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Old 06-01-2011, 02:26 PM
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Lightbulb Microchipping, banding and DNA I.D. Which is best?

Just thought Id share!


After much research I decided to get Alex, my jenday microchipped. This was done yesterday. The procedure consisted of him being given a light general anaesthetic (isoflurane I believe) in order to help minimise any pain and prevent him from moving and hurting himself. The chip was then inserted into just below his breast muscle, and pressure applied to stop any bleeding. Alex was given some pain medication afterwards (As the vet nurse put it Your bird is so high right now when I went to collect him thanks to the pain meds). I am lucky to have a wonderful avian spe******t vet here who did this (and a general check-up) for a very reasonable $70AUS. Alex was dropped off at 9am and was ready to be collected at 11am. They kept Alex in for observation until they were sure he was ready to go. In his case being young and healthy this was only 2 hours (we originally anticipated not picking him up until 1pm but he came around much faster and was back to normal very fast!) Recovery has been nothing dramatic so far, just good food, good water and keeping him in a warm spot. In fact hes back to normal already, playing and the usual, just a little tender on the chest.


Risks associated with the procedure were minimal. Things like anaesthetic and a large needle being put into a small bird carry some risk, but like I said, it was minimal. Especially with a young healthy bird like Alex it was so minimal to be near non-existent. I believe the benefits of microchipping far outweigh the small initial risk anyway. For example has anyone here heard of the suspected stolen ekkie parrot some dolt had on their car windscreen being driven down a highway at 100km an hour? A woman came forward believing it was her (stolen) bird when she saw the man on T.V. She has quite compelling evidence it was her lost bird too, she presented photographs of an identical chip on the beak, could identify his behaviour, he spoke phrases learnt from her (such as his name) and what not. However since there was no way to prove conclusively the bird was hers she could not get him back. No band, no chip, no dna test, nothing. Luckily the RSPCA stood in and took the bird off the man who was mistreating him. However I doubt this woman would be able to recover her bird (if indeed it is hers)


Bird theft is also rampant in my part of the world. I live in an area in Australia where many exotic and beautiful birds are bred, and macaws and conures are very popular exotic pets (native birds are not so much targeted for theft). In the event of a theft, all a thief has to do is remove the leg band and the bird becomes unidentifiable and in many cases unrecoverable since the owner cannot prove it is their bird. I preferred a chip over DNA identification/fingerprinting too for similar reasons, as a sample of the suspected stolen bird would need to be taken, and by the time the results are back chances are the bird will have been moved and lost again.


I plan on getting a custom stainless steel open band (Alex is not banded as of yet) with my phone number on it in addition to this, though bands can be removed.



A way of identifying your birds is very important. After my experience getting Alex chipped I would highly recommend it to anyone with pet birds. Many animal shelters and vets also scan exotic birds for chips, so should you have an escaped bird that is bought to one of these they may be able to re-unite you.
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xreinx (06-01-2011)
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:19 PM
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Re: Microchipping, banding and DNA I.D. Which is best?

Amber, sometimes it's just the honesty or dishonesty of people whether or not they take the found bird to the Vets for identification. How often have i heard of someone finding a bird & keeping it.

Might i also suggest you train your baby to wear a harness every time you go outdoors. Less likely for him to escape & he is at a good age to train.
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suebee (06-02-2011)
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:12 PM
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Re: Microchipping, banding and DNA I.D. Which is best?

Vary true Pedro, but Id do all three, (and will when I get my bird, large or small, dosent matter) I work in a shelter setting and Bands on the foot as well as a Chip Will help get the animal back to its owner, you can't always pay attention to every detail when your living your life and harnesses only go so far. If something happens you will be vary glad you have a band and a chip on your bird, even if you have to post flyers up at every vet office in the country, people scan birds, we scan everything, including budiges. If Everyone did that, we could get their pet birds back to them every time, not every 1 in 1000.
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:51 PM
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Re: Microchipping, banding and DNA I.D. Which is best?

Mine have all been microchipped as well being tattoed under their wings. They all wear custom bands as well that identify me as their owner.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:35 PM
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Re: Microchipping, banding and DNA I.D. Which is best?

Really?! Thanks for the good Idea, what does the tattoo say? whats the best kind of tattoo to put on your bird and do all vet clinics tattioo?
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Old 06-02-2011, 03:36 AM
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Re: Microchipping, banding and DNA I.D. Which is best?

Hi Pedro

Alex is harness trained, but I never take him outdoors unless he is in his carrier or travel cage anyway. Too much risk. I am too worried about hawks, cats and the like. I do admire those people who can train and free fly their birds Chris Biro style, but it's something I would never do. Too much risk involved.

Honesty in people finding a lost bird is of course crucial to returning it home. But say they are not honest, but one day take the bird to the vet for some reason or another. The chip would come up when scanned (scanning is standard procedure here for any incoming animal) and he could be identified as my bird. Or say your bird is stolen and you see it for sale. You can call the police but without providing undeniable proof that this is your bird you’re unlikely to get it back. A chip can provide this info, and it’s much quicker to lend a scanner from a vet or shelter then to wait on DNA fingerprinting. I think anything that increases the chance of a lost pet returning home, whether they be cat, dog, bird or anything is a plus. Preventing theft and loss is of course the first course of action, but it’s always nice to have option B and a permanent way of identifying your bird. Bands are great when an honest person finds a lost bird, but with dishonest people or theft of a bird they are unfortunately usually removed. Plus a band is only useful to someone trying to return a bird home if it had information that can be used to identify the owner or original breeder of the bird. Otherwise it’s like a dog with a collar and no tags. You know it’s someone’s pet because it has one, but without the tags there’s no way to discover where he is from.
I actually only decided on chipping Alex after an acquaintance managed to recover her bird that was believed to be stolen a year ago recently. He was admitted to a vet clinic with a health problem, a scan shown a chip, a quick database check shown that this bird was not registered to the people claiming he was theirs and was indeed reported as lost/stolen. He was returned home as a result of the chip. The people who bought him to the vets had unknowingly purchased him from a pet store where he was suspected to have been sold by the original thief.
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