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Thread: Mild Toe Deformity & Accommodations

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    Mild Toe Deformity & Accommodations

    HI there! Yesterday, I purchased a new little yellow budgie from a local pet store. I've kept birds in the past from pet stores, particularly budgies, cockatiels, lovebirds, finches, and even one green-cheeked conure! That being said, he is a mutation, and I'm not sure if that might be the reason for the issue I noticed with his toe. On his left foot, the innermost toe, as depicted in the attached photo (NOT my phone, not Starlight, just using as reference because I think it would be too difficult for me to try to get a photo of his toe at the moment), appears to be bent and appear underdeveloped, or like the toenail part had somehow become "choked off" during growth, as there is no toenail on this foot. It's almost like it twists backwards. It does not show signs of infection, and I'm think that it may be the result of a either a) a deformity, or b) a injury that happened when he was quite small (makes me really sad to think about :c). Perhaps one of the other budgies picked at him, or something happened during transport a while ago, sadly. It doesn't bother me that he has this problem, but what does bother me is that he appears to struggle holding himself on purchases and be comfortable. Besides the usually "new budgie nervousness" he seems fine. When I saw him bobbing a tiny bit on the perch, I did get worried, but he looked clean and behaved normally. He has big, bright, expressive eyes. Pretty typical for a young budgie like him, I think. So far, I've noticed he seems to have a preference for soft places (i.e. ME hehe, my shirt, the rug, etc.) which I'm assuming might be due to some discomfort caused by this foot issue. So now, I'm thinking, I'm going to have to modify his cage a bit. He doesn't move around a lot (yet) and being young, he probably isn't even used to perches yet (the budgies at the store were in a typical container with gravel and few perches, as usual (-.-" ugh))... Do you all have any ideas on what I should do to make his cage more comfortable and keep his food at easy access. I actually got him a rather spacious cage, designed for cockatiels, primarily (but, you know how usual pet store stuff is...cockatiel sizing = budgie sizing in actuality...it's worse than the women's clothing section...), and I want to be able to make good use of it. I got him a shredded paper + wood "party perch", which seemed soft but he didn't seem too interested. I'm afraid of his other toes and nails getting caught on anything too soft though... Let me know if you have any suggestions. I'm still going to watch for infection, and probably get him checked out by a vet. He's not touched his food or water much, but I'm hoping he will soon. Thanks guys. OvO"

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    Re: Mild Toe Deformity & Accommodations

    Hi and welcome to the community. And congrats on bringing your new budgie home. I would imagine he is about 3-4 months old. It could be another bird was chasing him, or, he may have suffered some sort of injury. In that picture you posted, that toe looks like it was stubbed, because it is straight in length, and looks like it would not bend. Right now, I would just let him settle in, and keep him comfortable. Be sure the bar spacing in the cage is 3/8ths wide. Too wide space, can cause a small budgie to get caught between the bars, such as feet. Keep the seed and food cups toward the lower part of the cage. And put a couple of sets of them in that area, so he can easily find the food and water.

    Watch him to see if he picks on that foot or toe. I once had a budgie who stubbed his toe, and for awhile he had a small problem navigating the cage, but after about a week or so, he was back to being a normal budgie. Even if it were to be a genetic condition, do not worry, because budgies are very courageous, brave, and live with a disability in amazing ways. My budgie, Muffin, who just turned 9, a couple of weeks ago, and about a year or so ago, I realized he had gone blind. But you know, that has not stopped his life at all. I read on line, if I left everything inside his cage, like it had always been, he would be able to navigate it, and still play with his mirror girlfriends, and toys, and eat his seeds and drink water. And that is exactly what has happened. He sings, talks, whistles, and is a happy and amazing little bird, every single day.

    Consider getting a couple of small ladders at the pet shop. Put them in the cage, so he can use them, if he cannot navigate from the bottom, to the perches.

    Please update at your convenience.
    Last edited by maxollie; 10-27-2019 at 08:31 AM.

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    Re: Mild Toe Deformity & Accommodations

    That picture wasn't of his foot, but I was able to get one of his! (See below.) I didn't want to freak him out too much while he was still new, but he handled the camera being near him surprisingly well!
    I mean, he definitely doesn't move about his cage too terribly much, and I'm in the process of finding him better perches for the size of his feet that will be more comfy. I think the current ones are too large; his toes wrap around .5 rather than the golden .75. I Of course, he does hop around a bit, moves, eats his food, drink his water, sleeps, rests, and seems otherwise healthy, but I do think the foot may be causing him some discomfort. He seems to like softer perching, it seems, so I might be able to so something DIY-ish.
    Alright, so these are actually Starlight. (Don't mind my sassy t-shirt...sorry!)


    See how it looks like how it kind of folds back/tapers off at the knuckle, like the end joint+bone in that toe didn't form properly/at all? (Again, 2 innermost toes!) I mean, I'm sure this won't be, overall, too detrimental on his quality of life, as long as it's accommodated for. Along with finding different cage pieces and perches themselves, I'm also thinking about the layout of the cage. I might want to make it a bit more snug, and have the pieces closer together to make it easier for him to climb about. I also got him a small ladder I did start to keep a soft blanket around his cage, to try to keep him comfortable and from climbing on the bars too much. He is definitely still young and will need to adapt more.

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    Re: Mild Toe Deformity & Accommodations

    Awww!!! He is just precious. I do see somewhat difference than a normal foot, but I do not think it is going to compromise his ability to navigate the cage. Some breeders put a band on one leg. I wonder if maybe they either tried to put one on this foot, or, maybe he tried to pull it off, and the foot got injured.


    He has beautiful feathering. Are his eyes red? If so, he is a Lutino mutation. My budgie, Muffin, who is nine, is also yellow, but he is a pied, with some green and gray tummy feathers.

    You both are doing great. We will watch for your updates! I love his name!! Starlight! Perfect!!

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    Re: Mild Toe Deformity & Accommodations

    Haha, he does seem like the type who would rip off an ID band...
    As the days pass, he does seem to be doing alright. He moves around as he needs to, although he's not super active or hyper like some budgies I have, but that's alright.
    I named him Starlight because he's so bright & makes me happy, and when I brought him home it was dark outside!
    He is definitely a Lutino mutation (yellow, reddish eyes and white cheek patches)! Muffin sounds so cute! I don't know why, but, to me yellow budgies are special and especially adorable for some reason!

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    Re: Mild Toe Deformity & Accommodations

    I agree about yellow mutations! The day I got my Muffin, I took one look at him, and said you are going home with me! On the way home, I thought of a name, and immediately came the name, Muffin. He reminded me of a poppyseed muffin, that we eat!!!!!

    I think Starlight is going to be fine, and will be your very best friend. W will welcome updates anytime!

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    Re: Mild Toe Deformity & Accommodations

    Aww, omg, my mom used to make lemon poppyseed muffins every weekend. ♥
    I actually found out that Starlight is a girl! I don't remember if I posted that here yet, lol. She's still doing well, even with her funny toe. :P

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    Tailfeather
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    Re: Mild Toe Deformity & Accommodations

    Awesome!!! She will be fine with the toe!! Keep the updates coming. And pics too, if possible!

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