In Part one of this article last month, we discussed three common illnesses in finches and how supplements can help with these. We also talked about the amount of minerals that birds require to be healthy and happy. In this month’s article, we are going to look at common illnesses and what products might be able to help with these.
Before we start, let me just tell you that I receive no compensation for any of the products mentioned in these articles – I refer to products I have used myself, had referred to me by other bird keepers and that I think look useful.
Common appearance problems
We want our birds to look healthy and at their beautiful best but not for our viewing pleasure but because a healthy-looking bird is more likely to be a healthy bird. Plumage is very important for birds to keep themselves warm as well as displaying purposes and a general feeling of well being.
Looking out of sorts is one of the most common symptoms that our birds display and can be an indicator of a score of problems. Treating an out of sorts bird can be tricky as you don’t know the underlying cause. But some general supplements can help give them a boost and get them through the worst. Guardian Angel is one example, a product created specifically for unwell birds that contains vitamins, pro- and pre-biotics and can be used after antibotics.
Slow moult is another problem, especially with birds such as Gouldian Finches. They can take forever to get their adult feathers or to get through the moult and the stress on their bodies can be fatal. It can also be caused by mites, so check thoroughly to make sure the little buggers aren’t draining the health from your bird. Products such as Feather Up or Moultone can help with slow moult while Ivermectin is a great treatment for mites as well as for conditions such as Scaly Face.
Birds can be quite prone to different breathing issues and there are a number of products that can help deal with different conditions. A traditional treatment that has become popular once more is colloidal silver, which is a natural antibiotics and can be added to drinking water as well as used alongside some other supplements. It can even be added to injuries or sores externally.
Wheezing or nasal discharge can be the symptoms of a number of conditions and vet advice should always be sought for any condition, to ensure correct treatment. Guardian Angel can be used as a booster and Calcivet or other liquid calcium can top up the bird’s natural reserves, especially after egg laying for hens.
General ill health
Sometimes there isn’t a specific problem with a bird but just a general sense of being unwell. They may not be moulting or breeding but seem out of sorts. There are a number of booster products that can be used to give them what they may be missing.
Flourish is a herbal product that gives the immune system a boost and allows them to fight off infections naturally. It also helps with gut health, as does Potent Brew, designed to help digestion and to give young birds a boost as well as combat the symptoms of stress.
Infections such as coccidiosis can be fatal if left untreated but there are some good products to use if you think your bird may have the parasitic infection. Harker’s produce a water soluble treatment as well as an all-in-one product if you are unsure what might be causing the problem. Acox is another product to deal with the condition. Both advice not to administer if the bird has chicks in the nest.
Supplements can be a great way to help an unwell bird but shouldn’t be used in place of speaking to an expert. Also some products effectively double up benefits so if you are unsure if you should give a combination of products, always contact the supplier or company producing them.
If you use other products or have other solutions for common problems, please let me know and I’ll be happy to include them on the list!