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Signs of a Healthy Pet Bird

Part of the Birds For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Too often, bird-owners fail to notice early clues of illness because their pets are particularly skilled at hiding these signs. You need to know what's normal for your bird so that you can spot changes that mean illness — and call your veterinarian.

A healthy bird

  • Behaves normally, perching without problems, moving with coordination, using the full body without favoring one side or the other.

  • Bears weight evenly, all four toes present on each foot and in proper position.

  • Is alert and responsive.

  • Breathes easily, with no sign of laboring or tail-bobbing.

  • Has eyes, ears, and nostrils that are free of debris.

  • Has healthy plumage. Feathers have normal color and structure, with no signs of improper development or excessive wear. No evidence of damage from feather-picking, improper housing, or other trauma.

  • Consistently produces droppings that are normal in appearance. No pasting of waste on the fanny.

  • Has well-muscled body of appropriate weight, not obese. Skin is smooth and translucent without excessive amounts of fat showing underneath or excessive flakiness or crustiness.

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