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When is a bird considered geriatric?

Clueless

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As many of you may know, I was blessed to be able to attend the 2016 Wellness Retreat, the Nature of Parrots, hosted by Phoenix Landing in Asheville, NC.

There was a study done in the early 1990's (sorry, can't read my scrawl to indicate who did the study) that indicated the following:

Small birds greater than or equal to 6 years (includes budgies and lovebirds)

Cockatiels greater than or equal to 12 years

Amazons, macaws, cockatoos, African Greys greater than or equal to 30 years

Again - I apologize that I did not write clearly enough to indicate who did the study in order that we could look up the details. Since it WAS done in the early 1990's - perhaps another is being contemplated.
 

Cynthia & Percy

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thanks for the info i guess Percy does make the cut at 28 this year
 

Clueless

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thanks for the info i guess Percy does make the cut at 28 this year
He's a cockatoo, right? He'd need to be 30 for the purposes of that study.

I received the impression that birds were living longer. If that's the case, wouldn't they need to be older to reach a "geriatric" age?

It's just confusing. I'm hopeful I can find additional notes to locate the original study.
 

Cynthia & Percy

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I received the impression that birds were living longer. If that's the case, wouldn't they need to be older to reach a "geriatric" age?
not really they are living longer as a geriatric due to the stride in care of an older bird
fyi Percy is a g2 one of the smaller 2s
 

karen256

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I'm not sure if it's quite what I'd consider geriatric, but my GCC's vet recommended annual bloodwork (instead of every other year) when she was 16. The dog's vet (different vet) started doing this when the dog turned 8. GCCs live about twice as long as dogs, so I guess this makes sense. Birds may be living longer, but I think the age at which they need a little extra care is about the same.
 

Ankou

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I'd say it probably depends on total life expectancy of an individual and would even vary within a species.

For example, I'd say in the early 90s 6 probably was geriatric for a lovebird. The books I read when I was first researching getting a lovebird years ago from the local libraries, most published in the early 90s, put their lifespan around 10 years.

But today, with lovebirds living into their teens more commonly and even into their mid 20s, 6 is actually quite young. Looking back, I wouldn't have described Peanut as geriatric until she was around 10 and definitely not 6! 6 was the last year she laid eggs but I honestly attribute that to changes I made and her increased mental maturity. Not that she was old-aged but that she was no longer as hot-headed and ready to breed (on a human scale, I'd say the equivalent behaviorally is someone in their mid to late 30s realizing they needed to settle down because they have kids and a mortgage now.) She had mellowed, matured, but she wasn't physically old.

But if 60-65 is when a human is considered geriatric, I'd say Peanut hit that point around 10 years old. The start of arthritis, napping slightly more often than she did, and a moderately decreased interest in mating. (Though she is still a horny little creature around the solstices she's also very easily distracted now, when younger she would really fixate on attempting to breed with my hands and was very hard to dissuade from that task. Now it's like "Hey Peanut! Look over there, a thing!" and I roll a bead by her and that's the end of that.)
 

JLcribber

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I don't label any bird geriatric until I see "evidence" of it. One persons 6 year old bird may be physically old while another persons 16 year old bird acts like it is 2. So many factors determining our physical age history, diet, and environment. All things that affect how we age.
 

Hankmacaw

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What John says is very true. My Jasper (female GW) is only 22 years old, but has many of the physical attributes of an old bird. She has severe congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, very bad arthritis in one wing both feet and up one leg and cataracts in one eye. These conditions make her an elderly bird. Her heart was bad when I was given her at 6 1/2 years old and that has contributed to all of her other health issues.
 

sunnysmom

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Thanks for sharing that was interesting and something that seems to get asked a lot. Although I know Sunny is considered old at 20, he certainly doesn't act it (but for liking an earlier bedtime now.) :)
 

myfeetarecute

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What John says is very true. My Jasper (female GW) is only 22 years old, but has many of the physical attributes of an old bird. She has severe congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, very bad arthritis in one wing both feet and up one leg and cataracts in one eye. These conditions make her an elderly bird. Her heart was bad when I was given her at 6 1/2 years old and that has contributed to all of her other health issues.
I lost my female Barraband this year at 11 years of age (lifespan is approx. 18). She had congenital heart & lung issues, looked & felt crummy I'm sure the last while. Looked elderly for sure, way ahead of her time.
 

Lodah

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Sarahmoluccan

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I'm not sure old Zane is. When he first went to the vet after he was found, He was diagnosed arthritis and presumed to be a senior bird. When I took him to another vet, she said there's no real way of knowing and she didn't see anything evidence of arthritis. He did have xrays at both vets.

We think we know who threw him away but dont have enough evidence to have him charged. And according to that guy he's was around 60. That was over 10 years ago so I usually tell people he's 70+.

There no way of knowing. He is quite gassy thou. Birds aren't supposed to have gas because their digestive system is so different from are. If they do its usually a sign of an inflection. But I've also heard it can be a sign of aging. Zane has had inflections but he's still gassy when he's find too. I guess you could say he's literally an old fart! :giggle:
 

Sarahmoluccan

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Yeah it so hard to know. He's most likely wild caught. The story goes the guy who threw him out inherented him. My friend had just opened a rescue when a guy called wanting money for a bird that sound like Zane. And friend had no money to give him. Later Zane was found in the same area the guy was from. My friend was suspicious so she phoned the guy saying she wanted to buy him and the guy said he longer had him. :glare:
 

Hankmacaw

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One of the amazing things about Rosie is that Sarah has her hatch record from when she was hatched in 1941 in the USA. Rosie's parents were supposedly hatched in the US too. She has always had a life of being well cared for (for each era that it was), she was a performing bird from the first and therefore had value to whomever owned her. She's now retired and bossing the birds at Sarah's home around.

Zane looks really active for his age.
 

Sarahmoluccan

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Yeah he does do pretty well for however old he is. I have seen a slow decline with activity level over the years. He slowly wants to go to bed earlier too. He was a little social butterfly but he's slowly turn a grumpy old man. I like to joke if he was person, he'd be yelling at kids to get off his damn lawn. :hehepink:

Wow Rosie sounds fascinating!! I'd love to know more about her :heart:
 

sunnysmom

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Yeah he does do pretty well for however old he is. I have seen a slow decline with activity level over the years. He slowly wants to go to bed earlier too. He was a little social butterfly but he's slowly turn a grumpy old man. I like to joke if he was person, he'd be yelling at kids to get off his damn lawn. :hehepink:

Wow Rosie sounds fascinating!! I'd love to know more about her :heart:
The only big change I noticed in my senior tiel was gradually he liked his bedtime earlier and earlier too. When it was his bedtime, it was his bedtime. Once the little neighborhood girl came to see him about 10 minutes after I had covered him up for the night. I thought he was likely still awake and might come out and say hi to her for a few minutes. I uncovered the front of his cage and he was still sitting on his water dish and hadn't yet gone up to his "night night" perch. As I opened the cage door, he gave me the stink eye and reached over with his beak and pulled the door shut. That was my lesson not to mess with his bedtime. :bignono:
 

Hankmacaw

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Here is the video of Rosie performing I wanted to show you. I think she was about 70 yo at this time.

<iframe width="416" height="300" src="rosie.wmv - YouTube" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

sunnysmom

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Here is the video of Rosie performing I wanted to show you. I think she was about 70 yo at this time.

<iframe width="416" height="300" src="rosie.wmv - YouTube" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
What a smart girl! Now, I want a painting by Rosie! :D
 
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