Mynah Birds - General

By Gregory Rich, DVM; Rick Axelson, DVM

General Information

Mynah birds (Gracula sp. and Acridotheres tristis) originate from Africa, India, and Southeast Asia and are best known for their ability to talk and mimic sounds. They are lively, social birds and have wonderfully outgoing personalities. As young birds, they are easily tamed. They are very active and enjoy hopping around, so they require a large cage.

Mynahs eat a large volume of moist food, including a lot of fruit. They are rather messy birds and will sometimes sling or toss food material outside the cage. They have frequent, loose, and often projectile droppings, which makes cage placement a consideration. If the cage is inside, some sort of protective barrier should be placed on the walls and floor of the home to make cleaning easier. Mynahs often enjoy a paper bag or nest box to sleep in. They love daily baths, and their enthusiasm creates a huge, wet mess.

The most common pet mynah birds are the Greater Indian Hill mynah, Lesser Indian Hill mynah, and Java Hill mynah. Other related species are the Pagoda mynah, starlings, and Bali mynah or Rothschild's grackle.

Purchasing a Mynah Bird

Mynah birds may be purchased from a pet store or a reputable breeder. Since they are not as popular as they once were, it may be difficult to locate a breeder close to your home. Do your homework and get references from prospective breeders. Make sure you get a two to four-week warranty to give yourself time to get a veterinary health check performed on your new bird.

When selecting a mynah bird, try to choose a young bird that is likely easier to tame and train. Older, wild, colony, or parent-raised birds may prove difficult to tame. Hand-raised babies often make better pets since they have been completely socialized with humans. Young birds are generally easier to tame, learn to talk better and adapt to new environments and situations better than adults. Your new bird should be exposed early to different events (young and old people, males and females, other pets, car trips, visits to the veterinarian, etc.) to help promote a calm, well-adjusted pet. A lively, alert bird that is not easily frightened is more likely to be a healthy bird. After purchasing your new bird, have it examined by your veterinarian.

Veterinary Care

Mynah birds require regular, routine veterinary health checkups. Mynahs have a predisposition to developing certain liver problems. Your veterinarian can perform a physical examination, grooming (nail and/or feather trim as necessary), and laboratory tests as needed. During these semi-annual checkups, health, nutritional, and maintenance issues can be identified and addressed. Veterinary checkups help prevent disease and will aid in the maintenance of a long-lasting, healthy relationship between you and your bird.

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