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Mysterious bird death

vasko

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I really don't know what happened here. This happened on Saturday last week.
I got my european serin and 3 goldfinches, after two days the serin died.
I found him dead on the floor.
He was really active, jumping from perch to perch, he was singing, following(not chasing) the other birds.
The first day I gave them dandelion leaves, chickweed, seeds, even a bath on a sunny day with lukewarm water.
He wasn't scared of me, he adapted to the cage quickly.
I examined his body, there were no bite marks, no wounds whatsoever.
The only thing I sprayed on him was something I got for external parasites. I did this when I first got him.
My dad's friend that gave me the bird said that it's puffed up when he came to visit us the day before the serin died. I thought that everything was fine.
What could have caused the death of my bird?
 

sunnysmom

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I'm very sorry for your loss. It's hard to say what happened. I am always leery of spraying birds with things. Have you used the product before? And birds are really good at hiding their illness. So he may have been sick and just not showing it until it was too late. Also, sometimes it can just be something genetic.
 

Shezbug

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Moving is stressful and can cause many birds to end up a tad sick or a little under the weather.

Are you sure they didn’t come to you already unwell?
I may have you mixed up with another member (sorry if that is the case) but I’m sure you gave another thread where you’ve mentioned another bird who’s sitting all fluffed up?
 

flyzipper

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I'm sorry for your loss.

In addition to the pre-existing condition theory from others, my suspicions would be here...
dandelion leaves
... if you're not certain of their source (free of pesticides)

something I got for external parasites
... without knowing the name of the product, I would suggest investigating before using it again.

found him dead on the floor.
... near a window or mirror (perhaps indicating a collision)?
 

vasko

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I'm very sorry for your loss. It's hard to say what happened. I am always leery of spraying birds with things. Have you used the product before? And birds are really good at hiding their illness. So he may have been sick and just not showing it until it was too late. Also, sometimes it can just be something genetic.
I have used this product before on my birds, and I use it on all the new birds. I had no problem with it.
 

vasko

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Moving is stressful and can cause many birds to end up a tad sick or a little under the weather.

Are you sure they didn’t come to you already unwell?
I may have you mixed up with another member (sorry if that is the case) but I’m sure you gave another thread where you’ve mentioned another bird who’s sitting all fluffed up?
Before getting the bird, he was jumping around the cage, I didn't notice any signs of illness.
And yes, that is me who posted that thread. I brought home 4 birds in total, 1 european serin and 3 goldfinches. The serin died 1 day later, now I'm having a problem with 2 of the goldfinches.
I didn't post 1 thread about these two cases so we don't end up having 2 types of conversations.
 

vasko

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I'm sorry for your loss.

In addition to the pre-existing condition theory from others, my suspicions would be here...

... if you're not certain of their source (free of pesticides)


... without knowing the name of the product, I would suggest investigating before using it again.


... near a window or mirror (perhaps indicating a collision)?
The dandelion came from my garden, free of pesticides.
The product I used is Avisan (which is used in the Balkan countries I think). It's common and easy to find in Serbia. A canary breeder that I bought my canary from suggested that I should buy it, he uses it on his canaries. The people from a well known Balkan avian forum also strongly suggest using it. They all say that it's an effective way to kill external parasites such as mites.
There was no collision, since the bird was in the flight cage.

I remember that I put a thin slice of lemon in the cage, I saw the serin nibbling it for a bit but it lost interest. I removed it later to avoid anything because I read that too much lemon can cause problems, and the birds didn't really show any interest in it.
 

Ripshod

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While permethrin is relatively safe to be applied to skin and feathers, this method of application is not. If a bird inhales the aerosol it can cause serious damage to the respiratory system (it's a pesticide). You've dodged the bullet a few times but now your luck may have run out.
It'll always be safer to apply an ivermectin based product (still a pesticide though) directly to the skin at the back of the neck, something like Beaphar Spot-on.
That's if the bird even has mites in the first place.
 

vasko

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But I can still use Beaphar Spot On even if the birds don't have mites? I just want make sure no mites infest my flock.
How can I apply the permethrin on my birds safely without them dying?
I thought about the size of the birds. An european serin is much smaller than a goldfinch, probably the second smallest bird in Europe, right after the Kinglet.
Maybe the serin died sooner because it's small body that had a bad reaction to the spray.
Smaller body size=smaller lungs
Or it probably inhaled more of the aerosol.
One of the fluffed up goldfinches I mentioned died today, like 5 days after the serin.
My dads friend who gave me the finches and whose finches die suddenly just like mine, does not use any pesticide. Just like Shezbug said, it could be from stress.
 

camelotshadow

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Seems least the 2nd bird to die & both may have had some remedy applied.

