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Thread: Missing Feathers on One Side

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    Missing Feathers on One Side

    My mother has a cute little budgie. The budgie was extremely young when we bought her (we think its a female) at a pet store. She is about a year old now. They had clipped her wings; a fairly aggressive clip. The feathers have grown in one side. On the other side the wings have tried to grow, but the feathers that appeared didn't look healthy and eventually fell out. It's been a year now and she only has feathers on one side.

    Do any of you have any experience with something like this? Any suggestions on how to handle this? Feathers on one side leave her unbalanced and she flips over when she tries to fly.
    Jackie

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    Re: Missing Feathers on One Side

    I don't have any budgies but one of my tiels was follicly challenged when it came to growing flight and tail feathers. It took Theo from 2008 to 2010 to finally grow full flight and tail feathers.

    When I had got him his wings were trimmed and one side always grew in but the other didn't. Eventually last year they finally started growing and by the end of 2010 he was fully flighted. He'd try flying before that but he was always skew whiff and off kilter landing.

    If you have a vet, have him check your little girl. It is possible that her wing was damaged when they first clipped it and that could be the cause of the problem. I was also wondering if it could be because there are stubs of the feathers (that fell out) in her wing which is preventing new feathers from coming in but you said she grows them and loses them. I would trim her good wing lightly so that she doesn't flip over and possibly hurt herself.

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    Re: Missing Feathers on One Side

    Sometimes birds can have damaged or deformed follicles, I second Sandra's opinion of getting the bird checked by a vet. Also, make sure you are giving her a good diet with lots of calcium. I have read a few birds stories where they never grew their flights in right, hopefully that isn't the case with your mother's budgie, but in case that happens you may want the vet to show you how to clip her wings yourself so that next time, you can upkeep them if needed.

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    Re: Missing Feathers on One Side

    Thanks for these suggestions. My mother has two budgies who are allowed out of the cage all day. Buttercup (the budgie with the wing problem) comes out of the cage (by either fluttering to the floor or using my mother as a stop-off point on the way), wanders around on the floor and usually ends up sitting under a dining room chair or under the coffee table. Once she is able to fly properly, she will be able to fly around with her partner, Sunshine. This gives me some hope that we will be able to resolve her feather issue. I think I'll arrange to take the pair of them in to see the vet. It's a little hard to organize, as my mother is quite elderly and insists on going with us (and the bathroom is down a flight of stairs in the basement). I'd like to do anything we can to get her flying, as it is quite sad to see a bird that can't fly.

    The birds eat well, but I'll have my mother add some calcium to their diet in the meantime.

    I think the pet store over-clipped her and perhaps did the clipping when she was too young. She was really very, very young when we bought her; so young that the pet store warned us to keep her diet very simple at first.

    Again, thanks for the advice.
    Jackie

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    Re: Missing Feathers on One Side

    Please keep us posted on how Buttercup does and what the vet says. It's the kind of info that we can stash and hopefully use for other birds too.

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    Re: Missing Feathers on One Side

    I'll let you guys know how it goes with the vet.

    Most recent update is that a feather is coming in but it is mis-shapen (a little twisted looking).
    Jackie

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    Re: Missing Feathers on One Side

    With a little luck they'll still grow in even if it takes a couple of years like it did with Theo.

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    Re: Missing Feathers on One Side

    I have a vet visit scheduled for the 9th. Hopefully the vet can come up with a solution. I wish pet stores wouldn't do such aggressive wing clips.

    It's amazing how the females rule the roost. She may not be able to fly, but she has Sunshine chasing after her wherever she goes, fretting over everything she does. It's the same with my pair of budgies, Victoria and Philippe.
    Jackie

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    Re: Missing Feathers on One Side

    Saw the vet this week. She agreed that the wing clip was very bad. New feathers were blocked from coming in by debris from the wing clip. She pulled out the stuff blocking the follicles to clear the way for new feathers. She expects Buttercup to have new feathers in about a month. I now wish I had taken her to the vet sooner instead of waiting to see whether the issue would resolve itself.

    The birds got a pedicure and beak trip while there, as well as a general check-up including blood tests.

    Now we wait and watch for new feathers. With a little luck, Buttercup will be flying by this time next month.
    Jackie

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