Bird Care – How to Stock an Emergency Kit

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,602
    Susan Vandenbroek from FeatherHeads in Sterling Virginia discusses how to stock an emergency kit for your bird.

    Hi, I am Suzanne with Featherheads. We talked about getting to the vet. Now lets talk about what you may need to do in an emergency situation to keep your bird alive before you get to the vet. Everyone should have an emergency kit prepared for their bird. My suggestion is that you get a tub that would fit the size of bird that you have. This would be adequate for an African Grey, a small cockatoos even some of the larger cockatoos such as an Umbrella.

    You want something that the bird can either lie down in or be placed in. You want something that you can put a heating pad under. Never put a heating pad under the full tub, only put it under part of the tub so that if the bird wants to get away from the heat, it can. One of the things thats an absolute necessity is the suitably sized towel, one or two. If you are using a large bird then you probably want to bath towel, if it is small bird, then use a hand towel. If its a love bird or Sun Conure or something like that, you may even want to have a couple of wash cloths. Some other basics that you need in your emergency kit, first item you want to include in your emergency kit is a good pair of scissors. Choose a pair thats size to the bird, a smaller bird you may want to use smaller scissors. Another item that you want in your kit is a nail clipper. A very important item is either styptic powder or there is also a liquid, Quick Stop.

    This is critical if a bird is bleeding. If you have failed to stack your emergency kit, corn starch or ordinary flour will also work. Another necessity is a good pair of pliers; again choose pliers based on the size of the bird. Blood feathers are something that we will talk about a little bit later, but a blood feather is something you are going to need to pull in most cases, in order to stop bleeding. Also included in your kit should be some bandages, some gauze pads, again, pick a size thats good for the bird. If youve got a bird whose cut, bleeding can be controlled by applying pressure to the wound. It may take as much as 15-20 minutes, you may need to change the pads frequently after pressure, then you want cold.

    Another item that works very well, are pet swabs. They actually had styptic inside the applicator tip. Its like a Q tip and there is styptic powder in there. Something else that you want in your emergency kit is either small bowls of Pedialyte or electrolyte. You can buy them Pedialyte popsicles and keep it in your freezer. Pedialyte or electrolyte does have an expiration to make sure you check it frequently and replace it before you have an emergency. It wont hurt it to use it out of date, but it also wont provide any benefit either. Another item is either Q tips or long swabs that you can keep in your emergency kit. A necessity of hydrogen peroxide, you can use this to rinse off any wounds that the bird has sustained. If its bitten by another bird that maybe you want to disinfect right away, use your hydrogen peroxide. You also want either a small syringe like this or even some of the 1 cc syringes that you give medication to children or that you may have already had for your birds to give medication with, keep some of those in your tub. It is possible, birds to become dehydrated if they are ill. Keeping them warm and keeping them hydrated are two of the most critical factors in sustaining life. Never give an unconscious bird anything to drink, you can choke it, but if your bird is conscious you can try dribbling little bits of Pedialyte and the electrolytes will help sustain its system, particularly if the bird may be in shock, but that maybe the difference between living and dying. You also may want to keep prepared a couple of pairs of plastic gloves handy for your bird, in case you are handling some emergency situation. Weve talked about what to do with your emergency kit, how to stock it. Next were going to look at removing blood feathers.