Your bird may look all delicate and dainty, but the fact is, our feathered friends are much more resilient than we think. Especially when we give them the right TLC, from top to tailfeathers.
A well-maintained cage and routine veterinary check-ups are a great place to start. Other care your wingman needs would include regular exercise, such as free-flying (as opposed to falling, Mr. Petty) in a safe, enclosed space. These things not only build the foundation for a fit, healthy bird – they’ll also keep your brainy little Amazon as sharp as ever.
Now, because your bird is so strong to begin with, he’ll be hiding any signs of illness so well, you’ll need more than a trail of breadcrumbs to find them. Your best bet is to learn how to recognise these subtle changes in behaviour, while trying not to let on to your Lovebird that you’re checking them out. (OK, that didn’t sound quite right, but you get the drift.)
Signs of an ailing African Gray or other chirpy chum, may include:
- Fluffed feathers more frequently. (Try singing that 10 times fast.)
- Any discharge from the eyes or nostrils.
- Matted feathers around the eyes and beaks.
- Laboured breathing.
- Sitting on the bottom of the cage, instead of his perch.
- A decrease in being vocal.
- A decrease in eating and drinking.
- Less activity.
- Less preening.
- Significant change in colour, form or consistency of droppings, over a 12–24 hour period.
If you notice any of these tell-tail signs, take Polly over to the vet and she’ll be singing ‘I Feel Good’ in no time. So good, so good, she’s got YOU!