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Avian Health
AND LOVING CARE

INFORMATION FOR THE COMPANION BIRD OWNER

THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP:  A HEALTHY BIRD!

GENERAL BIRD CARE GUIDELINES

GENERAL BIRD SAFETY TIPS - DANGERS / POISONING RISKS

THE BONDING FACTOR, BIRD TRAINING & YOUR BIRD'S EMOTIONAL HEALTH

GOING TO THE VET / MEDICAL INFO

WHAT KIND OF BIRD IS IT? / PARROT INDEX / PICTURES

SPECIFIC BIRD INFORMATION

ON-LINE BIRD MAGAZINES

LOST & FOUND   /   PET GRIEVANCE



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THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP:  A HEALTHY BIRD!

What Kind of Bird is Right For Me?  (Please click on the underlined headings below to learn more about the bird you are considering adding to your family)

The Petbird Page - Info on Different  Species, Pictures, Pet Qualities, Housing and General Care

Parrot Pictures, Descriptions, Care  RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes) The Lexicon of Parrots (Pictures, Description, Care)

Purchasing / adopting a HEALTHY bird is the most important aspect of ensuring a good pet ownership experience.  The safest route of obtaining a healthy bird is via another private person or a caring and reputable breeder who maintains a closed aviary and practices testing of new birds, and above all adheres to strict quarantine procedures before introducing new birds to his or her established stock.   Bird / pet stores CAN be a good choice PROVIDED they purchase birds ONLY from a few reputable breeders who they KNOW maintain strict control of their birds' health care, and produce healthy stock.   I am hoping that increased education and a more sophisticated / knowledgeable buyer population will eventually force those breeders / stores that do NOT comply with basic (preferably advanced) disease prevention and control to reevaluate and change their business practices.

Purchasing / Adopting via Private Party: 
AdvantagesUsually cheaper, often come with cage and accessories, less incidence of disease since these birds USUALLY are not in contact with many other birds.
Disadvantage
Bird may come with emotional problems, may be older and less adaptable to a new environment.  Bad habits may have been established.   Little may be known of the bird's background especially if it was passed around a lot.

Purchasing  from Breeder: 
AdvantagesUsually cheaper than from bird / pet stores.   PROVIDED you choose a breeder who maintains a closed aviary, tests and quarantines new birds, and adheres to good breeding practices, the incidence of disease is low.   An excellent route for obtaining healthy babies.
Disadvantage
Less convenient than going to a store.  Often entails driving a distance (since many breeders are sporadic and often live outside the urban areas.   Then there is the aspect of accurately differentiating 'good' from 'bad' breeders.   That is the focus of the "Recommended Breeders" section.   I am anticipating that more and more breeders will eventually be added to facilitate finding someone as close to your home as possible.

Here is a list of RECOMMENDED BREEDERS.  If you would like to recommend a breeder, please contact me.  Also, MAP-certified breeders, please e-mail me so that I can include you under "Recommended Breeders." Thank you.

Purchasing  from Bird / Pet Stores: 
AdvantagesEasier accessible than breeders or bird owners.
Disadvantage
Generally more expensive.  The incidence of bird diseases is much higher.

Naming Your New Bird I 

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GENERAL BIRD CARE GUIDELINES

Below are a variety of excellent links / informational sources to provide you with a wide range of ideas.  I would recommend checking out the links that you are interested in.  You may find differing opinions / different ways of 'doing things' ... The trick is to learn as much as you can, and once educated on the different options, then find what works for you and your bird ...

New Bird Testing

Caring For Your New Bird
  RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes)  Cage Size, Design & Layout
Stress Relief Through Dietary Support: 
Part I   &  Part II

Average Bird Weights

Natural Cleansers & Insecticides

Keeping Your Pet Bird Happy and Healthy
RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes) Understanding Pet Bird Nutrition
Heike's Parrot Information Pages (Nutrition, Training, Grooming, etc.)
Food as Natural Medicines RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes) Let Food Be Your Medicine

Pet Care Guide
RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Care of Birds RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes)  Homemade Nutritional Psittacine Diet RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Food/Nutrition
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Avian Nutrition RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Converting to Pellets 

