A healthy poicephalus parrot has shiny feathers, bright eyes, a voracious appetite, and an alert and active demeanor. The droppings must be solid and green, though it will have a watery circle around it. (This is perfectly normal—birds don’t urinate, but they expel moisture with their waste.) The cere, or the area near the beak, should not be swollen or rough to the touch.
Even healthy poicephalus parrots need a yearly appointment with the veterinarian. They will go through a physical exam, a complete blood count, and a blood chemistry profile. The vet will also order cotton swab tests for bacteria and internal parasites.
However, bring your pet for a check up when it started puffing up, doesn’t play or eat, puffs itself up, or pulls out its own feathers. Also watch out for any change in consistency in the droppings that lasts for more than 3 days.
Q3 – How often should I bring my J to the vet?
Poicephalus Care and Safety-Health risks
Poicephalus parrots are prone to liver problems, so they need a low fat and low protein diet or they will develop liver problems. The Jardine parrots are also at risk for aspergillosis infections. Symptoms include sudden and unusual changes in voice, or even slight lameness. You should also closely monitor for overgrown beaks, and correct this right away. Otherwise, one corner can suddenly break off, and if it grows back at the wrong angle, it’ll look very strange. Overgrown beaks can be prevented by giving many chew toys.
Wild birds also tend to have tapeworms and roundworms. After buying one, bring it to the vet immediately for a checkup and a deworming. Parents can pass on worms to their chicks, so ask for a deworming before breeding parrots, too.
New parrots should also be given a gram stain, complete blood count, a Chlamydia screen, and a bacterial culture. They will also be given a blood analysis to check for possible risk for kidney or liver damage.
Pet birds can also be vaccinated, and many veterinarians will recommend a polyoma vaccine. This needs a regular booster shot. Some parrot owners are wary of getting the Pacheco’s vaccine, because of the side effects.
Owners should also be careful about bringing the poicephalus parrots outdoors without any supervision or safety measures. These birds can fly long distances even when their feathers have been clipped. Some owners recommend getting bird harnesses.