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  #1  
Old 03-24-2015, 09:55 PM
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Default What do you think about implanting our little babies with geo-chips?

I was wondering what everyone thought about implanting our little pet birds with geo-chips? I was browsing instagram earlier today and one woman I follow decided to place an implant in her conure and removed the ankle band. The chip was implanted for obvious reasons - to locate the bird in case it gets lost.

It bothered me so much that she did that that I unfollowed her. I just don't see why it's necessary to put a bird through an operation of that sort. She said it was highly recommended by her vet, but I think it's important for everyone to be aware that just because someone is a doctor, even an avian vet, it doesn't mean that person always knows best.

I've taken Smoky outside a few times, and once she got away, but luckily she came back. Smoky's wings weren't clipped, but when she was indoors she never flew much, so I really didn't think she'd be able to fly so well outside. She was sitting in her log and I was swinging her and walking around outside, then for some reason she jumped out and flew away. She flew really far and really high, I was so surprised. I guess with the wind under her wings she really took flight. Anyway, after sitting and preening herself on someone else's house for an hour (I sat and watched her), she finally decided to fly back to our door, I grabbed her and brought her inside and never took her outside without a cage again. That was completely irresponsible of me and it would have been my fault if she flew away.

Even if Smoky flew away and I couldn't get her, whether she's wearing a chip or not I doubt someone would have caught her. She was flying really well outdoors. And if someone did find her, how would they know she's implanted with a chip? Is it attached to some kind of software that I can turn on and it will give me her coordinates?

I just really dislike the whole idea. It's very unnatural. I wouldn't want such a thing implanted in myself, and I wouldn't do that to an animal just because they can't tell me "no". Some birds might be OK with it, but I am sure there are other birds who've had complications from a foreign object implanted in their tiny bodies.

I always refused to put Smoky through anything invasive, regardless of Avian Vets who tried to pressure me. When she was egg bound 5 years ago, two vets I visited insisted we put her through surgery with a 50% chance of survival. I finally found an avian vet who extracted the egg with her hands and Smoky lived for 5 more years to 10 years old.

This is all just my opinion, and you are all welcome to disagree with me. I wanted to hear opinions from other's regarding this. It's definitely something I would never consider. If I had to brand my bird somehow, I'd chose a leg band. Another option is to only allow the birds to be outside in a cage, or wearing a flight suit. It's harder for them to fly with a flight suit since it weighs them down (indoors), although I'm not so sure that would still be a factor outdoors.

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Old 03-24-2015, 10:09 PM
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Well I would think if its an indoor bird you do not need a chip but if your bird my have opportunities to get outside it may be a good idea. My worries is that a budgie is so small that an operation may be a high risk?
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Old 03-24-2015, 10:15 PM
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I think budgies are too small for microchips.
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:20 AM
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Chips are about the size of a rice corn. For a budgie it's probably too much, but a larger bird, I could see it.

Assuming that it's no different than chipping a cat or dog, that would not bother me: The chip is implanted with a syringe under the skin.

The problem I see is that until cell phones can read the chips readily, it is of limited use. I would certainly not remove the leg band over that!
I would also probably ask falcners if it works, as they do sometimes lose a bird.
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:11 AM
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Where I am in Australia it is compulsory to microchip dogs and cats. There are 3 different size chips used depending on the size of the dog or cat. Many birds are microchipped over here but usually not budgies as they are mostly too small for even the smallest chip. All the larger parrots that were imported here to Australia when imports were still allowed were microchipped before sending. But overseas they tend to put the microchip in the back of the neck and in this position it can work its way out. Over here they put the chip in the breast muscle in a downward direction to help prevent the chip from coming out, and the birds are always put under anaesthetic to do it. They are only out to it for about 30 seconds to a minute and come round very quickly and easily and I doubt they even know it has been done. Dogs and cats are not put under anaesthetic to do it and it appears to be no worse that getting their normal shots. Most of my puppies have not even winged or cried when it has been done. You get the occasional sooky male that will yelp.

I have had a few birds done, but nothing smaller than a Cockatiel or a Conure. We often have problems with bird thefts and it is a more accurate way of proving that the bird is yours if and when it is located. Leg rings can be too easily removed and are also not practical for the larger parrots like Cockatoo's or Macaw's as unless the ring is stainless steel the bird can bite it off. And even with the ring number it is much harder to prove it is yours. With the microchip it can be put onto a register with your name and details attached to it.

