Jack the Rainbow Lorikeet

by Eva
(NSW Australia.)

My rainbow lorikeet started feather plucking about a month ago and his droppings changed colour and consistency. I took him to the vet who diagnosed coccidiosis. He was treated, as were all his pals, and seemed to recover - except for the feather plucking.

I have since had to re-treat them all for coccidia and their droppings have returned to normal. Jacky is still feather plucking, mainly under his wings and on his chest. In the last day or two I've noticed what looks like tiny specks of black dirt on his feathers and in his bath water. I sprayed him and his cage for lice and mites a few days ago, which didnt seem to make a lot of difference to his plucking.

He screeches, grabs madly at the offending feather and yanks it out! He's eating normally, flying about and generally having a wonderful time! The other birds are all fine. Any ideas? Jack has his own cage, but the three cages are on the one table.

Comments for Jack the Rainbow Lorikeet

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Jan 19, 2012
by: Eva

Yes I know its a bugger of a thing to get rid of and I spend a LOT of my time examining bird poo! The cages are cleaned every day, and the food bowls are washed in water as hot as I can handle (I don't want to use a disinfectant in their food bowls). My birds are starting to think I'm a bit odd because I'm forever lurking around their cages, sometimes with a torch so I can see better lol. I'm aware that coccidia can be deadly, so I'm watching my babies like a hungry hawk. Do you think the feather plucking may be a leftover from the infection? As I said, Jacky is the only one of five that is doing it.

Jan 18, 2012
Jack the Rainbow Lorikeet
by: Linda

Coccidiosis has to be constantly monitored because it keeps coming back. Infection comes from walking around in infected poop, so if your birds have access to floor of cage, they will have to have a grate in cages. Until it is all cleared up, you will need to clean all the cages every single day because when birds poop, they release more of the bugs and become reinfected over and over. I've dealt with this dread disease with miniature goats, and we finally had to rehome them because we could not get it under control. The little female was the one who kept getting it back, and finally we were told that the ground was saturated with the bugs, and to rehome both goats would save their lives. You cannot get rid of it easily because infected poop keeps it alive and well and multiplying. Birds who do not have access to the ground, floor or bottom of their cages usually don't get this disease because the bugs grow in soil covered in poop or just poop.

So, the mite spray you used has done nothing but make a terrible situation worse. Your birds will need to be monitored on a regular basis with this, and that means when meds are done, birds all have to go back and have poop checked for more of the bugs.You can take samples of poop from each cage if each bird is kept separately, mark bag as to who it belongs to and take those in instead of all the birds. I suggest you put each bird into its own cage until this is taken care of because, as with my goats, it was just the female who kept getting it back, and the male stayed clear after the first treatment. You may only have one or two who keep spreading the bugs, so put each bird into its own cage and go from there. You have to do this to know who is and is not spreading this. It is a killer disease as it takes nutrition from the host animal and weakens them to the point of death regardless of what they are being fed.

Cages will have to be cleaned with a bird safe cleaner after each trip to Avian Vet and this means perches and/or toys and dishes that have ever had poop on them. Cage bottoms have to be kept covered with a grate and cages cleaned every day until this is gone. It is difficult to get rid of, and your birds will die from it.


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