How to administer oral medications to a bird

Your vet has determined that your bird is sick and needs to be medicated. It sounds easier than it really is. Medications often have strong, unpleasant tastes and getting our birds to take them can be a real challenge. However, there are helpful tips and tricks.

Should a bird have losts his or her appetite, force feeding may become necessary. Please visit this webpage for instructions.

Follow your vet’s instructions.

If the medication is to be added to the drinking water, then this is the way to do it. Make sure that your bird isn’t put oft by the taste and stops drinking water altogether.

If the vet instructs you to feed it via a syringe, you may find your bird less than cooperative. However, the following usually work very well:

Mix the medication in with your bird’s favorite mashed food.

Corn Meal: Most birds LOVE corn meal mash. Cook up some corn meal into a really thick batch and once it cools, scoop out a little chunk and mix in the medication. They may feed the food right off your finger or provide in a small dish. Organic corn meal is preferred.

Birdy Sandwich: Another mash that works well for this purpose as it is usually readily accepted by parrots is to mix the medication with nut butter (good quality almond or peanut butter) and unsweetened apple sauce and spread it on multigrain bread. Very few birds will refuse this delicious meal.

Other Food Options: If your parrot doesn’t like corn meal (which would be surprising), try mashed baby food or warm sweat potatoes. My birds like “warm, mushy things”. Don’t waste medication though. Find out FIRST what your bird loves and then mix the medication in; preferably when your bird is really hungry to make sure he or she eats everything.

Make sure that your parrot ingests everything. Food is likely to get stuck on his beak. Wipe it off with your finger and feed it again to your parrot until all is gone.

This is absolutely the easiest way to give your parrot medication, and the least stressful one for your pet.

Administering MedicationHand Feeding MethodsHandfeeding ProtocolList of Handrearing Supplies Needed

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Team Beauty of Birds's team of experts includes veterinarians, biologists, environmentalists and active bird watchers. All put together, we have over half a century of experience in the birding space.

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