Signs of illness in the rosy bourke parakeet include:
crusty beak or toes
loss of appetite
fluffled up on the bottom of the cage
poop stuck to vent
A rosy bourke’s parakeet in the wild learns to hide any sign of illness, as that can attract predators or make their flockmates chase them away or kill them.
Watch your rosy bourke’s parakeet closely to catch the first signs of failing health.
They will try to hide it and if you don’t notice it until it’s very blatent, it could be too late.
Make sure your bourke’s gets healthy bird checkups from a certified avian vet.
A regular cat/dog vet won’t have the knowledge and expertise that a certified avian vet will.
Keep your bourke parakeet’s claws trimmed.
If you are unsure how to do this, have your avian vet do it. Better safe than sorry and risk damaging your bird’s toes!
A bourke’s parrot needs cuttlebone for calcium – keep one on the wall of their cage at all times.
Be sure to use plain newsprint or paper towels on the bottom of the cage so that you can watch their poops for signs of illness.
They should always be pretty much the same small, compact size and not overly watery.
Avoid corncob bedding or shredded newspaper, etc for several reasons: these can promote mold growth, if ingested by your bourke’s parakeet their crop can become impacted – which can lead to death, and you will be unable to watch their poops – which is one of the best ways to track the health of your bird.
A couple times a year your bourkes parakeet will molt.
This means their old feathers will fall out – it will seem like someone had a pillow fight with pillows filled with pretty pink Bourke feathers!
New feathers will grow in little spiky sheaths.
These spikes are called “pin feathers”.
A waxy sheath covers the feathers until they are ready and your Bourkes will scratch themselves against things, or scrape the wax off with their feet.
Some birds enjoy a little human help rolling the sheat between thumb and forefinger when it’s ready to go. It will crumble off easily.
Molting Bourke? Can you help?
Most Bourke’s don’t like to have their heads touched.
They will let you know if they want a little help and will offer you their head.
This comfort zone won’t be gained overnight and it could take months of patience to get to this level of comfort.
Just keep spending time with your bird, singing and talking calmly to them, feeding them from your hand.
They need to know you are a flock member and not a big predator that intends on eating them!
Baths help with Molting itchiness!
Provide them with a shallow bath and/or try giving them a warm misting with warm water. I
If they like the mist bath, they will stay in the mist, perhaps spreading their wings for the water. If they run or fly away, they don’t like it.
Be sure to buy an empty spray bottle from the store just for this purpose. You don’t want to accidently spray your bird with toxic chemicals which may harm or kill them.
Unless your bird is hurting themselves by flying too fast and out of control, never clip your birds wings, especially young birds.
Birds need to fly to maintain optimum health – both physical and mental. A clipped bird will become afraid, tentative, introverted and sad.
A Fully-Flighted Bourke is a Happy Bourke
It is amazing to watch a previously clipped bourke’s parakeet grow in their flights and suddenly be able to join the other birds, to fly where they want when they want.
Their personalities blossom – they no longer fear everything and everyone.
They sing with happiness.
Their confidence in themselves and the world around them soars.
A young bird, especially, needs to learn to fly immediately so they can explore their world and learn about it firsthand.
They should not spend their first months or years trying to fly but unable, watching other birds fly around while they cannot, afraid of everything and everyone.