Although birds are kept for a variety of reasons, many owners raise backyard chickens for personal consumption of meat and eggs. There is some concerns that poultry can be exposed to heavy metals, such as lead, and then pass lead on to people in their eggs or meat. Poultry are most commonly exposed to lead through soil that has been contaminated by lead-based paint flakes that have come off older buildings or even…
This client education handout reviews basic care of backyard poultry, specifically the pet chicken. Topics covered in more detail include housing, such as space, substrate, temperature, ventilation, predator proofing, perching, nestboxes, and sanitation, as well as diet and basic principles of biosecurity and quarantine.
Although keeping backyard poultry can be enjoyable, owners should be aware that healthy birds can sometimes carry harmful germs that make people sick. Public health concerns linked to backyard poultry include infection caused by Salmonella spp., E. coli, Campylobacter spp., and avian influenza. These germs can cause a variety of illnesses in people, ranging from minor skin infections to serious illnesses that can cause death. High-risk individuals include children less than 5 years of age, adults over 65 years of age, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems. Whether the owner is building their very first coop or is a seasoned backyard poultry owner, this client handout provide tips on simple things that can be done to stay healthy.
Careful observation of avian body language can provide clues when a bird is receptive to play or handling. Download this client education handout to share helpful advice on interpreting psittacine bird postures and behaviors.
This live, interactive webinar was presented by Dr. Alicia McLaughlin, a certified Fear Free™ veterinarian who is spearheading the development of an avian-focused Fear Free™ course. This presentation explores the reasons stress should be minimized during avian veterinary visits and the challenges that must be overcome. Dr. McLaughlin also shares practical tips for clinical implementation as they relate to clinic design, staff training, client education, as well as tips for working with avian patients in an exam room or hospital setting. Alicia has also provided two client education handouts for download that she uses in her daily practice.
Get ready now to care for exotic pets during an accident or natural catastrophe that causes great damage or even loss of life, such as blizzard, earthquake, fire, flood, hurricane, mud slide, or tornado. This disaster relief client education handout was revised and posted with permission from “Ready-Pets-Go!” by the Humane Society of Greater Rochester.
How to Question the Source of Your Future Lifelong Companion:
By the time you are ready to select the breeder or shop to purchase your companion parrot, you have hopefully done your homework…
Proper pet bird care requires constant access to fresh water. Some bird owners prefer water bottles because open water bowls are vulnerable to contamination from droppings, food, and other debris. This educational handout will help your client understand the pros and cons of this husbandry option. Selection of appropriate equipment, mounting, and proper bottle sanitation and maintenance are discussed. Training is essential for proper bottle use and the basics of introduction are also reviewed.
Lories and lorikeets are some of the most colorful members of the parrot family. Native to Australia, Tasmania, and the South Pacific islands, many species are threatened or endangered in the wild due to habitat loss or trapping. This educational handout will help your client understand how to care for and maintain these beautiful birds in captivity. Recommendations for diet, housing, and bathing are described as well as common problems seen in the pet lory and lorikeet.
First aid is the initial treatment given to an injured or ill bird during an emergency. The goal of first aid is to stabilize the bird until veterinary medical care can be provided. Donated by Dr. Greg Burkett, this client educational handout helps owners prepare for emergencies. Topics covered include the creation of a home hospital cage, stocking a first aid kit, the basics of owner supportive care as well as specific advice for emergencies like bite wounds, bleeding, and head trauma.
Vitamin A plays an important role in maintaining a healthy….
Better safe than sorry. Veterinary health professionals rely on a wide range of information because it is generally considered best to err on the side of caution. This client educational handout divides potential danger foods into three categories.
Many parrots instinctively strive for a position of dominance within their flock (your household). Many of the behavioral problems that can arise from such a situation, may be prevented when…
It is a natural instinct for parrots to hide signs of illness. In the wild, this skill serves them well, and in fact, may save their lives…
Psittacosis is an infectious disease of birds and people caused by Chlamydia psittaci, formerly known as Chlamydophila psittaci. This client education handout discusses types of birds commonly associated with human psittacosis, persons at risk as well as details of psittacosis in humans as birds and measures to prevent disease.
The more prepared you are as a new owner, the easier your baby bird’s adjustment will be to his new home. Use this checklist to smooth the transition.
Few studies have been conducted to determine which houseplants are toxic to birds, so all plants that contain known toxic chemicals have been excluded from the Safe Plant List
Parrots are extremely intelligent creatures; and toys are one of the most important items we can purchase for our birds. Many avian behaviorists recommend four types of toys…
This 2-page document provides guidance on what to do when one finds a baby bird.
