When you begin to see your pet more as a person than an animal, you just might be able to relate with and understand them better. As humans, we go through certain life experiences that can cause us to become depressed and there is no denying that depression causes us so much damage. Well, depression is not only a thing that affects humans, birds too can become depressed.
Some pet owners are unaware that their animal buddies can slip into depression easily. When it comes to birds, getting depressed leads to some self destructive behaviour, a lowered immune response, and many other health and behavior issues. If you have a feeling that the pet bird is depressed, check out the points listed here and compare them with the characters your pet is exhibiting. Signs that point to depression could mean you need to change something about your level of interaction with your bird or about the birds environment and maybe it’s food.
1. Loss of appetite
Appetite loss may be a symptom of some other condition but it a major pointer to depression in birds. You need to pay attention to your birds eating activity so you can notice any change in amount for intake early. Loss of appetite could cause your bird to lose weight especially because birds have a fast metabolism. The loss of weight happens really quickly and can lead to many other health conditions so it is advised that you visit an avian vet immediately you notice your bird’s eating habit has changed for about two days.
In some cases, your bird may not reduce its intake of food but stop eating completely. Either way, it is dangerous to just assume the pet will resume feeding normally without help.
Aggression in birds that have always had a calm personality is a very easy way to know that they have become depressed. Especially in birds of the parrot specie, aggression is a way that side that they are unhappy and need attention. Aggression can sometimes be seasonal and related to change or instability of hormones during a bird’s adolescence period but when it becomes constant or lasts for a long time it is proof that your bird is very sad and wants to be cared for. To be on the safer side, it is best to report any sudden behavioural change in your pet to a vet so that medical conditions can be ruled out.
If after assessment by a very your bird emerges with a clean bill of health then you have to check it’s environment for any thing that may have triggered such character. Then find out if you have been interacting enough with your bird.
3. Feather plucking
Whenever you notice your bird engaging in feather plucking you should be concerned as that can progress quickly to become a chronic and devastating issue. If your bird has any bald patch or patches, make sure to consult your vet so that you can treat or rule out diseases. If you’re vet confirms that your bird isn’t sick then it’s time to find out what could be responsible for the feather plucking behavior. Birds like parrots and other very social bird begin to engage in feather plucking when they do not get the right amount of interaction without their human care givers.
To solve this problem, you will need to dedicate more time daily to engage in interactions with your pet so that it’s brain can get the required amout of stimulation that will help it get out of depression.
4. Change in vocalisation
No one else knows your the way you do thus if there is a change in the pitch or frequency of your feathered buddy’s vocalisation you would know. For people who haven’t been pet owners for a long time or who do not spend enough time taking care of their birds, identifying a change in vocalisation may be very difficult. When a bird who isn’t so loud on a regular day becomes loud all of a sudden of begins to shout instead of making the normal sound you are familiar with, it is definitely a sign that your feathered pet is bored and desires some more time for interaction with you.
5. Stress bars
One other indicator that your pet birdie could be depressed offer stressed is the appearance of stress bars on its feathers. Stress bars are not linked to any health condition but they are helpful at pointing to possible stress or depression in birds. If your bird begins to have stress bars, you may want to look at what you’ve been feeding it, the play toys you made available, its environment, and most importantly your level of interaction with the bird. If you notice a loophole in any of these areas try and step things up a tad bit and watch out for positive changes.