Game Birds Losing Feathers

September 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Features

Winter is setting in, and you absolutely do not know what to do. Your quail and pheasants have lost feathers and you don’t want them to get chilled. What do you do?

A common problem in blue scale quail is fright. Similar to when a lizard drops its tail, it is a clever defense mechanism. When a predator grabs the bird, a bunch of feathers drop out, leaving a live quail and an annoyed predator. When someone picks up the blue scales the same happens. A good way to prevent this from happening is to only handle these birds for check-ups or emergencies. If you have extremely tame quail and this only happens rarely, it is okay to handle them.

Pheasants do not have large problems with picking. When it does happen, it is usually with ring-neck pheasants. These slightly aggressive birds will pick or attack other birds. This behavior is known for starting when they are still chicks and becoming more full-fledged (no pun intended) in juveniles and adults. They will even pick at pheasants of their own species. A good way to keep them from hurting flock members is keeping them separate from other pheasants (and other birds in general). If you have a flock of them, give them plenty of space, as well as something else to pick at, such as shoestrings or jingle balls made for cats or parrots.

If you keep your quail and pheasants with chickens, hang shoestrings from the wire or put toys or something inside to provide entertainment. On rare occasions chickens will severely maim their own species or other birds and have been known to engage in cannibalism. This is known to happen due to extreme boredom.

Mites are a very common problem. Remember to keep coops or cages clean at all times and put out dust baths occasionally for your birds.

Even if your birds do not pick it is a good idea to take them to the avian vet yearly. Make sure your birds stay healthy no matter what.

Mites and Chickens

August 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Features

Most people do not realize chickens can contract mites. However, this is actually a pretty common problem with our outdoor bird friends. It is generally noticed with feathers falling out, itching, and even bald patches, accompanied by nervousness and staring off into space. Later comes nerve damage; a white, scaly crest; and death.

This is hard to treat after your birds get it. If one of your chickens has contracted mites isolate it from the others. Rub Frontline or Advantix for small kittens on the neck, in the ‘wingpits’, a bit by the vent, and just a tiny drop on the back. Do not overdose. Only do this once. Then you can spray commercial, made-for birds’ mite spray on and around the bird for about a week. Quarintine the chicken for about forty days. Spray it every Monday and Friday when quarantined. If mites persist take your bird to avian vet as soon as possible.

Clean the structure of the other birds with lots of disinfectant to prevent them from getting mites. Hang a mite protector on the wire. Spray the other birds with the remainder of the commercial mite remover. Make sure they have plenty of dust to bathe in; this generally removes lice. Clean yourself well too, because if you have indoor parrots you do not want to give the lice to them. Sometimes outdoor birds can spread the mites, while if you race pigeons they may come back with them. Remember, if not treated quickly this ailment can be fatal in rare cases. If you can afford it the best thing to do is take your whole flock to the vet for treatment. It is actually as common for a chicken to get mites as a pigeon despite the belief that pigeons are always infested with the pesky bugs. Due to the fact this must be treated quickly always be on the lookout for mites in your flock. Even if your flock doesn’t have mites, have these items on hand :

2 bottles of commercial mitespray
1 mite protecter that you can hang on chicken wire
1 bag of commercial chicken dust for dust baths
1 carrier so you can transport birds to the vet

As long as you keep the cages/coops clean you should not have problems.

Article contributed by: Eliza Kuklinski.

The views and advice expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Birds.com

Pet Birds

February 9, 2009 by  
Filed under

Owning a pet bird can be a lot of fun, but are also a big responsibility as they are totally dependent on their human owners. There are many species of pet birds and choosing the one best suited to you and your circumstances is very important.

Parrots are often the first birds that spring to mind when you think of pet birds. The types of bird that are included under the group name of parrots are: parrots, cockatoos, amazons, macaws, conures, lovebirds, parakeets, cockatiels and budgerigars. Many of the parrot species make interesting pets due to their ability to mimic speech. They are very intelligent and will amaze you with the size of their vocabulary and the tricks that they are able to master. The parrot group make lovely, affectionate pets with strong personalities. The different parrot species have the most splendid coloration. This, along with their fun personalities, makes them wonderful pet birds.

Some of the larger parrot species are quite expensive and therefore owners may wish to take out pet bird insurance. Pet bird insurance will cover death due to illness or accident, theft of the bird, public liabilities and equipment related to the bird, obviously depending on the type of insurance you select.

Finches are also popular pet birds. They come in many varieties and their lovely colors will complement any aviary. The most beautiful is the Gouldian finch, with its bright colors. You will gain much pleasure from watching these sweet little birds flitting around their enclosure. Canaries are also much loved pets due to their beautiful song and also come in many varieties.

Another group of pet birds are the softbills, which do well when kept in large aviaries. These include the white-eyes, touracos, robins, and mynahs.

People on plots may own pet chickens, geese, ducks and even peacocks. Pet chickens are often used to produce eggs, however their owners form quite an attachment to them and they are unlikely to land up on the dinner table.

It is best to carefully research the species you are interested in before purchasing it so as to make sure that you will be able to meet its needs. Visit your local pet shop where staff are likely to be able to advise you, while supplying you with the necessary equipment and food to keep your pet bird healthy and happy.

Chickens – Unusual but Delightful Pets

March 10, 2008 by  
Filed under Pet Birds

Many different birds and animals have started to leave lasting impressions on owners and have become quite popular as pets. One such an unusual choice is chickens. Seen mostly as farm animals and livestock, people seldom realize how affectionate and loyal chickens can really be. They are definitely wonderful animals and worth exploring as pets, as they are able to give back to their owners in their own unique way.

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