Pet talk
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Pet talk

August 8, 2018

By Maneka Gandhi

In this week’s Pet Talk, Maneka speaks about the diet for baby bird, puppy and pet goat.

The mother bird is not in the nest with her eggs. Has she abandoned them?

Birds almost always return to their nest and resume incubating after they’ve been scared off. The parents may also periodically leave the nest to feed. This is especially true before all the eggs have been laid; many birds don’t start incubating their eggs until after the last one is laid, which ensures that the eggs all hatch at about the same time. So, in most cases, the nest is fine and the adult birds will be back to incubate the eggs soon.

I found a baby bird and I want to keep it as a pet. What do I feed it?

Almost 99% baby birds die when they are taken as “pets.” It is cruel and illegal to keep them. It is critical to understand that baby birds have very different nutritional needs than adult birds, and foods you would normally feed to your backyard birds are not appropriate for young fledglings.

Acceptable foods for baby birds: • Moist dog food. • Hard boiled eggs. • Dog biscuits (moistened). • Dog or cat kibble (moistened); What NOT to feed baby birds: • Water. • Bread or bread products. • Whole birdseed. • Milk. • Pet bird food. • Worms. • Kitchen scraps.

How to tell if a turtle has a healthy shell?

Turtles have a carapace (the top or dorsal shell) and a plastron (a bottom or ventral shell), both of which should always be hard and solid (unless it is a very young turtle or a species of turtle that always has a soft shell). A healthy turtle shell should be smooth and shiny without any visible signs of damage.

What are the popular liquid vitamins for aquarium fish and invertebrates?

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The lack of essential vitamins and minerals in the diets of freshwater and saltwater fish and invertebrates can lead to health problems, a common one in fish being head and lateral line erosion disease. An easy way to ensure your aquarium inhabitants get what they require in their diets is to use concentrated liquid vitamins that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and marine lipids, spirulina and kelp, and other natural nutrients.

What to do if my pet dog is diabetic?

Like humans, when dogs have diabetes, staying trim is the key. If your dog is overweight, losing some pounds can help his cells use insulin better, a hormone that keeps blood sugar levels in check. That makes it easier for his body to turn food into fuel. The goal for any pooch with diabetes is to keep blood sugar (or glucose) levels as close to normal as possible. This helps your dog feel good and makes it less likely he’ll get diabetes-related complications, such as vision-clouding cataracts and  urinary tract infections.

When should I change my puppy’s diet to an adult dog food formula?

When your puppy’s growth in height slows, you should begin switching to an adult-formula dog food. This usually occurs around 9 to 12 months for small breeds, around 12 months for medium breeds and around 12 to 24 months for large breeds.

What all should be included in my pet goat’s diet?

Goats need a carefully balanced diet of high quality hay, grass, ‘browsings’, and additional supplements. Long, fibrous food is needed in order for the goat’s rumen to work efficiently.

Goats do not cope well with sudden changes in diet.

Goats are browsing, not grazing, animals and prefer not to eat anything that has been on the floor. Hayracks with a lid and positioned at a height, where they cannot be dirtied, could be used.


There must be enough space for all the goats to feed at the same time without having to compete for space.

Goats should have access to a suitable mineral salt lick.

For growing or milking goats, or when additional forage is in short supply, the diet of bulk foods can be supplemented with a ration of concentrates.

How do I tell if my goat is in heat?

The average cycle for a doe [female goats are does and males are bucks] is about every twenty-one days. This is the time of their season when their oestrogen levels are at their highest peak. It generally lasts from twelve to forty eight hours. When a doe is in heat, she will usually be more vocal, making loud, long, panicky sounds. They parade around, wagging their tail somewhat energetically. If separated from a buck, they will try their best to catch his attention, by rubbing against their dividing fence. Other Visual Signs include a gel-like discharge from the back and a somewhat constant and startled daze in their eyes.

What are the signs that your goat might be sick?

Aside from the bleating, there are other signs to check for a sick goat. Healthy goat conditions that might be altered when a goat is sick include the following.

They won’t eat or they are not interested in food.

They won’t drink or they are not interested in water.

Bloated, kicking or biting their stomach.

Green or cloudy nasal discharge.

Body temperature above 103.5 indicates fever.

Body temperature above 101.5 indicates subnormal temperature.

Shows symptoms of pain like grinding their teeth.

They have loose faeces which indicates diarrhoea or problems in their bowel movement.

Rapid or slow breathing.

They have a hard time urinating or they suffer pain when urinating.

Pressing their head against fences or walls.

Their eyelids turn gray or pale in colour.


  1. Sachin says:


    I googled some of these answers and many of them seem to be sourced from the web pages of the British RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals):

    Not that this is a big problem. But clearly Maneka Gandhi is just copy-pasting stuff from the internet and that needs to be called out. Thanks.


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