Sick Bird Care
Sick birds are very delicate and require specialized care to help in their recovery period. If your bird is ill, please bring them in as soon as possible for an exam.
Housing- Please keep your bird in a warm, dark, quiet place while it is recovering. Your bird will need to be housed in a “hospital” cage during this time to prevent it from expending too much energy climbing on bars and perches. This may be accomplished using a clear rubber-maid bin with ventilation holes poked in the lid. You may place towels laid flat on the bottom for bedding. Do not place perches or toys in the hospital cage. Warmth can be provided by placing a heating pad under half of the cage with several layers of towels between the pad and your bird or a heat lamp above the cage with a towel hung over the cage to diffuse the heat. Please check to make sure that the enclosure does not become too hot and that your bird cannot burn its feet or skin.
Feeding-Please make sure that your bird has access to food at all times. Birds have a very fast metabolism and lose weight quickly if they do not eat frequently. Offer your bird’s normal diet along with a variety of favorite treats to help stimulate appetite. While seeds are normally not an ideal diet, they may be offered while a bird is ill to encourage it to eat.
Other foods that may be offered include:
- A variety of fruits and vegetables
- Pasta or sweet potato
- Fruit and vegetable flavored baby food
- Nutriberries and Avicakes
- Seed mix
- Any other favorite treats
Handling-Please only handle your bird when changing its cage and administering medication. This will prevent overexcitement and allow it to conserve energy for fighting illness.
Weighing- It is very important that a sick bird maintain its weight and gain if underweight. It is difficult to tell when a bird is not eating or losing weight due to their feathering and tendency to pretend to eat while ill. The best way to monitor weight is by weighing daily. Please weigh at the same time every day, preferably before feeding. If a bird loses even 5-10 grams in small birds or 15-20 grams in larger birds, this is significant. Please contact us immediately if this occurs. (You may obtain a gram scale at local kitchen or office supply stores.)
Medication-Please give all medications as instructed. If it becomes too difficult to medicate your bird orally, you may mix medications in a small amount of a favorite soft food. Please contact us if you are unable to medicate your bird.
Recheck-Please return at the specified recheck time as it is critical that your bird’s progress is monitored. In the meantime, if your bird seems to worsen in any way, please contact us immediately. Please feel free to call with any other questions or concerns.