It is distressing for pet owners to see their birds with broken legs because it causes a lot of pain and bleeding that can lead to death.
Can A Bird Broken Leg Heal On Its Own? A bird cannot heal a broken leg on its own as it needs help in bone alignment with a splint to avoid the movements until the fracture heals properly. It takes almost 25 to 30 days for a broken bone to heal. It can adapt to survive with one leg, but it becomes challenging to perch on the trees, walk, and avoid predators.
Birds can efficiently deal with minor injuries and heal themselves, but it is difficult to recover from severe fractures on their own. You should help a bird with broken legs for a successful recovery.
Can a bird heal broken legs on its own?
A bird’s leg can break because they have hollow bones, which are at more risk of breakage after falling from a tree, getting stuck in wires, and being attacked by predators.
Such incidences can lead to a bone fracture that takes a lot of time and quality care to heal. They have remarkable abilities to recover from injuries on their own but cannot heal broken legs.
Their skeletal system comprises hollow and thin bones for efficient flight, as hollow bones make their bodies lighter. These thin or delicate bones make them vulnerable to fractures.
A broken leg affects their abilities to walk, move, perch, escape predators, and hunt prey. They need human help for bone alignment to initiate the healing process.
Proper medical care at the time of fracture can help them recover from the deep injuries; otherwise, there is a risk of bird death when they cannot tolerate pain.
Furthermore, the healing process begins when you apply a splint and keep them in a safe place. So, you have to help birds with significant injuries or broken legs because they cannot heal independently.
How do you help a bird with a broken leg?
You can help a bird recover after a serious fracture in the legs because their hollow bones are pretty fragile and thin and cannot heal on their own.
Collect required things like a septic solution, towel, cotton swab, cardboard box, and a heating lamp to maintain warmth that aids in the healing process.
Keep the bird in a safe place
Pick a bird from the garden, window sills, cages, or other areas of your house where you see it lying and suffering from pain. Bring it inside your home and keep it in a safe place.
It is possible that a bird’s body shakes or keeps moving due to pain, so you need help from a friend or family member to immobilize or secure it for treatment.
Moreover, you can also put it close to a heating lamp or under a hot water bottle to provide warmth and comfort.
Disinfect the wound
You should clean wounds and disinfect the broken parts of their legs to reduce infection risks. Apply ointments with cotton swabs for gentle application, as they cannot tolerate quick movements.
Look at the severity of injuries to find a suitable disinfection solution. Use baking soda to deal with bleeding wounds, which helps control the blood flow.
It ensures that the healing process is completed without any disturbance from microbes that can affect wounds by infecting them badly.
Wrap the leg gently
You have to wrap the broken leg with gauze after controlling the bleeding and properly disinfecting the affected area. Use gauze to wrap their legs by layering it 3 to 6 times to keep them stable.
Tight wrapping helps avoid movement of the bones, but you have to ensure that it should not be tight enough to restrict the blood flow. Avoid using woven gauze, as it can cause discomfort.
It is essential to handle the fractured fragile bones gently because harsh handling can cause more damage than good, as their legs can easily break if they fall from some height.
Align the bones with a splint
A splint is a rigid or flexible supporting device that helps bones heal by keeping them aligned and protecting them from any misalignment due to movement.
The broken or fractured bones are sharp from the end and can cause damage to soft skin, so a splinter helps avoid damage or bleeding due to protruding bones.
Moreover, you can use tape splints for minor fractures that work great for smaller birds like hummingbirds and budgies.
It is essential to use a special type of tape that causes minimal irritation because it is usually applied directly to their legs. The tape keeps water away and protects the affected area from moisture.
However, you can also use small sticks as splints that remain static and help avoid movements. Keep these splints for almost 7 to 21 days, depending on the size of the bird’s legs.
Provide comfortable shelter
Keep the bird in a safe and warm place and provide a comfortable shelter until it recovers from bone fracture completely. Put a soft towel at the base of a cardboard box for their comfort.
Avoid disturbance and noise as it can cause discomfort in them. They can die of shock when there is a loud noise in the environment and severe pain in the legs due to significant injuries or fractures.
They need a warm and airy environment for quick healing, so you can punch small holes in the box lid to allow airflow.
The container or cage size should be 3 to 4 times bigger than the bird’s body because a small space can cause suffocation and discomfort to them.
Ask for professional help
Get professional help to deal with the bird’s broken legs.
These experts can tell whether you have applied the splint or tape correctly because an incorrect application can affect the healing process.
Moreover, they can prescribe proper medications that can help birds recover and treat the discomfort due to severe pain.
How long does it take for a bird’s broken leg to heal?
The healing time for a broken bone in birds depends on the severity of the breakage because they can recover from minor injuries in a few weeks, but the major ones can take longer.
In the same way, it also depends on the species because the smaller bones in songbirds or hummingbirds can heal more quickly than the larger ones.
In addition, quality care can also reduce the healing time for broken legs, but poor medication and treatments can increase the duration to more than a month.
They can recover faster than mammals and larger animals or take almost 25 to 30 days for complete healing and start walking.
Some birds adapt to live with broken legs if the fracture is severe enough and cannot heal, so they have to spend their lives with one leg, which is not easy for them.
Legs are essential body parts for them because they cannot perch and walk efficiently after fracture, and it affects their hunting abilities and risks their life.
Accordingly, they cannot survive long in these conditions because predators can quickly grab them, or they cannot avoid attack by quick flying or escape from the spot.