• EllenD25 commented on HollyMann's instructable Injured Bird: What To Do - Step by Step2 months ago
    Injured Bird: What To Do - Step by Step

    Please see my above post.

    Please read my post above, as this article, though very well meaning, could very well kill a baby bird.

    As a bird owner of 30 years as well as a breeder of parakeets, and someone who worked in the avian diagnostics lab at Penn State University, most of the information given in this article is very wrong and will more than likely kill a baby bird, wild or domestic. It's unfortunate that this is out there on the internet for people to use as a way to try and help a baby bird in need.The only thing I agree with is that the bird must be kept very warm, in fact at 88-92 degrees. Yes, use a heating pad, but never inside the box you have the bird in, always underneath the box! Get a shoebox or other small cardboard box, no need for a lid as the bird can't climb or fly, and it needs air, and a cool end to get to. So put the heating pad under half the box, leaving the other half to be the cooler area if the baby needs it. Put either clean towels or paper bedding in the box, no cedar or pine chips or anything with dust as the baby can aspirate them. Put the baby on the towels at the end of the box with the heating pad underneath it, and cover that half only with another towel to trap the heat in at that end only. The bird will not "catch pneumonia", pneumonia is an infection caused by either a bacteria or a virus. It needs the heat because it is not fully feathered and cannot regulate it's own body temperature, plus it will most likely be in shock and this can cause their body temp to drop and kill them. It also needs to be warm enough to digest food. If the bird is too cold, it's crop will go into "stasis" or "sour crop" and the food will just sit in the crop but not progress to their intestines.Parent birds often throw a sick or injured bird out of the nest or purposely kill it, and this is why you need to call a wildlife rescue or your local game commission immediately if the bird is obviously injured. You cannot put an injured baby bird back into it's nest because the parents will probably either kill it or just stop feeding it, and unless you're capable of raising it until it's weaned onto solid food and can fly, it needs to be taken care of until that point.The feeding section of this article is the most disturbing as baby birds that are still young enough to be in a nest and still being fed by it's parents cannot eat solid food at all!!! No seeds, no worms, nothing!!! Yes, the parents eat these things, but they actually let the food get moody and develop into a liquid and they then regurgitate this liquid from their crops into the baby's mouth. They do not pick up a seed and feed it directly to the baby. This can actually kill a baby bird instantly, as they can very easily aspirate any solid food into their windpipe and die. The liquid food that their parents basically "vomit" into the baby's mouth goes into the hole to the baby's crop. This hole is on the baby's right side of it's throat (your left). So you need to either go to Petco or your local pet store and buy some hand feeding formula for baby birds and mix it according to the container, or you need to make a formula yourself in a blender made up of fruits, veggies, whole wheat bread or pasta, nuts, shelled seeds, etc. mixed with either boiling water or boiling, unflavored Pedialyte. I actually mix my hand feeding formula with Pedialyte. The formula should be the consistency of pudding, this is how you know how much water or Pedialyte to add. No need to feed the baby water separately, it will get it's water from the formula. AND NEVER PUT ANY TYPE OF CONTAINER OF WATER IN THE BOX, THE BIRD CAN EASILY DROWN! The formula needs to be at a temperature of around 105-110 degrees. If it's hotter it will burn the baby's mouth and crop, if it's colder the baby will most likely spit it out or refuse it, and if they do eat it when it's too cold it can cause crop stasis or sour crop and just sit their, not being emptied by the crop into the intestines, and the bird can starve to death with a full crop. Use a kitchen thermometer to get the formula to around 115-120 degrees and then suck it up into an eye dropper. It will cool quickly to 110. Always microwave or boil the water or Pedialyte and then add it to the formula mix or to your blender if you're making your own, as if you microwave the formula mixed with water it will have "hot spots", or pockets of scalding hot formula that will burn the baby. Take an eyedropper and suck up the formula, and always place it on the baby's left side of their beak (your right) and aim the eyedropper over their tongue and across their mouths to their right side of the back of their throat (your left). The baby should start bobbing it's head rapidly if it's hungry. I should emphasize that before you feed the baby you need to check it's crop to see if it's full already by feeling it's upper chest area right below it's chin. If it's bulging and feels like a balloon then the parents had just fed it before it fell and you must wait until it's crop emptied to feed it again. If you do not feel a balloon or see a bulge and it's chest is flat then you should feed it. This should happen every 3-4 hours as the crop empties. Again, start on the baby's left side of it's beak (your right) and aim the eyedropper across to the baby's right side (your left) and to the back of it's throat. Squeeze the eyedropper to the rhythm of the baby's head bobbing. If it has no feeding reflex you may have to open it's beak with the eyedropper and squirt some formula into it's crop until it gets the hang of the eyedropper, or until it calms down from shock and fear. Each normal eyedropper full is 1ml, and baby should take 3-4ml, although the younger the baby the less it will eat. Do not force the baby to eat more than it wants. If it's head stops bobbing and it pushes you away or spits the formula out, stop feeding it.Clean any wounds with any antiseptic that people use like hydrogen peroxide, iodine, hibiclens (this is the best), etc. and make sure to put firm and direct pressure on any active bleeding until it completely stops, as baby birds have very little blood and can easily bleed to death. Once any bleeding is stopped and the wounds are cleaned, put antibiotic cream, NOT OINTMENT, on the wounds, like Neosporin or Bacitracin. If the baby has any bad injuries like a broken leg or wing, there isn't much you can do but wait for the game commission or wildlife rescue to come, as the baby will need vet care to set and splint any broken bones. After addressing wounds, feeding, and getting the baby in it's box with a heating pad under HALF of the box, put the baby in a quiet, dark room, free from any activity. Only disturb the baby to feed it formula every 3-4 hours, or whenever you see/feel that it's crop is empty.Hopefully the wildlife rescue or game commission comes quickly to pick the baby up, and if it doesn't and you are able, please take it to an avian vet if it has any major injuries. Always call a qualified avian veterinarian for help if it

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