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can pet birds be microchipped?

Can Parrots Be Microchipped?

(Last Updated On: July 12, 2023)

Pet microchips aren’t legally mandated, but parrots can escape their cages and fly off. Also, high asking prices attract opportunistic thieves. This means that microchipping parrots is recommended.

A vet can easily microchip larger parrots, but smaller birds (under 65 grams) are more challenging. As inserting a microchip requires an injection with a hypodermic needle, small birds can bleed profusely.

If it’s safe for a bird to undergo this procedure, a microchip the size of a grain of rice will be injected into the body. A vet can scan this microchip to reveal the owner’s identity and contact information.

Microchipping a parrot won’t pinpoint a bird’s real-time location if it escapes, but it’ll enable a vet to get in touch if the parrot is found. A microchip can also act as proof of ownership.

A pet is classed as property under federal law and is protected by the same rights as other possessions. Microchipping can prevent pet theft and the illegal rehoming of parrots.

Can Pet Birds be Microchipped?

Although microchipping pets is more commonly associated with mammals like cats and dogs, you may be able to microchip a pet parrot.

Larger parrots can easily be microchipped, but some vets won’t microchip birds that weigh less than 100g. Parrots weighing less than 65g are seldom considered suitable for microchipping.

It’s unlikely that a vet will agree to microchip a small bird, like a budgie, lovebird, or parrotlet.

where do you place the microchip in a bird?

Is Microchipping Birds Necessary?

Microchipping a parrot isn’t a legal requirement in any state or country, but it’s advisable. When a parrot is microchipped, a unique number is assigned to the chip, which can be read with a scanner.

Microchipping a parrot primarily aims to reunite you with a pet if it escapes the home.

While some parrots will return after a short adventure, some birds travel too far or become injured. In such instances, a parrot can have its chip read to reveal the identity of its owner.

Parrots are sometimes stolen from homes and sold through sites like Craigslist. A microchip will confirm that you’re the legal owner of a parrot if this is disputed.

How To Microchip A Parrot

Only a vet can microchip a parrot. Contact a local veterinary clinic and make an appointment to discuss your needs. A vet will medically assess the parrot and confirm its suitability for microchipping.

If a vet confirms the parrot is eligible for microchipping, it may be sedated. According to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, mortality rates are high in birds administered anesthesia.

The application of the microchip involves an injection with a hypodermic needle, implanting the microchip straight into the body. You can update the information on the provider’s website.

Where Do You Place The Microchip in A Bird?

A parrot won’t be microchipped between the shoulder blades, where the chip is usually placed on mammals. Bird’s skin is thin, and the microchip could bulge, rendering it unsafe.

Most parrots are microchipped on the left side of the chest, usually inserted around half an inch under the skin. This location won’t restrict flight and keep the microchip permanently in place.

Is Microchipping Dangerous for A Parrot?

A parrot will feel a short, sharp pricking sensation during microchipping and react accordingly. If a bird moves suddenly during the procedure, its skin may be broken, and bleeding becomes possible.

This is why some vets refuse to microchip small birds. Any bleeding can be increasingly dangerous in small and frail birds, but complications during the microchipping procedure are uncommon.

Laboratory Animals stated that no common adverse side effects are reported in animal microchipping.

How Much Does It Cost To Microchip A Parrot?

All vets charge different rates, but parrot microchipping rarely costs more than $100. The procedure is swift and completed on an in-patient basis. A bird must wait 10 minutes to check for adverse side effects.

Pet insurance won’t cover the cost of microchipping a parrot, but always check the small print. You may find that reimbursement for the loss or theft of unmicrochipped birds isn’t covered.

Do Parrot Microchips Last Forever?

Parrot microchips are intended to last a bird’s entire lifespan, although some need to be replaced after 25 years. You may need to renew the identification chip if you have a long-lived parrot species, like a macaw, cockatoo, or African grey.

You’ll need to keep the details in a microchip current, ensuring the bird’s microchip is always linked to an up-to-date contact name, telephone number, and address.

If you rehome a parrot for any reason, the details on the microchip must be updated.

how to microchip a parrot

How To Tell if A Parrot is Microchipped

The only way to determine if a parrot is microchipped is by taking the bird to the vet.

While consumer apps that claim to read animal microchips are available to download on the iOS and Google Play stores, there’s no guarantee they’ll be accurate.

Call to check if the vet has the appropriate apparatus to identify a parrot microchip.

Regardless of where you buy a pet parrot, check for a microchip. This will help avoid legal issues if the bird is a stolen pet whose owners are searching for it.

Call animal control services if you encounter a parrot that may be an escaped pet.

Once the parrot has been taken to the vet, the presence of a microchip can be determined. If the bird has a microchip, its owners will be contacted and collection arranged.

Alternatives To Microchipping A Parrot

The most popular alternative to microchipping is attaching an identifying band to a pet parrot.

A steel or aluminum ring will be attached to the parrot’s leg while the bird is young. As the parrot grows, the band will remain fastened.

While banding is cheaper and theoretically less intrusive than microchipping, there are flaws with this form of identification. These issues include:

  • A band can be removed from the parrot’s leg by a thief.
  • The markings found on a band can erode over time, becoming illegible.
  • Bands can get caught on perches or cage accessories, trapping your bird and leading to injury.
  • A poorly-fitted band may result in muscular or tendon issues as the parrot grows.

Banding may be essential if a parrot has been imported from overseas and is a rare species. Overall, microchipping is considered a safer and more reliable form of identification if deemed suitable.

Some owners clip a parrot’s wings to stop them from flying away, but it’s not without problems. For example, wing-clipping doesn’t stop people from stealing birds.

Microchipping a pet is advisable, especially as parrots can escape, and animal thieves operate in many areas. A microchip is the most effective way to confirm that a parrot belongs to you and significantly increases the chances of being reunited with a lost bird.