Cage Rest (Fracture Treatment) for Birds (Disease Investigation & Control - Treatment and Care)

Summary Information
Type of technique Health & Management / Disease Investigation & Control / Treatment & Care / Techniques:
Synonyms and Keywords --
Description Maintenance of the affected bird in a small cage (NOT an aviary) preventing excessive movement such as wing flapping or walking around.

(J2.23.w2, B11.17.w14, B12.42.w5)

Appropriate Use (?)
  • Treatment of some Impact Injuries, Crushing.
  • Calm individuals.
  • Minimally displaced and greenstick fractures.
  • Radius or ulnar fracture with minimal displacement and in which the other of these two bones is intact.
  • Fractures of the pelvic girdle.
  • Fractures of the pectoral girdle (corocoid, clavicle, scapular bones) - N.B. not suitable for displaced coracoid fractures in birds which require full flight capability.
  • Individuals in which impaired limb function is acceptable.

(J2.23.w2, B11.16.w13, B13.42.w15)

  • Development of ankylosis due to joint immobilization is unlikely, as the joints are unrestricted.
  • Healing is likely to be slow, with excessive callus formation.
  • In experimentally-created fractures of the femur, tibiotarsus, humerus, radius and ulnar in birds, bones all healed but with significant malalignment and over-riding of bones, resulting in limb shortening.


Complications/ Limitations / Risk
  • Not suitable for birds which are excitable or likely to panic.
  • Stabilization by bandage / splint should be used to reduce pain.

(J2.23.w2, B12.42.w5)

Equipment / Chemicals required and Suppliers Suitably-sized cage.
Expertise level / Ease of Use Simple (J2.23.w2)
Cost/ Availability Inexpensive. Requires only a suitable cage.
Legal and Ethical Considerations In the UK, The Protection of Birds Acts 1954-1967 require that a bird in captivity be kept in a cage or other accommodation which allows it to stretch its wings freely, except while being transported, being shown (maximum 72 hours) or being treated by a veterinary surgeon.

In some countries there may be legislation restricting the diagnosis and treatment of disease in animals to licensed veterinarians. For example in the UK: "The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (Section 19) provides, subject to a number of exceptions, that only registered members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons may practice veterinary surgery."(see: LCofC1 - RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct 2000 - Treatment of Animals by Non-Veterinary Surgeons).).

Author Debra Bourne
Referee --
References J2.23.w2, B11.17.w14, B12.42.w5, B13.42.w15

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