Maroon Bellied Conure ate several sand size plastic parts

Hello Avian Experts, My 2.5 yr old maroon bellied conure ate a few little parts from a clip in my hair. They are about the size of sand. It thought I had another clip in my hair that is solid plastic and no metal or loose parts. Being less attentive as company just left, I was wrong.

Is there a window of time to watch her eating, stools and her behaviour so that that time frame, I will know that she is likely either ok or that I must take her to the vets? I want to take the best care of my friend. She went to sleep at her normal time. She is so cute, for example she tells me "sheeep" about the same time each night, to go to sleep.

Thank you for your response,

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Feb 08, 2014
My Cockatoo is Puking up Plastic
by: Anonymous

My male cockatoo has not been eating properly for two days and is now puking up small bits of multi-colored plastic from the caps of bottles that he likes to chew on. He used to only chew up bottle caps for fun and not swallow them from what I recall when I first started giving him these chew toys. After 5 years of giving him bottle caps of all types (he chews up the metal ones too, but never eats them or cuts himself on them), I fear that he has decided to recently start swallowing small pieces of plastic since he started to puke up plastic about an hour ago. I've given him some water, macaroni and cheese, and soft baby cockatoo bird food that he seems to be eating. My fear is that the little pieces of non-digestible plastics (about the size of print under the triangle on a dollar bill to slightly larger than that) have been adding up for a long time and are somehow stuck in his digestive system. I could take him to the vet since it is Saturday afternoon and somebody has to be open - but he is eating and drinking now. Can the vet do anything to remove the plastic build-up or will the vet make it worse since he is now stressed out from being poked, stuck with needles, and having his toenail cut for blood samples? I'm thinking of just letting him puke/poop it out and only give him wood chew toys in the future. However, not really sure what to do about the buildup of such plastics that might be in him permanently.

Sep 02, 2010
Bird ate hair clip parts
by: The Avian Vet

If your bird is not vomiting and is having normal droppings, there may be nothing to worry about, unless what she ate was metal. If so, go to your avian vet immediately.

Dr B

Aug 23, 2010
Bird at plastic parts
by: The Avian Vet

Usually they show symptoms within 12-24 hours. They could be vomiting or regurgitating, have loose droppings or blood in the droppings. You should take her in for an exam.

Dr B

Aug 22, 2010
Maroon Bellied Conure ate several sand size plastic parts
by: Linda

The problem with plastic is that it's poison and not a good thing for a bird to eat. I'd call your Avian Vet, describe what happened and see what they have to say. Sand is awfully small, and I don't really understand how plastic could be that small. Hopefully the parts are not hard plastic like glass because they will cut the bird up all the way down if they are. They will not be digested or broken down, so if they were faceted, you have cause to worry.

My advice is to call Avian Vet soon as you can and tell them exactly what these pieces looked like, how they were made and how much of it bird ate, and go from there.

When around birds, outside their cages, it is always a good idea to remove all jewelry including rings that have any stones in them because these act like glass going down and cause tremendous damage in the digestive tract. Birds like colorful, shiny objects and wish to make them theirs if possible. A swallowed diamond, for instance, has to be surgically removed because it cuts them up all the way down.

I used to wear earrings, rings and other jewelry items and had to stop because a very large, heavy Macaw once put his foot through one of my large hoops, and we had to go to the floor so someone else could get his foot free before he pulled wire through my ear. My other advice is to keep all parrots off your shoulders because it is from there many very bad injuries occur to the human face, eyes, ears and neck. Birds are unpredictable, and sometimes revert to their natural wild selves if frightened, jealous or otherwise disturbed. If you are the closest one to them, you will be the one bit, so birds on shoulders is asking for problems later on.

Thanks for writing,

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