An Injured, Emaciated Ruffed Grouse Recovers

ruffed grouse walking on pavement
A ruffed grouse similar to this one was saved by the Alberta Institute For Wildlife Conservation. Darrin Franco/ USFWS. via Flickr

The following story was shared with us by the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation in Alberta, Canada.

A ruffed grouse was admitted to the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation on December 26, 2019, weighing 326 grams (about 11.5 ounces). Once examined, the bird was determined to have a right shoulder injury, a heavy internal parasite infestation, and an extremely thin body condition.

After radiographs were taken, the shoulder injury was determined to be soft tissue, and the wing was bandaged to the body for support and comfort. She was also administered fluids, pain medication, and a dewormer to treat her parasite infestation.

After a blood test, her total solids showed she was severely emaciated, so the team took care to ensure she was fully rehydrated and food slowly introduced into her diet. During the winter, the ruffed grouse’s natural diet is made up almost entirely of buds and twigs, so the team tube-fed EmerAid Intensive Care Herbivore three times a day. The amount gradually increased from a dilute mixture to the full concentration of the solution.

The grouse responded well to treatment, and within days she was able to handle a solid food diet. Once her wing injury was healed and she had gained a significant amount of weight, she was released.