I see nothing wrong with it, especially for the larger very expensive birds, as long as the are put under anaesthetic to do it. Mind you I don't think I would like to try to put a microchip into a Macaw or a Cockatoo if it wasn't knocked out first. I value my fingers too highly for that.
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Old 03-25-2015, 05:28 AM
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All 4 of my parrots are/were chipped. My anazon was put under. My two hahns were put under but had to have a fair bit done aswell. My patagonian was awake for it, i restrained him myself. They sprayed a bit of freeze spray on then injected the chip into the pectoral muscle put a bit of glue on abd added pressure to stop the tiny amount of bleeding. He wasnt bothered at all the only thing he didnt like was the big scary chip reader.

I do recall hearing of a zebra finch chipped but cant recall details of that now.

I would never not chip a parrot - if there was a safer way to chip smaller birds all mine would be chipped.

A lot more vets now routinly scan birds for chips and its not just about them getting out. If they get stolen and sold on how do you prove 100% its your bird once the leg ring is removed?

I have not known of any complications with having them chipped in the pectoral.

I dont understand why more people dont microchip their pets would save a lot of hassle and put more people off stealing them if they were all chipped.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:06 AM
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Vets I have known here in the US will not give a chip for budgies but do the larger birds. All of our companion animals were given I D chipped with no problems. Now most humane societies and many vets have the Chip readers .

We feel it is essential in an emergency for the larger birds and animals. Hopefully a chip small enough for budgies and smaller will be developed as it would list any health issues or up to date vaccines. This could be a blessing when taking a bird across state borders and proving health and ownership.
So far I have heard few problems for birds given the chip. Blessings. Jo Ann
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:52 PM
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I wouldn't microchip my Budgies. My Parrotlets either. I have always microchipped my dogs. They've never run out the door (they are indoor dogs) and took off, but if they did and a nice person took them to the Humane Society or SPCA, they'd be able to call me. The thing with birds is that you have honest people who would advertise that they found a bird, and hopefully you'd get your friend back. There are people who might take it to a vet to have it scanned for a chip and others who wouldn't think folks would microchip a bird. Then there are people who would find a bird and think how great it was that they found this nice bird and they get to keep it. I'm not saying that negates the value of microchipping your larger or more expensive birds, though, please don't think that. I'm weighing in based on my flock. I feel like my Parrotlets are too small and my Budgies too small and timid. They are okay with the vet holding them to do his initial exam (they never tried to bite him) and then clipping a toenail for bloodwork. I'm just going to leave their handling experiences at that. LOL.
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by RusselltheGrey View Post
I wouldn't microchip my Budgies. My Parrotlets either. I have always microchipped my dogs. They've never run out the door (they are indoor dogs) and took off, but if they did and a nice person took them to the Humane Society or SPCA, they'd be able to call me. The thing with birds is that you have honest people who would advertise that they found a bird, and hopefully you'd get your friend back. There are people who might take it to a vet to have it scanned for a chip and others who wouldn't think folks would microchip a bird. Then there are people who would find a bird and think how great it was that they found this nice bird and they get to keep it. I'm not saying that negates the value of microchipping your larger or more expensive birds, though, please don't think that. I'm weighing in based on my flock. I feel like my Parrotlets are too small and my Budgies too small and timid. They are okay with the vet holding them to do his initial exam (they never tried to bite him) and then clipping a toenail for bloodwork. I'm just going to leave their handling experiences at that. LOL.
You are right when you talk about a lost pet, but - and to be honest it had not crossed my mind, after all, a budgie is 20 bucks here - theft and ID after recovery.

Now, we are not talking budgies, comparatively a dime a dozen, but larger birds that have a considerable value!
Stealing birds would have never crossed my minds, but I guess, where there is a buck to be made, unsavory characters will lurk in the shadows!

I suppose it is the equivalent to engraving your bike frame.
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:58 PM
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There have been a fairly large amount of bird thefts over here. Both from private aviaries and from bird shops and even a theft of birds from a zoo. At first the police did not do much about it as it was from areas all over the state and too hard to trace. But when they realized how widespread it was they actually have set up a task force just for bird thefts. Some birds have been recovered, mainly because they did have a chip. We do know that some of the stolen birds went interstate.

I believe there have been many thefts from aviaries in the UK as well. I know that over there particularly people take pictures of their Macaw's as their facial markings are completely individual to each bird, just like a human fingerprint.
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