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SpicyUterus 07-20-2020 11:48 AM

Aging p'let sleeping a lot
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Hi guys

First time poster, long time lurker over here.

Backstory: My parrotlet Indy is approximately 10-12 years old. He's had a hard life. He was originally bought by an older couple as a mate for their other parrotlet. He is inherently very fearful of people and they were unsure what to do, so they left him alone in a finch cage, mostly covered, with nothing but a rope swing and water/sunflower seeds for the 5 or so years they had him. I'm not sure where he came from before them, but based on his behaviour, I am fairly certain he was abused. He's absolutely petrified of humans and, after working with him daily for the last two years, I am only just now getting to the point where he will take millet from my hand. He's been going through nearly continuous molts since I got him, which my vet attributed to getting him on a proper diet and full spectrum lighting. This summer is the first proper molt cycle he's had, with a break between molts. His left eye gets weepy, but never inflamed each time he molts, which my vet has never found the cause of. He also has several lax joints and chronic uneven beak growth due to long-term calcium and nutritional deficiency. He's currently on a pellet, veggie, seed, and salad diet and is a great eater.

He lives in my indoor aviary with my budgies and lovebird and is very bonded to all of them. He's always been a heavy sleeper, but in the last month or so, I've noticed he's sleeping a bit more. He's always put himself to bed around 7pm and slept in until 9 or 10. But lately, he's also taking more naps. He is just finishing his molt, but I've noticed that after he eats breakfast, he goes back to bed for an hour or so and is generally a bit more quiet. He is eating, drinking, and breathing normally, just seems to have slowed down a bit and I'm paranoid about it because I have a senior budgie who had been on long-term antibiotics for chronic sinusitis for about 4 months now (he does not live in the aviary).

I am getting a second opinion from our new avian vet, who's been treating my budgie, later this month because she seems more comfortable doing diagnostic testing on small birds, but I am curious if any of you have experience with aging parrotlets, or parrotlets who've dealt with lifelong nutritional deficiencies.

JackieRTP 07-20-2020 02:47 PM

Getting a second opinion from the new avian vet is your best option in my opinion so that he can be assessed. Although this is not parrotlet specific, it talks about issues with parrots are they age.

You are very lucky that your bird is able to successfully live in an indoor aviary currently. Most parrotlet species are not kept in aviaries due to their aggressive personalities with both their own kind and other bird species.

It sounds like you are giving him a wonderful life and he is cute in the photo

Anya 07-20-2020 07:34 PM

Increased sleeping is an indication that a bird could be ill, but it’s possible that Indy is just getting older and needs more sleep. That is not uncommon behavior for older birds, but I’m glad he is going to be seen by another vet just to make sure he is all right. Better safe than sorry.

Birds are really good hiding illnesses. There are two good ways to help determine if a bird is sick. The first is checking their droppings for any changes. Have you noticed any changes in their shape, color and consistency? Since you have your bird in an aviary with other birds, you may want to separate Indy at this time, so you can monitor his droppings. There is a sticky on this which may help you identify what to look for.

Also, do you know how much your bird weighs? If you have a gram scale, you can weigh your bird to see if there are any noticeable fluctuations in his weight. A good time to weigh your bird is first thing in the morning, after his first droppings, and before the first feed. If he is losing or gaining any weight, that could be an indication of illness.

Indy is beautiful. It’s sad to think he suffered like that. It’s a heartbreaking story, but thank goodness Indy was lucky enough that you found him. He has a good life with you after years of loneliness. You really need to be commended for that.

ozzie3860 07-20-2020 09:26 PM

Go with your gut. If you feel your bird is acting off then get it checked out until you are comfortable. I know I recently had an issue with our Jules and it was catching it early that saved her.

SpicyUterus 08-04-2020 11:17 AM

Sorry for the delay in replies, I was travelling!

We have an appointment for this Friday. My vet looked at him over Skype last week and didn’t find anything overly alarming, so hopefully it’s just a sign of his age 😊

David Miller 08-04-2020 09:17 PM

Good luck at the vets! Thanks for letting us know what is happening. Stay safe during all that traveling you have been doing! It is very dangerous out there with that nasty virus all around us.;)

David and Vicki;):rolleyes:

ozzie3860 08-05-2020 10:05 AM

I would love to see a picture of your indoor aviary. We are discussing doing something like that at our place as MBS takes hold.

Anya 08-05-2020 04:48 PM

I’m so glad that you are keeping us updated on how Indy is doing. Glad to hear that he is okay so far. I will keep my fingers crossed that the vet visit goes well!

Anya 08-05-2020 04:55 PM


Originally Posted by ozzie3860 (Post 1036153)
I would love to see a picture of your indoor aviary. We are discussing doing something like that at our place as MBS takes hold.

And, how do you think Miss Jules is going to take to that? :p

ozzie3860 08-06-2020 11:34 AM


Originally Posted by Anya (Post 1036161)
And, how do you think Miss Jules is going to take to that? :p

Poorly, she is a possessive, aggressive little thing. Which is one of the reasons we do not have more birds.

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