Finding an Avian Vet: Suggestions for if you need one

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pawsplus, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 18, 2008
    Middle TN
    I realize that some people here don't take their chickens to the vet. This thread is for those who DO, or who would if there were a problem. [​IMG]

    My advice is DO NOT WAIT until there is a problem. Posting here in a panic is, I guess, fine if you are really never going to take the chicken to the vet, but if you WOULD, then you need to already have a vet lined up before something goes wrong.

    I have worked for vets in the past and currently have 3 different vets for my varied crew (an equine vet for the horses, a small animal vet for the dogs and cats, and an avian and exotics vet for the chickens and my tortoise). Here are my suggestions.

    (1) You are looking for an avian and/or exotics vet, NOT a farm vet. Most farm vets know nothing about treating pet chickens--they simply recommend killing any chicken who is ill, so they will be no help at all. Avian and exotics specialists have experience treating various species of exotic birds (parrots, etc.), and some have additional experience working w/ exotic wild species. There is very little difference, internally, between these species and chickens, so even vets without direct chicken experience can usually extrapolate well from their exotics experience.

    This is the member listing of the Association of Avian Veterinarians (do a search for your state, see the names under that listing, and start googling):


    You can also search the database by city, state, zip code, province, etc. here:


    (2) Once you have a few names and numbers, call the clinic. Find out how many birds, and what kinds, the vet sees every year. Do NOT expect the vet to see a lot of chickens--my own vet has only a few clients other than me with pet chickens, but that's OK. The key is to make sure the vet sees a large number of avian patients, is comfortable with them, and (this is very important!) is not dismissive of the fact that your bird is "only" a chicken. My vet treats my hens with as much respect and care as the $5K parrots and occasional very exotic wild birds he sees, and that's what you are looking for!

    Hope this helps! I see a lot of panicky people here and do think that in many cases, knowing that you have a knowledgable vet to call on would alleviate a lot of stress and save some chicken lives (as well as a great deal of suffering).

    Best wishes to all! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  2. GoldenSparrow

    GoldenSparrow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    Thank you so much !
  3. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Thank you for your information. [​IMG]

    I took my turkey to an Avian Specialist a couple of months ago.

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