1.      What is a microchip?

A microchip is a sterile device the size of a rice grain which contains an electronic identification code. This code is represented on an accompanying barcode label, the appearance and number of which is unique to your bird.


2.      Why microchip a bird?

As is the case with dogs and cats, birds can be implanted with a microchip to assist in their identification. If the microchip number is also then registered with the Australasian Animal Registry, a national database is available to assist in the return of the bird to the rightful owner. This is especially important in the case of loss, dispute over ownership or theft.


3.      Where is the microchip implanted?

Unlike dogs and cats the microchip is not placed under the skin but rather it is generally implanted in the left breast muscle. However, to ensure a bird has not already been microchipped, your veterinarian will thoroughly examine the entire bird using a microchip scanner.


4.      Will the bird feel any discomfort?

As the microchip is placed into the muscle using a sterile needle, a light general anaesthetic is used to minimise any stress to the bird. Your veterinarian will explain the procedure thoroughly to ensure you are fully aware of the potential risk any anaesthesia entails.


5.      How long does it take?

The procedure itself only takes a few minutes but to ensure your bird is fully awake after the anaesthesia you may be asked to remain at the clinic for 10-15 minutes. During this time, if you wish to register your bird with the Australasian Animal Registry, you can fill in the appropriate form.


6.      How does registration work?

The clinic forwards the completed "Application for Registration" form to the Australasian Animal Registry. The information supplied on the form is entered onto the database and a letter confirming this is posted to you within a few weeks.  Should your bird subsequently be handed in to a veterinary clinic it will be scanned and the microchip number that is read will enable the Australasian Animal Registry to retrieve your contact details from the database. It is your responsibility to update your contact details should they change at any stage.


7.      What do I do if my bird goes missing?

Contact vets and pet stores in your area, as well as specialist avian vets, to inform them of your loss and that your bird is microchipped. If your bird is taken to any of these places it will be scanned as above and you or your alternate contact will be notified. You should also place notices and/or do letterbox drops in your area to inform your neighbours - don't place the microchip number on these as it is confidential.


8.  Can all birds be microchipped?

Any bird weighing 100g or more can be microchipped eg rainbow lorikeets and larger. Smaller birds can also be done but individual cases need to be discussed with your veterinarian.






All care has been taken to ensure that the information contained on, and accessed through, this website is correct but BIrd Veterinarian accepts no responsibility nor liability for, and makes no representations with the respect to the accuracy or completeness of the information on this website. The information contained on the Bird Veterinarian website is intended as a general guide only and should not be relied on in place of professional veterinary consultation.