Yellow crust on African Grey skin

by Lauren
(United Kingdom)

Hi, I have a 5 year old african grey timneh. He is currently eating zupreme fruitblend pellets and taking additional clacium and vitamin supplements. He has previously received treatment for a respiratory tract infection about a year ago that I believe was a mixture or fungus and bacterial origin for this he was treated with enflucloxacillin and has no symptoms of any nasal infection.

A few days ago I noticed a malodourous smell coming from under his wing, upon inspection I realised he has some feathers missing and a crusty yellow film that appears to be encrusted to the skin, just above this he has a very small broken area which appears to be healing. There are no signs of infection around the area i.e no redness, swelling or changes in temperature of the skin. I was wondering if this could be a fungal infection? Thanks.

Comments for Yellow crust on African Grey skin

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May 02, 2011
by: Lauren

Switching diets is not an easy option, the bird I have is a rescue bird that was used for breeding, as im sure your aware these kind of birds do not take kindly to a change in diet, it took me a year and a whole lot of money trying various brands to entice him away from pure sunflower seeds. As for the additional vitamins his vet told me he needed them despite the complete food diet he is on!

Apr 26, 2011
African Grey bad health from bad diet
by: The Avian Vet

You actually have several problems going on and they may even be related. First, one of the worst foods you can feed is ZuPreem. There are many birds that have allergies to the additives such as the preservatives, artificial colors, and other artificial ingredients. These often cause skin disease, especially in African greys.

Second, you should never supplement a pellet diet with calcium or other nutrients. Any pellet, including ZuPreem, has plenty of calcium (and other nutrients) even for African greys. Giving extra nutrients will cause diseases such as kidney failure and liver damage.

Third, there is a lot of sugar in ZuPreem which can contribute to fungal and yeast infections. This may be exacerbating the skin problem. You should switch your bird to Harrison's pellets. This is the best food you can feed. You should also supplement with Sunshine Factor , which is an Omega Fatty acid supplement that will help the skin heal.

Finally, your bird has a very serious skin problem that will certainly become worse without proper treatment and management, especially with the diet. However, diet change alone is not going to help this. It needs intensive treatment. But, first, a diagnosis must be made as to what caused it; so, I suggest a skin culture and biopsy.

Your bird should also have some blood work done. Take your bird to see an avian specialist immediately. Waiting will only increase the chances that this cannot be treated.

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Dr B

Apr 25, 2011
Yellow crust on African Grey skin
by: Linda

Yes, this is some kind of infection that will have to be diagnosed and treated by an Avian Vet. Also, not to be unfriendly and just honest, the Zupreem you are feeding is a step lower than low quality. Zupreem is full of color dye, preservatives and sugar like products. All of this together means very poor skin and feather quality regardless of how often vet treats bird.

Avian Vets and we recommend one of the organic pellets found on this site with Harrison's being the very best money can buy. Though it may look expensive up front, you will save literally hundreds of dollars on avina vet bills. I have two almost 40 year old Amazons, and they have been eating Harrisons regular and pepper formulas for many, many years now, and I can say that the only time we go to the avian vet is to have toenails and beaks trimmed. My female has a beak that has always overgrown, so at least 2 to 3 times a year, they have to have nails done, and her beak done. They were older when I found them, and I'm sure they ate an all seed diet which may have set her up for problems later in life.

So, change your bird's diet to a high quality pelleted diet that has no preservatives, pesticide/fertilizer residue and absolutely no dye or sugar added to it. Harrisons is a good choice, and they also have a bread mix that is easy to use and birds love it. Get the organic red palm oil, Sunshine Factor to go in it, and then it calls for two eggs and water. It freezes well and keeps in frig for up to a week. I'll make a loaf, keep out a few day's worth and freeze the rest when cool. My Amazons love this as a special treat, and if no additions are put into the mix, it can be up to 30% of the diet. I'm not saying make it that because the pellets are the best, and the bread is made using the same recipe as the pellets. If you add sweet potato or other fruits or veggies, then it can only be used in small amounts or it will interfere with dietary needs.

Your bird needs to have this skin problem looked at by an avian vet and make sure bird is not treated with antibiotics if he has a fungal infection as this makes fungal infections worse. If it is bacterial in nature, then no anti-fungal drugs should be given. Have a skin scrape done to see which one this is and get his diet changed to something healthy like now.

Thanks much for writing, and keep in touch.


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