Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Loss of Baby Parrotlet

Hello Sandee, I came across your blog tonight and really found your information very useful. A little bit about my story...we purchased our baby parrotlet on April 8th of this yr. He was just over 6 weeks old when we took him home. My 8 year old son purchased him with his own saved up money ($250). We had a beautiful cage set up for him with perches, a swing and lots of toys. We were feeding him a seed mix for "small parrots" and everything seemed great. He was becoming much more comfortable with all of us (my husband, myself and 3 kids). He loved being taken out and thoroughly enjoyed scratches on the head. This past Monday (may 7th) we took him to our local petstore to get his wings clipped because he would fly around too much in our house and I was scared he would fly into the window which he did once before. While we were there, the lady suggested we feed him this all fruit pellet food. She said they would normally be eating mainly fruit in the wild. We also purchased a little carrier for him so we could transport him with us if we needed to. After the pet store we took him with us to the park. I was careful to keep him out of any wind (it was a fairly mild day) and we were maybe gone for an hour and a half in total. The rest of the day he was fine. I spent almost an hour with him that night talking to him, petting him, scratching him etc... On Tuesday he was normal. The only thing was he was not used to not being able to fly around in his cage, so he had to crawl around the cage to get to a perch. He spent sometime at the bottom of the cage too. Tuesday night I went to bed at midnight and I saw him perched and fast asleep with his head tucked in his feathers. Wednesday morning he was lying dead on the bottom of the cage. I am so shocked??? We are all so devastated! My kids are crying and asking what happened to Billy bird. I don't know what to tell them...I cannot stop crying myself. He was so adorable and I feel such extreme guilt over this. What did I do wrong??? How could a seemingly healthy bird drop dead at 2 and a half months old? Was it the clipped wings, trip to the park 2 days prior, food change (seeds to fruit)? I also changed his water system a week prior. Maybe he wasn't used to it. Maybe he wasn't drinking enough? I have been wracking my brain for 2 days. I can't get his image of him lying at the bottom of the cage out of my mind. Any insight as to what u think might of happened would be greatly appreciated. We miss him horribly and need some closure to this. Many thanks, Clara Dear Clara: I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your son's bird. I'm sure the whole family is heartbroken by this and I am so sorry. Unfortunately, there is no way to definitively determine what caused the death of this bird without a necropsy (animal autopsy) done by a vet within 24 hours of the bird's death. However, it has been my 30 year experience that the sudden change in the diet is what happened. My website www.parrotletranch.com has a page called "Bringing Baby Home" on it and it specifically states that it is never a good idea to switch a bird's diet when it comes home especially if it is a baby. I feel so strongly about this that I send all of my babies home with enough seed (at no extra charge) to last at least a week. However, my page and my books all state if you are going to convert a bird from a seed diet to a pelleted diet it be done over the course of weeks or months not hours. I am sure the bird had no idea that was food and starved. However, that wasn't your fault, it was the person who gave you that advice. Parrotlets are not big fruit eaters in the first place. They like vegetables better. Of the fruit they do eat, they usually contain a lot of seeds such as strawberries, kiwi, melon, etc. For someone to say that is what they eat in the wild is wrong a) because they don't eat a lot fruit b) in the wild, the fruit they have there is not the same as in the US and c) the United States hasn't allowed the importation of wild caught birds in 20 years. Also, pellets are NOT fruit. There are no pellet trees in the jungle. Even if parrotlets were big fruit eaters, they are still not going suddenly start eating pellets. Pellets are simply processed seeds with fruit flavorings and colors which are usually artificial. I always compare them to Ensure for humans. Ensure is nutritionally balanced but a can of it doesn't look like an apple or a carrot and that is how birds determine what is food, by what it looks like. I prefer that my birds diet is the same as mine. I don't eat processed foods and I don't feed them to my birds. My birds get a high quality seed mix but the bulk of their diet are fresh vegetables, greens, fruit, cooked legumes, grains, millet and sprouts. In fact, my books have entire chapters written on diet and what to feed. Again, I am so sorry for the loss of your bird but this was not your fault. You received terrible advice and I am very sorry for that. You only wanted to do what was best for the little guy and for that I am very sorry for you and your family. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, www.parrotletranch.com Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization www.internationalparrotletsociety.org A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.