Baby Bird Care
A healthy, adult bird in its natural environment does not require an artificially warm environment. Warmth, however, is often critical for the survival of an injured, ill or orphan bird.
- Precocial (boom covered in down) and altricial (born featherless) chicks should be housed in a cardboard box lined with shredded newspaper.
- Place a 40 watt light bulb above the box, sufficiently high to maintain the floor temperature within the box at30° C (86°F) to 32°C (90°F).
- Check the temperature by placing a thermometer on the floor of the box directly under the bulb.
- Provide space for the chick to move away from the heat source to prevent overheating.
- As the chick becomes feathered, gradually reduce the temperature to 20°C (68°F) by moving the light bulb further away.
Sick, injured or shocked birds
- Place the bird in a suitably sized cardboard box or cage.
- If using a cardboard box, line with a towel or shredded newspaper and provide holes for ventilation.
- If a cage, cover the top and sides with a thick blanket or several towels.
- The cage or box can be heated by placing near an electric heater (be careful of high heat settings and placing the box too close to the heater), a 60 watt incandescent light bulb, or an electric heating pad or blanket. Make sure the bird cannot get access to any electric cord.
- Provide space for the bird to move away from the heat source to prevent overheating.
- Maintain the temperature within the cage or box at: 30°C (86°F) to 32°C (90°F) until the bird has made full recovery.
- Dry heat can cause dehydration. Increase the humidity by placing a shallow bowl of water in the cage or box, or between the heat source and the bird.
- Monitor the temperature in the cage or box regularly.0 when the bird is sufficiently warm, the feathers will be smooth and unruffled and the bird will be alert and active.
- If necessary, the body (cloacal) temperature can be checked.
- Gradually reduce the environmental temperature to 20°C (68°F).
see more: Bird Attack