To Clip or Not To Clip? RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes) Grooming (facts, bird wing illustration, and information on molting)
Grooming Your Pet Bird RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes) Grooming Your Pet Bird II (Monica Sudds)RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes)
Clipping Cockatiel Wings, Nails and Beaks

What Is A Safe Toy? by Sam Vaughn, DVM

Put-It-Together-Yourself First Aid Kits RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes) Ordering First Aid Kits

Do-It-Yourself Seed Cleaner RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes)  Water Bottles

AVIARIES:
Aviary Photo RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes) Aviary Building Tips RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes)  Custom Long Flight / Aviary Tips  RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes) Small Aviary for your Deck  
RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Sheltered Aviary RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes) Creating and Enjoying an Indoor Aviary

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  Special Needs Parrots RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes)

 
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GENERAL BIRD SAFETY TIPS - DANGERS / POISONING RISKS


Household Toxins & Dangers RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes) Teflon Poisoning RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes) Teflon Poisoning Alert
Toxic Fumes

RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes) A Practical Guide To Disinfectants RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes)

Please be aware that many birds have died from toxicity due to lead-based paint, lead in the water, chewing / ingesting lead-containing items.   Zinc is equally toxic.   These substances can be found in many cages!!!

Stay away from (airborne) spray cleaners, deodorizers, fragrant candles, etc.  Also Febreze Fabric Deodorizer has recently been identified as a real danger to our birds (and if it kills them, then I really don't want to have that stuff in my lungs -- do you???)


Toxic Plants  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)  Safe Plants RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Toxic Plants & Foods
Non-Toxic Branches & Plants  RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes) Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants
Toxic Plants & Common Household Poisons

 
Antibiotics

First Aid (Excellent web site with info on: Air Sac Rupture, Anorexia, Bleeding, Broken Blood Feather, Broken Bones, Burns, Cat Bites, Convulsions, , Diarrhea, Egg Binding, Eye Problems, Heat Stroke, Oil Contamination of Feathers, Poison, Shock, Vomiting, Bird, Hydration for Baby Bird/Sick Bird, Food for Sick Bird, Signs of Illness)

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THE BONDING FACTOR & HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR BIRD'S EMOTIONAL HEALTH

Parrot Behavior - Understanding Your Birds and Handling Behavioral Problems
To Bite or Not To Bite - How to Deal With a Biting Bird RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes)
Sexual Behavior in Companion Birds
Feather Picking in the Companion Bird RollingBalls.gif (920 bytes) Parrot Intelligence/Alex 
SamFoster - Behavioral Consultant

BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS?   Communication with your bird is the key to building a good relationship.  
BirdCLICK is a mailing list that you should join if you are facing problems with your bird that you feel unable to resolve yourself.   Or else, if you are eager to teach your bird some tricks!   Anyway, BirdCLICK discusses the use of a clicker and positive reinforcement to guide your bird into desirable behavior. 
Humane and fun training method for everything from tricks and talking to behavioral problems.  
     

Parrot Behavior List (Behavior Modification, etc.)

Potty Training Your Bird
(Excellent training advice, but do keep in mind that it is important to remember to let your bird 'go potty' at regular intervals.  A well-trained bird may actually not defecate until given the 'go potty' command which can lead to serious health problems or even death. )

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GOING TO THE VET / MEDICAL INFO

New/Well-Bird Testing
:
If you have more than one bird in your household it is especially important for you to have new additions of the feathered kind tested and quarantined before introducing them to your other birds.   I suggest testing for Psittacosis, Polyoma, Beak and Feather, and as soon as it is available a PDD test (coming soon!).   I also have a CBC done (blood chemistry), which can show internal problems (such as liver disease, etc.).  It may also be wise to have the vet check for bacteria and parasites.   Your vet may suggest other / additional tests, but these are the tests that I have run - and just as well, I have discovered several problems in newly purchased birds that if I had NOT tested, I could have suffered substantial losses.  If money is an issue, disease testing involving Polyoma, Psittacosis and Beak & Feather can be done without a vet.  Check under the heading "Disease Testing" below.  For inexperienced bird owners/handlers, however, I recommend using the services of an experienced avian vet.    

