​How to Care for a Stressed Bird

Stress can play a large role in the overall health of pet birds. Pet birds are very sensitive creatures by nature, and tend to handle stress less easily when compared to other animals such as pet dogs. The health of your bird can be influenced by your ability to recognize any early symptoms of stress, while also maintaining an environment that is mentally and physically healthy for your bird.

What Causes Stress in Pet Birds?

Just like humans, birds can experience stress for a number of reasons. Birds are creatures of habit who thrive on routine. Here are some things that can cause a stress reaction in your bird:

  • Change in Schedules
  • Move to a New Home
  • New Location of Cage
  • New Pet in Home or Addition to Aviary
  • Increase of External Noise (Construction, Thunder Storms, etc.)
  • Change inside the Home (Paint Colors, Moving Furniture, etc.)
  • Rearrangement of Contents in Cage (Perches, Toys, Food / Water Dishes, etc.)

How To Recognize Stress in My Pet Bird?

While stress may not be preventable all of the time, it’s important to learn to recognize and understand stress cues when they appear. Here are some signs of stress to watch for in your pet bird:

  • Feather Plucking
  • Toenail Biting
  • Excessive Sleeping
  • Decrease in Appetite
  • Puffed Up Feathers for Extended Periods of Time

How To Treat Stress in My Pet Bird?

If it appears like your new bird is stressed, be sure to follow these instructions as soon as possible. Your bird should be feeling better within 24 hours. We ask that you contact us immediately if you notice anything about your bird(s) that is out of the ordinary, because often by the time a bird is showing a lot of symptoms, it might be too late to correct. Birds are very stoic, so even when they seem a bit lethargic, it's important to act fast.

  • Make sure your cage has contact with at least one wall, and avoid placing the cage directly in front of a window or in the middle of a room. Birds do not like to feel exposed in their cages, and birds do not interpret windows as solid objects so they will feel stressed in this location.
  • Make the room where the cage is placed as warm as possible, between 75-80 degrees. If this is difficult to do, carefully place a covered heating pad on a low setting at the bottom of the cage. Your bird may want to sit on it. Often when a bird is cold it will puff its feathers.
  • Add 3 drops of apple cider vinegar to your bird’s drinking water each day with an eye dropper.
  • Cover the cage on three sides, leaving just the front exposed.
  • Keep activity and noise around them at a minimum. The acclimation period is a stressful time for birds, so interacting with them or having a lot of things going on around them makes it more stressful. Even an unfamiliar voice can be an adjustment for a new bird.

The two most important things to do as quickly as possible are getting warmth in the cage, and adding apple cider vinegar in their water. If you do those things immediately, you should see your bird(s) perk up by the end of the day or by morning.

If you need further help with your bird please email our support team at customersupport@thefinchfarm.com