Health & wellbeing for your bird

Bucktons, committed to cleanliness, consistency and quality.

There may be very few signs to indicate that your pet bird is feeling unwell. They are great at hiding it, as it is their natural instinct so they don’t look vulnerable in the wild. Unfortunately this means birds can actually be more unwell than the signs they show.

With a high quality, varied diet and well maintained environment your pet bird should be at its healthy best. Here are a few signs, which may be visible, to help guide you on your pet bird’s health and wellbeing.

Happy and healthy signs from your bird

  • Eyes should be bright and alert.
  • Nostrils should be clear and dry.
  • Beak should be strong with no overgrowth, fractures or asymmetry.
  • Cere colour should be bright and there should be no overgrowth.
  • Inside mouth should look clean, with no noxious smell.
  • Feet should be moving freely on both legs, with no nail overgrowth, missing toes, excessive build-up of faeces. Base of feet have small ridges and no evidence of pododermatitis.
  • Feathers should appear shiny, smooth, vibrant, full feathers.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. It is a good idea to train your bird to be weighed once a week (see notes below on weighing your bird).
  • Eating recommended food amounts regularly (twice a day).
  • Attentive and engaging.

Signs to look out for

It is important to ensure that you check your bird daily to make sure that it is healthy. Knowing what is normal is essential when looking out to see if your bird might be ill.

Things to look out for include:

  • Subdued and not interacting as they would normally
  • Laboured breathing
  • Changes in feather – fluffed, dull, matted or missing feathers
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of interest in food and toys
  • Sitting at the bottom of the cage
  • Change in dropping consistency or colour

Birds health can change with very little notice or reason, it’s ideal to regularly check your bird for any changes. If your bird is showing any of the above symptoms, we’d recommend quickly seeking advice from your local avian vet, as the bird has often been ill for a while before symptoms are spotted.

Weighing your bird

There are two ways that you can weigh a small bird on a regular basis. Try weighing the bird in the cage, once you have removed all the variables like water, seed and waste, and then subtracting the weight of the cage.

If this is impractical, then if catch your bird carefully and pop them into a small cloth bag or shoe box, but they must be able to breath. They will often then stay still long enough for you to pop them on the scales. But do this carefully as catching and handling small birds can be very stressful to them. Birds are more easily caught in subdued light.

Larger birds like the parrots can be trained to stand on an artificial perch on a set of scales, so can be easier to weigh regularly.

« Back to Bucktons bird care