So, you have found an injured bird and you want to ensure the antiseptic products you own will be safe to use on its wounds. Or maybe you are simply curious about what to do if this situation is to ever arise in the future for you. Either way, you have come to the right place. So then, is hydrogen peroxide safe for birds?
Hydrogen Peroxide, in its mildest form, can be a safe antiseptic to use when treating an injured bird. Be sure to use antiseptic liquids instead of creams/ointments as they can cause excessive feather loss for the bird. Liquid Savlon is safe to use and so is Hydrogen Peroxide 1%.
There are a few vital steps that you must follow before treating an injured bird with antiseptic. This is so you can ensure the bird can fully heal from its injuries, without causing it more problems.
Simply treating your bird with hydrogen peroxide antiseptic will not be enough to ensure the animal’s full recovery. You need to continue to read the information I have laid out for you in this article so that you can care for the bird to the up-most of your ability and give it the best fighting chance at survival.
Treating an injured bird with hydrogen peroxide
If you have found an injured bird, then there are a few steps you will need to follow to ensure the bird is cared for to the best of your ability. First, if you have found a bird that is unresponsive and weak, this bird is likely in shock.
You will need to transport the bird to a semi-dark, warm, and humid environment. The temperature is essential here in keeping the bird alive and well. You will want to keep the temperature at around 80°F. Birds can take anywhere from 1 hour to 6 hours to fully recover from the shock.
Do make regular checks on the animal and do not force it to eat/drink anything as this can be detrimental for the bird in this state. If the animal does not recover after 6 hours, then you will need to seek professional help. Do not treat the bird when it is in a state of shock.
If the bird has recovered from its shock and you feel it is more aware of itself and its surroundings again, then you can try to give the bird some water to drink. You can use a teaspoon or a small syringe for this part. You can also use other liquids such as 100% fruit juices which allow the bird to re-hydrate and get some sugar.
Do not force the bird to take the liquid if it will not drink. Again, in this case, you will need to seek further help.
It is vital to allow the bird to rehydrate after this warming period of treatment. Birds also have an extremely fast metabolism rate which means that giving them something to eat is also especially important here. Depending on what species of bird you have found, you can offer it things such as seed, pellets, applesauce, baby food, or oatmeal.
Remember to research the species of the bird you have found, as other birds eat meats/insects as their staple diet. Make sure you are not giving anything that will be harmful to your particular species of bird. You can find more information here about what to feed different types of birds.
After the bird has recovered from the shock, taken liquids, and eaten something, you can start by examining the bird’s physical state. If the bird has any open wounds, this is where the use of hydrogen peroxide can be particularly useful in ensuring the cut is clean and safe from infection.
Which antiseptic products are best to use for an injured bird?
Please note: do not use any antiseptic creams or ointments for an injured bird, as they can contaminate the bird’s feathers and cause excessive feather loss.
Antiseptic powders and/or liquids are best to use as they avoid causing any problems with the bird’s feathers. You can also use hydrogen peroxide 1% on any open wounds. Be careful not to use anything stronger than this as it can cause problems with the bird’s skin.
If you only have Hydrogen Peroxide 3% then diluting this with two-thirds water should do the trick. You can apply the antiseptic using a clean cotton pad and gently clean down the bird’s open wounds.
Further tips for caring for an injured bird
If you already have birds caged, make sure you do not place this new bird anywhere near them as a disease is easily transmitted. Always make sure you wash your hands, before and after, handling any bird.
Never force anything down a bird’s throat, as they could inhale meaning the liquid/food goes into their lungs. This is fatal for the bird and must be avoided at all costs.
Furthermore, if you have found a baby bird, it is important to note that most birds can feed themselves almost straight away. So, if you have a baby bird that is not feeding, again, you must not force anything into the bird’s mouth and throat.
Always seek professional help/knowledge in these situations, and ensure the best possible care is given to the bird to increase its likelihood of survival.
Cleaning a birdbath with hydrogen peroxide
Maintaining your birdbath means giving it a thorough clean every few months. Some people use bleach to clean their birdbaths, however, there can be debris in the bath that some birds like to eat away at, and the left-over bleach can be harmful to them.
A much safer alternative is to use a 1:1 ratio of Hydrogen Peroxide and water. This way, the birdbath is being cleaned thoroughly, with a much more bird-friendly product. The Hydrogen Peroxide will kill any parasites lurking in your birdbath and is easily accessible in any supermarkets/pharmacies.
However, it is important to note here that you need to use it sparingly to protect the bird’s skin. You can use a few drops in the water every few weeks which will prevent unwanted bacteria from multiplying.