About Our Founder

Dr. T. J. LafeberDr. T. J. Lafeber, Distinguished Veterinarian
1925 – 2001

T.J. Lafeber DVM was one of the worlds foremost authorities on pet bird care.

After his graduation from Iowa State University in 1949, Dr. Lafeber opened the Niles Animal Hospital. Pioneering achievements and dedication to bird care marked his career. He introduced intramuscular injections, blood panels and gavage feeding to save birds’ lives. To help solve the numerous nutritional problems seen in birds, he developed and produced the first pelleted companion bird diet which led to his founding of Lafeber Company in 1973.

Perhaps, above all, his love for bird medicine and caring changed the lives of many veterinarians. In fact, numerous veterinarians told him that they chose to practice avian medicine after attending one of his lectures.

His contributions include:

In 1960, Dr. Lafeber was named Chairman of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Committee on Avian Medicine and Surgery. He spoke at the national, state and local associations’ meetings; the World Veterinary Medical Association; and, the Society of Laboratory Animal Medicine.

As a result of his dedication to the veterinary community, he received many awards, including:

In 1970, the AAHA selected Dr. Lafeber for a special award in recognition of his contributions to the field of Avian Medicine and Clinical Laboratory Medicine. He also received the Iowa State Stange Award; England’s Melton Award; and, the University of Illinois Service Award. In 1975, he was named by the AAHA Region III as the Outstanding Practitioner of the year and, in 1988, received the prestigious Charles E. Bild Practitioner of the Year Award. Also, in 1988 he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Avian Veterinarians.

In 1985, after running his veterinary practice in Niles for 35 years, he sold it and moved to North Carolina where he spent much of his time working on the development of new products for the Lafeber Company.

A Fund was created to continue Dr. Lafeber’s research regarding pet bird medicine, care and nutrition. All donations will be greatly appreciated and will be used solely to improve the lives of our beloved, feathered friends. If you wish to donate to this fund, please make your checks out to:

Dr. T.J. Lafeber Jr. Fund, UT

Mail checks to:

College of Veterinary Medicine at University of Tennessee
Dr. T.J. Lafeber Fund
Dean’s Office
P.O. Box 1071
Knoxville, TN 37901-1071