We Built the Ultimate DIY Bird & Parrot First Aid Kit

We Built the Ultimate DIY Bird & Parrot First Aid Kit

Or “are you freakin’ kidding me, it’s for a 117 gram Cockatiel”!
 
Keep in a cool dry place, not a basement .
Anyone can write a list of what they think should go into a bird first aid kit and post it to the internet so that got us thinking where can you get all this stuff?
We put ourselves at peril by car, motorbike and bicycle navigating “near-the-loop” mayhem of Chicago streets & bike paths.

We did it over 4 days but If you had nothing to do one Saturday afternoon and actually wanted to build this first aid kit all at once you could start out with coffee and order all the medical supplies from us. Then go through your cabinets and drawers (something you’ve been threatening to do for a year anyway) to find things that would be useful in your kit.

Now hop in the family jalopy and go to Walgreen’s – CVS/pharmacy – Target – Starbucks (for more coffee) the Container Store, Menards & Ace Hardware. Your choice of retailers may be different but you get the idea.

 
Disposablescalpel for emergency bird care
Disposable Sterile Scalpel
for Bird Medical Emergencies
Why you need this
You always wanted to play doctor right? Some times a puncture wound has to be “cleaned up” or a small piece of skin needs to be cut away prior to dressing a wound. You’ll be prepared with this in your avian first aid arsenal.

  30 Each 3 inch Natural Nylon Cable Ties for Bird To

You may already have these
 
30 Each 3 inch Long Natural Nylon Cable Ties
 
Why you need this
Cable ties are quite versatile for the caged bird proprietor. Use for help with splints, on larger bones (wings) for stability until the vet sees the bird. Repair toys, make bird toys, use as a toy

  Non Magnetic Tip Stainless Steel 10 inch Tweezers for Bird Fist Aid

Non Magnetic Tip Stainless Steel
10 inch Tweezers for Bird Fist Aid
 
Why you need these
Should your bird be impaled by a large splinter from a bird toy, use these to be in control and remove the wooden splinter with precision.

 

  Pediatric Dual Head Stethoscope for Bird Care & First Aid

Pediatric Dual Head Stethoscope for Bird Care & First Aid

Why you need this

You come into the room to see the bird lying on the bottom of the cage. Is he/she alive? Use the “cup” side to listen for respiratory or cardiac activity. No need to guess and you’ll be able to provide better feedback when speaking to veterinary professionals on the emergency phone call.

 

  4-3/8 Inch Surgical Scissors for Bird Care & Bird Emergencies Read more: https://www.birdandparrot.info/4-38-Inch-Surgical-Scissors-for-Bird-Care-Bird-Emergencies_p_4031.html#ixzz372sG7bTU

4-3/8 Inch Surgical Scissors for Bird Care & Bird Emergencies

Why you need this
Animal injuries come in many different forms. As distasteful the term “trimming a a piece of skin away from a wound” sounds, you may be called upon to do it for yourself or a friends bird over a 50 year big bird stewardship. It’s inevitable, be prepared.

  6 Inch Cross Lock Tweezers for Bird Care & Bird Medical Emergencies

6 Inch Cross Lock Tweezers w/Stand
for Bird Care & Bird Medical Emergencies
 
Why you need this
We’re not sure but we think it’s really cool.

  -1/2 Inch Locking Stainless Steel Forceps for Bird Care & Bird Medical Emergencies

3-1/2 Inch Locking Stainless Steel Forceps
for Bird Care & Bird Medical Emergencies
 
Why you need this
Clamp something, hold back a piece of skin, these stainless steel forceps are indispensable

 

  Nail Trimmer for Birds by Penn Plax

for Bird Emergencies No Clips No Adhesive
 

Why you need this

It’s the feather thing. Please avoid using anything with adhesive, on feathers. You can use this to secure a broken wing to a birds body.

  

AviCalm Calming Bird Supplement 4 oz
 

Why you need this

Many times the stress of an injury can do more harm to a bird than the injury itself. This product will calm your bird. You can take a shot of “your” favorite calming potion after the emergency has abated.

  

Morningbird Blood Stop Powder 1/2 oz jar
 

Why you need this

Cutting the “quick” while trimming a birds nails with
a cutting device causing the nail to bleed. Will stop the bleeding.

  

You may already have these
 
Needle Nose Pliers

Why you need this

  Nitrile exam gloves in box and 1 loose

You may already have these
 
Nitrile Examination Gloves
 
Bought at a CVS/pharmacy store: Box of 40 – $8.99
 
Why you need these
Protection for you from blood, feces and other fluids.
Zootonic disease is always a possibility.
They’re not sterile but you’re not working in a sterile environment

  

Small Bird Avian Scale

Why you need this

Your bird appears lethargic or listless. You do a visual exam which reveals nothing physically wrong so you place the bird on the scale you use to weigh the bird at least once a month.
The log you keep may indicate your bird has sustained rapid weight loss. Good information to have when you call the vet.

