In birds, yeast infections are caused by an imbalance in the digestive tract’s pH levels. However, it can be treated with apple cider vinegar (ACV). This mildly acidic liquid can correct the imbalance when used properly.
What You'll Learn
- 1 Symptoms of Yeast Infection in Birds
- 2 Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe For Birds?
- 3 How to Treat Yeast Infection in Birds With Apple Cider Vinegar
- 4 Buying the Proper Type of ACV
- 5 Take Action Immediately
Yeast infection in birds is a dangerous condition also known as thrush or candidiasis. It ruins your bird’s appetite, makes digestion difficult, and causes discomfort in the body organs and body parts infected.
Yeast/fungi in a normal quantity are needed in the digestive tract of birds. However, an imbalance in the gastric pH levels can cause an overgrowth of fungi and lead to an infection.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a must-have in the home. It is quite functional for cooking, cleaning, and other home activities. But it also works magic with a bird’s yeast infection. Because of its acidic quality, it is one of the best remedies for balancing the pH levels in your bird’s stomach.
Symptoms of Yeast Infection in Birds
If the bird’s crop (the rounded part between the neck and belly) is slightly swollen and distended over a long period, it could be a symptom of a yeast infection.
Lack of Appetite
Having a perpetually full crop means your bird has no more space to keep food. Consequently, feeding becomes difficult as it loses its appetite. This will likely continue until the crop is emptied.
Loss of Weight
While the crop is full and your bird is not eating, it loses weight as the body is not getting the required nutrients to maintain growth.
Another symptom of Yeast Infection is constant stooling. If your bird has watery droppings at close intervals, that might be a sign of yeast infection.
Undigested grains or food pellets may also be found in the birds’ droppings. This shows that the digestive system is not functioning as expected.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe For Birds?
Birds can consume Apple Cider Vinegar, but only in small amounts. While the acidic properties in the right amount will help balance the gastric pH levels, if not properly diluted or fed in large amounts over time, the gastric pH level will turn acidic and cause stomach ulcers.
In other words, it is safe to use apple cider vinegar for your bird, but it must be used and applied in moderation.
How to Treat Yeast Infection in Birds With Apple Cider Vinegar
You should visit a veterinarian when you suspect a yeast infection. You will get a proper diagnosis for your bird, and the diagnosis will help you determine what treatment you should pursue. However, apple cider vinegar is a great homemade remedy.
It is important to dilute apple cider vinegar before feeding it to your bird. Fungi cannot exist in an acidic environment. However, your bird’s digestive tract still requires fungi in significant quantities to maintain a balanced pH level. If the scale is tipped too far, it may result in other gastric issues, such as ulcers.
When treatment with ACV is completed, the good fungi needed for digestion may have also been destroyed along with the bad fungi. Therefore, it is necessary to balance out the effect of ACV by introducing bird probiotics.
Other than affecting the digestive system, yeast infection can also cause visible changes to your bird’s skin or beak.
External yeast infection symptoms could include patches on the skin, raised areas with plaque-like material on the upper and lower beak, white spots in the mouth, and usually bad breath.
These external manifestations of yeast infection can be treated by applying ACV to affected spots. You can soak a cotton pad or dip a Q-Tip in a solution made of ACV and water. Dab the solution on the bird’s skin, beak, or any other affected part regularly until the infection clears.
This solution can also be applied with a spray bottle by making a mist all over the bird’s affected areas.
Buying the Proper Type of ACV
Go for organic, two-step fermented Apple Cider vinegar. It should be unpasteurized and undistilled. This is because ACV that has gone through these processes may be less effective. Bonus points if there are dregs settled in the bottom of the bottle. The color should vary from a light golden to orange hue.
Preparing Your ACV Solution
Getting a good balance for your ACV solution is important. If the liquid is too sour, your bird might find it too harsh to drink. Also, a sour solution might indicate that it is still too acidic for your bird to ingest.
To prepare ACV for your bird’s dry meal, add a drop or two of raw Apple Cider Vinegar to the bird’s feeding formula.
To make a solution, a quarter cup of vinegar should be added to one gallon of properly filtered water.
For a smaller portion, mix 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar into 16 oz of water for your bird’s drinking.
Take Action Immediately
Beyond apple cider vinegar and other possible treatments, it is important to note that the environment your bird lives in is a key player in your bird’s health. Separate an infected bird from others once it shows signs and symptoms of yeast infection, as the disease is quite contagious.
Cages should be swept, washed, aired, and properly disinfected regularly. Your bird’s food should also be stored in a clean, cool, and dry place to prevent the growth of fungi.
Yeast infection can get more dangerous and have damaging effects if left untreated for too long. Your bird must be given the necessary medical attention as soon as you suspect its occurrence.
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I am Bryan Powell and I own BirdHour.com. I love bird watching; in fact, I have a parakeet of my own. I enjoy spending time outdoors and observing the natural world around me. This website is a means of sharing my passion for birds with others who may be interested in this activity.