This 4-page manuscript provides guidance on what to do when one finds a baby bird.
Pet bird behavior is complex, and it is crucial that bird owners have a realistic understanding of what to expect from their pets…
Keeping your pet healthy is everyone’s goal. However if your bird becomes ill, effective treatment will require that medications are given at the right dose and frequency for the…
Lead poisonings in birds most commonly occurs from ingestion of substances containing lead. Lead can be found in many household items.
There are a host of potential household dangers that may confront our winged companions.
When including feathered friends during the holiday season, bird owners must keep their pets safe. This client education handout explores potential holiday hazards for pet birds during the holiday season, from plants and cleaning agents to foods and stressors.
In the wild, parrots exhibit four main behaviors: social interaction, grooming, foraging, and sleeping. The vast majority of their days are spent foraging or searching for food.
In their native habitat, some parrots like cockatiels, budgerigar parakeets, as well as many cockatoos and macaws are seed-eaters.
Feather destructive behavior represents a range of actions from excessive preening to feather plucking or feather picking to self-mutilation.
Conversion to a healthy diet will improve the health and feather quality of your pet bird. Before beginning a dietary conversion, your bird should be…
Chronic egg laying is the production of an excessive number of eggs or repeated clutches (or collections) of eggs. Chronic egg laying often occurs in the absence of a normal…
Every year, cats kill hundreds of millions of birds in the United States alone. Download the American Bird Conservancy PDF brochure that advises clients on the best way to protect birds and cats.
The ideal bird cage should be spacious and clean, with multiple perches and stimulating toys. Specific cage requirements will vary with the species and the amount of time your…
The parrot beak is not inherently a weapon. Instead it is a sensory organ used to touch and explore the world. Much of the exploration parrots do with their beak is not biting, however this exploration can get a little rough, or even…
There are a number of medical reasons for feather picking and a complete diagnostic evaluation of your bird’s health status is always recommended. The following techniques may be helpful, however, whether the underlying cause of the feather picking is behavioral or medical.
The onset of reproductive or “broody” behavior varies with the species.
Avian polyomavirus is one of the most important viral diseases seen in the companion parrot.
Avian influenza or “bird flu” is a group of viral infections that occur naturally among birds. Some wild birds like…
Avian bornavirus was identified as a cause of proventricular dilatation disease or PDD in 2008. Avian bornavirus infection is one of the most frustrating diseases encountered in avian medicine…
Aspergillosis can develop in any bird, but companion birds most frequently diagnosed with aspergillosis include…
Reproductive problems are a common problem in many small pet bird species, particularly cockatiels, budgerigars parakeets, lovebirds, finches and canaries. In this client handout donated by Dr. Eric Klaphake, egg laying problems from egg binding and egg yolk peritonitis to chronic egg laying are briefly explained to the companion parrot owner.
Techniques to introduce healthy foods are described in this client educational handout donated by Dr. Larry Nemetz. Vitamin A deficiency is one of the most common problems in pet bird medicine, especially in South American species like Amazon parrots, conures, and macaws. At least one vitamin A-rich food should be fed to your pet bird EVERY DAY. Remember, birds can discern color and texture, as well as taste, so changing the form and presentation of the food can make a big difference in acceptance of the new food. Be patient when it comes to new foods with your pet bird!
Feather picking is the most frustrating behavioral condition in pet birds from both the veterinarian’s and the owner’s perspective. This client education handout, donated by Dr. Eric Klaphake, explains that feather picking is a symptom and not a particular disease. Potential causes of feather picking are summarized and possible veterinary tests and treatment recommendations are listed.
While most exotic pets are housed indoors, there are still some key concepts to keep in mind when winter comes around. Donated by Dr. Eric Klaphake, this client education handout describes exotic pet housing, transport, and household hazards during cold weather months.
Avian polyomavirus infection is a disease in psittacine birds or parrots of greatest concern in chicks. This client handout briefly explains this important disease from signs and transmission to diagnostic testing and control or prevention.
Donated by Dr. Eric Klaphake, this client education handout describes psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD), an important disease of parrots. This handout discusses the cause of PBFD, bird species at greatest risk, transmission, as well as diagnosis or testing. Recommendations for removal of PBFD from a collection or aviary are also described.
The small, affectionate birds we call cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) have undergone extensive modification through captive breeding. Color variations or mutations have increased in number over the years. The “Wild-type” or “Normal” cockatiel is the foundation of all mutations and is referred to as the “Grey” cockatiel. All other color variations, such as pearl, albino, lutino, and pied cockatiels, are mutations from this gene pool. In this client education handout, cockatiel types are described and recommendations for pet bird owners are discussed.