  

3 Each 3 Inch 2 mL Glass Droppers

Why you need these

Many of our Avitech products are measured by the drop. Having the right tools makes it easy

 

  

2 mL Dropper Graduated in 1/4 mL Increments
 
Why you need this
On the phone the vet instructs you to make sure the bird gets 1 mL of a re hydration fluid like Pedialyte if you have it or even a sugar/salt dissolved in water mixture at room temperature. And you can respond with “got it”

Squeeze Wound Irrigation Bottle

Why you need this

Dirt like seed husks or feces must be removed from a wound before dressing it. Saline would be ideal but filtered water at room temperature will work too.
 
Hospital Grade Non-Stick Pads

You may already have these
 
Hospital Grade Non-Stick Pads
 
Bought at a Walgreens store: Box of 10 – $4.79
 
Why you need this
We like non-sticky, low to
no adhesive items when used on feathers.

  Bird First aid paper tape

You may already have this
 
First aid paper tape – easy to remove
 
Bought at a Walgreens store: 1 in x 10 yds – $1.89
 
Why you need this
We like non-sticky, low to no adhesive items when used on feathers

  Roll of Scotch brand masking tape

You may already have this
 
Roll of Scotch brand masking tape
 
Bought at a Target store: .7 in x 61 yds – $1.99
 
Why you need this
Can be used to splint leg fractures on soft bill birds.

  Neosporin Wound Cleanser

Do not use on or near your bird
 
Neosporin Wound Cleanser
 
I bought this for the kit because I liked
idea of the foam and that it was recommended for children.
 
A fact check found that it’s active ingredient,
Benzalkonium CI which is “moderately” toxic to birds and severely toxic to fish and reptiles (god knows how they know that)

  

Vetericyn Wound & Infection Treatment 4 oz Spray
 
Why you need this
Vetericyn is a topical antiseptic and a wound care solution that is safe as water. It does not inhibit healing because it does not harm healthy tissue like povidine iodine and hydrogen peroxide.

  Q tips

You may already have these
 
Who doesn’t have Q tips?
 
Why you need this
Use for cleaning wounds
or sponging small areas of blood.
 
We keep our bird first aid kit supply
in a sealed plastic bag for “freshness”

  Curad Alcohol Prep Pads - 100 CT

You may already have these
 
Curad alcohol swabs
 
Bought at a Target store: 100 ct – $1.74
 
Why you need this
Use for cleaning around wounds, wiping instruments before use and cleaning blood from feathers.

  KY Jelly personal lubricant

You may already have this (just gotta remember whose night stand:-)
 
KY Jelly Personal Lubricant
(non spermicide – non warming – non tingling)
 
Bought at a Walgreens store: 4 oz – $7.49
 
Why you need this
Use for removing/releasing feathers (attached to bird) from adhesive tape from forgotten craft projects and rodent glue traps consigned to oblivion.

  neilmed neil cleanse

Neil Cleanse Wound Wash Sterile Saline Solution
 
Bought at a Walgreens store: 4 oz – $8.79
 
Why you need this
Bird receives a laceration from another bird
or a cage component.
Falls to the bottom of the
cage rubbing the wound into seed husks & feces.
You need to clean the wound before you can dress it.

  Sterile soothing Eyewash

Sterile Soothing Eyewash
 
Bought at a Walgreens store: 4 oz – $8.79
 
Why you need this
A vacuum cleaner malfunctions spewing a great deal of dust in the air temporarily blinding you and the bird.
 
We keep this in the medicine cabinet.

  46.6 qt Watertight Tote Grey

46.6 qt Watertight Tote Grey
 
Bought at the Container Store: $14.99
 
Why you need this
You don’t want to go to all the trouble of collecting
all the essential bird care first aid items and find them unusable when you really need them.

  

Avitech Infrared Heat Bulb


Why you need this

Heat loss steals energy needed to heal. Infrared provides warmth with no light.

  Brooder clamp lamp

Brooder Clamp Lamp with Bulb Guard
& 10 Inch Reflector, 300-Watt, 6-Foot Cord
 
Why you need this
To get electricity to the aforementioned Avitech Infrared Heat Bulb

  Carrier for Small to Medium Bird by Living World 14x11 Read more: https://www.birdandparrot.info/breeder-c-232_220/carrier-for-small-to-medium-bird-by-living-world-14x11-p-1785.html#ixzz4cr2EILAf Follow us: @windycityparrot on Twitter

 
Why you need this
You can cradle the bird on the way to the vet or let him/her to lay comfortably on a towel warmed by a hot water bottle in a covered carrier. Heating pads have easily accessed electrical thingies and you don’t have an extension cord long enough to get to the vet.

