Weigh your parrot regularly using a quality gram bird scale to monitor it's health and provide an early warning sign of potential illness. In the wild, bird's must mask illness or they will attract predators and will be killed or ejected from their flock. Parrots mask their illness as an instinctual survival mechanism.
Frequently, pet bird owners report that they didn't have a clue that their parrot was sick. They just came home to find their bird had passed away.
One of the earliest signs of illness that a responsible pet bird owner can rely on is to monitor bird weight with a reliable bird scale.
Weight gain and weight loss are often the first preliminary indicators that your bird is sick. An accurate gram bird scale such as our Sterling Bird Scale Kit can save your bird's life!
Record bird weight each week at about the same time of day for instance first thing in the morning before your bird has eaten. Develop a visual graph to keep track of bird weight. You'll learn your bird's baseline weight and develop an eye for patterns. Try to match weight changes to events in your bird's life. Write yourself notes on your bird weight chart about what is happening to your bird and his environment. Just as you know that when your bird eats blueberries, the next several poops will be reddish-purple, you will learn your bird's weight fluctuations in regard to specific circumstances.
So, when should you be concerned about weight changes in your bird? When you use a gram bird scale regularly, graphing bird weight, you can monitor slight weight changes before it is too late. It is imperative that you write down the bird weight each week. You would not become alarmed with a 3-4 gram loss since that is easily within the normal range for most medium to large parrots. But if your bird loses weight again the following week, it is significant. You will want to increase the frequency of weighing if your bird is developing a weight loss pattern.
Any bird that sustains an unexplained weight loss of more than 2% in a single weighing should go IMMEDIATELY to the vet. A loss 3-4% of bird weight over several days should also go to the vet as soon as possible. A bird with a weight loss over 5% is in a VERY serious, perhaps even life-threatening, condition. Weight losses over 10% often result in death if not treated immediately. Only a high quality gram bird scale such as our Redmon Gram Bird Scale Kit can assist you in detecting these minute weight differences. An adult bird that is experiencing unexplained weight gan may need a medical work-up to explore the possibility of fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis), fatty tumors (lipomas and xanthomas) or generalized lipornatosis (an abnormal layer of fat deposited under the skin). Weight gain is also a symptom of metabolic problems, heart or liver problems. Further, your vet will rule out egg binding in female birds, tumors, lack of exercise and a high fat bird diet. It has also become apparent to us that weight gain can be an indicator of hormonal changes and the reproductive cycle - especially in females.
Weight loss is a worrisome symptom of many infectious diseases (including proventricular dilatation disease [PDD], aspergillosis and others), infestation with parasites (including Giardia and roundworms), inappropriate diet, competition for food with other birds, metabolic problems, some tumors and beak problems.