Taking care of different species of birds as pets may be very enjoyable for pet owners. Birds are rewarding pets that can be quite easy to take care of and are also pretty intelligent animals. And if you take care of them properly, some birds will return the affection and may even be fun to be with because of all the silly antics and tricks they can do to lighten up your day.
However, just like humans, birds need rest, proper nutrition, and lots of care to stay healthy and stress-free. Whenever they are stressed or unhealthy, they are also similar to us humans in the sense that there will be clear signs of such. In that case, stress bars on their feathers are some of the tell-tale signs that the birds not as healthy as they should be or are showing signs of stress due to a wide variety of reasons.
What are feather stress bars?
Feather stress bars can be seen as very visible lines that run straight across the bird’s feathers. These lines are the tell-tale signs that the bird has undergone a stressful time at some point in its lifetime. For example, birds who were abandoned as young or those that were unable to get the proper care and nutrition they needed at one point in their lives will show these visible lines in their feathers.
A single stress bar is a sign that, at one point in the bird’s life, it did not get the nutrition it needed to develop healthy feathers. The line itself is a sign that, when the bird was still molting, and the feathers were still developing, its feathers were unable to develop properly at the spot where you can see the stress bar. As such, these bars show weakness in the feathers, especially at the spot where the stress bar is located.
Stress bars are essentially deformities if you take into account the fact that they are underdeveloped spots on the bird’s feathers. In that sense, they can reduce the feather’s effectiveness and may lead to poor flight on the part of your pet bird. Of course, feathers are important for flight, and a bad spot on their feathers can potentially put them in a dangerous situation. The feathers are susceptible to breaking at the point where you can find the stress bars because that is where they are at their weakest. As such, that is why stress bars on feathers are not to be taken lightly and should be prevented as early as possible.
What are the causes of stress bars?
Stress bars form at one or more points in your bird’s life. There can be several reasons as to why they formed, but the one main reason as to why the feather stress bars appeared can be attributed to poor health at a time when the bird was still molting and developing its feathers. For example, if a bird underwent a stressful period while it was still developing its feathers, there is a chance that the feathers become underdeveloped during that period due to how the stress deteriorated its health. Stressful times for a bird can be anything. It can be during the time when it was caught in the wild, separated from its parents, or transported from one place to another in a rough way.
Another reason for the bird’s poor health at the time when stress bars developed can be caused by inadequate nutrition. It can be argued that lack of proper nutrition is the main cause of feather stress bars as there are some pet birds that did not experience stressful times but still show signs of stress bars on their feathers. To that tend, the only possible explanation is that their health deteriorated, and their feathers ended up under developing as a result of poor nutrition.
When a bird is still growing its feathers, it requires a lot of nutrients similar to how children need more vitamins and nutrients when they are still in the middle of their growth phase. Feathers require nutrients such as protein, calcium, vitamin A, amino acids, and lots of peace to develop healthy feathers. You, as an owner, bears the responsibility of providing your pet birds with such nutrients in the middle of molting.
However, even if you are providing adequate nutrients to your bird, stress is still an important factor to consider here. Birds that grow up and develop in environments that do not offer them rest and peace will end up stressed and will develop feather stress bars even if they actually eat the right food. You should also take note that the most important part of the bird’s life is when it is still young as stressful events in a young bird’s life can easily make it more stressed as an adult.
Preventing stress bars
As mentioned, stress bars should be taken lightly because they pose a danger to your bird since feathers can easily break apart in the areas where stress bars are located. That is why it is important for you to make sure that stress bars are prevented. However, the one thing you need to consider here is that there is no possible way to treat stress bars once they have already appeared as these are signs that they were unable to develop properly in the past. What you can do now is to make sure that you minimize the appearances of stress bars in birds that are still developing or molting.
Here are the tips you need to consider:
Consult a professional
The first thing you should do when you see signs of stress bars is to go to a vet, who are professionals and experts at what they do. No matter how much research you do, there is still no better way for you to get expert opinion and care than taking your bird to a vet. The vet can help guide you on what to do to prevent and minimize stress bars. He or she may even prescribe vitamins that can help reduce the appearance of stress bars on your bird’s feathers.
Stress bars are underdeveloped parts of the bird’s feathers, mainly due to how your pet’s health deteriorated as a result of poor nutrition. The bars themselves show that, at that point in the bird’s molting, it did not get the proper nutrients it needs to develop healthy feathers. In that case, what you need to do is to make sure that your bird gets all of the vitamins and nutrients it needs to develop strong and healthy feathers. Feed them properly and regularly so that they are constantly supplied with the nutrients needed for them to develop their feathers in the middle of molting.
Check the bird’s environment
As the term “stress” bar suggests, these are caused by stressful periods while the bird was still molting. Even if you take good care of the bird and give it the nutrition it needs to develop strong and healthy feathers, stress is still a major factor to consider here as a stressed bird will still end up with stress bars. In that case, check its environment out and see to it that there is nothing in its immediate vicinity that can cause it to feel stressed. Change whatever needs to be changed to reduce the appearance of stress bars in the future.