One morning I heard my husband
carrying Laka down the stairs saying "Oh, I'm going to give the bird
away!" Half asleep to begin with, my eyes flew open... "WHAT!?!?!?"
Of course, what he meant was "give the bird a weigh"!
Birds are good at hiding illnesses,
so as good parronts, we have to be extra vigilant about checking the things
that might give us a clue. Things like "poo" quality and
quantity, sudden unexplained behavioral changes, and weight all need to be
We weigh our birds early in the
morning - before the first feeding. That way we get an
apples-to-apples number that we can reliably compare. Otherwise we'd
see wild fluctuations in weight caused by the bird's eating patterns.
For example, Laka might weigh 850g in the morning, but pick up 60 grams or
so after chowing down.
We use a digital scale and a small
"table top" perch.
The box (left) is necessary because the perch is too large to fit
by itself on the scale.
|None of the birds appreciate standing
directly on the scale, so we have to devise a way for them to
"perch". We use a small tabletop perch (actually way
too small for Laka's big feet, but for the 2-3 seconds we need her to
stand on it, its' OK).
We turn on the scale, put the box on, and then
stand the perch on top.
The box acts as a platform for the perch,
but leaves us a little room so we can see the scale's displays and reach
The scale we use has a featuer that allows
you to "set on zero".
This is an important feature for weighing birds.
we get the perch on, we hit "on zero". This makes the scale
"ignore" the weight that is already on it. That way we'll
only get the bird's added weight from this point on.
The box acts as a platform for the
perch, but leaves us a little room so we can see the scale's displays
and reach the buttons.
When weighing Laka, we want to be sure we get all
of her, including the tail feathers. So we move the scale and all
over to the edge of the table so her tail will hang down.
Otherwise her tail resting on the table will cause the scale to be off,
and the weight display to "bounce around" as she shifts.
|As you can see in this picture, Laka
will stand on the small perch for a couple of seconds. It's just
long enough to get a reading.
There we go! Notice that Laka's
tail is up above the table.
After weight the birds, my husband
records the weights on his PC. If we see a declining trend or any
unexplained drop, we know to be on the lookout (and possibly schedule a vet
visit). If we do go to the vet, we can take a long a printout of the
bird's weight history for him to glance at - and we know he appreciates
having that extra bit of information.