How to Fix a Broken Bird Wing

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How to Fix a Broken Bird Wing
Image Credit: JDelorme/iStock/GettyImages

One reason birds can fly is because they have very light bones that don't weigh them down during flight. This also means that it's easy for their bones to break. A badly injured wing won't heal on its own, so if your budgie has a wing injury or you want to help a wild bird with a broken wing, wrap it so that it stays in place and can heal properly.

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Bird with a broken wing

If a bird can't or won't fly, it doesn't mean he has a broken wing. It could be a sign of illness, or the bird may have left the nest before he could fly on his own. You can tell a wing is broken by the position it's in. A broken wing might hang lower than the other wing or may be in an awkward position. A portion of the wing might stick out to the side depending on where it's broken.

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Protect yourself first

Before you try to fix a broken pigeon wing or that on another bird, put on gloves to protect yourself from the many diseases birds may carry. The bird is likely to peck at you because she's also trying to protect herself. Gloves can stop you from getting injured by the bird's razor-sharp beak. Don't put your face too close to the bird because you could get pecked in the face.

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Capture the bird

To help an injured wild bird, you'll have to capture him. Birds are difficult to catch, so have a soft towel for restraining and a container ready, such as a shoebox. Wrap the bird in the soft towel and put him in the container so that he feels safe. Put a warm water bottle in the box to help keep the bird warm. Make sure the water bottle doesn't move around inside the box during travel. An injured bird probably won't want to eat or drink. Don't try to force him, as he can choke.

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Wrap the broken wing

Before you wrap the broken wing, gather some bandages and a pair of scissors or some Vetwrap, which sticks to itself without sticking to the bird's feathers. Fold the wing against the bird's body in the way it should naturally look. Wrap the bandage or Vetwrap around the bird's body under the injured wing and bring the ends up high. Fold the shorter end over and overlap it with the longer end. Wrap the long end around the body under the injured wing.

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For the most common traumatic wing injuries, the bandage needs to wrap around the bird's body again, but this time, wrap it around the broken wing. Do this twice and make it a loose fit. The bird should still be able to move the wing. Make sure it isn't too tight and that you're not restricting the bird's breathing.

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Take the bird to the vet

Now that you've done what you can to fix the bird's broken wing, take her to the vet so she can get an examination. A vet will be able to see if there are any other injuries that should be treated and will make sure the extent of the wing injury isn't worse than you thought.

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