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Avian Vet Search  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)

I feel strongly that any pet bird should be considered a family member and as such be provided with health care.   Saying this, I am also aware of the RISK of going to the vet.    Like a breeder friend of mine said: "What better way to pick up a disease!"  I totally agree with that.   I feel a breeder would be better served to have a vet come to my promises rather than going out and potentially allowing my birds to get in contact with and  bring home a deadly disease.  Now, what to do if you are a pet owner?  You would have a real hard time to convince a vet to come to your home to provide health care to your bird.

Now, there ARE ways of minimizing risks of 'catching a disease' at the vet's:

1. Express your concern of your pet getting in contact with an airborne (or otherwise) disease pathogen, and ask to make an appointment very early in the morning before many sick birds have been in the office, or -- if this is not possible -- at any  other time when traffic in the office is slow. 2.  Keep your bird in a COVERED carrier. 
3. Stay away from any other patients -- consider them as potentially contagious. 
4. Do not allow anyone to touch your bird.  5. Once in the treatment room, place a CLEAN towel on top of the treatment table BEFORE placing your bird on it.    Please note that the "Spray & Wipe" method of disinfecting does NOT work since disinfectants need up to 20 minutes of actual contact to kill disease causing pathogens.  6. Observe the vet / vet's assistant to see if they wash their hands  in between patients.


DO-IT-YOURSELF DISEASE / SEX TESTING

RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) DNA Sexing/Disease Testing RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)   Cal. Avian Lab (Lab. Reference Ranges, Disease Testing) RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)
 RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Net Vet  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Medical Resources / MARE  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) 

   DNA vs. Surgical Sexing
Personally, for pet birds I prefer DNA sexing since the risk of Surgical Sexing due cross-infection at the vet's office -- especially at sexing clinics where the vet performs invasive procedures on MANY birds from a VARIETY of sources -- greatly enhances the risk of spreading disease, as well as the very real risk of a bird getting over-stressed, or other things/mishaps happening at the vet's office.
I feel -- for pet birds -- this is simply not worth the risk.  Dr. Ritchie -- in his book: Avian Medicine: Principles & Applications addresses the risk of "Sexing Clinics" in as far as spreading disease is concerned.  Besides the risk of 'catching a disease', the risk of anesthesia and invasive procedures themselves should strongly be considered.
I understand that for a breeder, Surgical Sexing provides the advantage that the the vet can visually inspect the internal organs, to verify breedability of a bird.  If the Surgical Sexing method is chosen, please apply caution to minimize the risks to your bird.


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WHAT KIND OF BIRD IS IT? / PARROT INDEX / PICTURES

Index of Parrot Pictures
RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)  Exotic Birds Image Gallery
Parrot Pictures / Info

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SPECIFIC BIRD INFORMATION
(NOTE: If you can't find the specific species you are looking for, look under the main species, i.e.,
looking for info on Greencheek conures? Check under Conure)

PARROTS  

A: 
  
AFRICAN PARROTS:   The African Parrot Society
(Info on Greys, Poicephalus, Vasa Species)
AFRICAN GREYS: African Greys RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Grey Parrot Intelligence RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The African Grey Parrot RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) African Parrot Society Home Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Talking Parrot
AMAZONS: The Amazing Amazons 

AMBOINA KING PARROTS: Amboina King Parrots RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Amboina King Parrots 2
AUSTRALIAN BIRDS: Australian Bird Articles by Mike Owen

B:  
BUDGIES:
  All About Budgies Links RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Budgies and Parakeets RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)  Blue Chip Exhibition Budgerigar Society  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)  Index of the World Budgerigar Organization RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Budgerigars Galore RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)   Budgie Mania!   RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)  Midland Budgerigar Association 

C:   
CAIQUES:
Those Colorful, Clownish Caiques! RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)  Caique Central
COCKATIELS:  National Cockatiel Society RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Tiel Time RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Cockatiel Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)  Sexing Cockatiels RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Cockatiel Songs & Sounds RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Cockatiel Resource RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Cockatiels   RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Cockatiel Cabin RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Parakeets & Cockatiels  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The American Cockatiel Society  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Should I Get A Second Cockatiel? RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)
COCKATOOS: Cockatoos  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Cockatoo Heaven RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Pet Bird Report - Cockatoos RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) How The Cockatoo Gave Color to the World RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Cockatoos RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Goffin's Cockatoo Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Goffins Fanclub RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Greater Sulfur Crested Cockatoo Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Moluccan Cockatoo Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Cockatoo Talk RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Visually Sexing Cockatoos
CONURES:  Introduction to Greencheek Conures RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)The Greencheek Conure Homepage   RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Greencheeck Conure Info RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Fallow Greencheek Conure RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Conures - Genus Aratinga RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Conures! RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Sun Conure Info. Sheet RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Red-Fronted Conure Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Salty's Mitred Conure Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Gold Capped Conure RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)
Conures - You Just Gotta Luv 'Em

