How can i read my bird? Sick or not?

How do I know if my bird is sick or just acting a little differently? Sometimes I blow on my bird when he nips, and he stops. It started working pretty well, because he didn't seem to get him really agitated, while it still got the message through. After a while, I blew on his face, and his eye closed... tired? hurt? I didn't know. I blew on him a few minutes later, and he again started shutting his eye (just one... but it wasn't while he was very relaxed at that moment.) Perhaps he had been shutting his eye for a while... I couldnt' exactly tell, because I only started noticing it as I blew on him. Later that night, I saw his eye again close a bit, but not very much... he looked very alert, though. I just wanted to make sure that this is not a sign of sickness or anything like that.

Also, one more question... my bird plays with a lot of toys in my house, (he sees a backpack and runs to it and starts biting and chewing at it.) He likes to tare things apart until it is ruined. I was just wondering how you know the difference between if he is just chewing at it or actually eating it. How would he know not to eat it? Also, how can I know if it is safe for him to chew on things if he is really ripping it apart and I don't know if he is eating it?

Thanks so much for all of your help! I really appreciate it!

Comments for How can i read my bird? Sick or not?

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 21, 2010
How can i read my bird? Sick or not?
by: Linda

Tracie covered everything very well, and I'm just going to add my 2 cents worth.

When you blow on your bird or kiss your bird you are transferring deadly bacteria directly into your birds mouth or airways. Birds have only gram positive bacteria in their bodies, and we and other animals have gram negative bacteria all over the place inside and out. You can give your bird a cold or flu by not masking up when you are sick when you are feeding, watering and cleaning.

Signs of a sick bird are listlessness, runny stool, labored breathing, too much sneezing, swolen eyes or nostrils and when really sick they will lose their appetites, refuse to eat and drink and death is very close behind. Birds hide their illnesses until they are too sick to do so any longer.

Take your bird to Avian Vet, have the first 6 long Primary Flight feathers on end of each wing trimmed. There is no need to trim higher as this causes chronic pain and cripples the bird. Do not allow him full flight all over the house and provide him with safe chew toys to play with either inside his cage or on an outside playstand or perch. Safe toys are those made of safe woods as birds like to chew. You are in charge, not your bird, and you need to learn a great deal about parrots in general and yours in particular. You are responsible for his health and wellbeing, and that includes providing a safe place to play with safe toys to play with and the best food you can find which is organic pellets.

Make appointment with Avian Vet, have bird checked over for infections and have some basic bloodwork done to see how organs are functioning. Have wings clipped as stated above and start learning more about what your bird really needs to be happy.

Thanks for writing and let us know how everything goes,

Dec 20, 2010
(respond to answer from questioner)
by: Questioner responding

Thanks so much for your advice... sorry I do not think I was too clear. I was talking more about even from thet pet store when I give the toys to my bird, he destroys it. Is it okay since it is bought from a bird store? Sometimes, though, I will give him paper to chew on... is that not okay also? I stopped doing that, but I used to... just want to know if I am able to.

Thanks again for your answer and time!

Dec 20, 2010
Is my parrot sick or not?
by: Tracie

Sometimes you can't tell if your bird is sick, that is why Dr B suggests that you take your bird to an avian vet once a year for a check up and for a vaccine.

If you blow on your bird, it is possible that you might blow something into it's eyes. I do not suggest that you blow your germs on your bird. If the bird is on you, then if you wiggle your hand or arm slightly to make the bird a bit off balanced, it might be more effective. The bird will not like the feeling, will not associate it with you, and will hopefully associate his bad behavior with getting off balance and stop the behavior for the most part.

We have some bird training articles on our Parrot Training page that I suggest you read for help.

As far as letting your bird chew on random items in your house, well you are just asking for your bird to die. Your house is full of toxic items, there is no way to list them all. You should keep your bird confined to a play stand or cage when it is not on you. YOU control what goes in it's mouth, don't let the bird decide.

I know of a bird that died from flying to a bookshelf and licking a statue that was made out of a toxic metal. Please, do NOT let your bird roam your house. The bird doesn't have to swallow anything to die, it just has to taste it. Also, many air fresheners and other items with fumes will kill your bird. Heating an iron, toaster oven or regular oven that is Teflon coated at a high temperature will kill your bird too. Please look at our toxic/non-toxic for birds list.

Click here to add your own comments