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The Finch Self-Medication Website - My Observations of Self-Medication in Estrildid Finches

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The aim of this website is to generate interest in the apparent ability of animals to choose appropriate medicines in their environment to consume themselves or feed their young.

This is to cure or prevent some infections but also to relieve internal or external pain or in any other way to maintain the animals' health. With regard to finches, I call this study Finch Self-Medication for convenience.

I have spent seven years studying this ability with Estrildid finches of several species and have written some articles based on my observations and techniques that I have devised.

Scientists do not question the phenomenon of animal self-medication. They have repeatedly seen birds, mammals and even insects use plants, soil, clay, insects and fungi as medicines. In fact scientists have set up a science called Zoopharmacognosy based on  the apparent ability of animals to show a cognitive grasp of potential medicines in their environment.

My interest in animal self-medication started years ago when I had the idea of converting a spare room into a free flying bird room with the purpose of studying the behaviors of several Estrildid finch species mostly African for it seemed to me that cages were too restrictive for this purpose. I had a total of 19 species but I soon found that some birds started to get ill and more followed. In particular, Schlegel Twinspots and Pintail Nonpareils kept on falling ill.

The reasons why I had birds of several species fall ill in my free flying bird room are explained on the Disease Carriers web page on this site.

Many bird keepers cage their African finches by species in separate cages or flights and so do not have the amount of ill birds that I had over the years in my free flying bird room. They therefore do not understand why I had so many birds fall ill. So some bird keepers take it upon themselves to ridicule what I say. Like skeptics throughout history, they pass judgment on a phenomenon that they have not even experienced or on a subject that they have not carefully studied themselves.

My experience with several species of wild-caught Estrildid finches over the past seven years backs up very well the observation that scientists have made in the field; that wild animals seem to have a cognitive grasp of potential medicines in their environment.

The  most  astonishing  observation  that  I have made so far, is that sick finches of several Estrildid species cured themselves of life-threatening diseases (without relapsing), by correctly targeting appropriate antibiotics out of a range of medicines with fresh drinking water also being available to them all the time.

The first time that I saw a sick finch cure itself, which I was convinced was going to die,  was one of the most unexpected and most remarkable experiences that I ever had in my life !!

By following my method, I found that allowing sick birds to medicate themselves (as opposed to force-feeding them antibiotics without any fresh drinking water being available as vets instruct ) will make them recover from an illness with far less risk of damage to their vital organs and far less risk of an adverse change in their blood composition taking place due to drug toxicity. This drug toxicity can be caused by the sick bird being hypersensitive to the antibiotic or by the antibiotic dose being too high or too low.

Following my technique, I discovered that the label doses of certain antibiotics were far too high whereas those of certain other antibiotics were far too low. I explain how I found this out in the first article mentioned below.

I also found that giving antibiotics optionally to sick finches of several Estrildid species in my experience is less likely to lead to antibiotic resistance than following conventional veterinary methods for the following reasons.

Doctors say that antibiotic resistance comes about if patients do not take their antibiotics for their full course of treatment. If the course is not completed, some bacteria may be left to develop resistance. Courses for various antibiotics vary. For example, vets instruct to give Toltrazuril (Baycox) for 3 days, Dimetridazole (Emtryl) for 7 days, Enrofloxacin (Baytril) for 7 to 10 days.

However, I found that more time is needed for these or other antibiotics to take effect because sick finches of several species which cured themselves without relapsing, insisted in continuing to drink appropriate antibiotics for far longer than the number of days that vets prescribe. So if anything, it appears that antibiotic resistance is even less likely to occur if you allow sick finches to medicate themselves following my method.

Please note that merely giving a sick finch an appropriate antibiotic with a choice of fresh drinking water is not enough for the finch to completely cure itself. It is not as simple as that. I have found that there are several other factors that you need to take into account before a sick finch can effectively cure itself.

I have finches of several Estrildid species that have cured themselves without relapsing following my method that have remained healthy two years or more after they cured themselves completely. I explain my method of curing finches in great detail in my article called "How To Tap The Power Of Sick Estrildid Finches To Cure Themselves". This article consists of 30 pages of A4 size (16,000 words) and is based on hundreds of hours of observation and study over several years.

I would here like to say that I have great  respect for vets. They are highly intelligent and caring individuals who have studied very hard for many years. But judging by the posts at any finch newsgroup, you can see for yourself the poor results that people get when they take a sick finch to the vet, even an avian vet.

I am delighted to say that I have discovered a way to change all that. BUT what is at stake here, goes far beyond curing Estrildid finches without having them go through the painful side effects of powerful medicines or even killing them as a result !!

