my cockatiels are dying - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 02-02-2011, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi , I hope somebody out there can help me with a burning question I have .

We got two cockatiels from a (reputable) breeder last summer and we have them in a room all by themselves . we put a screen in the window , with solid , sturdy wire-mesh on the inside so they can climb up and down and a wire moscito net oin the outside for double security and to keep bugs out .

We left that window open all day last summer during the day and they loved hanging out there . They were perfectly fine ! We live in a very cold climate though , and we have about 25 degrees celsius minus at the moment , so of course , the window has to stay closed

They get premium cockatiel food , millet , supplements  and fresh fruit and veggies . Plus , we wash and change their water at least twice daily .We live in a very old wood house , there are a lot of mice all the time and the house is in pretty run-down shape (we rent it ) .

And now , they are starting to die ! I don´t know , what to do anymore ?

Could it be , that they are ingesting some old , toxic paint or some bad fumes from the house ? We are so upset , my favorite baby just died yesterday and his little friend the day before and we are so clueless .

They don´t show any symptoms , all they do is suddenly get lethargic , they start to feel cold and then they just die .

No coughing , no sneezing , no diarrhea , nothing

A friend brought me two more birds a few days ago and the same thing happens with them now .

Help , please !!!bawling.gif

 

I was thinking , since the window was open before , there was more circulation , so they didin´t get sick so fast


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#2 of 12 Old 02-03-2011, 12:56 AM
 
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Has anyone used any sort of spray in the house recently? Many of those are toxic to birds. And not just pesticides, even like Febreeze is labeled as not good for birds. They are very sensitive. Also, nonstick Teflon cookware, if burned can create toxic fumes for birds.

If you cant locate it that way, could there be a toxic mold perhaps? fungus in the walls?

What about their food and supplements? Could one be bad, or perhaps contaminated? for instance, in the dog food scare, noone realized their dogs food was actually poisoned. Have you opened a new bag or bottle shortly before the sickness started?

I was going to ask about the window cover, as I know many metals are bad for birds, but if the new ones are sick so soon, that seems unlikely.

Your best bet is to get them to a good avian vet ASAP. If they are showing symptoms, even removing the cause might be too late. And I wouldn't get more birds until you figure out what is killing them.
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#3 of 12 Old 02-03-2011, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well , the food seems to be fine . But like I said , the house is old and in bad shape , we are moving to our own place in a few weeks , however !

Wouldn´t it speak for something in the walls , that we had no problems all summer when the window was open all day ?


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#4 of 12 Old 02-03-2011, 02:41 PM
 
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Yikes! How sad. greensad.gif
Could they be nibbling at the window sills or at trim with lead-based paint? That is a real possibility.
What about the wire mesh? is it galvanized? That stuff is made with zinc which is also very toxic to birds.

It might be a good idea to confine them to a safe cage (no lead paint glaze or galvanized wire) until you can move, just in case. In the meantime I'd take the sick birds to the vet some they can run some tests...
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#5 of 12 Old 02-03-2011, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well , one thing , that puzzled me tonight is , that our one parakeet , we have , is perfectly fine , she lives in the same cage with the others , but the difference is , she never touches their food . Only eats parakeet food out of her own little bowl , except for one time a few weeks ago , when she had a nibble from some of the cockatiel stuff while she was following one of her big friends around (who is now deadmecry.gif) and she seemed like she was feeling really awful , but after a few hours she got better and now she is fine .

That speaks against the bad fumes theory , doesn´t it ?

I mean , can the food have for example mold in it and we don´t realize it ?

There are a lot of sunflower seeds and peanuts in the ´tiel mix , we buy , but none in the little ones food , and those are quite prone to mold , no ? 

We live in a really secluded area in northern Lapland and there is only one vet about 120 km away (the closest) and when I called for advice , he asked "what´s a cockatiel ?" , so I don´t know , if he is a good person to go to


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#6 of 12 Old 02-03-2011, 11:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonttu View Post

I mean , can the food have for example mold in it and we don´t realize it ?

There are a lot of sunflower seeds and peanuts in the ´tiel mix , we buy , but none in the little ones food , and those are quite prone to mold , no ? 

We live in a really secluded area in northern Lapland and there is only one vet about 120 km away (the closest) and when I called for advice , he asked "what´s a cockatiel ?" , so I don´t know , if he is a good person to go to


YES. They can have mold. They food could also be contaminated with something from the factory- maybe a poison or chemical. I believe peanuts and sunflowers can also get Aflatoxin, a mold which is deadly. I would throw out your bag of food. Wait, keep it, but only to report it to the manufacturer, then immediately buy a new bag, hopefully a different brand, and see if they improve.
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#7 of 12 Old 02-04-2011, 03:42 AM
 
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I vote for bad food!

It could be mold but I don't think it would kill them that fast.

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#8 of 12 Old 02-04-2011, 08:07 AM
 
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I agree, set aside the old food and get a completely different brand. If your birds are fine on the new food then contact the manufacturer! If they continue to get sick on a different food then you know you have a different problem.
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#9 of 12 Old 02-04-2011, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#10 of 12 Old 02-05-2011, 04:29 PM
 
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I would take one of the dead birds and bring them to the vet for autopsy to figure out the cause of death. 

I have two birds right now, and have lost a couple in the past. I know that it's easy to get attached to even the small silly creatures like cockatiels and parakeets. :(


New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#11 of 12 Old 03-03-2011, 01:32 AM
 
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So sorry you are going through this!

If you have teflon or non-stick coated pans that you use when cooking, they release a gas when heated which is toxic to birds and will cause them to become very sleepy before dying.  They have very sensitive lungs!

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#12 of 12 Old 03-03-2011, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We found out , that it was the sunflower seeds in the food . Apparently , there is some kind of mold , that sticks to the inside of the shell and if you kkep it in an air-tight container , like we did , it can really grow . 

They didn´t die suddenly , they just got worse and the vet said , that is typical , at first , there is only a bit of toxin and after a while it builds up in the animal and at the same time gets worse in the food , so they die . We caught on to it , because our one parakeet never ate the food except one time and it made her really sick as well , but she recovered , but the other parakeet , that also ate the cockatiel food , died . 

They were all in the same cage , so if there would have been a disease , it would have killed them all or if it was toxic fumes , but even though she is tiny , even for a parakeet , she is in perfect health .

Thank you everybody for pointing me in the right direction grouphug.gif

Jennyj , the birds are upstairs in their own room away from the kitchen , so the fumes from cooking was not a problem , we considered . I already knew about that since afriend lost her entire flock of 21 birds after thay had a raclette party and the fumes killed them all . Since then , I made sure , that they are well away from anything like that , but thank you for letting me know , I think most people are not aware of that


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