Posted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:46 am Post subject: New, Unhealthy Rescues
Hey everyone, I thought I should setup an account on here since most parrot lovers don't know very much about these New Zealand parakeets.
Anyways, I adopted a pair of yellow colour mutation red-fronted kākāriki on Thursday, Ria and Tiki. They aren't very socialized. The female, who I've name Ria, was on antibiotics for 45 days! She had/has a respiratory infection, and an eye infection. When I got them setup in the quarantine cage, I noticed her left eye appeared to have conjunctivitis. She was also sneezing in the car ride home, so I'm taking both of them to see my go to vet on Monday. I have eight other birds (7 budgies and a Pacific parrotlet), so I'm doing surgical scrubs and everything to prevent germs from spreading. My budgies and parrotlet live in an aviary in the basement (it's 15' x 6' or something. I forget. Finished building it last April), and the kākāriki will join the flock after quarantine.
The kākāriki are around 2 years old, and they haven't had a good life. They were kept in a puny cage for almost two months at the shelter, so they aren't very strong or coordinated. They only had dowel perches in the cage, so their balance is quite poor (they have a forked manzanita perch, pine platform, and rope perch in their quarantine cage). Their tails are frayed, especially Ria's, due to too small of an enclosure. They were fed a horrible diet at the Humane Society, consisting of cracked corn, roasted soy beans, chickpeas, some sort of generic pellet, PEANUTS, dried (likely sulphured) fruit, and other stuff I don't like. When I saw their feces when I went to pick them up, I asked if they'd been on pellets (I was praying it was that nasty Zupreem Fruit Blend), but when they showed me what they'd been eating... Some of their poop was very red, so I'm hoping it was from the dried papaya. Their urine is quite green, as is the feces, so that has me worried, too. I'm thinking either their livers are fried, or they have some sort of infection.
They've been drinking quite a bit, so I'm worried they might have something wrong with their kidneys. Then again, I'm used to budgies and parrotlets, so maybe the amount they're drinking is normal. They aren't eating as much as I'd like. I really don't want to give them what they'd been eating at the shelter, since it's just so terrible. I've been trying to get them to eat Goldn'obles II, millet, dried mulberries, Goldenfeast's Petite Hookbill Legume Blend, Goldenfeast's Conure Gourmet Blend, Goldenfeast's dried fruit mix, puffed quinoa, Brazil nut pieces, sprouts (lentils, millet, mung beans, chickpeas), mash, squash seeds, and cheerios. I know it sounds like a lot of different stuff, but I'm just trying to get them to eat something besides that mix from the shelter. So far, they've only really eaten some safflower and sunflower seeds. Today, I decided to try putting some food on a plate on the bottom of the cage, and they seem to really like that. I know they have a strong instinct to forage on the ground so I thought I'd see if it would encourage them to eat.
I'm going to buy them some pine nuts since I know they eat pine seeds in the wild. Any suggestions on what they might eat, given they're used to cracked corn, peanuts, chickpeas, soy, generic pellets, and dried fruit? I'm worried, because they've only really eaten a few sunflower and safflower seeds, and Ria is still recovering from her illness.
They seem bored, as their quarantine cage is small (it's a flight cage intended for budgie and parrotlet quarantine, not kākāriki). I have a couple of shred toys in there for them (a Planet Pleasures pineapple-like shredder, and a sunflower shred toy from Things for Wings), but they were only interested for a couple of minutes, but they won't play with them. I also have a mahogany pod in there that they poked at a bit, but they aren't shredding it. The cage is just too small for them.
Good news, I just checked their most recent droppings, and Tiki's look very good. They're well formed, firmer, have far less urine, tidy white urates, and nice brown feces.
Oh, and I have another question. I read the dietary study that was posted on the forum, and I notice their diet is really influenced by the season. For example, they eat a ton of flowers in the winter, but hardly any seed. However, if I were to feed them according to that chart, would I feed them a ton of flowers in December, or would I do it in July? Where I live, winter is from November to February (I think), but in New Zealand (their native habitat), winter is during Canada's summer (June, July, August). Like, how does being raised in different hemispheres affect captive kākāriki? Do I feed based on the season where I live, or based on the current season in New Zealand?
Make use of the "quick Search " block on the left
Diet invermectin , vinegar, apple cider vinegar , worms, mites ,
Read the thread "what do you feed..."
Seasonal is a guide line.. more for fruit..generally low sugar fruits.. protein.
Also not these (most NZ birds) have evolved without mammal and in many respects of behaviour and diet are more aligned to small mammals
Seasonal foods are common for ALL animals insects etc.
I just checked their most recent droppings,
Also Read the old thread on checking droppings for worm eggs etc
Yes the Nth hemisphere seasons are opposite to Southern....at Xmas you have snow we are BBQ at the beach in bare feet light shirt and shorts.
Kakariki are not shredders... one can build avaries with 2"x 2" pine timber which will last till the timber rots on 30 odd yrs time.
Kings , crimsons. burkes, turq,s and many other parrot species are also not shredders... cockatoo species are, along with kaka and kea. _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
The shreddable toys I put in for them are what I give to my budgies and parrotlet, but maybe even those are a bit too difficult for the kākāriki. I guess if they're not shredders, I should introduce them to foraging to keep them entertained during quarantine. I'm going to work on socializing, clicker training, target training, then teach them to step up so I can let eventually them out of the quarantine to train and fly a bit.
