Obesity is one of the most commonly encountered health problems in our family pets.
With easy access to bottomless food bowls coupled with the sedentary lifestyle of many caged birds, this creates a recipe for an overweight feathered friend.
Like any pet, birds can also develop weight-related health problems such as general sickness, decreased organ function, breeding difficulties and a shorter lifespan.
Commercial diets fed to birds are commonly higher in calories than they would eat in the wild.
Often pet birds are given seeds or treats high in fat such as sunflower seeds and peanuts.
Sunflower seeds are the biggest culprit, and overindulgence can make birds very unwell.
High carbohydrates such as pasta can be problematic too.
Fruits are typically high in sugar and can add to the calorie content.
Birds on seed diets are often fed by simply filling the cup, usually providing far more than what they should really be consuming in a day.
Consult your veterinarian to determine if your bird is overweight and what dietary modifications should be made.
In most cases, switching from seed-based to a formulated diet with vegetables will go a long way to slimming down your much-loved pet bird.
Increasing your birds' opportunity for exercise will also help dramatically.
Trial moving them to a larger cage.
Remember, birds do not simply fly straight up or straight down, so when considering extra space, and a larger cage think higher AND wider, to accommodate greater horizontal and vertical movement.
Add climbing ladders or use foraging toys so your bird will have to work for their meal, incorporate natural branches with foliage as perches, and some birds love cat balls with bells inside.
Moving the perches around as well changes the environment, adding extra stimulation, and if your bird is alone, consider getting him or her a friend, as they are naturally social animals.
If you have concerns about this issue or other pet-related questions, contact your family vet.