DTI001 20_12_17 

Bengalese Finches
British Birds
Game Birds
Love Birds
Raptors and Owls

Why can't my budgie lift up its head?

One of Dave Herring'S afflicted birdsA friend of mine has a budgerigar that keeps its head on its chest permanently. Please can you tell me what is wrong with the bird? I have enclosed a photograph.
G.C., via email.

Dave Herring, former Budgerigar Society president, replies: Having taken a look at the photograph it made me think it is rather similar to a bird that I have at present, and others that I have had over the years. I have one line of birds which, conversely, tend to hold their heads back, and look slightly upwards most of the time – a family trait!

However, the cases may not be identical because each of those birds that I had were only taking this position when at rest. They were able to straighten their necks to commune with their fellows, and reach hanging objects such as millet spray or anything that they treated as a toy.

When each of these "afflicted" birds were feeding from the floor or dishes, and when they went to drink, they were similarly adept and showed no sign of discomfort. The birds moved their heads in any possible direction when they chose to do so. It could be that the birds had some degree of weakness in the spine, or muscles in the neck, but it did not prevent them from leading a full life. Hopefully this will be the same with your friend's bird.


Has canary pox killed off my stud of Fifes?

Brian Keenan does not think canary pox has caused the deaths of R.H.’s Fife canaries

THIS is my second season keeping and breeding Fife canaries. I also keep zebra and Bengalesefinches. After a reasonable breeding season, I settled down to allow the canaries to moult. Then my birds contracted what I now believe to be canary pox.


Which birds can I add to my outside flight?

Lineolated parakeets mix well with other fi nches, such as Bengalese (pictured front)

I’VE got an 2.4m x 1.2m (8ft x 4ft) flight with a 1.2m x 1.2m (4ft x 4ft) shelter. It houses two kakariki hens, a pair of zebra finch and two lineolated parakeets.

They all get on well, so now I’d like to add more birds. But, I don’t want to breed any. Could I keep some budgerigars in with these birds and, if so, how many could I have?

Alternatively, could you recommend some other hardy and suitable birds? J.K., via email. Colin O’Hara, one of the UK’s leading parrot breeders, replies: As a general rule the fewer birds you have in an aviary, the better condition the birds will keep in. Four birds of the parrot family is about the limit for your size aviary. If you would like to see more movement perhaps increase the number of zebra finches.

What food can I offer my unwell parrot?

MY 20-YEAR-OLD Senegal dwarf parrot has got circovirus for which the vet recommended a product called Pretty Bird Premium Bird Food, but he will not touch it. I would be grateful for some advice about feeding and welfare.

D.R., Sale, Cheshire.

Les Rance, secretary of the Parrot Society UK, replies: Since circovirus is an incurable that your vet has recommended Pretty Bird Premium Bird Food in an attempt to improve his condition by nutritional support. This suggests that his the right balance of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. However, it is very difficult to persuade a mature parrot to change the eating habits of a lifetime. Fresh fruit and vegetables – if he will eat them – will be beneficial, as will boosters of the immune system such as echinacea or garlic extracts. Some of the excellent bird-specific probiotics and supplements available from companies which advertise in this magazine would also help. I am surprised that circovirus has suddenly been diagnosed in a bird of this age; this infection generally afflicts much younger infection with no specific treatment, I am guessing current diet may be lacking in birds and once they get it, they rarely survive more than a few years.

What’s the best way to closed-ring my zebs?

This zebra fi nch chick has been closed-ringed with a numbered, coloured plastic ring

I HAVE three zebra finches that are one week old. Where do I get them closed-ringed or can I buy a kit and do this myself? Leigh Wright, via Facebook.

Peter Harrison, top breeder and exhibitor of zebra finches, replies: There are no regulations that your young zebra finches have to be ringed. Rings can be purchased through different companies depending on the type you require.

Coloured, plastic split-rings are the easiest to obtain and also come with a ring tool, which makes them easy to fit. Closed (annual) aluminium rings can only be placed on the baby birds when they are in the nest. These are mainly preferred by exhibitors who want to show their birds in the current-year bred classes.

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