Educational Articles

Birds

  • Our knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving. This is due both to heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition and to increased research into birds’ different needs. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. Different species of birds often require different foods. Poor nutrition is a common reason for many health problems in birds.

  • The budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulates), also referred to as a parakeet or more commonly a budgie, is perhaps the most popular pet bird worldwide. This beautiful, small bird originates from the drier regions of Australia.

  • As birds both eat and defecate in their cages, it is essential to keep their cages as clean as possible. The bottom of the cage should be lined with a disposable paper such as newspaper or paper towel that can be thrown away every day. Many different kinds of disinfectants are capable of killing a variety of germs including viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

  • Nutrition is commonly neglected with pet birds. Pet canaries should be fed a well-balanced and varied diet at all times. Several types of commercially formulated pelleted diets in various colors, shapes, and sizes have been developed to meet all birds’ nutritional needs.

  • The canary is one of the most popular pet birds (second only to the budgie). Canaries are known for their good nature, attractive plumage, and remarkable singing ability. The canary is relatively easy to care for but do require regular, routine veterinary health check-ups.

  • Candida albicans is a common environmental fungus that can affect the digestive tracts of birds. It is a common cause of “sour crop” or a crop infection (ingluvitis), especially in young birds.

  • The normal lens in the eye of any animal is clear and colorless. A cataract is an increase in the density or opacity of the lens; it is often observed as whiteness within the pupil. Cataracts are often seen in canaries and less often in Amazon Parrots, African Grey Parrots, and Macaws. Cataracts decrease the visual acuity of the bird and may eventually lead to blindness.

  • Cerebrospinal fluid (or CSF) is formed within the brain, primarily at specialized sites called the choroid plexuses. CSF is found within the brain and in the space that surrounds both the brain and the spinal cord (this space is called the subarachnoid space).

  • Chlamydophilosis, also called "psittacosis", “chlamydiosis” or "Parrot Fever", is a reasonably common disease of birds. It can occur in any bird but is especially common in cockatiels, Amazon parrots and budgerigars (often referred to incorrectly as parakeets.)

  • Chronic egg laying occurs when a female bird lays more than the normal number of eggs or, more commonly, lays repeated clutches of eggs, especially in the absence of a mate. The persistent laying of eggs may lead to malnutrition induced by the chronic depletion of calcium from the body for the production of the egg shells.

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