Bird Stress

Bird Stress

Healthy birds are more likely to survive stressful situations whereas sick birds are more likely to succumb.


Stress may be caused by one factor or the interaction of several factors, such as confinement in a small or poorly designed cage that does not allow the bird to fly, overcrowding, harassment by predators, exposure to climatic extremes, and excessive or rough handling.


  • There are various levels of stress.
  • Signs of a bird suffering acute stress, such as that
  • Caused by rough handling:
  1. Eyes partially closed.
  2. The bird goes limp in the hand.
  3. Collapse.
  4. Signs of a chronic level of stress, such as that caused by overcrowding:
  5. Poor appetite.
  6. Weight loss.
  7. Lethargy.
  8. Feather-plucking.
  9. Self-mutilation.


  • Remove the bird from the cause of stress.
  • Acute stress may lead to shock.
  • Overcrowding may cause feather plucking by other birds. Remove the affected bird and clean any blood from the feathers. Wounds should be allowed to heal completely before returning the bird to companions.
  • If feather loss is the result of self-mutilation, check the bird for parasites such as lice and mites. See your veterinarian. Self-plucking can be very difficult to stop and often requires veterinary expertise and treatment.


  • Ensure the cage is of suitable size and shape for the particular bird.
  • Avoid excessive or rough handling. Handling of shocked, ill, or injured birds should be kept to an absolute minimum.
  • Cages and aviaries should be designed and positioned to protect birds from the elements and predators.
  • Avoid overcrowding.
  • Boredom may lead to self-mutilation. Provide the bird with a companion and/or suitable entertainment, for example, mirrors, bells, and ladders.

See more: BIRD CARE

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