Interested in Prosthetics for birds?
How are prosthetics done?
In layman's terms prosthetic beaks are made
by inserting pins into the bone of the
existing beak and a wire frame is made.
It is then covered by an epoxy or a dental
acrylic material and shaped. Leg prosthetics
are a bit trickier and can take lots of
trial and error and fittings to be done
properly. Usually we start with a model of
the good leg or foot and work from there.
Do you have more birds needing a
YES! We have several birds waiting for
a sponsor to cover the cost of the
procedure. If you would like to sponsor a
bird please email us
I have been told prosthetics cant be done
We have been successfully doing prosthetics
on birds for many years. Emily was one of
our first and died of old age with her
original prosthesis on.
I have a bird who needs a prosthetic
where do I start?
Our veterinarian Dr Burkett is located in Durham, NC and sees patients
from all over the country who need
prosthetics. If visiting Durham, NC is not
an option for you The first step is to find
a qualified Avian Vet near you who can do
the surgery. If they have questions
they can contact us or Dr Burkett directly.
Why cant I do a prosthetic at home or do
Beak prosthetics require pins be placed into
the bone and absolutely should never be done
without anesthesia or by anyone but an
experienced veterinarian. At CWR, we
have a lot of experience working with birds
and we would never attempt to do this
without Dr Burkett's assistance. Don't
try this at home folks!
If you have a bird missing a leg or a foot
you can fiddle around with taping or
splinting a temporary prosthetic to the leg
but for a permanent long term attachment you
will need to help of an veterinarian.
How much is a prosthetic going to cost?
That is a really difficult question to
answer since each one is completely
different and every veterinarian has a
different fee schedule. Our experience
is that the range could run from $800
dollars to $1500 or more.
Can I release a bird with a prosthetic?
No we wouldn't recommend it. Birds need to
be monitored for potential problems and will
need annual exams and patching repairs.
How hard is it to keep up with the
Initially there is some work involved in
monitoring their eating and checking for
infection. Many birds wake up from
surgery and immediately begin to use their
beaks! Some take a few days to adjust
but all of our patients have been completely
adjusted and eating well with a weeks time.
We check birds every 6 months but maintenance is generally done annually.
You always want to monitor for infection but
also for loose pins etc. We generally
have to do some patching every 6
months to a year or so as the beak naturally
wears down. You also have to
cope/shape the opposing mandible as the
other side wont wear down natually.
Do you do 3D printing legs/prosthetics?
We have seen these and its something we
may consider for the future. There is a lot
of promise in 3D printing to make
prosthetics so we plan to stay abreast of
the advancements in technology. At some
point we may consider doing them but right
now several other places are working out the
bugs in these and there is no point in
duplicating efforts. We are excited to
see what the future holds for 3D printing to
are always needed and appreciated!
With regular donors patients wont have to
wait for a sponsor to have this life
altering work done. No amount is too
Are you a veterinarian or dental
professional who would like to contribute
your time, talents or supplies to our work?
Email us for more information
you are interested in consulting with Dr
Burkett please contact his office directly
via his website
Some of our Prosthetics Patients
Sitara the Mute Swan gets a
prosthetic beak on the show
Norton gets a new beak and a new
life. He met the love of
his life, got adopted to a new
home and the surgery has
completely changed his entire
quality of life. Thanks to the
Stanga's for sponsoring Nortons
Miss Emily Duckinson lost her
beak to a predator while trying
to defend her newborn babies.
She died of old age with her
original prosthetic on.
Bobo was taken to Carolina
Wildlife Care and they funded a
prosthetic beak done by Dr
Burkett. He is a permanent
resident of CWR now.