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Parrots/Yellow head parrot won't eat


I took my 40yr old parrot to have her nail, beak, and wings trimmed and the vet broke her left wing. The vet set the wing and put her on medications. However, Leta has not eaten enough to maintain her weight since. She is steadily losing weight. The vet is now recommending I feed her ensure plus with eye dropper. How can I get her to eat and save her life?

-- Change vets.  Ensure for a bird is ridiculous.  That's a supplement made for mammals and birds are as far from a mammal as a fish is.  Would you feed a fish milk?  Of course not.  And we don't feed birds milk either.  They lack the enzymes required to process it, so it's useless.  It may fill them up and thus keep them from eating what's GOOD for them -- and the bird can die from malnutrition
The first clue indicating this vet is NOT a bird vet was that they broke the wing doing a routine trim.  RUN, don't walk to a different vet.

I can't begin to go over all the things wrong here, but in short:  Your bird WILL die if you don't get proper care quickly.  I'm sorry to be so blunt, but right now this bird is far more important than my worrying about hurt feelings.

In the meantime, try offering some human baby food (in jars) like sweet potatoes, squash, carrots.  Be sure they are all natural and preferably organic.   Mash up some banana with a bit of natural applesauce and add a dash of NATURAL maple syrup - try to feed the bird from a spoon (no eye dropper for heaven's sake).  

Chances are she's not eating because she's in excruciating pain

Birds do not cry; they do not moan; they do not display pain like mammals.  One way we know pain in birds is by obvious injury (the wing) and going off food.  Those two things = pain!

And bill the negligent 'vet' for all treatment associated with fixing your bird and saving her life.

 Do not - repeat, do NOT go back to that vet.  


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Rev. Dr. S.August Abbott


Certified Avian Specialist; Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council member; Own animal rescue org; National Wildlife habitat #66378; bird care, nutrition & behavior consultant; International Assoc. of Animal Behavior Consultants Associate; National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club member; published bird care, info and behavior articles and guides. Ongoing education in exotic bird behavior and nutrition I can answer behavioral, nutritional, environmental, characteristic/personality questions as well as general health and health care. No animal emergency can ever be addressed on the internet. We cannot see your animal, perform an examination, provide necessary care or medication. Please value your companion for the priceless, living creature they are; not for what you might have paid for them.


Certified Avian Specialist. For more than 30 years I've worked with veterinarians, protective facilities, nature centers, preserves and on my own in providing care and education with regard to multiple animal species, including raptors (hawks, kestrals, owls, etc) and marsupials. In recent years I've focused on parrots, usually rescued from abusive or less than ideal situations and helping educate owners as to proper care. Expert in behavior studies and modification of problem behavior.

4AnimalCare is the organization I run as an animal ministry; World Wildlife Association, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club and more

Bird Talk Magazine articles about rescued and problem macaws.

Doctorate, Ordained Minister

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