Prior to the use of any essential oil or essential oil based product in a bird, a thorough veterinary examination, by an avian veterinarian, is recommended. It is ideal if blood work (CBC and Chemistry Profile) can be performed prior to any start of natural remedies. Many avian patients initially present with pre-existing blood work abnormalities in my practice. So it is important to be able to document either the improvement of these values, or at least the stability of them while using essential oils. Clinicians have made misinterpretations of abnormal blood values in sick animals, due to the fact that they never obtained “pre-exposure” blood work. If we are using essential oils or any other natural remedy for a bird, it is usually because they are already ill. Then if their condition degrades, it becomes a common thought to blame the natural remedy that was given. When in fact, if blood work would be available to compare with, prior to the exposure, we would likely not see any deterioration in the values.
The animalEO recommendations for birds, have been used with hundreds of birds (parrots, finches, chickens, etc…) successfully. With every animalEO recommendation, you can rest assured, that birds of all walks of life, have had veterinary monitoring while using our essential oil blends, to provide only the safest and most complete recommendations. There is no “bird related” animalEO essential oil for sale, that has not undergone an extensive evaluation and use process with actual avian patients. This is my promise to you – from an avian veterinarian.
There are multiple ways to use essential oils with birds, whether they are a parrot, finch, chicken, turkey, falcon, or wildlife. We’ll describe the best ways for you to use essential oils with your avian friends.
Diffusion is likely the best way to introduce essential oils into an avian household or environment. Water-based diffusion is the best for most birds, unless you have a very large area, (such as a barn, or outdoor situation) where an air diffuser may be necessary. The diffuser that we currently recommend, is the ultrasonic water-based H2EO diffuser. It is available to order at www.PlantExtractsInc.com, and will be available soon for direct ordering through animalEO.
In general, it is recommended to start with approximately 3 drops of essential oil (whether a single or a blend) added to the water of the diffuser. One exception is with Calm-a-Mile NEAT Diffusion Blend. This blend is so powerful, that often starting with just one drop will be effective – however, many people and animals love it so much, more drops can be used.
It is advisable to monitor the bird(s) closely for the first 5-10 minutes of diffusion, especially if your bird is new to a particular essential oil, blend, or essential oils in general. Increase the amounts and frequency of diffusion gradually, although most homes find that they can diffuse on an almost continual basis – bringing amazing health and benefits to their birds.
animalEO blends ideal for diffusion with birds include: Away, Calm-a-Mile NEAT, Clear Sailing, Feathered Blend NEAT, Feathered Plus NEAT, Hormone Blend, Lemony Sniffet, Lovely, Open-Air, RoseRamie, Sunshine in a Bottle, Transition, and Warmth Diffusion Blend. However, any blend that is created for diffusion through animalEO, will be safe with all forms of animals in the home – even if not specifically designated here.
A favorite technique that is being used in thousands of birds is misting with a mixture of essential oils in water. Birds often enjoy being misted with water for bathing, and when essential oils are added to this “ritual” – we find that birds enjoy it even more. Not only this, but they can reap the benefits of the essential oils on a regular basis. Routine exposure to essential oils can impart preventive health, but can also aid in hormonal issues, skin conditions, feather picking, emotional concerns, and so much more!
It is important that the essential oil and water mixture be contained within a glass bottle – for sale with the animalEO oils. Before each use, we recommend shaking the mixture well prior to misting onto the bird. Several blends have been specifically formulated to include all of the essential oils that are routinely misted onto birds.
Feathered Blend NEAT: This blend is a combination of Lavender, Orange, and Lemon essential oils and is added to water for misting directly onto birds. In a 4 ounce (120 mL) glass spray bottle – we recommend adding up to 60 drops of the Feathered Blend NEAT to the bottle, then filling the bottle the rest of the way with distilled or reverse osmosis water. If your bird is new to essential oils, or really enjoys a lot of water being sprayed onto them for “bath time” – you may add less essential oil drops (say 20). Birds love this spray, and even those who routinely dislike a shower with a traditional spray bottle are attracted to being sprayed in this manner.