You'll have to try to figure it out if birds are dying.



:sorrow: :sorrow:
 

vasko

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I'll do a test. The next time I get birds, I wont spray them. I'll keep them all in a separate cage for 1 month. Then I'll see if the birds puff up or not, and I will share the results.
 

vasko

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Great news! The other goldfinch isn't puffed up anymore :)
And he paired up with a female I had before, they are kissing.
The sad thing is, the same female was kissing with the male that died.
 

camelotshadow

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Thats' great news.

Just be careful when you medicate. Could be something else in your environment. Just because other birds you don't spray in the future are Ok won't be proof that the spray was the cause in other cases. The spray might have added to something that was already a problem.
Really be careful with chemicals & treatments you use on birds without vet recommendation.
You could have gotten sick birds so you should do quarantine so that one new sick bird does not infect your entire flock with something much worse than mites.
 

~Drini~

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Congrats on your goldfinches! We also used to keep them back home in the Balkans. I tried to keep them more recently but was unsuccessful. I miss hearing their songs.

I also agree that the birds could have been sick prior to you getting them. Hopefully the remaining birds are healthy.
 

vasko

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Thats' great news.

Just be careful when you medicate. Could be something else in your environment. Just because other birds you don't spray in the future are Ok won't be proof that the spray was the cause in other cases. The spray might have added to something that was already a problem.
Really be careful with chemicals & treatments you use on birds without vet recommendation.
You could have gotten sick birds so you should do quarantine so that one new sick bird does not infect your entire flock with something much worse than mites.
But I really should just do a test and do some other medicating combinations, let's say I put the new birds in a quarantine cage, inspect them for 1 month and if everything is good I use the Avisan on them the day before letting them in the flight cage. If I notice any signs on a bird I put that one bird in a hospital cage and I treat it with meds.
I've read more about the medication on the forum, and someone said that their canary/goldfinch mule was on the cage floor after that, only hopping on the perches when the person got close to the perches. Eventually the mule got better.
As I said, the vets in my area aren't good with birds. We as the Serbian avian community do the job ourselves, we have clear instructions on the medications, unlike in other countries when a pet bird gets hurt or gets sick the owner rushes it to the veterinarian. I guess the only time we bring the birds to a vet is when a operation is needed.
We for instance, don't have the Ivermectin 0.1% available that is used in the scaly face mite treatment. There is a man that I believe imports a med called Pulmomectin, that we all use instead of the Ivermectin. I used it once for scaly mite treatment in my birds and it works.
And yes, I know about quarantine, I've just really hurried up the whole process.
 

vasko

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Congrats on your goldfinches! We also used to keep them back home in the Balkans. I tried to keep them more recently but was unsuccessful. I miss hearing their songs.

I also agree that the birds could have been sick prior to you getting them. Hopefully the remaining birds are healthy.
Thank you! Goldfinches can be a little pushy towards each other and other finches, talking from experience. If they want something, they will get it. If a canary has a better sleeping spot, the goldfinch will take over the spot. But they are not aggressive, they just don't like to share things or make physical contact with each other, that's why you'll never see them cuddling together such as the Estrilid finches do. Males will sometimes fight, nothing serious. I keep mine in a big flight cage together with 2 canaries.
 

~Drini~

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Thank you! Goldfinches can be a little pushy towards each other and other finches, talking from experience. If they want something, they will get it. If a canary has a better sleeping spot, the goldfinch will take over the spot. But they are not aggressive, they just don't like to share things or make physical contact with each other, that's why you'll never see them cuddling together such as the Estrilid finches do. Males will sometimes fight, nothing serious. I keep mine in a big flight cage together with 2 canaries.
I'm definitely jealous. :wacky: The US does not allow me to import European Goldfinches from the Balkans, and the ones that are actually here are very hard to find, and come from unknown/low-quality backgrounds. Eventually I want to build an aviary with just goldfinches, and have my own breeding population.
 

vasko

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I'm definitely jealous. :wacky: The US does not allow me to import European Goldfinches from the Balkans, and the ones that are actually here are very hard to find, and come from unknown/low-quality backgrounds. Eventually I want to build an aviary with just goldfinches, and have my own breeding population.
I hope that you eventually find a good breeder, but always ask what subspecies they are, to avoid contaminating the gene pool.
Looks like we have the same plans for the future, I also want to build an aviary for goldfinches, more european birds, and even some estrilid finches.
Good luck.
 
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