light is the term given to birds that lose weight because they
are ill. Most sick birds lose weight simply because they have
to burn up their own body tissue to keep warm. So going light
is really just a symptom - not a disease.
Budgerigars it is most likely to be caused by megabacteria (see
seperate article). In finches and canaries it is mostly caused
by a parasite called coccidia. This disease is the subject of
is a very common gut parasite. It occurs in many species including
poultry and pigeons. It is not common in parrots. Most adult
birds can easily tolerate coccidia as their immune system has
learned to cope with it. Young birds however are vulnerable
because their immune system has not been well developed to cope
these baby birds get infected the bug seems to be able to leave
the gut and get into the bloodstream. From there it finds its
way to the liver and the spleen. These two organs start
to suffer (they will be greatly enlarged at post mortem). While
there is enough liver left to cope these birds grow perfectly
normally. But when the damage becomes to severe (generally between
eight and sixteen weeks of age) the birds start to live in the
seed dish but still lose weight until they die.
is a most depressing illnes because a good breeding season can
suddenly turn into a disaster.
are two key ways to tackle this disease. Treating adult birds
with appropriate drugs prior to the chicks hatching
will reduce the level of infection for the chicks and is a very
effective way to prevent the disease. We do not have a suitable
product licensed in America so we suggest you talk to your normal
Birdcare Company reseller and ask for their advice on available
products. Alternatively you can get one of the Sulfa drugs from
your veterinary surgeon. The Sulfa drugs must be used with care
to prevent infertility problems.
more modern approach is attack the germs and stimulate the baby's
immune system with a herbal nutricine. Our Flourish herbal extracts
seem to be very effective in this situation with breeders reporting
excellent results. Flourish is available
on its own or incorporated into our Feast eggfood and ProBoost
SuperMax breeder and chick stimulant.