Your E-mail:
Will your bird get a holiday gift this year?

Printer Friendly

Bird Health Alerts

Information behind these bird related health issues

By Margaret A. Wissman, DVM, DABVP, Avian Practice

quaker parrot, bird soup, bird health, bird grit
Birds like to make bird soup in their water bowls. Take time to change the water to avoid it from turning into bacteria soup.
Courtesy Mark Slaughenhoupt

Bird Soup
Many birds like to take their pellets and other food items and dunk them in their water bowls. Clean water can turn into a bacterial soup in short order, because bacteria multiplies exponentially by the hour in water at room temperature. For this reason, separate food and water bowls, placing them as far apart in a cage as possible, to minimize dunking. Better yet, switch your bird over to using a water bottle.

Birds are so smart that most will convert over in no time. However,  check the water level in the water bottle several times per day to ensure that it is dropping, or tap the end of the sipper tube to make sure that it is not plugged up. Birds that drink from water bowls tend to have higher levels of bacteria, which may cause sub-clinical infections, than birds that drink from water bottles.

The Truth About Grit
Grit, defined as small pieces of insoluble mineral material (usually granite or quartz), is necessary for birds that consume whole, intact seeds. Birds that require grit include pigeons, doves, free-ranging waterfowl, poultry and ratites. Many seeds have a fibrous coating that will not be affected by digestive enzymes, so grit in the ventriculus helps to grind drown whole seeds.

Since psittacines and Passeriformes normally hull (crack) seeds prior to ingesting them, grit is not necessary. Parrots and passerines that consume a pelleted diet have no need for grit in the gizzard, and many parrots have gone their entire lives without ever consuming grit with no untoward effects.

 Give us your opinion on
Bird Health Alerts

Submit a Comment or
Join Club
Earn 1,000 points! What's this?
Reader Comments
A good srticle.
Dan, Sandy Valley, NV
Posted: 7/7/2010 2:34:13 PM
Good Info
Tim, Spring, TX
Posted: 11/30/2008 9:02:46 AM
good article.
mary, ptld, ME
Posted: 9/8/2008 3:27:21 AM
good article.
mary, ptld, ME
Posted: 8/1/2008 2:48:11 AM
View Current Comments
Top Products
BirdChannel Home | Bird Breeders | Bird Species | Related Links | BirdChannel Editors and Contributors
                       | Birds USA |  
Disclaimer: The posts and threads recorded in our message boards do not reflect the opinions of nor are endorsed by I-5 Publishing, LLC nor any of its employees. We are not responsible for the content of these posts and threads.
Copyright ©  I-5 Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.
Our Privacy Policy has changed. Your California Privacy Right/Privacy Policy
Advertise With Us  |  SiteMap  |  Contact Us  |  Terms of Use  |  Community Guidelines | Bird eClub Terms
BirdChannel Newsletter Signup | Link to Us | About Us | More Great I-5 Sites
Gold Standard

*Content generated by our loyal visitors, which includes comments and club postings, is free of constraints from our editors’ red pens, and therefore not governed by I-5 Publishing, LLC’s Gold Standard Quality Content, but instead allowed to follow the free form expression necessary for quick, inspired and spontaneous communication.

Become a fan of BirdChannel on Facebook Follow BirdChannel on Twitter
Get social and connect with BirdChannel.

Hi my name's Zeus

Visit the Photo Gallery to
cast your vote!
Information on over 200 critter species