Bird keepers have to look very carefully to detect pain in their pet. The better they know their animal, the sooner they can notice changes in behaviour.
Some forms of pain result in remarkably calm behaviour and drowsiness. The animals no longer brush themselves with care, and eat and drink less than usual, according to Germany’s Federal Association of Practising Veterinarians.
The place of the pain is more clearly recognisable when the birds adopt a relieving posture.
Budgerigars, which have only standardised, uniform perches, often develop ulcers on the balls of the soles. As sitting on their feet causes them pain, the birds change position and, if possible, lie down on the floor on their stomach.
Pain in birds is also measurable by an increased heart rate and increased blood pressure. However, in everyday life, it’s difficult to measure these things on a bird. — dpa