Older conure spending alot of time on cage bottom

by Richard Novara
(Wisconsin)

Larry is a 20 year old green cheek and periodically spends vast ammounts of time on the bottom of his cage. Normally he tears up the newspaper or throws around his little plastic balls with a bell inside but as of late he seems to be more tired than usual. He dosen't seem ill or lethargic but he's definately not himself. Is there any truth to feather production and this behavior? He did this last year also. I'm concerned but not worried. Please help out if you can. Thankyou. Also he will sleep on the bottom.

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Jun 08, 2009
Older Green Cheek on cage bottom
by: Richard Novara

Thankyou for your response on this matter but I believe I've found the problem. Upon approaching his cage he was laying in the back looking as if he was dead so I called to him and he immediately rose up his head and chirped a couple times. He then moved towards me backwards tucking his head under his belly as he moved. He then turned a little sideways and revealed (believe it or not) a little white egg! Turns out Larry is a female. This is th first egg he (I mean she)laid in 20 years. I was suprised to say the least. After this I took her out of the cage and removed the egg. She has been just fine since,Her old self again. Thanks again for your response and I'm glad she wasen't ill, just carrying an egg.

Jun 02, 2009
Older bird issues
by: The Vet

He is a geriatric bird. Many health problems can occur at this age. He is trying to tell you that he is not feeling well. You should take him in to see an avian veterinarian. Do not wait another day. Molting, or feather production, does take a lot of energy and can make them somewhat lethargic, but you should not assume that is the issue.

With his age his immune system does not function very well and he could have a subclinical infection, but the molting adds stress and makes the subclinical infection become clinical. If he has access to the bottom of his cage without a grate, he is certainly exposed to bacteria. With his age and his molting stress, this could be a problem.

Also if he is on a seed diet, he has nutritional deficiencies and that will also contribute to this presentation. Finally, if he drinks from a bowl instead of a bottle, that is another source of significant bacteria that can cause him to be sick, too. He may have been OK up until now even with all of these issues, but these things eventually catch up to them and they can no longer hide the symptoms or compensate. You should take him in for a check up.

Dr B

Jun 02, 2009
Older Conure concerns
by: Tracie

I will let Dr. B answer this for you later, but I thought I would at least post our Aging Parrots article that is listed on our Parrot Training page.


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