Regurgitating More and More - Alexandrine Parrot

by Lyane
(Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

Hi, my 5 year-old Alexandrine Parrot has started to regurgitate many times a day on his perches. Sometimes he does it on my brother's hand (he loves my brother for some reason). I brink my parrot in the bathroom with me when I take my shower. I put him on the towel rack and he loves it there. He makes noises and talks a bit, however after approximately 5 minutes, he starts to regurgitate on the towel rack, in the corner. He regurgitates also on his favorite toy.

What is going on? Before, he used to do this a couple times a day but now, he does it approxiamtely 10-15 times a day. His head bobs from one side to the other and he makes a little sound, he regurgitates and eats it, then regurgitates and eats it again. What is too much regurgutation? He regurgitates maybe 1/4 cup a day (in total) but that is gross!

Should I get another parrot for him? Would that solve the problem? I haven't seen much info online. I bet you I have the parrot that regirgitates the most. I clean his cage every day, he is healthy, has never had a problem, he loves my mother, my boyfriend and I very much. He is a very happy bird. Please tell me that other parrots do this often!

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Jan 28, 2012
Thank you
by: Lyane

Hi, I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions and to give me advice. You are so knowledgeable... I will look into this matter. Again, thank you. I will consider changing my bird's food as well...I will look into this forum and get some answers on how to feed him better and will order better food for him.

Jan 28, 2012
Abnormal amount of regurgitation
by: The Avian Vet

This could be because of sexual maturity, but it is an abnormal amount. Occasional regurgitation is acceptable; daily is not normal especially with this quantity. It may be sexually related, but there could be abnormalities that is responsible such as enlarged testicles or testicular tumors or other medical condition.

You should not get another bird for him. It will not help and may make things worse, especially behavior problems. I recommend that you have him seen by an avian veterinarian immediately.

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Dr B

Jan 27, 2012
Regurgitating More and More - Alexandrine Parrot
by: Linda

Hi again, this is Linda, and I'll try and be more specific.

Food does take a while to digest in the crop before it is dropped to the stomach. However, birds normally don't regurgitate directly after eating unless they are being played with a lot right after a meal or are becoming agitated in some other way shortly after eating.

Normal regurgitation is all fluid with no food matter in it. So, unless he is becoming agititated right after eating something,this points to something wrong.What you described is small amount of food. What bothers me is that he's doing this a lot of the time which is not normal.

I did not want to "cry wolf" before and scare you, so I left off what can cause this kind of regurgitating. There is a virus that causes what is called Proventicular Dilitation or Macaw Wasting Disease as it is better known. It has crossed the species barriers some time ago and can be gotten by most of the parrot family including your species of parrot all the way down to the little Budgie. Bird's food does not go into stomach because it cannot get past the stenosis, so bird keeps eating food only to vomit it up all the time. The bird is actually starving to death. The symptoms begin showing like you are talking about which worries me.

As I said above, it would be a good idea to take him onto the Avian Vet and ask that they do a test for the Macaw Wasting Disease just to make sure it is not that. If he tests clear for the disease, you may consider his diet as a possible suspect. He needs to be eating organic pellets for 80-85% of his diet. Harrisons is the best on the market. No animal protein can be fed while feeding Harrisons because it interferes with proteins and can cause a bird to become sick from too much protein.

If you already have him on a high quality organic pellet, then I recommend no egg food, animal food in the form of meat, fish or chicken. Veggies are fed in small amounts a few times a week to make up only 10-15% of total diet.

So, I'm sorry if I was unclear earlier, and I wanted to avoid the disease conversation if I could. I now see it is best if I get all my concerns for your bird out into the open.

Birds have to be exposed to the Macaw Wasting Disease, and it is not that easy to get. They have to actually eat or drink from same bowl, play with infected toys or be exposed to infected poop.I had a Blue and Gold Macaw that died from it some years ago, and he was in same room with 10 other parrots who did not get it, so it IS hard to pass on.

Do not be afraid, but do go ahead and talk with Avian Vet about this because your bird may have some other problem that needs to be addressed.

Best Regards,
Linda

Jan 27, 2012
Regurgitation Info Needed...Thanks Linda
by: Lyane

Thanks Linda for your input. I am not trying to close my eyes to this, I am just trying to understand the regurgitation in general. I thought that birds kept a little and that they gave it to their loved one(s). Are you saying that normally regurgitation is ONLY liquid? I can see mini bits of some foods I give him. For example, this morning, I gave him pieces of cooked egg whites. When he regurgitated, I could see a liquid with mini pieces of eggs (maybe 1/4 of an inch long by 1/4'', approx.) That's pretty much the only thing I see in it. It usually looks like a bit of oatmeal in a liquid. And he does it only on his favorite toy, perches (on the metal bolts on the perches)... Thanks Linda. I will get in contact with an avian vet but I am just trying to understand what went wrong.... ;)

Jan 26, 2012
Regurgitating More and More - Alexandrine Parrot
by: Linda

No, this is not normal, and if you are seeing undigested food in the vomit, then your bird is very sick. Just because he's not showing it much only means he is trying his best to hide it which parrots do. They hide their illnesses and injuries until they are too sick to stand and death comes quickly after that.

Take your bird to be examined by an Avian Vet ONLY in your driving area. Do not take to dog and cat vet ss they are NOT licensed or trained in the care of birds and will make matters worse.

If you are seeing undigested food in the vomit, this is serious and if you wait any longer you will lose your bird. If he's unable to digest his food, then he's not getting nutrition enough to keep him going for long.

Let us know what Avian Vet has to say,
Linda
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