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Lovebird died. Can you help find out why?

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Lovebird died. Can you help find out why?

Postby franciscomlsgs » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:43 am

Hello everyone.

I registered and am posting this message because my female one year and six month masked lovebird died and I would like your opinion to find out why.

I hand raised her and was perfectly healthy until some days ago. I never kept her in a cage and let her free in the house. The cage was just where she ate and drunk water. Instead of the cage, she preferred drawers to nest and that's where she had her nest: in a tshirt drawer. She ate a good mix of seeds well balanced with pellets.

It all happened in 4 days. I recently moved into another house and she had problems adapting, particularly at night, because she couldn't find a suitable place to nest. As the night came she was always nervous for not having her usual place to rest anymore but eventually we would help her into a cozy drawer that we improvised for her. At night I think she wasn't sleeping very well but she never stopped drinking and eating during these days. I noticed she was more stressed and in a bad mood more often than usual and also in need of more affection, but was always playful and cheerful. In the second day she vomited, was in a low mood and her droppings were only water. She was tired and even fell asleep in my hand but eventually cheered up. The next day she was much better, very active and playful although always asking for affection. Her droppings became more consistent and it appeared she was getting better. In the afternoon I took her to the attic and showed her a drawer that she explored and clearly aproved as a nest (happy chirps and spreading her wings). She was very happy for it and stayed there the whole afternoon exploring and in the late afternoon she started eating a lot. She ate and drank water for about 30minutes before returning the her new drawer home. I found that strange because she never spent so much time eating and drinking at once.

This morning I woke up and found her dead in the drawer. She had on her beak a crust of something that I assume that she vomited during the night.

She showed no other signs of disease apart from what I described. No soggy eyes, no water coming out of the beak, no feather picking.

Thank you for your help.
franciscomlsgs
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 2
Number of Birds Owned: 0
Flight: No

Re: Lovebird died. Can you help find out why?

Postby Pajarita » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:33 am

First of all, please accept my sincerest condolences for your loss! It's amazing how attached we become to these little beings, isn't it? And finding her dead like that must have broken your heart in a million pieces!

As to what caused her death... it's impossible to say without a necropsy and, sometimes, even with one. Especially with the little ones because everything is so tiny. The only thing I noticed being wrong about what you describe as her life is the fact that she was nesting all the time. This is not supposed to happen. Lovies can be hormonal all the time [they only nest when they are hormonal, otherwise, they don't] but that happens only when they are not kept at a strict solar schedule or fed too much protein. I don't know in what kind of light schedule you kept her but seeds and pellets alone do constitute a too high in protein diet so, if on top of this, she was kept at a human light schedule [lights on before the sun is up in the sky or after dusk] that might have been the reason she nested all the time. The problem with this is not only that they produce sexual hormones all the time [something that never happens in nature] but that their entire endocrine system is out of whack -and that means also the immune system which depends entirely on the endocrine one. Birds are VERY hard to keep healthy and happy in captivity, especially parrots.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11885
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Lovebird died. Can you help find out why?

Postby franciscomlsgs » Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:09 am

Pajarita wrote:First of all, please accept my sincerest condolences for your loss! It's amazing how attached we become to these little beings, isn't it? And finding her dead like that must have broken your heart in a million pieces!

As to what caused her death... it's impossible to say without a necropsy and, sometimes, even with one. Especially with the little ones because everything is so tiny. The only thing I noticed being wrong about what you describe as her life is the fact that she was nesting all the time. This is not supposed to happen. Lovies can be hormonal all the time [they only nest when they are hormonal, otherwise, they don't] but that happens only when they are not kept at a strict solar schedule or fed too much protein. I don't know in what kind of light schedule you kept her but seeds and pellets alone do constitute a too high in protein diet so, if on top of this, she was kept at a human light schedule [lights on before the sun is up in the sky or after dusk] that might have been the reason she nested all the time. The problem with this is not only that they produce sexual hormones all the time [something that never happens in nature] but that their entire endocrine system is out of whack -and that means also the immune system which depends entirely on the endocrine one. Birds are VERY hard to keep healthy and happy in captivity, especially parrots.



Thank you for your words. We are having a very hard time. She was family and we miss her very much.

Although she laid eggs very (very) often, when I said nesting I meant she was looking for a place to stay where she felt confortable.

But yes, she usually slept from 11pm / 00m until almost 12pm. Was healthy all the time until we moved out. About her food, it wasn't the perfect diet but the only fruit she liked was apple. Everything else she tasted and said no.

The only reason I can think of, besides what you told me, it that the changing of homes and enviroment stressed her too much, but it was all so quick. Other than dead I can only imagine she bit or chewed on something she shouldn't have.

One other question. When we found her dead her body was stiff, cold, eyes and claws shut. It is a clear sign they're dead, correct? How long will their body remains stiff?
franciscomlsgs
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 2
Number of Birds Owned: 0
Flight: No

Re: Lovebird died. Can you help find out why?

Postby Pajarita » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:26 pm

Well, her light schedule was bad and that was the reason why she laid eggs too often [her endocrine system was out of whack]. Also, if her diet was deficient in vit D3, she could have died of egg binding [did she have an 'egg booty'?]. Rigor mortis times depend on size of body and there are no guidelines for any parrot species, as far as I can tell, but for chickens, it starts between half an hour to 4 hours after death [it depends on the temperature BUT, in my personal experience, it sets in quite fast after the body cools for the little ones - I would say closer to 30 minutes] and it can last up to 6 hours [again, it depends on temperature and size of body, the warmer and smaller it is, the faster it sets and the faster it goes away].
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11885
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes


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