Have your baby CAGs died?

Aiki_Joker

New member
Aug 12, 2016
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Oman for now
Parrots
CAG
Hey everyone. I hope all is well. I'm looking for some advice on these beautifully intelligent birds. I have had two babys (approx 4-5 months old) die and I am feeling disheartened.

These poor birds are shipped to Oman in horrible crates from South Africa (they are hand reared and they still exhibit the hand feeding reflex, very tame). I had one about 8 months ago and in 14 days it died. It was sick before I got it and I saw the signs, but I just couldn't leave it with the guy who worked at the airport and got it for free for signing the shipping papers. Around 200 birds arrived that night and half of them were dead. This is very sad indeed and there is very little control of this corrupt practice here. This is the perfect climate to breed these birds, but people don't have the knowledge or inclination to do this and it is cheaper for them to import.

He had the bird for a few weeks just feeding it seed. It was pretty thin when I got it. I slowly switched it to pellets (zupreem) over the first week and it was putting on weight. I started fruit and veg (tomatoes, apples, chili, banana, broccoli, bell peppers, lettuce, almonds, peanuts and sunflower seeds as training treats). It really was eating a lot of these. I think this could be the problem but not sure. At least 50% or its diet was veg and some fruit.

It started to show signs of illness on the 10th day. Poo was looking more liquid as it ate more greens but the component parts were still separated. It got really vocal for a day constantly wanting attention, then very tired and not vocal at all until it's death on the 14th night :(

Before this its beak was running and it had laboured breathing. The vet gave it a shot of antibiotics and I had drops for it which I used in its water for a few days until it died. On the last day it stopped eating and drinking almost completely. Very sad. I don't know what I did wrong. I think the fruit and veg here is full of bacteria that these birds are not accustomed to. Also the dust in the air maybe.
Since moving here and cleaning up dusty areas outside, I have had infections in my nose/throat and I am pretty fit so god knows what it is like for a young bird just developing its immune system.

In the end it's poo was very liquid (last day) and the urates were pretty undefined almost homogenous because it was so liquid. I think it was heavily dehydrated. That was at Christmas, it died around Christmas eve :(

I then had another one that was a totally different bird with a different personality and fully flighted. Same age, just in better health I think. After a few days longer than the first one, it was dead too :( the same story, I found it at the bottom of the cage. I visited the vet 24 hours before because I knew something was wrong (experience from the previous bird). But the vet said it was in good health and to keep on with the feeding. By this time it had stopped gaining weight for a few days and it had got loud attention seeking and vocal... I was just waiting for the silence and tiredness now I thought :(

So around a day and a half after the vets and no antibiotics or shots prescribed, the bird got quiet, then stopped eating and drinking and died.

None of the two birds were at the bottom perch in the cage ever, the first one was not highly balanced, but I thougt this was becasue its wings were clipped and it was young, its balance didnt change significantly over the time I was with it. The second one had good balance until the last night when it fell from its perch once and immediately climbed back up three feet to the same perch again. The story is the same as always with birds they would look healthy if it wasn't for monitoring weight gain, vocalisations and feeding habits.

Is the attention seeking and more vocalisations an indication of illness (maybe they realise they are sick and want to look well so they start pretending to be well and over compensating if you know what I mean)? As soon as they did this is was only less than 48hrs until they died :(

I love these birds so much, but I just don't have any luck with them. Any advice would be appreciated. The vets here do deal with birds, but they are not specialists :(
 
Are there any local breeders?

Babies are very prone and susceptible to pacheco, psittacosis and more.... poor conditions and stress that you describe are horrible and purchasing from these sources may likely continue to end in heart break.

Find what the laws are for you to personally fly to another country and get a healthy bird from a reputable source, preferably a shelter.. if the legalities are not too overwhelming, its likely your safest route. And I know on the US, there are airlines that allow a bird to fly in an airline approved carrier that fits under your seat!!

Best of luck.
 
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Brilliant. Thanks for the advice. I can't understand it though. I have been in these shops here watching the birds for months and they stay healthy there. Only when they get in my hands they put on weight and then stop and die. I watched this last one meticulously for about 3 weeks in the shop. No breeders here, I will look into pet air, but I think it would be cost prohibitive. To travel with a ferret here costs about 3K USD :( I may try one last time before I give up. This time I will feed only pellets and keep the environment super clean.
 
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Are there any local breeders?

Babies are very prone and susceptible to pacheco, psittacosis and more.... poor conditions and stress that you describe are horrible and purchasing from these sources may likely continue to end in heart break.

