How To Help A Choking Bird (A Quick Step By Step Guide)

Bird and human respiratory systems differ, but, both of us can choke on something we’re eating. If you notice your bird choking on something this article will give you guidance on what to do.

If your bird is choking on a solid object, and its attempts at dislodging the object have been unsuccessful, firmly hold the bird upside down and press against its chest 

How to help a choking bird:

The first step to helping a choking bird is to figure out if the bird is choking on a solid object or on some liquid. Assess whether your bird was eating or drinking beforehand to figure this out 

Choking on a solid object:

Allow it to dislodge: If the bird is trying to express an object on its own, watch the bird and let it try to express the item itself. Leave the bird alone and don’t touch it or pick it up during this time 

Turn it upside down: Do this if the bird can’t express the item on its own. Turning the bird upside down will force its jaw to open up and dislodge the item that it’s choking on. Hold the bird firmly in your hand as you do this and try to keep it from falling or becoming frightened

Gently push against the bird’s keel: Use your finger, or a couple of fingers depending on how large the bird is, to push and stroke against the bird’s chest, at the keel (the keel is located between the birds two wings and spans from the bird’s legs to the bottom of the bird’s neck)

Push against this area from the bottom of the bird toward the head. Keep pushing against this area in short inward compressions while the bird is upside down.

Gently talk to your bird: Talking gently to the bird while doing this pushing motion will help calm the bird in this stressful time. Having you there talking to it will calm the bird down.

If you panic, and the bird sees you panicking, then this will make it panic even more. Your bird will have a difficult time bringing the object up if they’re panicking.

Choking on Liquids:

Leave it alone: If you realize that your bird is choking on liquid, then you’d need to leave it alone, don’t try to get the liquid out yourself, the bird can do this on its own.

Do not try to help the bird by turning it upside down either, this can cause the bird to choke even more. 

Reassure them: Reassuring the bird is also recommended in this scenario. The bird needs to know that you’re there and that everything will be ok. 

What not to do:

A bird’s anatomy is different than humans, the Heimlich maneuver will not help the bird, the Heimlich maneuver involves using the diaphragm and birds don’t have one, you can injure the bird if you try to do the Heimlich maneuver on the bird. 

What to do after the bird stops choking:

Recovery: Let your bird recover after getting the object lodged in its throat out.

Different birds may need different amounts of time to recover, if you need to, place the bird in a dark box, like a shoebox, with the lid on, with holes poked at the top of the lid, and place the box in a quiet place. 

A vet visit: Even if the item has dislodged itself, you may need to take the bird to a vet especially if the choking was severe. Try to do this as soon as you can. 

Feeding in the future: Birds choke on objects that are too large for their throat, they can’t pass this object and it winds up choking them, they will have difficulty breathing because of the obstructed throat.

Make sure that the food you give your bird is small enough to move down its throat or that they break off small enough pieces to swallow. 

Bird toys: Birds can choke on toys that are not bird-friendly. Small pieces of the toy can break off as the bird chews and plays with it. Make sure that you only get your bird toys that they cannot chew off or break off.

Also, make sure that you keep an eye on your bird while it’s playing with toys or other objects in its cage to prevent the bird from choking. 

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other baby bird related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Do Birds Use Other Birds Nests, Bird Bleeding From Bottom, Stunned Bird Symptoms, Why Did My Baby Bird Die?

How To Help A Choking Bird (A Quick Step By Step Guide)
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