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Dr. Ellie
Dr. Ellie, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 331
Experience:  emergency and critical care resident
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My female yellow nape amazon is sitting on the bottom of the

Customer Question

My female yellow nape amazon is sitting on the bottom of the cage, slightly puffed, clear nasal, clear eyes, no apparent injuries. She has stopped vocalization and seems depressed. I am 5 hours away from the nearest bird vet. She is not a pet, and has been paired for several years with her mate. She is a good layer, but has never hatched a single egg. They always disappear, or I find the broken shell on the floor. About 4 weeks ago I found an egg on the cage floor with a paper like shell, very soft. I also noticed in the last week she has been plucking feathers from her chest / crop area. Their diet consist of fresh veggies daily, seeds, peanuts, nuts. A few days ago I thought to treat them to unsalted pistachios. Im not sure if that may be a problem. I can net the hen, but I dont want to cause unnsessesary stress. Any suggesstions?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Ellie replied 4 months ago.

I am sorry to hear that your bird is not feeling well. As birds can hide symptoms of illness until they are very sick, my best recommendation would be to have your bird examined by a qualified veterinarian experienced in avian medicine. However, failing that you can try to supplement calcium and see if that make a difference for her. Soft paper thin shelled eggs are a sign of low calcium and feather picking can result from nutritional deficiencies as well.

You can add a calcium supplement and see if this helps but it sounds like she would benefit from a balanced commercially prepared diet for parrots as there may be other nutritional deficiencies present contributing to her clinical picture.

Have you tried a pelleted or kibble type diet for her? There are several on the market that are complete and palatable and if she accepts foods other than seed it will likely be easy to get her to accept these types of food. Two brands that are known for quality are Lafeber and Harrison's. You can order these online as well as find them in high end pet stores. You can also try adding a calcium supplement and seeing if this helps her in the meantime. Calcium glubionate is available over the counter and she should get about 1 milliliter daily. She should also get access to unfiltered sunlight as she will need this to make vitamin D which will help with calcium absorption. You can supplement vitamin D3 with the diet but sunlight is the bast way to get this and its free. She should have access to 30-60 min of unfiltered sunlight daily.

Since there may be other deficiencies at play, a high quality vitamin and mineral supplement would likely be beneficial as well. Again you can find this from reputable pet stores or online. Check out the Lafeber website as they make a lot of good products for birds.

Does this help address your concerns today? If so, I would appreciate a positive rating as this is the only way the website knows that I have been helpful otherwise I am not compensated for my time. If you have further questions or need clarification, please do not hesitate to let me know I strive for 100% customer satisfaction. Best Regards,

Dr. Ellie