lovebird sick?

by angela

he sits like this (is slightly puffed up)

he sits like this (is slightly puffed up)

he sits like this (is slightly puffed up)
this is how he sits before his after noon nap (notice the feathers)

my lovebird is only about 5-7 months old. he walks around slightly puffed up. our house is not heated and we live in australia (temperature is about 17 degrees Celsius). sometimes when he breathes, his tail bobs only a little bit (a fraction of when he chatters or sings). he eats and plays normally when he comes out of his cage and he flies to me when he is asked. he seems to be alert when he is inside or outside his cage, but in about 3-4o'clock in the after noon, he seems to just sit and almost falls asleep, he even grinds his teeth to show he's comfy.
please help me, could he be sick?

Comments for lovebird sick?

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Sep 02, 2010
Lovebird could be sick
by: The Avian Vet

Yes it is possible that he is sick; you need to have your bird seen by an avian veterinarian.

Dr B

Aug 31, 2010
Lovesick bird
by: Bre

Another thing you could do to keep him warm, and your bird may like it too, is a bird tent. It will keep him warm especially when he is sleeping. They cost about $12 to $15 dollars at the pet stores but they are so very easy and cheap to make yourself. I make my own out of fleece material, all you will need is 1/4 yard of fleece. Cut a rectangle about 16" to 18" long, fold it in half and sew the top together; so it looks like a sort of triangle when open. Secure it to the cage top from 2 or 3 hooks, like the hooks the bird toys are hung from. It may take him a day or two to go into it and get use to(maybe) but once he does hell love it as much as mine does.
When they have a warm place like this to sleep there cozy and comfortable and sometimes will even sleep on their back or sides laying down. Which is scary the first time you see it you think there dead but thats how they sometimes sleep. My birds are Conures but there all pretty much the same size and love the tents to sleep in.
I'm in Florida and the winter nights get chilly and we usualy don't use a heater here either but the birds have never got too cold with there tents and I also cover their cages at night.
Hope that will help you.

Aug 31, 2010
lovebird sick?
by: Linda

Angela, as winter continues to come on in Australia, you will have to provide a clean, safe source of heat for your bird. Right now, he needs to be seen by an Avian Vet in your driving area BEFORE winter is fully there with lower temperatures. He should be kept at around 70F, and not sure what that equates to in Celsius.

There is a link on this site for help in finding an Avian Vet if you don't know where one is is or cannot find one in your phone directory. Birds do not just "get over" illnesses, and if he's sitting fluffed up, he may very well be sick with an infection which will get worse as temperatures get lower. As Tracie suggested, you will need to provide him heat in the form of an electric space heater in the same room as he is. Don't put it right next to cage, but do put it where his area or room can be kept approximately 70F day and night. Cover him up at night with a light colored cloth so the heat can be held in during the night, and do leave the heater on. Do leave the bottom part of cage open so air can circulate because getting too hot is as bad as being too cold.

Do not use any form of wood or oil heat around birds as both will kill them because of the fumes from what is wasted by both wood and oil. If that is your only way to heat your home, make sure bird is in another room from where wood/oil heat is vented into the room to make sure he is safe.

So, to sum up, take your bird to Avian Vet for exam for infections. Have Avian Vet do a throat swab to check for bacterial infection and NOT the vent area as testing there is very inaccurate because there is always some kind of bacteria there. Get a clean source of heat for him, electric, and cover him at night plus leave the heater on as well. We use an electric space heater if it gets extremely cold here in our bird's room, and because their room is smaller, we leave it on a very low setting which still heats up their room, so don't keep the room warmer than necessary as this will make him sick as well.

Thanks for writing and hope winter goes well for you, and your little bird.


Aug 30, 2010
Lovebird puffed up
by: Tracie

Dr B can not say if your bird might be sick or not, because that can only be determined by a physical exam in person.

Your bird is probably trying to stay warm, because 17 degrees Celsius is kinda cool for a tropical bird. If you could provide a bird-safe space heater for the room, that would be best.

Dr B will answer your question within a few days.

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