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Thread: Possible causes?

  1. #1
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    Possible causes?

    My bird can't fly. All he does is kind of jump up a little and try to fly, but no luck. I can't even call that gliding because he just falls to the ground.

    Since I bought him on 9/9/16, I feel he should be able to fly. Or at least something close to flying. His feathers don't look smooth and he looks like he is still missing some. If you are someonewho has come across my threads about him before, you'll know that he hasn't really been growing new feathers much.

    So my question is what things can possibly cause this? If it is PBFD, it is to such an extend that you can't really see the symptoms much other than 3-4 weird-looking feathers and not full wings to lift him. The rest of his body is perfectly covered in small feathers. I don't know anything about his life before buying him, if he had clipped feathers or not or anything like that. So I want all possible causes for that. Also note that there are no avian vets in my city and I would have to travel for at least 3 hours to take him to a vet that could maybe have some experience with birds. I have to play the vet here.

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    Tailfeather maxollie's Avatar
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    Re: Possible causes?

    I would suggest you search the web for .....on line Avian Vets. There are Vets who will allow you to ask questions and explain what is happening with your bird.
    [/COLOR] I'm owned by my two sweet budgies, Muffin and Marlee.

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    Re: Possible causes?

    Good recommendation, I had no idea this was a thing. I'll give it a try but I won't get my hopes up. I've been trying to find an answer for months now but no luck. I'd still appreciate people's opinions here.

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    Re: Possible causes?

    Can you post a pic of your bird?

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    Re: Possible causes?

    http://i1266.photobucket.com/albums/...psdvlrbrw9.jpg
    http://i1266.photobucket.com/albums/...psmvrsbfmk.jpg

    And this one is from when I got him...http://i1266.photobucket.com/albums/...pstcxh6vjt.jpg

    He is a scaredy cat and he doesn't like me touching him so that's the best I could do right now. Also, ignore the background, I just woke up lol.

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    Tim Hatched! Anfsurfer's Avatar
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    Re: Possible causes?

    What's your birds name Vicky?

    First off, your bird doesn't have flight feathers and didn't have them when you got him...they were clipped. So he wouldn't be able to fly. Birds go through a molt where they replace all their feathers little by little until he has all new feathers. It happens over the course of months for the birds safety, so he's never bald or unable to fly because of missing feathers.

    If a bird loses a random feather in life, the body will start to replace it immediately. In the case of clipping a feather, the feather base is still in the body so the body doesn't know the feathers been clipped. These clipped feathers won't be replaced until the bird goes through it's molt.

    In the current pics of your bird, there's some feathers that looked tattered...like he might be pulling and chewing on them. I'd keep an eye on that.

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    Re: Possible causes?

    They don't look clipped though. That was the first thing I thought of when I took him home and had a closer look but that's where they stop. They don't look like someone cut the ends. And that's only on his right wing. I haven't seen him chew on his feathers but he doesn't let me handle him to have a closer look so I don't know what to tell you.

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    Re: Possible causes?

    He's Terry by the way. Or she.

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    Re: Possible causes?

    Does Terry have any toys? Apart from the few wing feathers he looks pretty good. Do you ever see him chewing Them? I'm wondering if it could be self inflicted coz certainly one of thewlooks chewed.

    If his cage is empty could be boredom?

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    Re: Possible causes?

    My daughters bird is barbering his wing feathers and cannot fly much because of it. He doesnt do it to any feathers except his wings. Look closely and see if your birds feathers are missing some of the tiny feathers on the shaft. Tikki goes for the base of the feathers and leaves the tip of the feathers alone. His vet told my daughter to give him a dab of organic red palm oil daily to help his feathers. Its a habit that is hard for them to stop.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Possible causes?

    I don't think it's boredom. He is not always very energetic so he sleeps but the rest of the day I either let him run free in my room or put his cage outside next to our canary, which he really enjoys. He never seemed interested to toys I made him but he loves chewing on the plastic perches so much that one of them is almost completely gone. I just let him chew on them since he likes it so much.

