Hahns Macaw sudden death

by Charlotte Malone
(Lafayette LA, Lafayette Parish)

Maggie my Hahns Macaw died suddenly last Tues. I found her on bottom of cage with wing spread open and head limp. She was very loud in mornings or when someone entered my bedroom. Her cage was right by my bed. Unfortunately I had slept on sofa on Last Saturday night because I was expecting an early phone call, but my daughter had a friend over late and she heard her making noise (not too load not like morning).


I am overcome with grief because I remember cleaning her drinking cup cage (plastic) with a small amount of Clorox I rinsed her cup out with running water but did not use soap. Her diet consisted mainly of sunflower seeds I had tried her on pellets and also mixed nuts and crackers. She enjoyed being hand-fed while riding on my shoulder.

Lately we had ran out sun flower seeds a time or two. I was busy job-hunting etc. But she appeared well fed and alert etc. She would throw nuts she didn't like on bottom of her cage.I had bought her at a local pet store 7 years ago. The owners told me she had been under stress (due to divorce situation and kids picking on her in store) She immediately bonded with me and so I bought her and she was always happy and playful and never sick.

When I found her on Dec.21 all her droppings were normal.The only thing was that her water bowl was empty and overturned on the bottom of her cage she had had plenty of food still in her cup.when I found her on Dec 21 (Tuesday) She was not stiff but her neck was really loose almost like it was broken. Could she have fallen somehow or was my fault for disinfecting her water cup with Clorox?

She loved taking baths in her water bowl,but usually did knock it to the bottom of her cage. My daughter says she had knocked it down before but I had never seen her do it. What do you think caused her sudden death and could I have saved her if I had found her sooner? She was O.K at her last feeding because she was out walking around on top of her cage etc. I think her age was 14 years

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Dec 28, 2010
Solution from kind Breeder and What I Learned
by: Charlotte Malone

I
have learned a lot in the last week.I debated and tossed around several
possible new additions to my household. This morning at 8:00 a.m. I
received wonderful news! I now have perched on my shoulder a 4-month
old Quaker, who is tame, but was in cage with mean biting friend. The
breeder's Grand-Daughter had had about enough of this She wanted to
give the mean bird back as breeder and get a pair of different birds.
So she gave Quaker to me They said same thing you suggested about her
falling or getting caught somehow in cage. He said if it had been a
poison death from Clorox she would have been more laying on her side
and not with spread out wings.Also he told me sometimes birds just drop
dead for no reason at all He said it happened to him too. But he said
not to use any cleanser on cage except Dawn or vinegar and water
mixture. He said I should clean cage real good because the parakeet my
daughter got me for Christmas had been in it. He said to keep parakeet
away from Quaker. He keeps his parakeets in building from other more
expensive birds for that reason.I will be ordering the Mango cleaner
because it kills more germs plus much much safer product. I learned a final horrible truth life is short spend time with your bird friends that you love you never know when their time will come.

Dec 28, 2010
Hahns Macaw sudden death
by: Linda

I, too, am very sorry for your loss, and here are some tips before you get another bird. The food you fed this one was awful. Never feed only sunflower seeds or sunflower seeds at all as they are addictive. Never feed other fat saturated nuts as a regular part of the diet because they are more fat than protein. Never feed crackers because they are nothing but sugar, salt and fat. If you've been feeding her salted crackers, she died from salt poisoning. Salt is a killer, and it does not take that long. Sugar is another one that can act quickly or slowly depending on how much bird is given. Fat causes fatty liver disease, and birds will simply drop dead once liver stops functioning. Also never use clorox anywhere near your bird as even the fumes are dangerous. As Tracie said, never use it on plastic as it is too hard to rinse clean.

Feed ONLY organic pellets, and I recommend Harrison's. Feed NO people food of any kind and feed no sunflower seeds once bird is changed over to the organic pellets. It takes a while for the changeover, so here is an article, written by Avian Vet, on how to go about it.
Switching Birds to Pellets article

Regular at least yearly trips to Avian Vet is a must for all birds and especially older ones who eat less than adequate diets. If you had taken her to an Avian Vet and had bloodwork done this may could have been avoided. After so many years of a bad diet, sometimes there is nothing they can do because the liver is damaged to such a great extent.

Again, I'm sorry for your loss and before you get another bird, make sure you understand what parrots need to live safe happy lives.

Linda

Dec 27, 2010
Hahn's Macaw died
by: Tracie

I am so sorry for your loss.

Neither Dr B nor anyone else can tell you why your bird died, sorry. Only a necropsy done right after the bird died would show the cause of death.

It sounds like it is possible that the bird was bathing in the bowl and it fell and broke the bird's neck. It could be the Clorox too. Clorox is bad for you too, it should never be used on plastic items or other bird toys. You should use safe cleaners like Pet Focus.

Again, I am sorry for your loss.

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