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It's a baby cockatiel, 4/5 weeks old. Out of the nest but…

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It's a baby cockatiel...

It's a baby cockatiel, 4/5 weeks old. Out of the nest but sleeping on the floor of the aviary with head under wing. Seems weak and lethargic. I'm very co concerned and don't know what to do for him.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the bird. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the bird?

He was fine until a couple of days ago. I noticed that he was on the tree branches propped on the floor but thought it was just that he couldn't fly properly yet. Today he's on the floor with head under wing

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Bird
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Answered in 3 hours by:
12/31/2017
Bird Specialist: August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist replied 3 months ago
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7,777
Experience: Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I've put him back in the nest. His mum is sitting on eggs again, but seemed accepting enough
We've be having scorchingly hot weather in Sydney. 42°. Today is a lot milder 25°. I wondered if the change in temp has affected him. Just checked the nest and he was stretching his wings.
Bird Specialist: August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist replied 3 months ago

I'll give you emergency support options, but what you're seeing has me concerned enough to strongly suggest he be seen for a hands on vet visit. The thing about birds is that they are nature's best 'maskers'. They hide weakness or illness better than nearly any other animal known. That's why he seemed fine .... right up until he didn't. Chances are that the problems we suddenly see have been going on and been hidden for lots longer

With babies like this it could be a simple infection going on and a course of specific meds for whatever the infection is will resolve it quickly. Left untreated, infections in birds this young (or really any age bird) can end badly, quickly.

No matter what, do not trust what looks like a miraculous recovery. All this means is the bird has figured out how to 'mask' their symptoms again

So for now let's make him a brooder box. Sort of a hospital intensive care room

Use a plastic bin lined with sheets, pillow cases or t-shirts and add a heat source. You might tuck a heating pad underneath (set on low and only under 1/2 of the cloths) or better yet, 'rice socks'. Use a couple of thick clean socks filled with raw rice, knotted at the ends. Microwave x 1 1/2 - 2 minutes and shake to distribute the heat evenly. Put these under the cloths and settle the bird in next to them, being sure he can move away if he's too warm

Cover the bin leaving about 1/4 open for air circulation. The low light and quiet should sooth him and support him until you get to a vet.

******* I just got your note about the weather and you putting him back with his mom *******

That's even better than a brooder box IF mom is supporting him and nurturing him. If not, the brooder box is necessary.

Use a hand feeding formula to try to encourage him to eat; however, do not tube him, try this with a syringe (eye dropper) or spoon

Even though it's warm there, when a bird is ill they often lose body heat quickly.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thank you for that. I would have taken him to the avian vet but, being a Sunday and New Years Eve, it appears none are open.
Bird Specialist: August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist replied 3 months ago

Yes, that's why I outlined the brooder box to support him while you wait. The hand feeding formula is high in needed nutrients and also provides hydration (although water should always be available).

There are many vets who have emergency phone #'s - if you find he's deteriorating further it's worth making that call.

It was a little 'tiel that came into my life a couple decades ago, taken way too soon by a congenital kidney disease and is the reason behind my building my parrot rescue and rehab org. Every bird I take in is somehow damaged and this is their last hope to live out their lives in peace and with the world revolving around them.

All of this to honor a sweet little cockatiel who wasn't here long enough. So I understand how important he is and I'm right there with you, trying to support him until he can be seen.

I have to sign off for the night (late here) but before you turn in will you let me know how your day went with him? That will be my morning here.

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Bird Specialist: August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist replied 3 months ago
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

August Abbott, CAS
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August Abbott, CAS
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