The red mite nightmare…

Red mites seek out birds more than mammals because they have a high body temperature. It is mainly cockatiels and cockatoos that get them, but this is not to say that other species won’t get them.

Birds suffer mainly when there is new feather growth, after a moult. And in an adult bird it can easily be noticed by a bald spot over their nose {Ceres} at the back of the head in its crest and on its face where they have over-preened themselves. These mites may get into the ear passages, and this will make the bird unsteady standing on its perches.

If you suspect red mite infestation, place a white sheet at the bottom of the birds cage in the evening before you put him to bed and if there are indeed red mites the sheet will be covered in tiny red spots in the morning, these are the mites.

Mites cause feather plucking, so if your bird is plucking check for mites.

An anti-mite aerosol spray can be bought from a good vet. It should be sprayed on the back of the head and down the back.

Because mites suck blood, birds will become anemic and this can be treated with vitamin B..

There is always the worry of secondary infection — usually tape worm, watch for a dry flakey beak, breathing difficulties and mucous laden stools… this will need to be treated with an anti-biotic.

Lots of carrots will stop tape-worms becoming established.

I hope none of your birds suffer this problem, keep a watch and remember we never stop learning when it comes to parrots so store this one away somewhere safe…

Have a great day !!

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