Lovebird paralyzed for a few minutes

by Melissa
(Queensland Australia)

Hi, We got 2 baby lovebirds yesterday and took them out of the cage to start taming them. On the 3rd time taking them out they were quite use to us and happy to sit on our fingers or shoulders.

1 was sitting on my hand and I gave his neck a gentle scratch and he made a funny noise then he could not lift his head up and his feet were scrunched up. I thought he was dying but after a few minutes he was able to lift his head and move again though he seemed a bit groggy.

He seems to be fine now but I don't know what happened to him.
I hope you can help me.

Thank you

Comments for Lovebird paralyzed for a few minutes

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Aug 26, 2008
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your response. That gives me some info about them. Cheers

Aug 26, 2008
by: The Vet

One of the common problems with new birds is that they don't eat enough when they move into a new home. I also see that they are kept out of the cage too long and become exhausted.

You should have them out of the cage no more than 3 times per day, 15 minutes each time. This schedule should be kept for a week or so, and then gradually keep them out longer after they have been there for a couple of weeks.

To be sure they are eating, you need to 1) monitor their droppings. If the droppings are dark green to black, they are not eating. 2) You need to monitor their weight. I suggest purchasing a scale and weigh them daily for several days and then weekly for the rest of their lives.

As a side note, I recommend that you keep them in separate cages. Two love birds in the same cage will eventually become not tame and even aggressive (in the case of the females) and very shy (in the case of the males). The longer they are together, the less tame they will become. They will reach a point that they only want to be with each other and not with you. This will start in only a few weeks together. I know they are cute and sweet now, but they are babies and it is not going to last.

As another side note, please fed them a pellet diet as their base. I recommend Harrison's. And give them a water bottle to drink from instead of a dish. Bottles are more sanitary.

Finally, you should have them seen by an avian veterinarian. The symptoms you describe could indicate illness. An avian veterinarian will be able to tell this for you. You should also have them seen annually for well bird check ups and vaccinations.

Dr B

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