Feathered Plus NEAT: This blend adds the additional benefits of the amazing oils of Helichrysum, Frankincense, and Copaiba to the Feathered Blend. It is used in the same way – however contains many additional anti-tumoral, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, immune supportive, and healing benefits!
Essential oils can be added to the drinking water of birds for an easy way to routinely expose them to amazing health benefits. It is important to use a glass, ceramic, or stainless steel water dish when adding essential oils to water. Many essential oils can degrade plastics.
One of the worst things we could do is to cause an animal to avoid drinking by making an essential oil solution too strong or by choosing essential oils that the animal dislikes. Although many animals actually prefer water with essential oils – it is always wise to provide a plain water source while you offer the new water – until you are certain that your bird is drinking the essential oil water well, and in adequate amounts.
It is always best to start with very small amounts of essential oil added to high quality water, and gradually increasing the oils over the course of a week. A concentration that is often used for animals is one drop per liter of distilled, reverse osmosis, or good quality spring water. For highly sensitive or fragile animals – starting with a toothpick dipped into the essential oil, then into the liter of water, is a conservative starting point.
Birds generally have a very poor sense of taste, and it is quite easy to add essential oils to their drinking water. Care must be taken for birds who bathe in their water. Chickens and other poultry rarely bathe in their water, and are able to have more intense oils added to their drinking water dispensers. Although stainless steel, glass, or ceramic water dispensers would be ideal with poultry – the average plastic chicken water containers or mass drinking system dispensers have been used with essential oil water solutions. Care must be considered when adding oils to drinking water systems, as high concentrations may damage plastics or certain components or automated systems. Starting with low amounts, and gradually increasing the concentrations is recommended. Knowing how much water your flock generally consumes on a daily basis BEFORE adding essential oils to the water supply is crucial. After you know how much water should be consumed, you will be able to compare if the same amount of water (or more) is being consumed after the addition of essential oils.
Sunshine in a Bottle is a perfect addition to all avian water. Add one drop per liter of water, and mix well prior to use. Store this solution in a glass jar, mix well prior to each use, and use it to fill your drinking dishes until it is gone. Change water whenever it becomes dirty. The citrus oils within this blend can affect plastics, so please do not store in a plastic container. Another blend specifically designed for poultry and other flocks – is called ChickyWicky which you can read about by clicking on it’s name.
It is incredibly important that if your bird has a suspected health issue, that you have an examination with a veterinarian who is proficient in avian medicine. Once that has occurred, and you have a diagnosis (as best as possible) – this list can help point you toward the correct products to support health and healing for your avian friend. This list is by no means a substitute for medical or surgical care – and not intended to replace any traditional veterinary care that is deemed necessary. And, in our veterinary practice, we have used these options directly alongside of traditional medications, hospitalization, and surgery – with only help and aide to healing and health!
Arthritis, Sore Joints, Discomfort: Options include Any-Itis RTU mixed into foods. Sunshine in a Bottle into drinking water. Feathered Plus NEAT made into a water spray and misted onto the bird.
Aspergillosis: Recommendations include diffusion of Open-Air.
Behavioral Conditions: Water-based diffusion of Calm-a-Mile NEAT, Feathered Blend NEAT, Hormone Blend, Sunshine in a Bottle, as well as others. Hormone Blend, Feathered Blend NEAT, or Feathered Plus NEAT in a water misting application. Calm-a-Mile RTU worn on the human, to benefit the bird.
Bleeding: Cistus or Helichrysum single essential oils are often recommended. Skin Spray Base made into a water mist can also be very helpful.
Bones, broken: Feathered Plus NEAT in a water misting application is one of the first recommendations. Depending on the bird, Any-Itis RTU may be used orally. New Mobility RTU, CritterBoost, or Calm-a-Mile RTU can also be used topically in some situations.
Borna Virus: Water-based diffusion of any animalEO blend intended for diffusion can be beneficial. First line recommendations include diffusion of Open-Air, Feathered Blend NEAT, Feathered Plus NEAT, and Sunshine in a Bottle. CritterBoost can be used topically in some situations. Water-misting applications of Feathered Blend NEAT and/or Feathered Plus NEAT are also wise recommendations.
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