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Remedies To Protect The Health Of Your Birds

When serious illness strikes you should seek the advice of an avian veterinarian who is knowledgeable about budgerigars and their diseases and ailments.

Dr J Peter Hill

My buddy Dr J. Peter Hill of Pet Care Animal Hospital in Cincinnati was first to diagose Megabacteria in my birds back in the 90s. His recommended treatment using Megabac-S saved my stud.

I am not qualified to prescribe solutions to problems or illnesses in your birds, but here are a few remedies and medicines that have proven to work for me over the years.

RedBullet RED MITES, FEATHER & FODDER MITES:

Growing Garlic in your birdroom will provide permanent control of mites. I also add crushed garlic cloves and chopped garlic leaves to the softfood on a regular basis... and also add a little garlic juice to the drinking water for a couple of days each month.

To guard against red mite I use Diatomaceaous Earth, also known as Fossil Shell Flour. I place approximately a tablespoon of DE in the nestbox concave before adding shavings. As the hen cleans the nest she will scatter the DE into all the cracks and crevices to ensure red mites cannot survive or breed.

I also add a little Diatomaceaous Earth when I am mixing my seed to guard against fodder mites which can be a problem with grain that has been stored. 

RedBullet MEGABACTERIA (Avian Gastic Yeast):

Macrorhabdus ornithogaster (often called Megabacteria) is a disease of many avian species, including budgerigars.  Clinical signs are typical of "Going Light"..include weight loss, regurgitation, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, lethargy, and weakness.

Back in the 90s, after Megabacteria was diagnosed following a shipment of imports from England, my avian vet friend Dr Peter Hill prescribed Megabac-S produced by Vetafarm in Australia. This corrected the problem after one course for 10 days and I used it annually as a precautionary measure for several years.

Megabac-S is still available direct from Vetafarm or through distributors in many countries.

Sodium Benzoate (Food Grade) has also been used with success. Mixed with drinking water at 5 ml (1 teaspoon) per liter for 35 days. Care should be taken when administering to breeding pairs. Due to increased water consumption while feeding young it is recommended that half-strength should be used.

Pigeon fanciers and chicken breeders have used a Virkon-S in the drinking water to combat many infections, including yeast infections, for years. Virkon-S is a disinfectant made by Dupont. It is a great disinfectant to use in the birdroom and can be used in the drinking water when sickness strikes. Doseage is 1/2 teaspoon per gallon for 5 days. Usually within a couple of days symptons have disappeared and within a week can be returned to the flight. Virkon-S seems to have a positive effect on all bacteria, virus, fungi and canker.

After using any of these treatments it is a good idea to follow with a good probiotic and vitamins to restore friendly gut bacteria.

RedBullet SCALEY FACE MITES:

Growing Garlic in your birdroom will provide permanent control of mites, including Scaley Face and Leg Mites.

My remedy of choice for ScaleyFace is Dettol. Use a cotton bud to dab Dettol on the affected area and within days the mites and damaged tissue are usually gone. Extreme cases may take 2-3 applications a week apart.

Applying mineral oil or vaseline over the affected area wil block oxygen needed by the mites and eliminate an infestation.

RedBullet DIARREA:

Substitute cold tea for the drinking water for 3-4 days to correct diarrea, loose droppings or clagged vents.

RedBullet MINOR INTESTIONAL PROBLEMS:

Add Apple Cider Vinegar to the drinking water for a week... and then use cold tea for 3-4 days.

RedBullet CALCIUM DEFICIENCY:

Extra Calcium is essential in our budgies' diet, especially for the hens leading up to and during breeding season when they are draining calcium from their bones to produce eggs.

Calcivet with Vitamin D3 should be added to the drinking water on a regular basis. I double the recommended doseage leading up to breeding season.

Other Birdroom Problems -

RedBullet EGG BOUND HENS: Apply warmth... Administer a few drops of Calcivet liquid direct to the beak every couple of hours.

RedBullet FEATHER PLUCKING: At first sign of feather plucking foster the chicks to another pair. Some breeders coat the youngsters with bitter apple solution and claim this helps.

Try tacking a piece of string to the top of the nestbox so it hangs down over the concave. Then hen will spend her spare time shredding it instead of stripping feathers from her chicks.

RedBullet HENS SCALPING CHICKS: Old-times claimed this was often caused by a sodium deficiency. Try offering a finger drawer of coarse sea salt.

RedBullet EGG EATERS: First.. determine which parent is eating the eggs. Try removing eggs as soon as they are laid and replace with a white marble.

I find once a hen starts eating eggs they tend to continue... and should be given away as pets (not sold to another breeder)..

If all else fails try making a tiny hole in each end of the egg and blow out the contents. Then fill the eggshell with very hot mustard or wasabi (Japanese horseradish), seal the holes, and return to the nest. If she eats this egg I am told she will be cured of the habit, A little extreme but I have been assured it works.

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