Depression is something that affects plenty of humans, and the world is becoming increasingly compassionate to these struggles. Unfortunately, while progress is being made in this regard, people sometimes forget that we’re not the only ones who can suffer from a low mood. Plenty of animals can be depressed too, and if you’re a bird owner, it’s worth knowing the signs.
They become aggressive
Personality changes are a huge indicator that your bird is depressed, and it makes sense. If you’re feeling down, you’re bound to act differently than usual. However, this doesn’t mean you should be expecting them to be miserable if they’re struggling with depression. Instead, it’s more common for birds to become aggressive when in a low mood. If your pet suddenly exhibits a lot of out-of-character aggression, you might want to speak with a vet to see if it’s depression.
They develop stress bars
Depression can have some interesting effects on your pet’s body, including the development of stress bars. These visual cues indicate your bird’s quality of life isn’t as high as it should be. Thankfully, they don’t have any sort of health impact on the animal. They simply indicate that something’s not right, giving you the chance to take a closer look at their life and see where improvements might be necessary.
They pluck their feathers
It’s common to find feathers around the house and in your bird’s cage when you have one of these pets. However, there’s a difference between molting and intentionally plucking out feathers. If your bird is doing the latter, this might be a sign that they’re depressed. The behavior can quickly become chronic and can lead to illness, so it’s essential to take note if they suddenly have any bald patches. Moreover, make sure that you’re spending plenty of time with your pet, as they might be plucking out of boredom rather than depression.
They don’t eat as much as usual
Most animals love food, so if yours isn’t eating theirs, it’s usually a sign that there’s something wrong. Appetite loss on its own doesn’t necessarily mean that your bird is depressed, but it is a potential indicator. What’s more, it’s vital that you monitor your pet’s eating activity so that you immediately know if something’s different. This is because birds have fast metabolisms, so a lack of food can quickly lead to weight loss and other health issues.
They display vocal changes
After living with your bird for a while, you become pretty familiar with the sounds they make. That means it should be easy enough to notice when their vocalizations suddenly change. If they alter their sounds or the frequency of them, it’s possible that your pet might be depressed. However, if they’re just getting louder, that might simply be an indication that they’re bored and need more one-on-one time. It’s worth noting the difference and making sure not to ignore any vocal changes.
If you notice these signs, don’t waste any time trying to resolve them. The sooner you combat their depression, the better.