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Nutrition & Common Management of Pet Birds
Rahul P. Hardas
Course Teacher : Dr. B.S.Barmase Course No. : PSC – 624 (Credit: 0+1=1)
DEPARTMENT OF POULTRY SCIENCE, POST GRADUATE INSTITUTE OF VETERINARY AND ANIMAL SCIENCES, AKOLA. (MAFSU, NAGPUR)
Types of Pet Birds Bird Nutrition Common management practices Common Diseases
CHOOSING A PET BIRD
Explore different types of pet bird. There are many different types of birds that makes great pets choose for the characteristic they are most important to you. Some birds can be handled, while others that are generally not handled, some are enjoyed for their beautiful song or just wonderful to watch, some likes to be cuddled and others just want to be talk, some birds just like one person and others like everybody. Determine which will fit into your Household and lifestyle.
WHY BIRD MAKE GOOD PETS :
Birds of all sorts make a wonderful pets ! Many birds enjoys close contact which makes many of them nice social and sometimes cuddly friends. Some birds love to talk or sing to you, giving you friendship and relaxation . Birds like parrots will enjoy sharing meals, napping with you and even showering with you. Pet birds love to interact with their human companions. Pet birds can be easily tamed and trained and alarming singles to the owners/landlords
Cage Living: Bird cages should be placed in a draft free area that is well lit, but not in direct sunlight. To make your birds feel secure and comfortable keep their cage against a wall or in a corner, and at eye level if you hang it from the ceiling. It is really nice if the cage is easy to clean. Many bird cages have a slide out tray and an easily removable grate. Aviary Living: Aviaries are beneficial because they provide large areas for birds, often with the intent of breeding. Aviaries can be either indoors or outdoors.
purpose of the appropriate cage is to improve the physical and emotional security of the bird at all times. location of the cage in the home is important and depend upon bird as some bird need lot of attention while others prefer solitude and privacy. The door of the cage must be large. Cage should be provided with a perch made up of tree branch at proper height from floor. The floor must be clean and free of any covering.
Cage should be paint with lead free paint. Most birds love a bath! A bath placed in the bottom of the cage or mounted through a side door will allow small birds to bathe upon while Larger birds usually like a light misting from a spray bottle 2 or 3 times a week Bowls are needed for foods and treats, water, grit and crushed shell Toys provide entertainment as well as exercise and most parrots like to chew. Perches, swings, ladders and toys all become objects of entertainment and chewing.
African grey parrot
Amazon parrots Eclectus Parrot
African Greys are the best-known parrot in Europe and perhaps the best mimicking parrot. They are alert, highly intelligent, gentle and affectionate. African Greys have been referred to as “the perfect mix of brains and beauty.“Able to learn a large vocabulary of 200 words with human-like inflections; love to learn tricks and games. Amazons parrots are stocky, larger members of the parrot family. They are playful, gentle, enjoy human interaction and like to be the center of attention. Amazons are excellent talkers, very intelligent and should have lots of toys to keep them busy. Eclectus parrots are Asiatic parrots from Australia and New Guinea. They are among the most beautiful of the parrots, with the kelly green male and brilliant red female often shy and usually calm and quiet in their cages and emit a loud “Crrah!” Sound
Caiques (ki-EEKS) are relatively small South American members of the parrot family. They are entertaining, intelligent, outgoing, and active. They have good appetites and love to chew on toys. Caiques are good at learning tricks, which is a good way to channel their energy. The great pet ever that comes in small package with all beauty of a larger parrot. “Clown of the Parrot World” “Small Parrots” Quiet noisy, highly intelligent birds, extremely colorful birds Caiques love special treat of Occasional walnut. Caiques are often found playing in their food bowls and bathing in their water bowls. They need lots of interaction with humans and time out of their cages each day and will hop around the house.
