As a falconer, your responsibility is not just to train your bird of prey, but also to keep them healthy. Caring for your raptor’s health is a daily, year-round job that requires knowledge of what a healthy raptor looks like and the supplies and equipment needed to maintain that healthy state.
While any serious medical issues should be treated by a vet, it falls to the falconer to keep their bird in good condition with a day-to-day routine that meets their needs. Here are the basics of what measures you should be taking to ensure your raptor is happy and healthy:
1) Feed them a varied natural diet.
Your raptor’s nutrition is the most important factor in their health. You should be feeding them a balanced diet of foods that resembles as closely as possible what they would eat in the wild. The best type of foods and the quantities in which they should be receiving them will vary slightly from bird to bird, so be sure to research your raptor’s natural diet thoroughly. Raptor diets typically include a variation of smaller birds (sparrow, pigeon, starling), small mammals (rabbit, rats, mice), and poultry meat and organs (chicken, quail).
2) Use supplements to prevent nutritional deficiencies.
It’s important not to overuse supplements in your raptor’s diet, but in the correct dosage they can be incredibly useful for ensuring they receive the proper amount of the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy. The most common nutritional deficiencies in raptors tend to be calcium, phosphorus, and Vitamin D. A quality multivitamin, such as Pro-Vital Vita Raptor Multivitamins or Vitahawk Maintenance is a good place to start with supplements. Depending on their diet, your raptor may benefit from a probiotic blend supplement that includes beneficial microorganisms for gut and immune health.
3) Keep essential raptor first-aid supplies on hand.
In the event of any serious injury or illness, you should get your bird to a veterinarian ASAP. However, for many minor health problems that require immediate treatment, there are some items you should have in your treatment box. That’s why keeping a first-aid kit is another essential measure for caring for your raptor’s health. Some of the items we recommend you include are:
- Wormers—used for the treatment of large roundworm, hairworm & tapeworms
- Canker tablets—for Frounce
- Terramycin—broad-spectrum antibiotic for topical use in the treatment of ocular infections
- Coccidiosis tablets—used for the prevention and treatment of coccidiosis in pigeons and other birds
- Styptic powder—for coping and minor cuts
- Mite and lice spray
- Antiseptic spray—for minor cuts and coping
- Amoxicillin—for prevention of Paratyphoid, E-Coli and respiratory infections
- Other medications for common conditions
4) Ensure your raptor gets exercise, sunlight, and fresh water.
Lastly, always be sure that your birds get these three things above, as this will also keep them healthier and in optimal condition.
Everything you need to keep your raptor happy and healthy can be found right here online at Mike’s Falconry Supplies. From books to teach you how to care for your bird to the nutritional and healthcare products you need and more, we have you and your raptor covered.
Shop for what you need online today or reach out for more information about any of our products!