Sunday, January 9, 2011

Got A Question For Big Bird?

Please post your Questions that are unrelated to this weeks blog posts here.


Anonymous writes: "My lovebird band is too tight on him. I can't take it off because I am afraid to hurt him, what should I do?"

If you have experience in lovebirds, please help?

My experience is with canaries and the more common reasons in canaries include:

1. The most common is scale build up on the leg and under the band. Periodically, it is a good idea to put some oil (such as olive, corn, flax etc.) on your finger and then rub your finger over your birds leg. The reason I do not pour the oil directly on the birds leg is to avoid excess oil which can get on the feathers and may then part its feathers leaving body exposed. Using an eye drop, carefully drop a minuscule mount of oil directly on the inside edge of the band.

The oil will soften the scales and make it easier to gently lift the old scales off the leg and help you get to the scales under the band which are making the band too tight. The band should move easily.

In bad cases, remove all the excess scales (avoid taking too many and causing bleeding, take a few off today and some more off tomorrow), and slide the band up the leg where you have already removed the scales so that you can get to the area previously under the band.

If you are still unable to move the band, gently slide the plastic dental floss pick (such as the pictured ones, bought from Walgreen's) pointed end around the inside of the band to gradually pick out the old scales which are preventing the band from moving.

Excessive scaling is a sign of poor nutrition.

2. The band may be tight because the leg is red and swollen from either diet or the constriction from hair or fiber or fecal material wrapped around and constricting has resulted in poor circulation that can lead to gangrene and toe or foot loss.

Fecal material should be softened with water and wash off or a toe could accidentally be removed with the dry fecal material.

Examine carefully for an indentation caused by hair or fibers. These can be hard to see and may require a strong light or even examining the digit under a dissecting microscope.

Drop the protein and fats in the diet immediately and increase carbohydrate and greens. If it is diet related, the bird will show definite improvement within 24 hours.

3. Sometimes the band used by the breeder was too small in diameter for the bird or in some cases the band has a burr inside that irritates the leg. In this case, the band will have to be removed. Carefully remove the band with a band cutter or see an avian vet to get the band removed.


Anonymous said...

What is a good humidity level in the aviary - especially when hens are setting on eggs?

Linda Hogan said...

Moving this question to January 16 questions for big bird.

Unknown said...

Hi Linda,
Just acquired 2 canaries from Kijiji and they were both thought to be males. However both yesterday and again today we have seen the one that is definitely a male (a good singer) feeding the 2nd one. Yet there are also times when they assume an aggressive stance (wings open standoff and/or chase each other off the little nest basket in the cage). Do those 2 behaviors contradict?
Thank you,

Linda Hogan said...

Mike moved your question to Jan 16.

Linda Hogan said...

Mike I decided to make a focus of your e-mail so the article is posted January 21, High Eye (High 5).