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  1. #1
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    Barbara
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    All tailfeathers lost in accident

    I'm worried about Flicker, a very young and inexperienced male budgie, who on his third time of flying free through a large room acted confused and banged into walls frequently. It appeared he couldn't or didn't like to go back into the cage where his buddy George kept calling him. Afraid to leave him unattended over night, my husband and I attempted to catch him. I finally got my hand around him, held him fairly loosely so as to avoid any injury. Instead of the squirly attempt to get away accompanied by biting, he slipped out immediately, leaving all his tail feathers behind, and I mean all of them! He continued to fly around, because he was distraught I couldn't tell wether he could keep his balances still. Hubby says they will grow back. I've experienced that with a single feather, but am concerned about his recovery from loosing his tail entirely. Has anyone experienced a similar tragedy? What happened? Anything I can do to help?
    Thanks for your time and thoughts!

  2. #2
    Breeding SandraK's Avatar
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    Re: All tailfeathers lost in accident

    I have a duck butt tiel due to the Quakers holding on to her tail feathers while she tried to get away. I also learned (the hard way) that grass parakeets cannot be caught by holding their tailfeathers (they have beautiful tails). Apparently it's an escape system, tailfeathers can be lost easily and will grow back AND the bird still lives (if it's trying to get away from a predator).

    Another thing to do if your fid is distraught and you're trying to catch him is to dim or switch off the lights in all the other rooms or locations away from the cage so that hopefully he'll head back to the cage without having to be chased down.

    Recently something spooked my flock and everyone went berserk flying around. One of the adult tiels, who knows the house and layout, got so upset she flew into a wall in two separate areas before finally hitting another wall and sliding down to the floor. When I was able to catch her, I just held and cuddled her while looking her over for injuries or bleeding around her head or face. Indie actually seemed to doze off in my hands for a good 15-20 minutes and when she woke up, she was done with being held for the moment! She insisted on being let go and promptly flew to the fan in the dining room and took a nap up there. We still don't know what happened or caused the ruckus ...

  3. #3
    Tailfeather boomer girl's Avatar
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    Re: All tailfeathers lost in accident

    I too found out the hard way a bird will be OK losing all its tail feathers. My daughter didnt see boomer on the floor and thank God only sat on his tail feathers. He flew away and left all his handsome tail feathers behind! He couldnt fly worth a crud for weeks but they grew right back in and everything was back to normal soon. I hope your Flickers tail feathers will grow back in soon so she can learn to fly better, I think she will be fine.

    Sandra, watching your bird smack into walls must of been so awful but to see her hit one and slide down to the floor must have almost gave you a heart attack! Very scary and I am happy they are all OK.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

  4. #4
    Breeding SandraK's Avatar
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    Re: All tailfeathers lost in accident

    Worse part was that I was calling to her while she was flipping out and she just kept going. I was really afraid that she'd have a head injury or might kill herself before I could get her. I think the fortunate part was that she had got tired so when she hit the wall the last time she wasn't going at full tilt (I'm sorry to say she sort of crumpled when she hit it and then gently slid down - almost like a cartoon bird does).

    I still think it's the darn gccs who give a "danger, danger, danger" call and then sit back, watch and laugh while everyone else goes berserk.

  5. #5
    Tailfeather boomer girl's Avatar
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    Deanna
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    Re: All tailfeathers lost in accident

    When boomer got afraid he flew right to one of us and would go straight down our shirts for cover To see them flying smashing into things has to be horrible to see.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

  6. #6
    Administrator Tailfeather Community Administrator
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    Re: All tailfeathers lost in accident

    Poor little guy. As they've said his tail will grow back. My tiel was a duck butt the first year I had him, constantly ripping out tail feathers through some action or another (usually playing, or clumsily landing on the floor until he got his flights in).

    My tiel got out of his cage once during a night fright (I have since started securing the door better so he can't open it thrashing about) and he flew into the wall, slid to the floor and sat there panting with his wings out... so scary when they do something like that!

    When my tiel needs to calm down and I am worried he'll hurt himself struggling I use a towel, the loss of light usually stops most struggling and if you hold them with proper support they can't hurt themselves inside of it.. and with it draped over them, flying away is not an option.

    If any of them didn't come out cleanly they will not grow back until the next molt. Make sure he has calcium available as they need more when they are regrowing lots of feathers (like during a molt), otherwise you'll just have to wait and comfort him with love and treats. If the regrowing feathers make him itchy you could add some pure aloe (100%, no chemicals) to his bath water to help sooth his tail.

  7. #7
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    Re: All tailfeathers lost in accident

    Thank you, thank you, everyone of you! for sharing your experiences and the good news that his tail feathers will grow back!!! He looks kind of awkward, more like a mini pidgeon or chick, I guess that's what you call duck butt. Quite fitting! Like Sandra I had to watch him crash into walls, sliding down behind furniture, and the scariest for me was when he crashed into the wall above the fridge and slit down behind it!!! Somehow he got out. The worst thing for me was also the guilt feeling that I might have caused this panic through reasons I will never know. It is heartbreaking to watch the little "precious" bouncing from one wall to another... I was crying and begging with him....
    2 hours later my husband went downstairs where the budgies are (first floor) pulled up a stepping stool so he could see and reach above the fan blade Flicker was sitting on, was able to stroke his belly and top of his feet for quite a long time! -Why does it work out so that I spend all the time cleaning, feeding, and training the birds, and then he just walks up to them and gets the cuddles!- Only when hubby tried to get his second foot onto his finger, did he take off again for the nearest wall. Whrn he slid down, hubby picked him up and sweetly humming put him back into the cage. ????? Grrrrrrr!!! I'm not jealous, am I? I'm so thrilled that his feathers will grow back!!! Thank you again!!!!

  8. #8
    Brand New Egg
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    Re: All tailfeathers lost in accident

    Hurrah! Flicker has a more beautiful tail than he had before! It has grown back completely within just a month! It seemed you could watch it grow once it started, almost 1/2 inch a day. It's almost 6 inches long! Thanks for your support!

  9. #9
    Administrator Tailfeather Community Administrator
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    Re: All tailfeathers lost in accident

    Yay! Yeah they do grow fast once they start - glad he's back to normal.

  10. #10
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    Re: All tailfeathers lost in accident

    Good, I am very happy for you that Flicker's back to normal - they do look a little silly without any tail feathers.

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