Saturday, July 30, 2011

Question On Baby Parrotlet

I found your website and have thoroughly enjoyed reading all the information you have provided. I have a question about my 9 week old baby female parrotlet. I have had her for three weeks now, she was shipped to me via airplane. She is very active, eats well, drinks more than any bird I have seen, has attitude and seems healthy but her droppings are very watery. There is still the fecal matter but lots of moisture as well, sometimes there is nothing solid. Would you have any advice or comments for me. I phoned vets and they said as long as she is eating and drinking she should be ok. Just concerned cause I fell in love with her on sight and don't think watery droppings are a good sign. I have held off giving her fruit and vegetables in case that is the cause. She eats cockatiel mix of birdseed, I am trying to get her onto pellets but it is a slow process.

Dear Bev:

Unfortunately, no one can diagnose your bird without examining it. I am very surprised that a vet wouldn’t know that. I wouldn’t let a doctor diagnose my medical condition over the phone and I am shocked we now have vets that are doing that.

I will tell you that only a vet can examine the bird and check it to see if this situation is normal. I certainly can’t. A sample needs to be taken at least have it checked out for parasites or fungal/bacterial infections or worse, since this bird is so young, a congenital problem especially with kidneys. I can’t see the droppings to know if they are too watery or not but I do know that a) your instincts are the best and b) if you are concerned, you need to have the bird examined. Fruits and vegetables – which should make up 60-70% of a parrotlet’s diet will make the droppings somewhat more watery but not anything that should concern you. After all, they eat produce in the wild and its part of their natural diet – pellets are not. Furthermore parrotlets are not birds that drink a lot of water since they originate in a dry, desert-like area. Most parrotlets drink no more than a tablespoon of water a day. In 30 years, the only birds I have had that drink more than that either have chicks to feed or have had kidney problems. Your bird could also have diabetes – something I am finding that is more and more common in parrotlets so if you are concerned about this bird, I would take it to a veterinarian competent in avian medicine and if you don’t know one, go to the Association of Avian Veterinarians and you can find a vet in your area. As for pellets, I have a page on my site about my observations and reports on birds fed primarily pelleted diets but the one thing you need to understand is if your bird has some kind of kidney issue pellets will make that worse. I would at least have the droppings checked under a microscope and also have blood checked for kidney disease and diabetes.

Best of luck and please let me know how it goes.

Sincerely yours,

Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.
The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner,
Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization
A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest.
Camaroonian Phrase

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