Yes, apparently red-fronted kākāriki eat a lot of flowers and flower buds in the wild. I know my budgies and parrotlet really appreciate dried (food-grade) lavender and chamomile. I'm going to grow edible flowers this summer, so hopefully they'll like them.
I'm planning on starting my guys on probiotics and apple cider vinegar to kill any yeast in their guts and repopulate their internal flora. After that, I'm going to detox their livers with dandelion root and milk thistle extract. I like to do a full system detox during quarantine with any new birds I get.
I want to get them on a higher-moisture diet (mash, sprouts, veggies, fruits, birdie bread, etc) as soon as I can, since their crops seem to be having a hard time dealing with the dryness of the food they've been eating (lots of gagging). However, they haven't tried any of the veggies, sprouts, or mash I've offered them. I know it will take time, but it's weird that they won't even try the sprouts (only slightly sprouted).
I've read the thread on feeding, but it's going to be really difficult transitioning them over from that garbage they were fed at the Humane Society. I was just wondering if anyone had some species specific tips on getting them to eat something that isn't peanuts, roasted soy, or cracked corn.
Gagging , and often yawning is a symptom of crop worms.. which have to be dealt directly into the crop.. and repeat dose.
If left un attended , often results in death.
Also use the quick seach for taming and training.
Have always found motivational training far more effective and faster than clicker. Also results in a far more spontaneous inter active results in the long term. Its simply giving them a good reason to do what you want them to do, rather than a response to a remote 3rd influence. _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
Okay, definitely going to have the vet check out their crops. I've honestly never heard of crop worms before, and I've been an active member of the online parrot community for a number of years now. Are crop worms more common in passerines and New Zealand parrots? From my experience, gagging is due to dry food irritating the throat or crop, or getting a fuzzy or piece of dust in their throat. Must be different for kākāriki.
As for my clicker training, I think you might be mistaking it for the less effective form. When I clicker train, I simply use the clicker as a bridge to indicate they've performed a behaviour correctly (the equivalent of saying "good bird", but more precise), and that they will now get a treat. Food, praise, and the opportunity to perform behaviours is the motivation behind my clicker training. The clicker is just there to tell them exactly when they performed the behaviour correctly. As training progresses, they no longer receive a food reward each time, rather, it's done sporadically to keep them engaged, ensure they will perform the behaviour regardless of food being present (a lot of dogs will do as you ask if they know you have treats, but if they know you don't have any treats, they tend to ignore your requests), and to prevent them from filling up on treats after only a couple minutes of training. I think with dog training, some people just use the click as the reward without offering any praise or food rewards, which isn't the correct use of clicker training. The clicker tells them exactly when the behaviour was correctly performed, and also lets them know that their reward is coming (thus encouraging patience rather than demanding food in their mouth immediately).
I know most people don't clicker train properly, however I've researched the theory behind it and have taken an avian training course. I'm working to get a certificate in Wildlife Rehabilitation as well as a certificate in Animal Training and Enrichment. Oh, and I do appreciate your comment concerning clicker training. My training methods involve having the bird want to do the behaviour because they enjoy it and are motivated to do so. I never force them to do anything they aren't comfortable with or don't want to do. Instead, I teach them to want to do things through a strong history of reinforcement (food rewards, fun activities, etc).
Ugh, I'm having a hard time waiting until tomorrow's vet appointment. I have a bad feeling they may have aspergillosis. We've got frequent drinking (in my opinion), Ria's voice is significantly deeper than Tiki's, she's hardly spoken, a significant amount of urine, green urates (for a couple of days), she seems to be clumsy, and gagging. They'd been kept with a variety of different species, and I read kākāriki are very susceptible to disease. Furthermore, they were fed an inferior mix of dry food, consisting of animal-grade cracked corn and peanuts, both of which are known to carry deadly amounts of aspergillus. She was on antibiotics for 45 days, which is an extremely long time to treat an upper respiratory infection (perhaps indicating a fungal infection, rather than bacterial). Her nares were apparently quite red and swollen, too. This could also indicate psittacosis, especially given the eye infection.
Hmm, she was on doxycycline for 45 days. Fudge bunner! Apparently, doxycycline is given for 45 days to treat psittacosis! Oh my gosh, you'd think the people at the Humane Society could've told me she was being treated for psittacosis! In birds, doxycycline isn't usually used for anything but treating psittacosis! They said they couldn't give me their medical records due to doctor patient confidentiality or something stupid! They're under my care, so I need to know their medical history to properly care for them. Despite my super-sanitary, bordering on the paranoid, surgical scrubs of my hands and arms, have I possibly introduced it to my aviary? Fudge. Fudge. Aspergillus and psittacosis are on my list of most feared diseases. Most of my budgies are immune compromised due to terrible genetics. Man, I'm freaking out!
Crop worms... we had the issue with a king parrot many yrs ago.. was touch and go for a while.
and I read kākāriki are very susceptible to disease.
that has got to be one of the biggest load rubbish ever heard.
kakariki are most properly the most hardy of any parrot species.. they live in the most extreme conditions, from snow to 40+ deg conditions, breed in in most extreme conditions from nesting holes to holes in the ground.. because of their evolutionary history feed on a huge variety of foods, from grubs roots on damp forest floor to tree seeds and berries.
Like many animal species , line breeding has introduced some isolated issues in certain places around the world... but most issues I think can be sources to incorrect diets and extreme un healthy environments... but more so keeping and breeding in sterile environments where they ... or any animal species, doesn't build natural resistance[/b] _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
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