Find what the laws are for you to personally fly to another country and get a healthy bird from a reputable source, preferably a shelter.. if the legalities are not too overwhelming, its likely your safest route. And I know on the US, there are airlines that allow a bird to fly in an airline approved carrier that fits under your seat!!

Best of luck.

I'm going to need it ha ha ha! I didnt think of this, thanks. I have researched import eith other animals, but not parrots. What would your recommend regarding wing clipping when they are young?
 
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Are there any local breeders?

Babies are very prone and susceptible to pacheco, psittacosis and more.... poor conditions and stress that you describe are horrible and purchasing from these sources may likely continue to end in heart break.

Find what the laws are for you to personally fly to another country and get a healthy bird from a reputable source, preferably a shelter.. if the legalities are not too overwhelming, its likely your safest route. And I know on the US, there are airlines that allow a bird to fly in an airline approved carrier that fits under your seat!!

Best of luck.

I'm going to need it ha ha ha! I didnt think of this, thanks. I have researched import eith other animals, but not parrots. What would your recommend regarding wing clipping when they are young?
 
Hi, sorry for the loss of your two birds.

Two points please give any equipment used with these birds a real good clean and disinfection - wash down, rinse and then if possible use a steamer to kill of anything nasty. The birds all piled in together there is a strong chance of disease being passed on to already stressed birds very easily. Give any future bird at least a fighting chance.

Do you think that an air purifier would help with making your indoor atmosphere a little more pleasant?

Can you also read up on weaning young birds?
Good luck with your search for another bird but remember knowledge is key and it could be the difference between a short and a long life.
 
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Couple way too early, oops forgot to turn off the alarm clock thoughts.

Look into avianbiotech.com. They are one of the leading avian testing labs in the world. With a simple poop smear you can test for many diseases and virus that can be treated successfully if discovered before your bird is in full blown active disease state. Is there a vet with avian experience to run a gram stain or fecal and most important any that know how to draw blood properly (and if your vet needs direction, I can talk to our wonderful avian vet from the shelter who might be able to provide some guidance by phone).

Next on the list before you get another bird, your cage needs to be sterilized and get rid of everything in the cage, all toys and supplies. Order F10 from a site like mysafebirdstore.com, I know Kathie ships internationally or check out amazon.com or even ask your vet. You want to vacuum everything in your house, scrub everything, removing every bit of dander and dropping left from the previous birds. The cage can be taken outside it into a shower, scrub every nook and cranny, blast with hottest water possible, then spray down with a 50/50 solution of bleach. Let dry, scrub and rinse again. If you can put it outside in the sun to dry, soray it down til it's dripping wet with the F10 and let bake/ dry in the sun. If you have something in your home, existing and transferring from b8rd to bird this may help. As the shelter, we would tell you to do all these steps and wait 6 months to ensure everything is dead.

Next, can you share any photos of the birds you may have taken in their short lives? Random thought.. . Was there an avian knowledgeable vet who did a necropsy on either? More random, do you still have poop on anything? If so bag it up to send off to a lab for testing.

Back to birds.... pics of them? Their setup? What was their typical diet?

Clipping wings is a hot topic, I personally am not a fan of Clipping unless for safety reasons. A young bird should not be clipped in my opinion, they need to fly and build up muscle tone and strength. But again that's my opinion.
 
This makes me very sad as for as long as I can remember, I've loved African greys and had them at home as companions. In my experience they aren't sickly birds, I'm so sorry for your loss!

Before bringing another bird home, check that the cages are clean, disinfected, that there's no way for them to ingest any metals.

All the best.
 
I am very sorry you have lost 2 babies :( You have been given very good advice already, but I wanted to share some thoughts on another possible cause of the deaths beyond infectious disease.

There may be something toxic in the environment. Some countries still have cages on the market with heavy metal alloys which are deadly to parrots (zinc is the main offender, but contamination with other toxic metals is possible too, depending where the cage was manufactured). Parrot cages should either be powder coated wrought iron (powder coating looks like a matte paint, often somewhat textured but is safe for birds) or stainless steel. No other cage material is safe for housing parrots, especially not galvanized metal (brass also contains zinc as an alloy). If you have attached any perches or toys using wire or metal connectors, make sure the metal is stainless steel only. Other things that can make a bird sick are candles, incense, air fresheners, perfumes (artificially scented products and smoke producing), household cleaning chemicals, teflon coated non-stick cookware (though teflon toxicity is usually acute death within hours of exposure), carpet/paint/upholstery can contain toxic compounds when new and still off gassing (if you can still smell the "new" smell in it). Fruit and veg should be thoroughly washed and possibly even peeled if pesticide use is heavy in your country to remove any pesticides, and if available where you are, organic is best for parrots (you can chop it all up and freeze it so you don't waste it).