What is at stake here, is developing a technology that will at the very least enable doctors to find medicines to as yet incurable human diseases or future new diseases in a fraction of the time and effort that it now takes. You can readily appreciate what this means when you consider that even after years of research and virtually unlimited funds, doctors have still not found drugs that will cure everyone that suffers from AIDS or every type of cancer. I give further details about this on my web page entitled "Necessary Scientific Experiment".

It is for these serious reasons that I will gladly send my article FREE OF CHARGE to open-minded avian vets so that they may test out my method of curing sick finches for themselves. I will only charge for printing and delivery.

All I ask in return is that they send me a signed typewritten report of their results so that I may present it to any medical research labs that are interested in setting up an experiment to scientifically validate my findings. I also urge these avian vets to publish a scientific paper on my method of curing finches in an avian veterinary journal so that scientists will take the apparent ability of finches to cure themselves seriously. If you are a finch keeper, you are welcome to tell your local avian vet about this.

I realize that some avian veterinarians may laugh at what I am saying because it sounds so incredible. But I urge them to adopt an objective attitude and test out my method first, before they assume that what I am saying is nonsense. May I make it clear to them that testing out my method can relatively easily be done.

I have done my part. It is now up to avian vets to test out my method of curing finches. Clearly before medical research labs will be interested in setting up an experiment, they will want to see what results, serious-minded people like avian vets have obtained.

I will here stress that I have tested my method only with Estrildid finches and so cannot be held accountable if my method is used to cure birds of other bird families.

Years ago I uploaded an article called "Finch Self-Medication" on the Internet which explained about herbs, medicinal drinks (not antibiotics), soil and charcoal that I observed my birds consuming every day. It was mistakenly assumed that birds would remain healthy if these medicinal items are made available to them all the time. But I have found that this is not quite the case. I would like to point out that in my experience, African finches of several species, can still fall ill if they have access to these medicinal items on a daily basis. The fact remains however that healthy finches insist in consuming the same small amount of these medicinal drinks and items every day. It is quite extraordinary. The puzzle is why should healthy birds insist on consuming these medicinal items every day if it is found that they can still end up falling ill given time ?  I list down several reasons to explain this puzzle in my article called "Self-Medication in Estrilidid Finches".

All I can say is that in my experience, when finches fall ill, appropriate antibiotics and or homeopathic remedies are needed for the birds to cure themselves.

One case in particular sticks in my mind because it provides strong visible evidence that Estrildid finches can really cure themselves. I once had a Gouldian finch cock showing signs of twirling. Its body was twisted and it could not fly in the free flying bird room. I was surprised that it did not break any ribs since it fell like a stone when it tried to fly from a certain height. One of the causes of twirling is a fungal ear infection which Nystatin an antifungal can treat. When I placed the bird in a cage on its own, one of the medicines that I therefore made available to it was Nystatin. Lo and behold, I saw that it daily targeted the Nystatin and in about two weeks, its twirling was gone !! The bird was not twisted any more and could fly normally !! I know this is not scientific proof that the bird cured itself but this is enough evidence for me to urge both avian vets and medical research scientists to take what I am saying seriously.

I know for a fact that the skeptics that ridicule what I say have not even read my article called "How To Tap The Power Of Sick Estrildid Finches To Cure Themselves" for I never uploaded this article on the Internet.

Bearing in mind that what I have discovered could in the long run make finding cures to human diseases so much easier and so much swifter perhaps skeptics may change their attitude if they had to feel the unbearable pain that terminally ill cancer patients go through.

I welcome scientists working in medical research to contact me if they have any queries. I am also prepared to quite gladly send my article FREE OF CHARGE to them for their careful reading. I will only charge for printing and delivery. Please also read my web page entitled "Necessary Scientific Experiment".

I welcome bird keepers and animal lovers from all over the world to send me their personal observations on this subject on any animal species.

More people need to be made aware of animal self-medication because it could greatly advance human medicine.

Thank you.

William Astor


  • Self-Medication in Estrildid Finches
  • How To Tap The Power Of Sick Estrildid Finches To Cure Themselves
  • A Method Of Selecting Disease Resistant Finches
  • How to breed a Disease Resistant Line of Finches
  • How to Keep Estrildid species ( with no Immunity to pathogen strains found in human environments ) Alive in Captivity and have them Thrive and Breed
  • Disease Carriers
  • How to Use Two Society Finch (Bengalese) Cocks To Incubate And Foster Rear On Cue
  • How To Process Fly Larvae As Food For Your Finches
  • Drugged Birds For Sale: The Bird Scam You Should Know About

2008 William Astor. All the text on my website is my copyright and you may not make copies of it or post it on the Internet or email it.


If you have a website that is related to finches or animal self-medication or veterinary medicine or bird diseases or even dowsing or animal psi, and you wish to exchange links with this website, please email me with the subject line "FSM Website Link Exchange Request" without the quotes.
Thank you.






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