Pediatric Avian Medicine: Husbandry-Related and Developmental Conditions

Key Points

  • Crop stasis is one of the most common problems seen in psittacine chicks.
  • Lateral deviation of one or both legs (“splay leg”) is also commonly seen. Housing chicks on flat, smooth surfaces can worsen this condition.
  • Chicks near weaning are most commonly presented with aspiration pneumonia because they tend to resist feeding.
  • Careful, experienced hand feeding technique reduces the risk of many potential problems including crop stasis, crop burn, hepatic lipidosis, pendulous crop, some beak malformations, and aspiration pneumonia.

The key to hand raising healthy psittacine chicks is a strong preventive medicine program based on sound husbandry practices. Hygiene, hand feeding protocols, incubation and brooder parameters, environmental temperature in the nursery, and pest control are just a few of the husbandry practices that; if mismanaged, can lead to serious adverse consequences.

Many experienced aviculturists follow strict husbandry protocols that result in few health problems. When problems do arise . . .

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