Disaster Tips: For Birds
The following items are recommended for inclusion in a disaster kit specifically for birds. Prepare one kit for each bird in your household.
Food and Water:
- One-month supply of pellets/seed mix
- Two-week supply of water
- Eight small jars of baby food/fruit in natural juice cups
Although normally a two-week supply of food is recommended, bird food is not a priority item for stores to restock after a disaster, so it is advisable to have a one-month supply on hand. Baby food is an excellent source of fruits and vegetables for birds when fresh produce is not available. However, read the label to ensure that there is not too much vitamin and mineral supplementation.
Housing and Transportation:
- Hard-sided pet carrier with low perch inside and contact details written in permanent ink
- Small cage with perches for safe housing
- Favorite toys
- Crocks for food and water
- Newspaper for lining cage
For safety a bird should be transported in a hard-sided carrier, as cages can trap wings and legs if a bird panics during transport. However, once the destination has been reached, it is safer to transfer the bird into a secure, appropriately sized cage. Most birds when settled can chew their way out of a hard sided carrier in less than an hour!
Bringing some favorite toys can occuoy your bird and help keep him or her calm.
Some collapsible cages come with crocks and a means to attach them. If yours doesn't, heavy ceramic crocks are best as they prevent tipping but are still easy to clean.
- Leg band
- Copy of veterinary records
- Pictures of the bird with close ups of any distinguishing marks or features
- Pictures of you with your bird
Most birds over 100 grams can be safely microchipped by your avian vet; this is the only permanent way to identify your bird, as leg bands can be removed.
Health and Safety:
- Large towel
- Spray bottle
- Hot and cool instant packs
- Battery- powered fan
- Contact numbers for your vet, and a vet out of disaster area
- Trash bags
- Apple cider vinegar/Bleach for cleaning
- Paper towels
A towel is your best friend in a disaster. You can use it for anything from restraining your bird to covering the cage.
Misting birds with water can help cool them down. Instant hot and cool packs can also be wrapped in a towel and placed in the cage to provide relief from temperature extremes. A fan attached to the cage can make a hot day more comfortable.
A month’s supply of any medications should be kept on hand.
First Aid Kit:
- First aid book for birds
- 4 X 4 gauze pads
- Gauze rolls
- Antiseptic wipes
- Triple antibiotic cream
- Instant cold/hot pack
- Disposable gloves
- Two rolls of vet wrap
- Popsicle sticks for splints
- Pedialyte - clear
- Blunt nose scissors
- Styptic powder
- Cornflower to stop bleeding on wings or soft tissue
- Hemostat for pulling broken blood feathers
- Cotton swabs
- Feeding syringes incase hand feeding is needed