Bird mites!

by Carlie
(North Hills, C.A., U.S.A.)

I just got two pairs of zebra finches two months ago. The birds all share the same cage. One of the females has a bald spot right above her beak. And she is always sitting on the bottom of the cage< shivering! Does she have red mites? I'm really worried about her! Their cage is very big (about 16in.x25in. big). It's also very clean! One of the females keeps picking on her! And I don't have a spare cage! Plus this female has eggs! I don't know what to do! I need help! Fast! I'm only an eleven year old beginner and I don't want my birds to die all of a sudden like my first bird!

Comments for Bird mites!

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Jun 18, 2010
Bird mites!
by: Linda

As Tracie said, you will have to get an Avian vet to diagnose any physical problems with your birds. Please do not use any over the counter medications even from pet stores because, first, you have to have a diagnosis done to make sure of what they have.

One other important issue is your cage size. You can only have two small zebra finches per cage of that size as it is a SMALL cage. It may appear large to you, and the finches need more room as they like to fly horizontally and so need at least a two foot by two foot cage for each pair.If you don't want to breed, then get another cage the size you have now for the other pair. Crowded birds fight and bite each other which is why you are seeing bald spots on their heads. When overcrowded, they can and will kill each other, so please get another cage or two larger cages for each pair.

So, to sum up, you need to take all the birds into an Avian vet for a proper checkup, diagnosis and medications. You will need two cages(one for each pair) that is at least 2 foot by 2 foot if you wish to breed. Finches also need nests and nesting material which you can find at your local pet store. The nests are covered on the top, and the nesting material comes in a little box that can be hung on inside of cage so the hen can pull the strings out to pad her nest with.

I'm sorry you have to get new cages for them, but if you want healthy, happy birds, you have to take them to the vet when not well, and you have to provide cages large enough for them to get exercise flying which keeps them in good shape for breeding. DO NOT BREED THEM ANYMORE OFTEN THAN ONCE A YEAR. When they have raised one nest of babies, take out the nest box and the nesting materials. Throw away any eggs laid after that, and the hen will stop laying in a while if not immediately.

Thanks for writing,

Jun 18, 2010
Possible mites
by: Tracie

Thanks for writing, but you need to actually take the bird to an avian vet to determine if it is mites or something else. Since you had another bird die, did you take that bird to an avian vet for a necropsy? You need to know what killed the last bird before bringing home more birds.

If you want to be respected as a breeder, you will need to take your birds regularly to an avian vet and issue health guarantees to your customers. If you do not have the funds to do this, then I suggest that you wait until you can afford the time and money for breeding birds.

I hope the above does not sound harsh, it is hard to type things and people know your "voice" when typing. I really appreciate your writing and I really hope the avian vet will be able to determine what is wrong with your bird and check the other bird to make sure it is healthy too.

Make sure you use an avian vet, because often times regular vets don't really know how to care for birds and they kill them.

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