Microchipping Your Bird

                                                                                                    By Christopher Stancel, DVM

- Microchpping dogs and cats has long been used as a means of recovering lost or stolen pets. This is now more commonly recommended for many bird species as well.

- The usual identification method for birds involves placing a plastic or metallic band around the leg of the bird with a series of numbers and letters imprinted on it. This is a useful and required way for breeders to label their offspring as captive born and to provide identification tracking. However, these band numbers are not placed in a national registry and are often removed by a skilled veterinarian either at the owners request or if a medical condition warrants its removal. 

- Microchipping provides a permanent and unique way of identifying your bird. Placement of a small transponder in the pectoral muscles of your bird with a needle allows a permanent way your bird can be identified if he or she is ever lost or stolen. Once the microchip is registered, when the pet is scanned with a scanning device the ID number can be called in to the company and all of your contact information will be provided.

- The only limitations to placement of microchips is the size of your bird. Typically birds under 100 grams would be considered too small for the procedure.
- Most birds do not need to be sedated for the placement of the microchip but certain circumstances that can be discussed with your veterinarian may dictate that.

Consider microchipping you bird to provide a permanent and unique way to identify your bird in the event your pet is lost or stolen.