Canaries are found in Islands Canary Serinus canaria. Canaries are well known for their beauty and varied colors. Male canaries are popular for their sweet singing. Canaries do well when kept singly or in pairs. Male canaries are known for their singing; females chirp rather than sing. Male canaries should not be housed together. Canaries are sensitive to chemicals; the slightest chemical contamination can make them sick. Canaries are very Social with good personalities and they are hard, docile and have low care requirements.
Cockatiels are small, crested members of the parrot family and the world’s second most popular pet bird. Originating in Australia, they are known for their mellow nature and easy care. Gray is the most common color. Cockatiels are known for mimicking repetitive sounds and noises and used in shows like circus,Magicians. Bond easily with their human companions and will follow them everywhere and are “Gentle Pets” Cockatiels make one of the best pets as they are low cost, hardy, clean , intelligent gentle, inquisitive, playful, quiet and adaptable, undemanding easily trained and bred. Do not house with lovebirds as they are very aggressive birds.
Cockatoos, large members of the parrot family from Australia, are known for their impressive crests. One of the most affectionate and loving of all parrots, they have a powerful “flock urge,” and need to be treated as part of the family. They require a lot of attention and play time. Cockatoos are highly intelligent and inquisitive. They are escape artists, so their cages need to be well-secured Cockatoos often show their mood with their crest: standing straight up, moving up and down slowly, or sliding back, depending on how they are feeling emotionally Cockatoos love being petted, hugged and snuggled, they are one of the most Long-lived parrots, extremely clean by nature and seldom become ill.
Originating from South America, naturally found in Mexico and Central America to Carribean Islands. They do well with other birds.. There is a color variation called the Sunburst Conure which is mostly yellow in color and slightly larger than a Sun Conure. Like to chew, need lots of toys to chew on; need to be supervised when out of cage and sedentary in captivity. Require regular attention at least two hours daily; radio or TV when pet parent is away provides company; can be noisy if excited or ignored Conures like to cuddle into something soft to go to sleep; some species fall asleep on their backs on the floor, which is completely normal Conures are smaller version of Macaws and popular for their beauty.
Diamond dove Mourning Dove
White tipped dove
Small, graceful birds of the pigeon family, doves are direct descendants of the rock dove. They are gentle and affectionate an has inhabited entire world except Polar regions. Make a “cooing sound ” and call pleasantly; shy, calm nature has made them a Subtle personality Enjoy stretching, preening, sunbathing and daily attention from people noted for their flying behaviors viz., aerial aerobatics, home instinct. Ensure a dark area for your dove’s night sleep Least expensive pets, Universal symbol of peace, love, and tranquility throughout history, sturt of these bird accompanied with head nodding Wing clipping is not recommended for Dove and Pigeon
Finches are small, gentle birds that originate in Africa, Asia and Australia, and can now be found almost everywhere in the world. Many people find their chattering to be pleasant. Finches come in a dazzling variety of colors, and should always be housed with at least one other finch, preferably more. Finches are virtually “Hassle Free” birds need the company of other finches and are very neat & Quiet Frequent, lovely pleasant chirping They need roomy cages to fly Finches are perfect bird for today busy world as they are undemanding and doesn’t add an unwelcome burden to a busy scheduled with limited space and time
LORIES AND LORIKEET
Green Naped lorries
LORIES AND LORIKEET
Lories and lorikeets have slender, wavy-edged beaks and tongues with “brushes” used to gather pollen, nectar, and juices. Lories have short tails; lorikeets have longer, pointed tails. They are intelligent, active, playful, and friendly. Very clean, affectionate birds; need the company of other birds Need to be kept occupied by providing daily attention and a variety of toys Lories and Lorikeet can be very good talkers and known for having super personalities. Lories and Lorikeet are very playful birds and love to play with toys, whatever else they get their beaks onto, perform lots of Antics and a perfect show of bird
Macaws are native to Mexico and Central and South America and are among the largest members of the parrot family. They come in many vibrant colors, are sensitive, affectionate and intelligent birds, with a loud voice. Macaws are social and require a lot of attention. Macaws are social, enjoy human interaction and need ample time outside of the cage for their physical and mental health They bond easily to their primary caregiver Macaws chew aggressively and need a lot of stimulating toys Their natural calls can be quite loud Macaws are favorite bird for trick training, great show bird, very curious and spirited
Parakeets, also called budgerigars, are small members of the parrot family and the most popular species of bird in the United States. They are small and easy to care Parakeets means long tail Parakeets are talkers and even whistle, but their little voices are sometimes hard to hear Active and need daily time out of their habitats to interact with the family Enjoy a variety of chew toys; social and get along well with their own kind for. Parakeets can become good talkers or mimics.