I do not know much about Oman or manufacturing safety/environmental regulations there, but is there or has there been in the past any chemical manufacturing or manufacturing of any kind going on near where you live? Factories, especially in countries with looser regulations, can produce toxins that can contaminate a large area in neighboring communities. If you have been ill yourself from kicking up dust, it is possible some kind of contaminant is in it. Have any family members in your home been experiencing similar problems or any neighbors? It may be worth looking into, for your own health and the health of any future birds.
 
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Hi, sorry for the loss of your two birds.

Two points please give any equipment used with these birds a real good clean and disinfection - wash down, rinse and then if possible use a steamer to kill of anything nasty. The birds all piled in together there is a strong chance of disease being passed on to already stressed birds very easily. Give any future bird at least a fighting chance.

Do you think that an air purifier would help with making your indoor atmosphere a little more pleasant?

Can you also read up on weaning young birds?
Good luck with your search for another bird but remember knowledge is key and it could be the difference between a short and a long life.

You mean the bird or the cage for disinfection. The cage was new and I used 5%bleach on it then I left it dry for a few months, them the bird went in. I brought a new cage (bigger) for the second bird and did the same thing.
 
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I am very sorry you have lost 2 babies :( You have been given very good advice already, but I wanted to share some thoughts on another possible cause of the deaths beyond infectious disease.

There may be something toxic in the environment. Some countries still have cages on the market with heavy metal alloys which are deadly to parrots (zinc is the main offender, but contamination with other toxic metals is possible too, depending where the cage was manufactured). Parrot cages should either be powder coated wrought iron (powder coating looks like a matte paint, often somewhat textured but is safe for birds) or stainless steel. No other cage material is safe for housing parrots, especially not galvanized metal (brass also contains zinc as an alloy). If you have attached any perches or toys using wire or metal connectors, make sure the metal is stainless steel only. Other things that can make a bird sick are candles, incense, air fresheners, perfumes (artificially scented products and smoke producing), household cleaning chemicals, teflon coated non-stick cookware (though teflon toxicity is usually acute death within hours of exposure), carpet/paint/upholstery can contain toxic compounds when new and still off gassing (if you can still smell the "new" smell in it). Fruit and veg should be thoroughly washed and possibly even peeled if pesticide use is heavy in your country to remove any pesticides, and if available where you are, organic is best for parrots (you can chop it all up and freeze it so you don't waste it).

I do not know much about Oman or manufacturing safety/environmental regulations there, but is there or has there been in the past any chemical manufacturing or manufacturing of any kind going on near where you live? Factories, especially in countries with looser regulations, can produce toxins that can contaminate a large area in neighboring communities. If you have been ill yourself from kicking up dust, it is possible some kind of contaminant is in it. Have any family members in your home been experiencing similar problems or any neighbors? It may be worth looking into, for your own health and the health of any future birds.

I live beside an oil refinery. Lots of parakeets flying around here though. Flocks of them. They may be different to greys though obviously. Yes cages are powder coated. Pics:
 
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Pictures and video :( Various stages and both birds :(
 

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Couple way too early, oops forgot to turn off the alarm clock thoughts.

Look into avianbiotech.com. They are one of the leading avian testing labs in the world. With a simple poop smear you can test for many diseases and virus that can be treated successfully if discovered before your bird is in full blown active disease state. Is there a vet with avian experience to run a gram stain or fecal and most important any that know how to draw blood properly (and if your vet needs direction, I can talk to our wonderful avian vet from the shelter who might be able to provide some guidance by phone).

Next on the list before you get another bird, your cage needs to be sterilized and get rid of everything in the cage, all toys and supplies. Order F10 from a site like mysafebirdstore.com, I know Kathie ships internationally or check out amazon.com or even ask your vet. You want to vacuum everything in your house, scrub everything, removing every bit of dander and dropping left from the previous birds. The cage can be taken outside it into a shower, scrub every nook and cranny, blast with hottest water possible, then spray down with a 50/50 solution of bleach. Let dry, scrub and rinse again. If you can put it outside in the sun to dry, soray it down til it's dripping wet with the F10 and let bake/ dry in the sun. If you have something in your home, existing and transferring from b8rd to bird this may help. As the shelter, we would tell you to do all these steps and wait 6 months to ensure everything is dead.

Next, can you share any photos of the birds you may have taken in their short lives? Random thought.. . Was there an avian knowledgeable vet who did a necropsy on either? More random, do you still have poop on anything? If so bag it up to send off to a lab for testing.

