Less than two weeks after my previous blog, another one of our beloved birds we found dead at the bottom of the cage. He was behaving rather oddly at times, sitting on the bottom just staring at nothing, but as he was a "bottom feeder" anyway (some birds are) we thought nothing serious of it. Until today, that is.
It is, I think therefore time to dig a little deeper in what I talked about before. Here are the facts: over the last 2-3 years we bought five parakeets from the same pet store. I am not going to mention any names, only that it is a big store here in The Hague. As of now, three of those five birds have passed away within less than a year after joining our flock. Two of those were having health problems, which we took to the vet and for which we received treatment, that worked. But something else was apparently wrong with them, something not obvious upon professional inspection and something that caused them to die prematurely.
The third bird passed away within almost three months and also brought -we think- a case of 'scaly face' -a mite infection- into the cage that was caught by two other birds. One of these was another bird from the same pet store, the other one was our 'senior' who has been with us for over ten years now, but is from a completely different pet store. We treated them, they both got healed and after a few months and some antibiotics also got healed from a persistent cough. Incidentally, I hope it is also clear that we try to take good care of our birds. They get fresh food, vegetables and fruit every day, they get vitamins, minerals and probiotics in their drinking water, and when something is wrong we take them to the vet and treat them, no matter the cost.
The last bird we got from this particular pet store has been on and off suffering from a persistent eye infection since we got him, which only became manifest a few months after purchase. We also managed to cure this eventually.
The point is: this cannot be coincidence. We have been keeping birds for quite some time and although we have noticed that most small pet birds do not live longer than five or so years, this latest experience is really outside of this expectation. Needless to say, we will not go to this pet store anymore for any supplies. We have decided to have no more birds after the current flock, because my prime concern right now is that I do not want to support this kind of business any longer.
Birds- and small animals in general- are not consumables and they do not deserve to be treated as such. They are wonderful, conscious and marvelous creatures that right now are being 'mutilated' by the commercial pet industry. I am sad because we just loved a wonderful and sweet companion. I am actually more sad and quite angry about how humanity is treating other living creatures in general for its own selfish needs. That needs to stop, plain and simple.