Caring for a sick or injured bird at home is extremely stressful and frightening. You should immediately contact your avian veterinarian if your bird has been injured or appears sick. Your vet will give you instructions on how to provide supportive care at home, but here are a few guidelines.

Here's How:

1. If the sick or injured bird is housed with other birds, or if his cage is fairly large, you should remove him from the cage and place him into a carrier or hospital cage. A hospital cage can be made from a smaller cage or a small glass fish tank. If he's going to stay in his cage, remove the perches and pad the bottom with a towel.

2. You need to provide heat. Heating lamps, heating pads, or hot water bottles do the job well. Set up the hospital cage so that the bird can get away from the heat source if he needs to. The temperature should be around 80-90 degrees.

3. Provide fluids. Birds who are not eating or drinking need fluids immediately! You may have to use a small syringe to get your bird to drink. Use something like Pedialyte or 100% fruit juice. Be gentle if you have to force-feed your bird the fluids. Gently wrap her in a towel and use a syringe to put a few drops of fluid into her mouth at a time.

4. Offer your bird's favorite foods to entice him to eat. This might be seed or millet, just make sure it's high-quality and fresh.

5. Check with your vet to see if you should also be adding extra supplements to your bird's food or fluid source.

6. Your vet may give you medicine to administer to your bird. You will most likely need to give medicine by syringe. It's a good idea to always keep birds used to syringes by offering them favorite treats like warmed baby food by syringe on a regular basis. Remember to keep all medications refrigerated and stored properly and to always use clean syringes.

7. You may need to hand-feed your bird if he's not eating. You can buy commercial parrot hand-feeding formula in powder form that you mix with warm water and is fed by syringe. You can store unopened hand-feeding formula in the freezer.

8. Keep other pets and people away from your bird. His environment should be kept quiet. Don't take him out to play, just let him rest.

9. Keep in contact with your vet. He or she should provide you with a number to call after hours if you notice additional signs of illness or if your bird begins to decline.

10. Don't blame yourself! Birds are masters at hiding signs of illness, and sometimes it's nearly impossible to tell when they aren't feeling well until they're really sick. Do the best you can and always work with your vet.


1. Don't panic. Call your vet when you notice that something is wrong with your bird.
2. Keep your bird warm. Heat is essential! If your bird has to use his energy to keep his body warm, he won't have enough energy to get his body well again.
3. Store extra bottles of Pedialyte, unopened, in your pantry for emergencies. Store hand-feeding formula in the freezer.
4. Keep your vet's number and the address of the clinic handy at all times. When you're panicking, it could be difficult to find the number.
5. Keep an avian first aid kit on hand at all times.

What You Need:

A competent avian vet
A heating source
Fluids such as Pedialyte
Hand-feeding formula if your bird is not eating
Syringes that are the right size for your bird