Thursday, February 5, 2015

Wide Tails - Catching A Bird

A blogger sent in this picture and shared their concern that the recently purchased bird has a wide tail. And wondered if they should be concerned about it.

First, it is hard to tell if a birds tail is truly wide unless you observe it from a distance when it is not being stressed. Some birds under stress fan their tail and may even drop a few feathers in your hand when you catch them.

Assuming you see the fan wide tail from a distance when the bird is not stressed, it is a sign that the diet needs to be improved or what it is being fed does not meet its needs either too little or too much of something.

The very next step is to catch the bird. To catch a bird cup your hand and gently catch it over the back being careful not to squeeze it. Hold it up to your ear and listen to the way it breathes and then turn it  over and look at the lower vent area for a thin yellow layer of fat under the skin and if you do not see any slim fat layer feel its breast bone as it should not be sharp but rather filled out.

If the bird is thin add 1/4 slice soft white bread poked through the wires and mix in some sunflower chips into their seed mix.

In any case make sure they are getting extra vitamins because seeds are deficient in many nutrients. Vitamin coated seeds such as L'Avian or added vitamins to food or water will likely turn this problem around.

Colorbred canaries do well on even high protein diets but if this bird was a Border,  I would recommend getting the protein level down to 16% immediately.

Follow up photo shows some dietary changes and its tail is fine now!

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