    How can I stop him from chewing on his feathers? Is it like when people bite their nails and their fingers? I do that a lot and only a really bad tasting cream could stop me from making my fingers bleed so I am thinking that maybe this could help him too. But whattastes really awful to parrots that won't harm them? There's also the fact that he doesn't like it when I touch him so putting any kind of cream on him will be a challenge but nothing is easy with this bird.

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    Re: Possible causes?

    I would not use creams unless a vet approves them. Any oils or creams will cause itchy skin, and you would have to use Dawn dish soap to clean him up.

    I have wooden perches for my birds. I am concerned any small pieces of plastic, if swallowed, could get stuck in the stomach,esophagus, or intestines. It is very difficult to stop the feather barbing or plucking.

    I read in another thread, that our member, Deanna, recommends red palm oil for feather barbing. Maybe it would help Terry. She wrote that her daughter and her give a drop or two by mouth, to Tikki, their conure.
    [/COLOR] I'm owned by my two sweet budgies, Muffin and Marlee.

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    Re: Possible causes?

    Yeah I saw that about the red palm oil...But how can it make a difference if he keeps chewing his feathers?

    I read that someone dissolved some mustard in some water and sprayed the feathers and the bird stopped that bad habit completely but I'm not sure if it's okay for parrots to eat mustard...Maybe if it's that small of an amount it's okay but I don't want to test it and see. I could use something like these things you put on dogs after surgeries so they don't lick the scar...But maybe that's taking it too far?

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    Re: Possible causes?

    Birds do not like bandages, or splints, or anything on their bodies. I am speaking of treatments that vets do when a bird is injured. Personally, I would call an avian vet and ask them what to use.
    [/COLOR] I'm owned by my two sweet budgies, Muffin and Marlee.

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    Re: Possible causes?

    Hi Vicky, I saw your post and thought I would reply too. I have 8 lovebirds in total and 2 of them do not fly properly. One has had feather growing issues since we got her and the other got purchased with a flight feather already clipped. Asha the one with problems, I honestly don't think I will ever know what it is. If you go through and read my other posts on this forum (posts that I started myself) you will see everything about her, but basically, at first she just did not have a flight feather at all on her left side and then she was getting feathers poking out (still on the left side), then her left flight feather actually grew and she had both her flight feathers, but because it took so long to grow she doesn't really know how to fly properly but shes still doing ok, and she was the same as yours in which at first she would attempt to fly and just land on the floor. Now she can maintain height but if something is too far away eventually she just lands on the floor again but its better than before. BUT again, she is getting feathers growing the wrong way on her left side. Always the left side. I'm the same as you in which I don't have a special avian vet nearby the nearest one is about 3-4 hours away in the capital of the state I live, and he is actually a really rude person. Local vets don't really know much about birds, but I managed to find one vet who had a little knowledge of birds and she is my go to lady now and is about 20 minutes away, if she doesn't know something she refers to books that she has but she handles birds with her hands extremely well so I trust her, and she gave the best advice on Asha in which she said it could have been a few things, she could have a cyst on her left side, it could have been an injury in the past that has damaged the feather follicle and has caused it to grow the wrong way a lot. The main thing she said was if shes happy and eating and drinking a lot and playing then we should let her be. She ruled out PBFD as apparently with that disease its usually both sides of the feathers that have issues not just one side and another vet confirmed this too and also there would be issues with the beak which there isn't.

    My other lovebird Nala, was purchased already clipped but it was a really bad job, and I think the person we got him and his bonded friend from lied as she said the breeder did it but I think she did it as surely a breeder knows how to clip properly. Nala cant fly at all everytime he tries its like he does a backflip, I feel bad for him but I'm glad that I got him to make sure he will be ok, and as Tim mentioned above I think feathers grow back after their molt, and my birds are all currently moulting now, I don't know how long it takes but I hope his little flight feather grows, hes a really small bird (and chubby he loves to eat!) so I'm pretty sure hes only about 5 months old, when we got him 3 months ago we were told he was about 2 or so months. The person we got him from said the breeder clipped him because he wanted to use him for breeding later, but it doesn't make sense, why would he get clipped if he is still just a baby.

