(Excerpt from Essentialbird yahoo group)

I have another gouldian story (I’m sorry I have so many gouldian stories – I hope parrot people can benefit from them too). I had a breeding pair of gouldians who were raising four babies. The babies were ten days old when the father stopped eating, puffed up and went to sleep. I pulled him out and hoped the mother would continue raising the babies, which she is doing very nicely.

I put the male breeder under a heat lamp with seed and millet sprays all around him at eye level and more food like softfoods on the floor underneath him. He didn’t move much from under the sixty watt heat lamp and barely ate anything. I offered neem leaf tea in case he had an infection (which seemed unlikely because the four babies were fine). After two days – this morning – there had been almost no change, and all he seemed to be eating was eggshell powder. He was terribly weak and could barely fly, was wobbling and bleary-eyed. I caught him and his breastbone was protruding in a flat blade type position. I realized that he was starving. But why?

The next thing I did was to place all his softfoods in little treat cups up by his eye level. As soon as he saw the eggfood he dove into the cup and ate for several minutes. This surprised me – why the soft foods? – so I thought back, and realized that he had been kind of acting strangely with regard to his throat, making regurgitation movements and swallowing uncomfortably quite often. I began to wonder if he had injured his throat while feeding his chicks.

After the eggfood binge, he went back to the heatlamp and puffed up. I decided I had to do more for him, and perhaps his throat had gotten infected? So I gave him one drop of Nature’s Answer essential oil of oregano as I did in the case below which I am re-posting. The Nature’s Answer oregano oil was diluted with olive oil down to 1.5 percent. As I have mentioned, oregano essential oil is a potent antimicrobial, a strong appetite stimulant, and is also a nervous system stimulant somewhat similar to caffeine: it appears to give birds a boost no matter what is going on, but definitely should not be given in doses higher than one or two highly diluted drops.

I also added raw honey to the gould’s water to make a kind of medicinal energy-boosting tonic. Within one hour of receiving the drop and the honey water, he began to look much better. He started eating more and more eggfood. Then he became intolerant of the heat lamp, which is always the best sign of recovery. And now, many hours later, he’s flying around and starting to eat seed!

I really don’t know what was wrong with this bird, but I basically just treated his symptoms and got lucky .

I am now going to use this oregano and honey treatment as a drastic measure in serious cases where I don’t really know what the problem is. It seems to be working so far!


Posted from a prior episode:

A couple of days ago I placed a newly weaned clutch of baby gouldians into one of my large aviaries. One of the babies was extremely puffy the following day, although the rest were fine. I removed the puffy one and isolated it in a smaller cage with heat overhead and millet sprays all around, plus seed and water at eye level. The baby did so-so for one day and then today I became alarmed as he became wobbly, which is the last-call for saving them in my experience.

He may have had a little infection, but I think he just didn’t keep up with his food requirements and became too weak to feed himself. I gave him a drop of liquid Kyolic (garlic) to stimulate his appetite but he just stayed puffed up sleeping after that. With nothing to lose, I decided to give him internal oil of oregano, which is the strongest appetite and energetic stimulant I know of. I used the Nature’s Answer brand, because it is made for internal use and I have used it before for internal use in birds (I don’t recommend any other EOs internally and I also don’t recommend any other store bought EOs unless they are Young Living or Original Swiss Aromatics which are medical grade). Since oil of oregano is harsh and can burn tissue quite readily, I diluted the Nature’s Answer down to 1.5 percent in olive oil. Nature’s Answer is already fifty percent oregano EO and fifty percent olive oil, so I just continued diluting it with olive oil. I gave the baby one drop, waited half an hour, then gave another drop. He started eating soon after the drops and now appears to be normal again, a few hours later, flying back and forth and eating well.

Lainey Alexander

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, or by any veterinarian. All information, including any product or technique mentioned, is for educational purposes only. None of the information is intended to diagnose or treat any disease.