Back to birds.... pics of them? Their setup? What was their typical diet?

Clipping wings is a hot topic, I personally am not a fan of Clipping unless for safety reasons. A young bird should not be clipped in my opinion, they need to fly and build up muscle tone and strength. But again that's my opinion.


Will look into the online route for labs. I have the second bird in my freezer still :)
 
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I am very sorry you have lost 2 babies :( You have been given very good advice already, but I wanted to share some thoughts on another possible cause of the deaths beyond infectious disease.

There may be something toxic in the environment. Some countries still have cages on the market with heavy metal alloys which are deadly to parrots (zinc is the main offender, but contamination with other toxic metals is possible too, depending where the cage was manufactured). Parrot cages should either be powder coated wrought iron (powder coating looks like a matte paint, often somewhat textured but is safe for birds) or stainless steel. No other cage material is safe for housing parrots, especially not galvanized metal (brass also contains zinc as an alloy). If you have attached any perches or toys using wire or metal connectors, make sure the metal is stainless steel only. Other things that can make a bird sick are candles, incense, air fresheners, perfumes (artificially scented products and smoke producing), household cleaning chemicals, teflon coated non-stick cookware (though teflon toxicity is usually acute death within hours of exposure), carpet/paint/upholstery can contain toxic compounds when new and still off gassing (if you can still smell the "new" smell in it). Fruit and veg should be thoroughly washed and possibly even peeled if pesticide use is heavy in your country to remove any pesticides, and if available where you are, organic is best for parrots (you can chop it all up and freeze it so you don't waste it).

I do not know much about Oman or manufacturing safety/environmental regulations there, but is there or has there been in the past any chemical manufacturing or manufacturing of any kind going on near where you live? Factories, especially in countries with looser regulations, can produce toxins that can contaminate a large area in neighboring communities. If you have been ill yourself from kicking up dust, it is possible some kind of contaminant is in it. Have any family members in your home been experiencing similar problems or any neighbors? It may be worth looking into, for your own health and the health of any future birds.

I'm thinking the fruit and veg did it. I didn't wash it thoroughly and the water here is not to be trusted anyway. There are consistent and constant bacterial infect outbreaks reported at all primary schools here. This is a bad sign :( here is a pic the cage this is powder coated
 
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Graphic of the first bird. Sinus area severely swollen indication of bacterial infection :(
 

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The last droppings. Not dropping at all :( indicator of viral infection or bacteria in gut? :(
 

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I didn't get the droppings or pictures on the last bird. I just froze it and cleaned up. Having pics just gets me down. Next time I will picture everything and I'm getting a full blood work up to confirm no viruses or bacteria before I start. Then when or if it dies, I will get more blood work. The next one will be belt and braces and being a scientist, I need to know what is causing this. Not many people here keep birds, I have visited a few and questioned them, but they do not seem to have any information, yet they are successful (?). One guy had all his windows open (normal for his culture) with no AC and just a fan. Sh*t everywhere, not clean to my standards. But still he knew what he was doing. He had 4 baby's and 2 older macaws that he had from young. A rozellea cockatoo too. The AC thing I took from him by observation before I got the first grey. Everyone feeds seed only here with some nuts and fruits/veg :0/
 
I am very sorry for your heartache and loss of two beautiful CAGs.

It seems as if there are varied forensics to work with, beginning with their origins in the miserable pet trade of shipping quantity and hoping for enough survivors to turn a profit. :( Birds can harbor all sorts of organisms that may opportunistically surface.

That they seem to flourish in the pet shops and eventually succumb in your care may point to the local environment. If the water is contaminated, you may need to rely on a bottled or purified product for drinking AND cleaning fruits/vegetables. Suspect chemical residue may also be present that cannot be removed from the skin. The cage looks nice, but unscrupulous vendors may used leaded paint. I would think a refinery would spew all sorts of particulates, but evidence suggests it is not an immediately lethal zone. Pesticides, air fresheners, presence of mold?

Don't know if some sort of necropsy can be performed on your last bird. Freezing may preserve enough to give at least some analysis of tissue samples.

I wish you better luck in the future, and agree that bringing a bird from a trusted source in the absence of local breeders may bring more happiness.
 
I'm so sorry this heartbreak has happened to you :(. Great advice, suggestions, and possible causes have already been stated, so I have none to add, but I wanted to give you my condolences.

They generally don't like freezing for necropsy, but as Scott mentioned, perhaps there is something left that can at least yield a clue as to whether it was avian disease or toxin. I wish you all the best.
 

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