& Management / UK
Wildlife Casualty Management / Techniques:
This information should be read in association with Wildlife Casualty & Convalescent
Feeding which contains background information together with links to the
Electronic Library and Organisations (UK Contacts). The related Species pages contain
||This page has been prepared for the "UK
Wildlife: First Aid and Care" Wildpro module, and is designed for the
needs of the following species: Columba
livia - Rock pigeon, Columba
oenas - Stock pigeon, Columba
palumbus - Common wood-pigeon, Streptopelia
turtur - European turtle-dove, Streptopelia
decaocto - Eurasian collared-dove.
These species are from the families Columbidae.
- Offer a rehydration (electrolyte) solution such as Lectade (Pfizer Limited) to drink on
- Water should be freely available at all times unless the casualty is unconscious or
severely debilitated and unable to hold its head up.
- Both water and a rehydration (electrolyte) solution, in separate containers, should be
made available initially.
- Gavage with rehydration (electrolyte) solution may be required on admission. (B156.15.w15,
Suggested convalescent diets include:
- Casualties are often anorexic when presented and have an immediate requirement for
- High-energy diets e.g. Complan (HJ Heinz Co. Ltd.) or baby foods, mixed as directed on
the packet may be useful short term. (B156.15.w15)
- Proprietary products such as Critical Care Formula (Vetark) have been specifically
designed as a short term product for anorectic and sick birds. (V.w26)
Use of convalescent diets:
- May be given by crop tube (gavage feeding).
- Give up to 2% of body weight per feed.
- Assume 1ml of made-up feed equals 1g, therefore maximum 2ml of feed per 100g of bird
- See: Gavage
/ Tubing of Birds
Short term Maintenance Diet:
Suggested short term maintenance diets include:
In an emergency:
- Dried peas, beans and rice can be offered. (B203)
- Wheat and millet can be offered short term. (B118.8.w8).
- Poultry pellets can be offered.
|Appropriate Use (?)
- Fresh drinking water should always be available in a container of an appropriate size
and type for the species concerned.
- Fluid replacement therapy other than oral fluids may be required for casualties which
are extremely dehydrated on admission or are unable to take in and absorb oral fluids.
- Fluid therapy should continue until the animal is no longer dehydrated, even if it is
- Feeding of convalescents should take into account their requirement for additional
nutrients for healing as well as maintenance requirements.
- The required fluid intake for maintenance should be considered when designing
- Energy requirements for maintenance and healing should be calculated and used to
determine the quantity of food required for both convalescence and short-term maintenance
- Convalescent diets should be easily absorbed/digested.
- Care should be taken not to under or over supplement with vitamins/minerals.
- Diets intended for feeding from a syringe or by stomach tube (gavage) must be of a
sufficiently fluid consistency to pass through the syringe nozzle or down the tube without
it becoming blocked.
- The natural diet should be considered when deciding on suitable ingredients, including
consideration of taste/smell.
- Fresh food must be provided daily.
- Regular cleaning of food and drinking water containers (e.g. daily) is important to
reduce the risk of disease.
- Food and water containers should be sited to minimise the risk of contamination with
|Complications/ Limitations / Risk
|Equipment / Chemicals required and Suppliers
- Oral rehydration (electrolyte) solutions are widely available from veterinary suppliers
- Lectade, Pfizer Limited: from veterinary suppliers and agricultural feed suppliers.
- A basic oral rehydration (electrolyte) solution may be made by dissolving one
tablespoon of sugar and one teaspoon of salt in one litre of water. (B203)
- A "Dove and Pheasant" food is made by John
E. Haith, Park Street, Cleethorps, Lincs, DN35 7NF, UK
- Grit is available from bird food suppliers.
- Nutrobal Vetark Animal Health, PO Box 60, Winchester, SO23 9XN
- SA37 (Intervet
UK Ltd, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 0FP)
- Vitamin/mineral supplements may be bought from pet stores or mail-order bird/pet feed
|Expertise level / Ease of Use
- No particular expertise required.
- Generally widely available; diet is not expensive.
|Legal and Ethical Considerations
- Under the Protection
of Animals Acts 1911-2000 it is an offence not to provide animals
(including captive wild animals) with necessary food and water. (J35.147.w1,
- Care should be taken not to let an individual become accustomed to a single food item as
this may result in difficulties in feeding the animal if the food item becomes
unavailable, and in preparing it for release.
- Every effort should be made to provide appropriate natural, locally available foods to
animals which have been maintained in captivity for prolonged periods before they are
released, in order to re-accustom them to a natural diet and reduce the chance of
digestive problems following release. (P24.233.w11).
- The release of animals which, by virtue of an inadequate or inappropriate diet whilst in
captivity, are not fit to survive when released may be considered an offence under the Abandonment
of Animals Act, 1960.
||Becki Lawson and Suzanne Boardman