Symptoms of birds living in the stressed environments
By Donald Perez
Hello Fellow Fanciers,
Here is some information based on many years of personal experience and extensive research as well as testimonials received from many other bird breeders, including vets on the successful use of live, avian-specific probiotics such as AVI-CULTURE and other products that produce positive results, as a proactive approach to overcoming the symptoms of birds living in the stressed environs of captivity. This is especially true during certain times of the year like living in flight cages (summer), breeding (spring), molting (summer) and exhibiting (fall).
To be proactive with the utilization and administration of a live, avian-specific probiotic well in advance of those periods, is to be one step ahead of the disasters that many experience when it's already way too late in a program.
Why exactly does a bird who is in captivity get ill during a certain time of the year?
Why is it that one bird in a flight cage gets ill and when isolated, then another bird in the flight becomes ill?
It might be that each has a reasonable resistance level to start out with and it is only a matter of time, before conditions during their captivity cause an upset.
As you know, birds are continual eating and defecating machines and that is by design. Their bodies are mostly filled with an upper and lower respiratory system leaving very little room for a digestive system. With such a small digestive system, they need to constantly "refuel" Food passes through them all day long. The longer the day, more they eat and void. Any little change or upset to their environment either by another bird or a human, the higher the incidence of stress.
This increased stress level opens the way to a buildup of pathogens in the digestive system causing hypermotility of the gut with the resultant decrease in the immune system leaving the bird susceptible to an intestinal over-population of pathogens, "bad bacteria".
If this situation is caught in time and a medication is administered (usually an antibiotic) the victim could hopefully recover fully. Sad thing is, that by design, most birds initially mask their maladies very well.
After the medication period is over it is important to administer a guaranteed live, avian-specific probiotic that will build up a healthy microflora of "friendly" bacteria, enzymes and an acidic pH in the digestive system. This allow the bird to assimilate more nutrients from the foods that it eats, thus getting stronger and staying healthy. (Please note: Most broad-spectrum antibiotics will also kill the "good" bacteria along with the pathogens, it is my belief that it is best not to administer a probiotic during the antibiotic treatment period as then the antibiotic is being wasted killing the population of "good" bacteria that you are adding to the intestine rather than focusing on the pathogen-killing job it was prescribed to do! As with humans who take antibiotics).
Most pet owners, bird keepers and bird breeders need more information on the many values of probiotics as they relate to improved health, well-being and productivity of their charges. They need to ask many questions of the manufacturers of the probiotic they might plan to use and not ask just the reseller who has to move product and has it on the shelf along with many other products that do not have expiration dates. The one thing to remember is that the probiotic that one uses MUST BE ALIVE and IT MUST BE AVIAN-SPECIFIC to have any positive effect whatsoever on any bird in captivity. ALL living probiotics have a shelf life and the only way to extend it, (if it is alive when you get it!) is to keep it frozen. And I
don't mean freeze-dried either! Doing ones research and homework will allow one to make the best choice when they choose a probiotic to use on their birds and even themselves. One place to go for valid, accurate information gleaned from here and around the world is: www.avi-culture.com . Oh by the way, PayPal is now set up on the site!
Enjoy your birds.