Lovebirds are often considered the most beautiful of the small parrot family. Originating from Africa, they are curious, energetic and charming. Lovebirds come in a rainbow of colors. Lovebirds love to chew on things and take baths They can be territorial Lovebirds have a unique chatter and a naturally loud call
AVERAGE SIZE & LIFE SPAN :
Sr No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Name of Species Parrot Caique Canary Cockatiel Cockatoo Conure Dove & Pigeons Finch Lories and Lorikeet Macaw Lovebird Parakeet (Budgerigar) Average Size (Inches) 10 or 14 inches long 9 inches long 3 to 4 inches 11 to 14 inches long 12 to 18 inches 10 to 13 inches long 7½ to 12 inches 3 to 8 inches 5 to 13 inches long 33 to 37 inches long 4 to 7 inches 7 inches long Life Span (Years) with proper care 40 -60+ or more 15 to 30 years 10 + years 25 years 40+ years 20+ years 10 to 25 years 10+ years 13 to 22 years 40+ years 30 years 10 to 20 years
AVERAGE EGG WEIGHT, NO OF EGGS LAID & INCUBATION PERIOD :
Sr No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Name of Species African Grey Parrot Caique Canary Cockatiel Cockatoo Conure Dove & Pigeons Finch Lories and Lorikeet Macaw Lovebird Parakeet(Budgerigar) Incubation period 30 27 13-14 18-20 25-30 27 13-19 12-16 26-28 20 No of eggs laid Weight of eggs (gm) 3-5 2-4 2-6 3-9 2-3 3-8 2 2-10 2-3 2 10-15 8 4-5 18-20 10-12 5-7 20-25 5
AVERAGE WEIGHT & CAGE SIZE :
Sr No Name of Species 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. African Grey Parrot Caique Canary Cockatiel Cockatoo Conure Dove & Pigeons Finch Lories and Lorikeet Macaw Lovebird Parakeet (Budgerigar) Average Weight (gms) 385-554 145-170 110-200 80-250 100-390 130-170 300-400 10-16 250-400 165-1100 45-70 50-145 Cage Size (Wx Dx H) 30" x 30" x 36" 24" x14" x 30" 24" x14" x 18" 24" x 14" x 24" 36" x36" x 48" 24" x 24" x 30" 24" x 24" x 24" 24" x14” x18” 24" x 24" x 30" 36" x 36" x 60" 18" x 18" x 24" 18" x 18 x 24"
RECOMMENDED NUTRIENT'S REQUIREMENT FOR PET BIRDS :
Nutrient’s Metabolizable energy (Kcal/Kg)
Protein Arginine Isoleucine Lysine Methionine Methionine + cysteine Threonine Tryptophan Linoleic acid Calcium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Chlorine
20-24% 1.3% 1.1% 1.2% 0.5% 0.9% 0.95% 0.24% 2.0% 1.1% 0.8% 0.7% 0.2% 0.2% The MERCK veterinary manual
Magnesium Manganese Zinc Iron Copper Iodine Selenium Vitamin K Riboflavin Pantothenic acid Niacin Vitamin B12 Choline Biotin Folacin Thiamine Pyridoxine Vitamin A Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) Vitamin E
0.15% 65 ppm 120 ppm 150 ppm 20 ppm 1 ppm 0.3 ppm 4 ppm 6 ppm 20 ppm 55 ppm 0.025 ppm 1,700 ppm 0.3 ppm 0.9 ppm 6 ppm 6 ppm 8,000-10,000 IU/kg 2,000 IU/kg 250 IU/kg
AVIAN DIETS :
Insectivore Ground dog food Steamed bone meal Ground trout pellets Protein supplement (casein-based Ground mynah bird pellets “Super Caradee” Frozen bird-of-prey diet
23% 5% 4% 2% 8% 6% 52%
Bird-of-prey diet should be thawed, and all ingredients mixed thoroughly. The final product should have a crumbly texture and be refrigerated or frozen for storage.
