Feeding By Hand when your bird is Sick:

If the bird will not eat by himself, we will have to feed him by hand (teaspoon, eyedropper, etc.). Boil 1/4 litre (1/2 pint) of milk and dissolve a few spoons of honey into it while it is still warm. Note: Some birds do not digest milk very well so water should be used in its place.) Beat the yolk of an egg, add a small pinch of salt and add this to the milk or water too. We may also add 100 milligrams of an antibiotic. Ask your druggist for Terramycin or Aureomycin or Tetracycline. This concoction can be stored in the refrigerator, but must be warmed up to 26 degrees C. (about 80 F.) before it is fed to our little patient. It can be fed in drops. If you wrap the sick bird in a kitchen towel, there will not be any danger to our eyes and hands nor will he injure or exhaust himself with sudden and unnecessary movements.

Place the tip of the dropper (or teaspoon) into the corner of the bird's beak and allow two or three drops of the mixture to fall into his mouth. Be sure not to squirt the food in with the dropper, because it will be a simple matter to get food into the lungs this way and, needless to say, that would not be advisable. After every two or three drops we should wait until the baby has swallowed his food. Large parakeet varieties such as the Alexandrine parakeet can be given 15 drops every four hours, much less (8-10 drops) for the smaller species. If your bird also has diarrhoea, give him some pulverised charcoal with his food, or milk with oven-dried bread. Your dealer no doubt has more drugs that should be of help. Be sure, though, not to give these drugs simultaneously with the above formula. We know either from experience or from what we have already read so far that parakeets are not often found quenching their thirst at the water dish, in fact, they can do without water for a surprisingly long time.

This is why we are presented with a problem when we need to mix drugs with water. The best way to force a bird to drink when he is sick is to place him in a separate isolated "hospital cage" in an area where we can control the heat. If we place a lamp next to the cage, which we have partially covered with thick towels, we can easily develop a temperature of 30-35 degrees C or (86 to 92 degrees F.). The warmth will definitely motivate your bird to drink, and warmth itself is also an excellent medical treatment. We should maintain this temperature for at least 48 hours and longer if the bird does not show signs of recovering. Medicines and vitamins should be administered only in small quantities, perhaps on top of a banana or another favourite food, and of course we must be careful to precisely follow the directions for the medication.

TETRACYCLINE/AUREOMYCIN: This is a antibiotic effective against almost all Gram negative organisms including Mycoplasma and Psittacosis--lymphogranuloma group of organisms. It is useful in septicaemias, respiratory, alimentary, urinary and wound infections. Prolonged use should be avoided otherwise fungal infections may develop. Use maximum 5 days treatment then 3 days without before starting second course.

TERRAMYCIN: Very affective eye ointment against many pus forming organisms including gram negative bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It is also useful for sinusitis. If used for the eye or a wound, use 2 to 4 times daily after a salt water bathing.

The above information was taken from the book BIRD DISEASES by L. Arnall and I. F. Keymer and remains copyright of the authors.


E-Mail: berniehansen@sympatico.ca



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Hamilton & District Budgerigar Society Inc.