Talk to it, gently stroke it while assessing the injury.
Treat what you can using methods described below.
Ensure your bird has additional heat (heating pad, hot water bottler, cage panel heater) so it doesn’t waste calories warming itself.
If you think the bird needs a vet, this would be the time to go.
As an example, let’s say a bird gets it’s leg band caught in a bird cage accessory breaking its tibiotarsal (shin bone).
In this scenario, a bird has a higher chance of dying from stress than from the injury itself.
This is why you will want to stabilize the bird before tending to the injury.
Orthopedic injuries usually aren’t life-threatening so work on the stabilization of the bird first something called “re-establishing homeostasis” in veterinary terms.
Feathered facts about bird bones
We know that bird bones are hollow, enabling them to fly but what you might not know is these hollow bones are considered “pneumatic” bones that contain air filled canals aiding in the respiratory cycle during flight.
Feathered facts about bird skin
A bird’s skin is much more delicate and thinner than mammal skin and far less elastic.
The skin is secured firmly to the birds bones, especially in two highly mechanical areas, wings & feet.
The top layer of skin, the dermis holds smooth muscles and feather follicles which is how a bird determines the position of its feathers.
The tissue beneath the skin, (the subcutis) is made up of fat, striated muscles and connective tissue.
A broken bone is usually visible, a fracture sometimes can only be determined with an x-ray.
If your bird experiences a broken bone and your bird first aid kit is still on your shopping list you can resort to the Mitch-guyver method of treating avian orthopedic injuries.
A feather quill, cut from a flight feather can serve as a splint and can be wrapped with masking tape.
Feathered Factoid about birds wings
Falconers imp wings to keep the birds feathers in perfect shape.
Imping has been around for several thousand years.
Originally done with steel pins and vinegar (causing the steel pins to corrode binding the two halves of the feather) but now done with bamboo or the shafts of smaller feathers and what else – super glue.
You can see why we’re going to break this first aid thing into a bunch of different parts, but we’re hoping you feel the conversation will be worth it.
Of course we didn’t forget the of list of 60 nasty things birds shouldn’t be around – here you go:
- Automobile exhaust/carbon monoxide
- Burning foods
- Cold drafts
- Cooking oils
- Curtain weights
- Dryer Sheets
- Extreme temperature changes
- Fabric softeners
- Fishing sinkers
- Furniture polish
- Gasoline fumes
- Hot stoves and heaters
- Household keys (some)
- Improperly glazed bowls
- Insecticide sprays and foggers
- Lead hardware
- Lead paint chips
- Lead shot
- Lead weights
- Lead-coated household products
- Lead-containing Venetian blinds
- Linoleum Tile
- Liquid potpourri
- Nail polish
- Non stick cookware
- Open doors
- Open flames
- Plumbing material
- Saliva from any animal, including humans
- Scented Candles
- Scented Laundry Detergent
- Self-cleaning ovens
- Smoke (any source)
- Solder in stained glass
- Some antiques
- Some artist paints
- Teflon anything
- Tire weights
- U.S. pennies minted after 1983
- Water deeper than 1 inch
- Wine/champagne bottle foils
- Zinc hardware (washers, nuts, wire)
- Zinc on bird toys
- Zinc on chain
- Zinc on galvanized wire cages
- Zinc on older water or food bowls
Also published on Medium.