Description: It is important that you know the current weight of your bird, and the best way to do this is to purchase a good quality gram scale and then use it regularly. For must adult birds, weighing them once a week in the morning is adequate. Keep a chart to monitor your bird’s weight. Once you are familiar with your birds normal weight fluctuations, any change, up or down, outside of its normal range should prompt a call to your avian veterinarian to determine the cause. Small birds (cockatiels, budgies, lovebirds, grey-cheeked parakeets, grass parakeets, ringneck parakeets and small conures) will normally vary by a few grams from day to day. Larger parrots may vary by 10-20 grams, depending on their size.
Slow and steady weight gain may be due to a sedentary life-style and a diet that is too calorie-rich. This will lead to obesity and other concurrent problems, over time. Metabolic disease, hormonal disease, a growing tumor, fluid build-up or reproductive problems related to an egg or mass can all cause slow weight gain.
Acute weight gain could indicate a hen that is carrying and about to lay an egg. Many owners can tell when their hen is getting ready to lay an egg due to behavioral changes, increased water consumption, change in droppings and a predictable weight gain. Other causes of acute weight gain could be due to acute heart problems, kidney problems, rapid tumor growth or other metabolic causes.
Immediate Care: Your avian veterinarian should be consulted if your bird has an unexplained weight gain of 10 percent of its body weight or more.
Long Term Care: Provide your bird with a healthy, nutritious diet that does not contain too many calories for its lifestyle and do not offer unhealthful fatty and non-nutritious foods that can lead to obesity over time. Try to provide your bird with some exercise on a regular basis. Always monitor your bird by weighing it on a regular basis. Many secondary problems can arise due to a bird having a weight problem. Any other infections, diseases or conditions that your avian veterinarian might diagnose should be treated while dealing with the weight problem.
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Disclaimer: BirdChannel.com’s Diagnose Your Bird tool is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your bird’s ailment. If you notice changes in your bird’s health or behavior, please take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.