Herbal Support

Improve immune function by improving overall health. Dandelion is a very safe herb that is an effective liver, bowel and kidney cleanser (and can easily be fed fresh – the root has the strongest medicinal action, but the leaves are also beneficial). Give other vitamins, minerals and herbs to strengthen any body system that needs additional support.

If the immune system needs additional support, then herbs such as echinacea and astragalus are good.

Bacteria, viruses and other “nasties” are a normal part of our environment

they are only a problem if we are unable to deal with them. Inability to deal with these normal environmental substances is an indicator of a less than optimal immune system. So if after practicing normal hygiene, either us or our pets are unable to deal with any of these substances there is a need to strengthen the immune system.

In any major disease outbreak some will get sick and die (poor immunity), some will get sick and recover (acquired immunity) and some won’t get sick at all (good immunity). A strong immune system is the best protection against disease we and our pets can have. Carole Bryant (Naturopath)

Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and E – (stick to safe doses), and garlic are good general health builders. will all help strengthen the immune system. After antibiotics have been used acidophilus and bifidus cultures will help bring the gut bacteria back into balance.

Also support any weak organ systems (any organ that has been diseased or which is not functioning well): dandelion, milk thistle, fringe tree (liver); parsley, marshmallow, corn silk, dandelion (kidneys); hawthorn berries, Vitamin E (heart); digestive enzymes, dandelion, slippery elm bark (digestion).

How much milk thistle should I add to the bird food and for how long. I hear it is good for repairing and cleansing liver. My bird seems infection prone and i hear this is a good way to keep their immunity up?

Milk thistle is primarily a liver repairing herb. What kind of infections is your bird prone to (i.e. respiratory, digestive, etc.)? You need to support and strengthen the weak system as well as providing a general good, balanced, health building diet.

Are Birds Fragile?

All of the discussion that I have been reading recently in the various groups (I belong to five) has called to mind a very disturbing question. A good deal of what is posted concerns either prophylactic or systemic treatment for disease and infection. Ancillary problems often concern behavioral anomalies such as feather picking, aggressiveness, etc.

Much concern is given to protection from exposure to wild birds and other animals. Captive birds can become very ill if exposed to ‘pathogens’ from these other animals. Keeping a bird in a captive environment seems a precarious balance that is heavily skewed toward fending off disease and disorder. Regular checkups often indicate imbalances in the organism, or untoward concentrations of organisms in the bird.

The question, simply stated is this: If these birds are this sensitive and fragile, how can they possibly exist and thrive in natural environments where they are exposed constantly to other species and organisms?

What is it that we are doing (or not doing) that contributes to such susceptibility to opportunistic threat? Does anyone else think that this is something that we need to examine as much as our response to the problems presented (by whatever modality)? Whatever “cure” is used remains allopathic as long as it only treats the symptom. What is causing the problem? Patrick Thrush

Hi Patrick, These are only my opinions and this post will probable be rambling!  First off I believe that in the wild the immunities are built up more than in our home. In our home we sterilize, sanitize and disinfect at least monthly if not more.

Secondly, parent fed chicks have immunities against yeast and some other bacteria. When a chick is hand fed from day one you have to add the good flora back into the babies system that the parent is not there to give. Who knows what else we are missing in the handfeeding formula that the parents provide.

Thirdly, I believe in the wild animals know what to do if they start feeling sick. Look at the Macaws in Peru who go to the clay lick daily! Why? To purge their system of any toxins? Ang

Patrick, One of my thoughts on this is….these birds are not originally from the USA…but from Africa, South America, Australia, etc. So the organisms and wild life they would have normally been exposed to are not the ones we are exposing them to here. In the wild we don’t know how many live or survive for how many years either…..You know kind of like when we go to Mexico and drink the water and get sick.  Adriane

Good points. I was just talking to someone about baby iguanas, and how when they were first being bred in captivity, there was a very high mortality rate when they were incubator hatched. The reason was that baby iguanas need to eat the parents poop or something to get something essential into their system – perhaps like colostrum or the first few days of parent feeding.

I think the wild birds as a population, besides having the benefit of exposure and built immunity, as well as lots of fresh air – not stagnant or recirculated air – also are subject to Survival of the fittest. If it’s not well, it dies. Plus, like you said, they are able to follow their natural instincts when it comes to such things as diet.

You will probably not find a wild bird with any type of deficiency unless for something needed becomes unavailable due to habitat destruction or long-term weather variations. We try to fit them into an artificial environment and wonder why there are complications. Liz