The MERCK veterinary manual
Small Frugivore g/kg of diet Apple 470 Grape 110 Banana without skin 100 Currant 70 Tomato 50 Papaya 50 Blueberry 50 Frugivore base mix (see below) 100 Apples and grapes should be mixed in a food processor (until in small pieces but not soupy) and drained in a colander. Tomato, papaya, and banana should be blended in a food processor. Pieces should be small, but the mixture should not be soupy. All ingredients should be mixed thoroughly. The mixture can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Calculated analysis (dry-matter basis): 24% dry matter, 26% crude protein, 4% fat, 3.6% crude fiber, 7.7% ash, 1.49% calcium, 0.76% phosphorus. The MERCK veterinary manual
Large Frugivore Apple Banana without skin Grape Raisin (seedless) Blueberry Frugivore base mix (see below)
g/kg of diet 480 200 100 50 50 120
Apple and banana should be chopped into pieces ~15 mm wide and combined with all ingredients and mixed thoroughly until blended to a thin applesauce-like consistency. Calculated analysis (dry-matter basis): 31% dry matter, 24% crude protein, 3.7% fat, 2.6% crude fiber, 7.2% ash, 1.4% calcium, 0.71% phosphorus.
The MERCK veterinary manual
Large Psittacine Seeds and nuts Fruit Greens Yellow vegetables
% Wise 20% 25% 15% 25%
Monkey biscuit or dry dog food 15%
Cuttlebone or mineral block
The MERCK veterinary manual
WHAT SHOULD I FED MY BIRDS ?
Mainly nutritious food items including dried fruits, veggies, herbs / greens and even superfoods, such as bee pollen. Fruits, vegetables (including leafy greens), sprouted seeds should account for approximately 20 - 25% of your bird's diet avoid pale vegetable as they are low in nutritious value Wash your food for very thoroughly to remove pesticides, insecticides and other toxins, and cut into manageable pieces depending on the size of your bird. Avoid avocado, which is highly toxic to birds in any shape and form (including guacamole). Sprouted or germinated seeds are usually more easily accepted and should be prefer as they supply ample of proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll.
Vitamin A deficiency is common in birds whose main diet consist of seeds. Vitamin A naturally occur in dark leafy vegetables. Fruit Seeds : Pomegranates, figs, grapes, guavas, melons, papaya Vegetable seeds : Bell peppers, cucumbers, English peas, hot peppers (green, red), pumpkins, Avoid milk products as most of bird lack the enzyme Lactase Avoid Grain products such as cereal, bread and most of other grain products are often fortified with iron, bird can’t tolerate iron supplementation and they are susceptible to “Iron Overload Disease”
Incorporate plenty of calcium- rich foods (>1%) into your bird diet. Uncooked Beans such as lima, kidney, soybeans may cause Visceral gout and produce nutritional deficiencies. Avoid artificial colors, preservatives and other chemicals to avoid negative effect on normal intestinal flora. Raw vegetables like carrot and other veggies are full of natural enzymes and really aid in digestion. Yogurt can be added to bird diet . Major nutrient deficiencies in pet birds are : Ca 98%, Vit D 97%, Vit A 67%, Vit E
MOLTING IN BIRDS
SPECIAL DIETARY FOR MOLTING BIRD
Molting birds should be fed with more quality proteins in the diets as well done eggs, meat, cooked beans and rice for a complete protein. Nuts are recommended for their additional protein and good fat content needed for strong and lustrous feathers. Flax seeds can be grind and sprinkled over food. Hemp seeds (Super seeds) as they offer a highest complete amino acid profile with essential fatty acids and trace minerals.