  Res hot water bottle

You may already have this
 
Red Rubber Water Bottle
for Emergency Bird Warmth
 
Why you need this
You can cradle the bird on the way to the vet or let him/her to lay comfortably on a towel warmed by a hot water bottle in a covered carrier.

  Alll natural bamboo charcoal moisture absorber

All Natural bamboo charcoal moisture absorber
 
Bought at the Container Store:
8 – 10 g refills $9.99
 
Why you need this
There’s reason they put “Do Not Eat” packets in the new shoes you just got from Zappos that your husband doesn’t know about. This stuff wicks moisture and should be in your air tight container.
The generic term is “desiccant” (no one in 3 retail stores knew what the term meant). Think of it as an industrial sachet.

  Small bottle of olive oil

 

You may already have this

Olive Oil (any vegetable oil will work)
Bought at Mariano’s Supermarket: 8.5 oz $3.79
 
Why you need this
Your bird decided to help you wrap Christmas gifts and felt double stick tape was perfect for “holy cr*p – stop flapping uncontrollably so I can get the freakin’ tape off your little feathered body.” Also works well if your bird gets caught in a sticky trap.

  Pediatric oral electrolyte solution

Pediatric Oral Electrolyte Solution

Bought at a Target store: 33.8 oz $2.99

Why you need this
Coming back from a summer art fair with all the new art work you have no place to put, you find the air conditioner has failed and your bird is overheated, stressed and dehydrated.

  60 cc plastic syringe with offset tip for bird care

60 cc Clear Plastic Syringe with Offset Tip for
Even if you never hand feed a baby bird, this will come in handy for a sick bird. A bird under the weather may enjoy some warm comfort food like Worldly Cuisines from Higgins

  Yellow hand towelYou may already have this

Hand towel

Why you need this

“Toweling” is the easiest way to restrain your bird. An accident is not the time to introduce your bird to “toweling.”

Learn how to towel a bird here

  Roll of paper towelsYou may already have this

Paper towels

Why you need this
For general clean up. “Toweling” is the easiest way to restrain your bird. Paper towels are acceptable to restrain small birds like Cockatiels and Parakeets

  Ambient air thermometerYou may already have this

Ambient air thermometer

Bought at my local Ace Hardware: $2.99

Why you need this
Your bird needs to stay warm to conserve energy for healing. It’s important to know what the ambient (air) temperature is.

It needs to be in the high 70’s low 80’s. The only way to ensure this is with, you guessed it, a simple back yard thermometer. EZ to hang on the outside of the cage with a pear link.

  Antiseptic Skin Cleanser

Antiseptic Skin Cleanser

Bought at a Walgreens store: 8 oz – $11.49

Why you need this
Can be used as a surgical hand scrub/wash or to use directly on the bird’s wound. The active ingredient is Chlorhexidine gluconate, the same active ingredient as Nolvasan.

Chlorhexidine gluconate has been shown effective against Megabacteriosis in exhibition budgerigars when placed in their drinking water

  Head magnifier with LED lights

Head Magnifier with LED Lights

Why you need this
Allows you the freedom to work with both hands, important even when working with a partner. 3 levels of magnification let you “dial in” the view of the project at hand. Magnification is critical to administering accurate first aid care to you bird.

Great for the hobbyist too.

  Lupe for close up bird first aid work

Poor Man’s Lupe for Close Up
Emergency Medical Treatment to Birds

Why you need this
Allows you the freedom to work with both hands, Important even when working with a partner.

Precise magnification let you view the project closely at hand. Magnification is critical to administering accurate first aid care to you bird. Great for the hobbyist too.
Makes you look cool.

  9 led silver flashlight

You may already have this
 
9 LED Silver Flashlight

I pay from $1 – $3 for these

Why you need this
I can hold one in my mouth and work hands free. Accidents can be caused during night time power outages.

 

  Ball cap LED lightBall cap LED light

Bought at my local Ace Hardware: $3.50

Why you need this
Whether you’re trying to clean out a birds wound or finding your way down a campground path at night, this is a welcome help.
  Sterile gauze bandages

Sterile gauze bandages

Got these in a yard sale

Why you need these
Wounds need to be bandaged after they are cleaned and antiseptic has been applied.

  Coffee stir sticks

Coffee stir sticks

A few in the purse or pocket next time you stop for coffee and no one will ever know.

Why you need these
Use for temporary splints on (larger) bone breaks and fractures. Stabilize bird until the vet visit. Great foraging toy too 🙂

  emery board 

You may already have this

Emory board

Look in the junk drawer

Why you need this
Remove a “bump” from a beak or a rough nail tip.

  wire cutterYou may already have this

Wire cutter

Why you need this

A bird can get caught on a piece of metal from a toy. It may be prudent to cut the piece off the toy and then remove it from the bird.

  

Mitch Rezman

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they visited monthly birdie brunches in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

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