Stress Bars on Baby Green Cheeked

by Amy
(New Jersey)

I purchased a 3 1/2 month old baby Green Cheeked Conure from our local bird store. He/She is very social and friendly, and is acting perfectly healthy, eating, drinking and eliminating well, and playing with her toys and us.

My question is - she has some black stress bars on her wing feathers. I plan on taking her for a vet visit soon, but can you tell me what would have caused these stress bars on her and does this mean she is harboring some illness? Also, will they go away with good nutrition and a stable home environment?

Comments for Stress Bars on Baby Green Cheeked

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Jun 15, 2009
Stress bars on conure
by: The Vet

It is not possible to know what caused these stress bars. It can be literally anything. For example, the wrong temperature in the brooder when it was a baby; poor nutrition; not fed properly; literally anything that can cause stress will cause stress bars.

IT does not mean that your bird is carrying and illness, however, it is important that you take him in for his check up to be sure. The bars will not go away, but you can improve the feather quality as you describe with a better diet ( Harrison's pellets), stable environment, full spectrum lighting, etc. The feather with the marks will molt out and a new better feather will replace it.

Dr B

Jun 14, 2009
Stress Bars
by: Linda

The only time I've seen them is on the feathers of malnourished young birds. Do make an appointment with vet as soon as possible because she could have an infection. The gram negative bacteria causes infections, and they are quickly taken care of with antibiotics. It might also be a great idea to have some basic blood work done on her as well to rule out kidney or liver problems present or in the making. Vet may also want to run some more routine tests on the blood. It will be worth it to know your bird is getting a good start with you, and there is no where to go but UP!

Be sure and talk with vet about the stress bars. If they are what I think they are, they will go away when she molts and grows in new feathers. My young Macaw did just that. The bars were just on the bird's first feathers and were gone with the first molt. Feeding a good organic pelleted diet like Harrison's would be a great thing to do for your new baby. Tracie carries some Harrisons products out here, and the Birdy Bread mixes are delicious (or at least from my Amazon's perspective--kind of bland for me!).

Keep us posted on the progress of your baby and what vet finds out from visit. It is refreshing to hear that you are taking her to the vet right away as it is always recommended shortly after bringing a new bird home as the stress of the move can lead to a weakened immune system which means infections even if slight. Birds have only gram positive bacteria in their bodies. People, dogs, cats and most other animals have both positive and negative. A bird will get ill when and if the negative gets to be in too high a concentration, so your trip to the vet can save you and your bird a great deal of discomfort.

Congratulations on your new and beautiful baby, and may you have many happy years together!

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