    Sorry for my long post, once I start typing I go on and on and on I guess I wanted to mention that it could be a few things and wanted to let you know the things I was told by a vet incase it could be the same for your little Terry. Previous injuries affecting growth, any kind of cyst (which you would need to feel him for), whether he was clipped (which I think Tim above mentioned he thinks he is).

    I've heard of those online vets, I considered using them too but then found the vet 20 minutes away instead, not avian qualified but has relevant knowledge. I do sometimes feel the same as you and feel like I'm on my own when it comes to the birdies health. I always hope that they stay healthy happy and strong. With those online vets, I think they are based in the USA, and you type in your full question, and you pay a $5 deposit to get I think a partial answer, the vet will actually write to you, and then you pay I think the full fee which is $50. I THINK, I haven't checked this in awhile but it was something like that, but I think its legitimate.

    Are there any vets near you at all? Not avian specialists, just in general vets? Maybe you can ring or check their websites to see if they accept birds as well for check ups? And if you go you can see yourself how they handle your bird with their hands, whether they are scared etc because sometimes a vet might be good with birds but they are not avian specialists but they might have avian knowledge even just a little bit.

    Another option is local pet shops near you. not major businesses but maybe there is a family owned one that sells birds and breeds them themselves? We have one like that near me and even though its a shop that sells and is a business, the owner breeds her own birds and hand raises a lot of them and has really good knowledge on caring for birds, its not the same as a vet but sometimes this can help too as these kinds of business owners still care for their birds and know at least the basics of first aid for birds, how to feed them properly, best toys etc.

    With the feather chewing, I was thinking the same that it could be boredom. Sometimes they are happy playing with their toys but then they get bored and want to do something else for awhile. I would suggest if possible, more toys and letting him to what he enjoys most, to distract him from trying to chew on his feathers, if that's being near the canary then do more of that as then he wont think about chewing his feathers but definitely keep an eye on the chewing.

    I hope this helps and sorry if I've clogged up this thread!

    Laila

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    Re: Possible causes?

    Thank you for your reply, I will check your previous posts too.

    I've been keeping Terry a little more in my room to "study" him. Every time I saw him almost trying to groom excessively I would tell him "no" a few times to distract him until he chose not to mess with his plumage. It worked for as long as I was with him. I have been trying to distract him with my voice a lot and whistles and it's okay for now but since the weekend is over and I can't be home for half the morning, I can't do that the rest of the days.

    Now, about vets. I don't think you guys understand what it is like where I live-not just my city, the whole country. There are very very very few avian vets and half of them work for wildlife centers which means they don't accept pets as patients. In my city, there are a few general vets but everyone I've asked so far about birds was like "eh it's a bird you can't do much". The mentality here concerning burds and especially small ones is very much like that not only among vets but the general public too.

    And just so you know my experience with general vets and birds, I had a finch that got attacked by an owl while he was sleeping in his cage outside in a relatively protected balcony. The owl almost cut his left leg completely and he was bitten on his left side. I gave him some painkillers and checked his temperature and tried to clean the wound and save his leg using bandages. I think he made it a day like that and we decided to take him to the vet. Well all he did was cut his leg off and put a gauze on his wound. I had already done more than him on my own, feeding him with a syringe and giving him water. Honestly, I think I could have kept him alive a little longer on my own and I was 15 with no experience with birds and this kind of incidents. So yeah, I am a little cautious with vets ever since. I don't want to take my bird for a check up and end up with a one-legged one.

    Unfortunately, vets here don't have websites usually either. That's why I've been searching all over the internet for help. I only know how to take care of birds like canaries, finches, magpied, blackbirds and the occasional bee-eater. Parrots are very different and have more "problems" than any wild bird I've ever encountered. And all the information I can find is from the internet.

    The online vet didn't really help. The only answer I got was that some birds live in cages from such a young age that they never learn how to fly. Which covers like...1/8th of my question and not the causes so much.

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    Re: Possible causes?

