Weak & Sick Bird Help

A bird collar should not be used if your bird is plucking and weak or underweight. A collar is like wearing a backpack all day if you are sick and running a fever. It's best not to stress your bird more than is necessary.

Consider very lightweight, non-intrusive collars if your bird is hurting itself.

You might not know what causes your bird to lose weight, but it can be a sign of disease, stress, or malnutrition. Weight loss in birds can be caused by almost any illness. Even a small amount of weight loss is important to small birds because they have little to lose. Plus, they have a very high metabolism and their bodies don't store nutrients well.

Weight loss of just 5 - 10% can be a sign that your bird is in real trouble. Keep track of your bird's weight weekly. A keel test can also be used to determine if your bird is underweight. If your bird is underweight, take it to the vet to diagnose the problem.

Other signs of a weak or sick bird are:

  • Feathers are fluffed up and no longer sleek along the body
  • head may be tucked under a wing
  • Their eyes are frequently closed
  • Your bird is quiet and moving slowly or not much at all
  •  Your bird is sitting on the bottom of the cage
  • The bird's breathing is labored and its whole body moves when it breathes
Sick Bird Infographic

When your bird is showing some of these signs of being sick, they should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible, as their condition might be far more serious than it appears.

For the time being, your bird should be kept in a warm, draught-free environment with good ventilation until you can visit your veterinarian.

Keep the bird in a quiet, stress-free environment with plenty of water and good quality feed. To reduce the stress on your sick bird and to protect your healthy birds from infectious disease, you might want to isolate your sick bird from other birds.

How do you help a weak bird?


Provide fluids

Discuss weight gain diet with your vet

Seeds, millet, pellets, fresh fruit, or easily digestible human foods such as mashed bananas, applesauce, strained or soft vegetables such as peas, baby rice cereal or food, oatmeal, or ground up pellets mixed with fruit juice are all acceptable.
Please don't interpret this as veterinary advice, it is for educational purposes only. Consult your veterinarian before making any decisions.