E:  
ECLECTUS:  Eclectus Care/Info 
RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Eclectus Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Eclectus Society RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Eclectus Society2 RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Eclectus Care (The Land of Vos)  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Eclectus Gallery RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Solomon Island Eclectus RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Rainbow Eclectus RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Eclectus Parrot  Page2 RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Eclectus Parrot - An Overview

F: 
FINCHES:
Zebra Finches RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) European Goldfinch RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Finch Diaries   RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Finchworld  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Java Rice Finch RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Strawberry Finch RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Finchbreeder RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Finch World RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Gouldian Finch   RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Bengalese

G:  Grey-Cheeked Parrot Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)  Grey-Cheeked Parakeet2  

H:  
HANGING PARROT:   Blue-Crowned Hanging Parrot
HAWK-HEADED PARROT:
  Hawk-Headed Parrot  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Hawk-Headed Parrot FAQ

I:     Indian Ringneck Mutations  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Albert's Home Page on Indian Ringnecks

J
:    Jardine Parrots

K:    Kakapo RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Kakarikis In Captivity

L
:   
LORIES / LORIKEETS: 
Lories and Lorikeets   RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)  Lory FAQ  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Lory Lover's Library RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)
LOVEBIRDS:  The Various Species of Lovebirds RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Lovebird Species / Pet Qualities / Care RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)
The Lovebird Ring HomePage RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Lovebird FAQ Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Lovebird Articles RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) African Lovebird Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)  African Lovebird Society RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Peach Faced Lovebird Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The African LOVEBIRD Society

M:   
MACAWS: Those Majestic Macaws 
RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Macaw Pictures RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Macaws1 RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Macaws2 RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Macaws as Companions RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Scarlet Macaw Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Mini-Macaw FAQ RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Severe Macaw Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Hahn's Macaw Page  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Yellow-Collared Macaw RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Real Macaw Parrot Club RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Blue-Throated Macaw
MYNAH: Mynah Bird Home Page

N:    Neophemas & Bourkes Parrots

P:   
PARROTLETS:   International Parrotlet Society
 RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Parrotlet Ranch Home Page   RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Passion4Parrotlets RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)
The Celestial (Pacific) Parrotlet Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Pat's Parrotlet Page
PIONUS:  The Pionus Breeders' Association RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Bronze-Winged Pionus Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Dusky Pionus Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Blue-Headed Pionus Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Maximilian's Pionus Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) White-Capped Pionus Page
POICEPHALUS:  The Poicephalus Main Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Poicephalus FAQ  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Jardine's Parrot Home Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)  The Red Bellied Parrot Page RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Meyers Parrot Page

Q:    Quaker Parrots  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Heike's Quaker Parrots  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Quaker Parrot Information Center RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Stanley's Quakerville

V:    VASA Parrot


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ON-LINE BIRD MAGAZINES

  BirdTalk Online
RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) BPP Bulletin Magazine RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Online Book of Parrots
Today's Avian Friend RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) BirdBreeder Online  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) BirdTalk  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Winged Wisdom
Horward Voren's Articles RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)   FDA Veterinarian Magazine RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) Pet Bird Report

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LOST & FOUND    /   PET GRIEVANCE

RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)  Birds Lost & Found  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)
Lost or Found a Bird?   Contact the Bird Patrol  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)  Help for Stolen/Missing Birds RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes)   Florida Bird Thefts  RollingBalls.gif (7394 bytes) The Worldwide Lost & Found Bird Hotline

For those grieving over the loss of a beloved pet, please visit the following website
Rainbow Bridge or visit here for Pet Loss Advice / Grief Counseling.

Should you wish to memorialize your bird, please e-mail me the information, and maybe a picture, and I will be happy to put up  a 'special place' on the Memorial page for you ...

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