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Thread: Baby Cockatiel broken/missing tail?! affect fledgling?

  1. #1
    Brand New Egg
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    Catherine
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    Baby Cockatiel broken/missing tail?! affect fledgling?

    Hello everyone, I am a new mama to 5.5 mo. old budgie -Eggnog and will soon-to-be baby cockatiel's (4.5 mo. old male) as well. May be able to bring him home soon after 3 months wait... I am truly excited!

    I have been visiting him at this specialty bird store while he is being hand raised/weaned/DNA sexed, every 2-3 weeks keeping up with his progress... but yesterday, when I went to see him, I was surprised to see that all his tail feathers are weirdly missing or broken off? He has been growing up with 4 other babies, some siblings in this regular cage, seems calm and content playing/preening with his brothers/sisters, eating pellets on his own well now when I visited this last time... since I got there at the end of store closing time, the store owner had already left, so I am not really sure what really happened. The staff there though, just said "sometimes babies like to chew other's tails..." Really? All the other babies had beautiful long tails, only my poor baby is now looking rather sad w scruffy ends to his once beautiful tails... I am starting to worry. Is this a sign he is being picked on? or is this something else I should be concerned about?

    I wished I had taken a picture this time to show you, but I was a bit distraught that the owner also left without saying a word about it as he is supposed to be ready to go home in a matter of days.

    Does anyone know, is this normal for baby to chew each other's tails off? Could this be inflicted because of other reasons? Should I be concerned or they will just grow right back out soon? I had also planned on asking the store owner not to clip my little guy before sending him home, so that he can use his full ability to learn how to fly in the next weeks and months while we bond in his new flock family... I am guessing the tail feathers are fairly critical parts of learning to fly, no?

    Would love to hear your experiences and suggestions as to what to do.

    Thank you!
    Last edited by redlime1222; 03-14-2021 at 03:38 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Baby Cockatiel broken/missing tail?! affect fledgling?

    Hi,
    I believe tail feathers are used for balancing on perches and other things. I have parakeets and yes sometimes siblings pick on each other or other birds do. I can be normal, but I would keep watch on if he is at the bottom of the cage he might be ill. Birds are very stoic and do not show illness until it’s almost to late. Weak birds will get picked on. I hope the owner of the shop has separated him out for you. Keeping him his own cage. His tail feathers will grow back if he is not sick.
    I think there are other people with much more knowledge than I have who can advise you.
    Good luck and I hope everything works out for you.
    Stacey

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    Re: Baby Cockatiel broken/missing tail?! affect fledgling?

    Thank you for explaining, Stacey! I feel sad that the little guy will be off balance for a while... I haven't been able to yet, but I am going to visit him again tomorrow and assess how he is doing. I will ask the owner if she knows what happened and separate him if possible. I am concerned that he may be sick or at the bottom of the pecking order somehow...if there is such a thing for parrots? (I have backyard hens as well... Is there any way/common practice to get him tested to eliminate any doubt first before I take him home? As first time owner, not sure what is the right thing to do...

    I guess I will know more tomorrow...

    Thank you in advance for any advice!

    Catherine

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    Re: Baby Cockatiel broken/missing tail?! affect fledgling?

    Hi Catherine, I highly recommend your do a quarantine on your new baby bird when it comes home and keep it separate from your other birds. It least a few weeks so you know that it isnt sick. This is just something the avian vets and lots of us here have recommend for years. Once you know your new one is not sick you can introduce your new one to your other birds.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

  5. #5
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    Re: Baby Cockatiel broken/missing tail?! affect fledgling?

    Thank you, I will/am! Baby cockatiel came home Saturday and he is doing really well! He is already eating and drinking almost as soon as he settled in his new cage within the first couple of hours... and even started preening, playing with his toys and exploring his new environment by late afternoon! I was pleasantly surprised, Eggnog was much much harder... though she was wild. Sumi was definitely stressed by the move (watery poop), but other than that, fingers crossed he seems well!

    Its a bit challenging spliting my time of care for these little guys separately... I now have Eggnog (budgie) moved to my son's room across the hall, and the baby cockatiel has the new larger cage in my bedroom... but it has been such joy having them, I cannot wait til they can meet!

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