Saturday, April 27, 2013

Max wants head pets (what else is new?)

As I've written about many times, Max loves getting head pets.  Always on her terms.

If I'm sitting at or standing near the table, she'll fly over and gently nudge me with her beak (as seen in this video.)  Then, once she has my attention, she'll start scratching her own head, in order to communicate to me exactly what she's hoping to get from me.

This time, she decided not to scratch her head, but she was still so adorable (I might be a bit biased...) that I'm posting it anyway!


D. Richard said...

she seems quite patient, Angel on the other hand is verry insistant

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary,

How much should caiques weigh? From what I've read, they typically don't overeat.

The breeder's guideline was to watch the breastbone. As long I can easily feel it, the bird's fine.

The vet tells me the bird is overweight, at 186g. The same vet wanted to put her on antibiotics, when a level of bacteria was slightly elevated. (I declined, and this self-corrected). No other concerns besides weight.

The bird feels muscled not fat and doesn't look to be Thanksgiving-ready. Diet is heavily skewed toward fruit, veggies when she feels like it and an assortment of grain (not millet). Occasionally nuts (pistachios usually), bits of cheese - rarely and bone marrow when the dog isn't looking (rarer still).

Thank you!

Mary said...

In my experience, most vets don't have a lot of experience with caiques, which can cause problems on occasion. Avian medicine still has quite a ways to go, though I'm happy it's progressed as far as it has!

Beeps weighs around 165g and Calypso weighs around 175g. They are both very muscular since they fly a lot.

The main thing is what is normal for your caique. I weighed my parrots several times a week right after their morning poop for a few months until I had established a good baseline. Now, I weigh them occasionally just to make sure they are still in the range as birds are so good at hiding their illnesses and a change in weight can be a good way to notice that something is off.

186g doesn't sound unreasonable to me as long as your bird has good muscle tone and otherwise appears healthy. Did the vet say why s/he said your caique was overweight? (Just based on a typical weight chart or a concern because of some other reason?) I mean, that's a small enough variation from "normal" that perhaps she'd just eaten and still had the food inside her.

I have seen overweight birds at the rescue where I volunteer, but I'm pretty sure they've all been amazons.

Checking the breastbone is a good way to tell, in general, how your bird's weight is.

Anonymous said...

She couldn't come up with any other issues, besides weight. If she had been using weight charts, she didn't say. Every other parameter was perfect.

For the dog, I found a holistically orgasmic, cosmically universal and ethereally transcendental vet. Marketing aside, it means I pay double for the annual exam, but there isn't upsell, antibiotics/steroids aren't used as baseline treatment and bloodwork is pulled to determine whether the dog needs booster vaccinations (rather than using a generic schedule). In other words, if the dog is well-fed and exercised, she can be a dog and not a science experiment.

I don't have alternatives for the bird - one clinic for exotics nearby, with a line-up of vets, all about the same.