tea tree oil on my cocateil - cause of his death?

could use of tea tree oil on my cocateil be the cause of his death?
My cocateil was loosing all his feathers on his neck and head and appeared to be sick, there seemed to be a small hole by his neck so I used water and tea tree oil to spray all the birds. The water rolled off their feathers but not on him. He was trembling so I took him out to clean his neck and applied tea tree oil on it, the oil was diluted with water. He died while I was doing that? Could I have squeezed him and cause him to die? Or did the tea tree oil have killed him.I figure I needed to take care of him. He was about 15 yrs, I feel so distraught and guilty as if I caused his death. Had I left him maybe he would have lived longer, I don't know, I just feel so terrible as though I shortened his life.

The other cocateil is in the cage with two parakeets should I buy a replacement or will he be fine? My thinking is that a replacement will out live him and I will have to start the cycle over? Any suggestions.

Thanks, Lena in Sunrise Fl

Comments for tea tree oil on my cocateil - cause of his death?

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 20, 2018
by: Anonymous

i sprayed my room with tea tree oil and water and y bird was in my room. I did it last night and this night until I found out it was toxic!!! He didn't die in the morning but got exposed to it again this night. I moved him out to the kitchen but I can smell it at the end of the hall way. How can I tell if he is fine because I am freaking out and he CANNOT die because its my friend's bird!!!!!!!!

Jan 08, 2016
My cockatoo
by: Anonymous

He is ok now gave him a soak in full bottle of tea tree oil 500ml to try and combat red mites before we looked into it properly. Anyway half hour later he couldn't stand and we read up about it. So not to give up hope run bath shampoo warm empty conditioner cool repeated about 15 times rotating cool and warm he looked like the end was near, hardly breath then washed in metho and conditioned twice. To make sure all oil was off still very sick and like there was no hope of survival. We started forcing milk into him with syringe to make him sick and shit and absorb rest of toxins. Even bathed him in milk. Looked like there was no hope he stopped breathing twice but after a shake took a breath he finally got sick and shat then showed signs of little hope so kept up forcing milk rest of night. And next day put some ovaltine in it he then started to drink himself the concoction and then had enough energy to start cracking seeds and after about two more days full strength and just as cheeky again. Must post what we did to help him as seen no other survival of parrots even after a couple of drops of tea tree oil. He lost his mites and his worms in the process and was fully recovered after about five days.

Nov 14, 2014
Spray on my parakeets
by: Anonymous

So we have a few problems with bugs and i was spraying water with a few drops of tea tree oil on it i just sprayed two sprays is that harmful to my birds is there anything i can do? I read on this but i have not found any help will they be ok? Because after all it was just to small sprays and it wasn't in their faces but i love my birds and i couldn't stand to lose them is there any thing i can do to help prevent them dieing

May 16, 2011
neck feather's missing!
by: Paw Paw's bird

My 18 yr old cockatiel is losing feathers on his neck under his beak. He doesn't seem sick at all his mood and appetite are still normal but I can see the skin on his neck now. What can I do?

Editor's note: Take the bird to an avian vet. Also, please do not ask questions as an answer to someone's question. Post your question as a new question.

May 16, 2011
No tea tree oil for birds
by: The Avian Vet

I am sorry for your loss. Tea Tree oil is toxic when ingested. So, when you put this on your bird, he preened it and swallowed. Certainly this contributed to his death, but it may not have been the only cause. First, it is an oil and it caused the feathers to not be water proof and it caused your bird , who was likely already sick from something else, to not be able to thermoregulate ? keep warm ? and this too contributed to his death.

You should have taken him to see an avian veterinarian before using over-the-counter treatments, home remedies, or other inappropriate medications. It sounds like there were many factors that led to his death. The parakeets will keep him company.

Dr B

May 16, 2011
tea tree oil on my cocateil - cause of his death?
by: Linda

Yes, the fumes from the Tea Tree Oil will kill a bird.

In future, if you have a sick bird, please take them to be examined, diagnosed and treated by an Avian Vet. Never use any home remedies or over the counter remedies because until you know what is wrong with bird, condition cannot be treated.

We all live and learn, and you've just learned a very harsh lesson.


May 15, 2011
I am sorry
by: Anonymous

I am sorry for your loss. The death could have either one or a combination of both.

Tea tree oil is HIGHLY toxic to parrots & should never be use on them or around them. The fumes (even if diluted) can also kill your bird.

I gave away tea tree oil when I started with birds & only use eucalyptus oil. I do not apply anything on my birds without an avian vet consultation. Eucalyptus oil is a great disinfectant, antiseptic & cleaner & safe around your birds (do not apply directly to birds though).

Get rid of the tea tree oil & buy some eucalyptus oil. And seek avian vet advice before applying anything in future.

And don't feel bad! We ALL learn some things the hard way & we all learn from our mistakes.

I hope this helps.

May 15, 2011
tea tree oil on birds?
by: Tracie

How sad you must feel. ((hugs))

Since the bird died right away, I don't think it was the oil, it sounds like it was about to die anyway. It is possible you held the bird too tightly, they have hollow bones, but if you held your bird regularly then that probably isn't it either. Dr B will also answer this within a few days.

However, it is not a good idea for you to put oil on your birds feathers. As the bird preens, they spread the oil and it keeps them from being able to regulate their body heat. Also, even though you said it was diluted, tea tree oil can cause irritation sometimes even on humans and I believe it is toxic to birds.

In the future, when you see your bird not looking like it is healthy, please take it to an avian vet. Birds don't usually show signs of illness until they are very sick. This is why it is also recommended that we take our birds to an avian vet every year for a check up and also for a vaccine.

You do not need to purchase a replacement bird.

Click here to add your own comments