What Do You Give A Sick Bird? How Do You Revive Its Health?

There is nothing more stressful than seeing your lovable pet bird sick.

Intro Video - Backtobirds
Intro Video - Backtobirds

When a chirping cute little birdie suddenly causes a deafening silence in your home, it is an alarm that it needs your care and attention immediately.

The first question that you would have when your bird falls sick is “how do you revive a sick bird?”. 

If your bird is eating on its own, it means that it is only mildly affected by the disease and can be treated at home under a doctor’s supervision. 

However, if your bird is severely ill and is not eating anything, it might need hospitalization urgently.

What can you Feed to a Sick Bird?

Birds have a very high metabolic rate. This is the reason why a bird with good health can starve to death within 48-72 hours, and even more quickly when it is ill.

Hence, the initial thing that you might need to know when your bird is sick is “what do you give a sick bird to eat?”.

The best thing to offer a sick bird to eat is its favorite food. You can feed it with seeds, pellets, oatmeal, millets, soft vegetables such as boiled peas, fresh fruits like mashed ripe bananas, infant rice cereal ( or ) baby food, grounded up pellets mixed with fruit juices.

Encourage your bird to eat on its own by offering a variety of familiar foods to it. If your bird refuses to eat, avoid force-feeding your bird on your own; instead, prefer visiting your bird’s doctor for the same. 

Birds usually aspirate (inhale food) when force-fed, which can worsen your bird’s health or may even cause pneumonia.

You can hand-feed or syringe-feed your bird if it is a hand-reared baby. Feed it with its favorite hand-rearing formula mixed with warm water.

It is also important to note that your bird is well hydrated. A dehydrated or malnourished bird is more likely to die when ill. 

Moreover, you also need to ensure that the food and the water bowls are easily accessible to the sick bird. 

Related Read: Can You Overfeed A Baby Bird? How To Feed A Baby Bird

What is a Balanced Diet for your Bird? What does it need?

The most common thing that makes a bird sick is malnutrition. Hence, it is important that you give your bird a nutrition-packed diet so that it lives a longer and healthier life. 

Furthermore, a well-nourished bird can fight external infections and diseases in a better way.

  • Prefer pellet-based diet over seed-only diet
  • Most birds like seeds such as black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer (thistle) seeds, peanuts, millets, oatmeal, cracked corn, etc.
  • Feed your bird fresh vegetables daily – a mixture of leafy green (feed spinach only occasionally) and yellow vegetables
  • Fruits should be fed only in moderation to birds
  • Avoid giving your bird pits of fruits (avocados can be toxic)

Related Read: Pigeon Diseases | Common sick pigeon symptoms & Behavior

How do you treat a Sick Bird at Home?

Diseases are inevitable, not only for humans but also for birds. Even if you give your bird the best diet and the best environment, they may fall sick. 

Here are some quick tips for handling your sick bird at home.

Proper Medications:

In order to fight illness, your bird needs proper medication as well. Thus, you should administer medicines as prescribed and directed by your veterinarian.

If you are finding it difficult to administer medicines to your bird, consider hospitalizing it for proper treatment.

Do not stop the treatment before the medication is finished. This might aggravate your bird’s illness, necessitating a longer second round of treatment.

Related Read: Do Birds Need Vaccines? ( Everything About Vaccination For Birds )

Comfortable Ambience

Experts suggest that birds recover fast when kept at a slightly upper end of their normal environmental temperature.

Maintaining a temperature of 80-90º F around a sick bird will help increase its body heat. This in turn will help in stimulating the bird’s appetite, body’s defense mechanism, and digestion.

You can use either heating lamps or heating pads to keep the cage or area of the bird warm. Additionally, consider covering the cage with a warm blanket or towel to maintain the temperature.

If your bird has problems in breathing like gasping, wheezing, labored breathing, or discharge from nostrils, humidity can help.

Keeping your bird in a humid ambiance such as a steamy bathroom can help in easing your bird’s breathing issue. 

However, keep in mind that raising the temperature of the ambiance might not be a good solution in case your bird has a fever.

You can take your vet’s help to know the best temperature and humidity for your bird in that case.

Related Read: Can You Keep Birds In Cages? | Birds In Cages | Are There Any Exceptions?

Bird’s Sleep Cycle

The best way to recover from a disease for a bird is to rest. Most birds are accustomed to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of the night a day. 

However, as a caregiver of a sick bird, you might want to check on your bird every few hours during the night. By doing this, you may be disturbing your bird’s sleep cycle and adding stress to its already sick body.

Instead, the best way to help your bird get better is by letting it rest through the night. Meanwhile, you too need to take care of yourself to be able to provide the best care to your sick bird.

Avoid Stress

As a pet owner, it is quite difficult to see your baby ill or injured. However, it is in the best interest of your sick bird to let it rest in its cage.

Avoid giving any additional stress to your bird as it is already under immense stress while ill.

Nutritious diet and adequate rest are the two paramount things to help your sick bird recover fast. When these things are added to your love for your pet, no disease can harm your baby in any way.