COMMON MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN PET BIRD :
The birds are generally reared in enclosure or cages of usually wire mesh or expanded metal. Fly nuisance is the common problem in cages checked easily by proper hygiene. Feeding bowls has to be fixed at the level of back of the bird with water Bowls aside. Newly hatched cannot maintain body temperature as they lack feathers which are excellent insulating materials besides they have change from poikilothermic to homeothermic. Feeding and watering should be done at 2-3 times a day with additional food during training and taming as a award to them to learn faster.
Birds should be assessed for hydration (crinkly skin around the eyes or skin pinch that remains tented). Grit is an important aid in helping certain birds, such as finches, canaries etc to digest food but this does not apply to parrot as parrot are with smaller exit opening from the stomach into the intestine, so grit remains trapped in the stomach causing internal blockage , shows neurological symptoms, weight loss. Birds should have exposed to a photoperiod of 12 hrs light and 12 hrs dark. Bird Grooming and Nest box should be provided during Breeding Season
BIRD WEIGHT: AN INDICATOR OF GOOD HEALTH OR DISEASE
Weight gain : Fatty liver syndrome, Fatty tumors, Metabolic problems, heart or liver problems Obesity : egg binding, egg yolk peritonitis, lack of exercise, inappropriate diet Weight Loss : Heavy metal poisoining, infectious disease, PDD (proventricular dilatation disease), parasitic infection
COMMON DISEASES OF PET BIRDS
Scaly face - mite infestation
COMMON DISEASES OF PET BIRDS
Sr .No 1. Diseases Chlamydiosis Symptoms or Causes Appetite loss, ruffled feathers, nasal discharge. Fecal portion of stool not formed. Multiple causes, from change in diet to internal parasites. Overfeeding or poor diet. Mouth lesions, face scabs. Restlessness, scratching, feather picking. White deposits on eyes, beak, legs, and feet Suggested Action Seek immediate veterinary attention. Ensure correct diet. Reduce fruit intake.
3. 4. 5. 6.
Obesity Pox Lice or Feather Mites Mites (Scaly Face and Leg Disease)
Regulate amounts and types of food. Isolate bird;seek veterinary attention. Seek veterinary attention. Seek veterinary attention.
Cont…… 7. Trichomoniasis Trichomoniasis Masses in mouth Consult a and throat area; decreased appetite; veterinarian. loose droppings; shortness of breath. Red eyes; tearing; closed, puffy eyes. Bird plucks own feathers; may be due to boredom, poor diet or other illness. Depression, weight loss, passing undigested food Anorexia, lethargy, weight loss, sudden death Difficulty breathing, caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. Wash eyes with warm water Relieve boredom with attention, new toys, or space; improve diet. Seek immediate veterinary attention Seek veterinary attention Consult a veterinarian for treatment
Conjunctivitis Feather Plucking
10. 11. 12.
Proventricular Dilatation Disease Polyoma Virus Pneumonia
ADMINISTERING MEDICATION Drinking water: Via a syringe (Disposable) With bird's favorite mashed food
DISEASES OF THE OLDER BIRD
Arthritis- Look out for limping Diabetes - overweight birds are more likely to develop problems with blood glucose regulation Cataracts : Bird develops progressive opacity of the lens (behind the iris). It may involve one or both eyes Renal failure : more common problems indicated by more water consumption and more urine in droppings Diminished Immune Function: more susceptible to certain bacterial, fungal, protozoal and viral infections. Tumors: Lipomas (Parrots, cockatoos & budgies), Fibromas (on the wing ) Heart failure: mainly cage-bound are more prone to.
Birds make good pet. Birds can be housed in Cage and Aviary. Almost every common health problem can be corrected by a complete balanced diet. Birds are easy to tamed and trained.
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