body language closely. Knowing the bird's patterns and habits helps you to discern when something is disturbing your bird or if your bird's health is at risk.

        2 Familiarize yourself with content and healthy pet bird body language. Content birds stretch their wings gently, preen their feathers faithfully and fluff their feathers for sleep while standing on one foot.

        3 Listen to the sounds your bird makes. Once covered for the evening, or if sitting with a favored pet owner or another bird, it will grind its beak happily. Some parrots shriek when stressed.

        4 Look for aggressive behavior. A bird bobbing its head and pacing is working up to a confrontation. A head or body moving side-to-side while sitting on its perch or on your shoulder warrants precaution as well. These movements may include dilated pupils.

        5 Prepare yourself for the body language of love. Mating rituals are a natural part of a bird's body movements, but most of these look like the aggressive behavior mentioned previously. Add to this regurgitation and you've one amorous bird.

        6 Identify the sex of your bird by watching its body language. Most parrots need to be sexed via a blood test, however some parrots aren't shy with their signs. Usually a male wiggles and rubs its rear while a female raises its tail feathers and presents its rear.

        7 Take notice of signs of illness. The body language of a sick bird includes fluffing up the feathers to control its body temperature. It may have trouble standing on one foot to sleep and tries to stand on two. An extremely sick bird sits at the bottom of the cage and needs immediate medical attention.

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How to Help a Pet Bird Lose Weight
By birdscare, 08:41

Excess weight is as bad for a pet bird as it is for you. Many pet birds die of fatty liver disease, hardening of the arteries and diabetes as a result of obesity. Budgies, Amazon parrots and Galah cockatoos are particularly prone to becoming overweight, although most pet birds have some level of risk. Fortunately, most birds shed the extra grams with only a few adjustments to their diet and lifestyle.

        1 Invest in a good gram scale with a perch. These are available at specialty bird stores and on the Internet and usually cost $30 to $50.

        2 Weigh your bird at least weekly, at the same time of day and record the weights to track his progress. If you are not certain what your bird should weigh, consult a chart of average weights for pet birds by species.

        3 Since birds vary in build and stature, even within a species, you should also feel the keel (breastbone) regularly. You should be able to feel the muscles on each side of the bone, and the bone itself, by touching the bird's chest. Ideally, the muscles and bone down the center of the chest should protrude about the same amount. If the bone feels sunken, your bird is probably carrying excess weight. If the keel is sharp and protrudes beyond the muscles on each side, the bird is too thin.

        4 Set a weight loss goal for your bird. In general, this should be the high end of the average weight for that species. You can decide whether your bird needs to lose additional weight after this goal is achieved by feeling the keel bone.

        5 Replace your bird's regular pellets with a variety lower in fat, and if possible, higher in fiber. The increased fiber will make your bird feel full and reduce her appetite.

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