It concerns me that so few people take advantage of microchips especially for birds. Thousands of lost birds are scanned and no microchips were found. This is just plain scary.
What is a microchip
Microchipping or a microchip implant - is a simple procedure where a glass bead, about the size of a grain of rice, is inserted, (actually injected) into a muscle with a device like a hypodermic needle. Inside the glass bead is a code (computer chip). If the bird is lost or stolen the code can be read by scanning the outside of the bird with a handheld LCD scanner found at almost all shelters.
The next generation of microchips are expected to have GPS technology. Wouldn't that be wonderful!
It is possible to microchip a bird as small as 65 grams (many recommend no smaller than 100 grams) it goes into the muscle around 1/4 to 1/2″ deep.
If a bird is lost or stolen too many people depend on the leg bands. Leg bands can easily be lost or purposely removed.
I just ran into a story about a 15-year old dog that was lost seven years ago in Louisiana was just found in North Carolina and will be reunited with his family. The dog is now fifteen years old. A miracle of miracles, the joy of finding a lost dog, and from the dog's point of view a lost family. The heart ache through all those years!
Lost Bird - Found Bird
One local humane society receives 150 stray birds a year and every single bird is scanned. This is quite common. The trouble is so far NOT one single bird has had a chip. Think of all the birds that would have been reunited with their owners if they had just been chipped!
The microchips don't seem to bother birds not even the notorious feather pluckers. The microchip is permanent meaning it can't be removed by thieves thus deterring them from ever bothering in the first place.
The recovered bird is scanned and the recovery service* that you joined is notified. Make sure if you move and or change your phone number always supply the recovery service with your new information. The recovery companies are quite inexpensive be sure to do your comparisons.
Considering the number of birds that are recovered, even if your pet isn't microchipped many people don't think about contacting local shelters overtime to see if their bird has been recovered. Even if your bird is microchipped it is still a good idea to contact shelters in surround areas. Just in case they don't have a scanner. Though many companies are actively donating scanners to shelters and most shelters have scanners.
A lady that lives nearby had lost her little bird. She could see it in the trees for a short while. I often wonder if she even thought about calling a shelter? I wonder if she had thought about micro chipping?
* Recovery services are often offered by the microchip manufacturer. Companies like Avid Pettrac Avid Pettrac Some companies are independent. There are several such recovery systems. Check with the veterinarian or clinic that is supplying the microchip for recovery services.
Subscribe free to the Birds newsletter. It is quick and easy. Just glance to the right or scroll a bit to the bottom and subscribe. I will only bug you once a week :) Be the first to be in the know! Your information is always private!
I am also the Exotic Pet editor. If you or someone you know enjoy any of the huge variety of exotic pets; subscribe to the exotic pets newsletter!
The Complete Pet Bird Owner's Handbook