    Tikki's vet told us the red palm oil softens there skin and helps grow there feathers in easily. Tikki started barbing his wing feathers when he was molting so his vet is guessing it was causing him grief with the molt and the red palm oil helps there skin and makes it easier for the feathers to grow in. Also giving them a little bit of the gel center in a aloe leaf is good for there skin as well, just be sure you get all the yellow juice out of it because that is not good at all for birds. They do not recommend you spraying Aloe or any other things on there feathers anymore because they found out it was giving birds respiratory infections because they were breathing into the there nostrils. Sadly once they start doing things to there feathers it becomes habit really fast and the only thing that will stop them from doing it is putting on a cone. With Tikki it is not hurting him to barb his feathers so my daughter and the vet chose not to collar him. I would be very nervous putting anything on a birds feather because they really are so tender that too many things can kill them.

    Tikki is not a bored bird at all. He has a massive cage with all kinds of fun toys and he also gets to fly free and hang out with his "people" all the time.

    I am sorry you cannot see a avian vet and understand how you want to try things to try to help your birds but please be very careful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vicky_1998 View Post
    Yeah I saw that about the red palm oil...But how can it make a difference if he keeps chewing his feathers?

    I read that someone dissolved some mustard in some water and sprayed the feathers and the bird stopped that bad habit completely but I'm not sure if it's okay for parrots to eat mustard...Maybe if it's that small of an amount it's okay but I don't want to test it and see. I could use something like these things you put on dogs after surgeries so they don't lick the scar...But maybe that's taking it too far?
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Possible causes?

    I'm so sorry Vicky about the vet situation over there. It is definitely hard when you feel like your on your own. Even though we have so many vets around where I am they only specialise in cats and dogs and just big animals mostly. We were told one vet right in my town was the best bird one around but even he could not hold my little bird properly, seemed afraid. But this vet also sometimes sees larger birds like macaws or larger wild ones too. But I don't really trust them if they cannot even hold my teeny tiny bird properly. I'm thankful I found the vet 20 minutes away but at the same time I wish there was more around. I blame the owners of the practices, why do they just keep hiring the same kinds of people, they should hire varieties of people who have varieties of animal knowledge and not just the same knowledge.

    I hate that mentality that its a bird you cant do much, These beautiful creatures have more rights to this earth than us humans and deserve love and care and safety.

    We have a pet shop around 20 minutes away and the owner of the shop breeds her own birds and all kinds from small to larger and even though she does have products for all other animals like cats, dogs, horses etc she actually has more for birds and she is extremely knowledgeable on them, she knows what to do in an emergency, and how a bird will heal if they have a cut etc, a lot of the time we just ask her questions when we go there to get more toys or seeds etc. It's hard to manage when there aren't vets around but having basic knowledge is definitely useful, but if it comes to any internal diseases it would be hard to tell if that was the case with a sick bird or not.

    It sounds like you did really well with your little finch and I'm so sorry the vet did what he did. When we wanted to remove a breeder ring off one of ours recently, the local vet wanted to put him under anaesthesia! A small tiny bird, only because they were probably too scared to handle him, and this one isn't even a biter! The good vet 20 minutes away got the job done in under a minute without any medicines.

    Which online vet did you enquire with?? Was it from the website "answers.com" or something like that? I'll double check which website it was that I found ages ago to check if that's the same one you used.

    This forum is a wonderful place, and even though we aren't vets, its definitely supportive and sometimes someone will see your posts and may have had similar experiences and be able to provide insight. You are doing great though looking after your little Terry, keep doing what you do when you can, keeping him company, allowing to do things that make him happy and anything to distract from any feather plucking.

    Deanna, that's interesting about red palm oil, it has been mentioned a lot on these forums, and I think you or Ellen mentioned it to me at one time too, and if its been vet recommended it must be safe to use in small doses.

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    Re: Possible causes?

    The vet highly recommends it to us for Tikki and my daughter also gives a dab of it to her two dogs to help there coat and skin as well. It has to be organic red palm oil and since we have lots of awesome stores here that only sell organic foods and products it was easy to find here. Its also good for us people as well.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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