English budgie with a splayed leg that chews on his wing – conundrum

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Hi Mitch, We are looking for a travel cage big enough to hold a Sun Conure and Umbrella Cockatoo. They are bonded and need to travel together if need be. Also what size is appropriate for 2-3 Conures. Thankyou! Customer

We are expecting to have the #602 and #603 carriers back available in one to two weeks. The #603 would work well for the Sun Conure and Cockatoo. If that is too large then the #602 would work fine. The #601 or #602 should be fine for the 3 conures.

Thank you – Catherine

from: Mary Jo Harrison

I have an active and a little too smart African grey. She is a hand fed baby. My problem is bird toys. She prefers toys with knots, rings etc.

But she can untangle knots, I have used crochet, knit, paracord and different styles of braiding. She unravels them in a day or less no matter how long I make it. She can remove things from key rings and open any kind or snap or clip. She does little damage to them. I am at a loss on how to secure toys in her cage.

Also cats (daughters) have fleas that she let get out of control. I didn’t notice them until they moved out of cats area. I have always taken care to avoid getting fleas in house. So I don’t know if bird can get fleas.

I do know about mites. We go to vet for beak, nails and such. He gives her a check for mites twice a year. I live in central Texas. So we are never really have a flea or mosquito free time.

We want to build an outside aviary for our macaw. I would like to have a secure structure, safe from predators. Our location will be Clarksville, TN. I’m looking at ideas online but thought perhaps asking an authority on the subject would be the best way to start researching.

What materials do we avoid?

If the area was spacious enough, can we use 12′ galvanized dog pen sections?

Our birds live in separate cages. We have two male Timnehs (19 and 26) and a male B&G (13). Could they safely be housed together in a spacious aviary, or will they fight?

They have never had physical interactions with each other, although they are in the same room and in close proximity to each other.

I know I have more questions but I can’t think of everything right now.


Knots? get some leather strips, tie knots in the strips – soak the knotted leather in water for a few hours, let dry over night and see if your bird can untie them now.

need something to hang toys your grey cant undo? Watch this.

Find Kabobs here

Hi Lil

I love the question and I don’t know if you read our blog. I can get long-winded so it’s going to take a while to answer.

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Handicapped Bird Videos or What our birds teach us about disabilities

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We get help desk tickets and phone calls on a regular basis seeking advice for a handicapped bird. The most common problem is splayed foot. Splayed foot is when one or both of the bird’s feet turn sideways as a chick. This usually happens to young birds when nesting material is “slippery” so the feet don’t have enough traction to point in the right direction while still in the nest.

The best course is to take preventative measures like providing enough nesting material. If encountered, this issue may be corrected if caught at an early age through “hobbling” and can be done with a piece of sponge. Detailed directions on fixing splay feet can be found here


If the problem isn’t caught early on and the birds grow into adults with splayed feet, there are many things you can do for them. Lots of products are available that will help birds with splayed leg maintain a “normal” life. We discuss helping a parakeet with splayed legs in this blog post.

Splayed leg is not just found in small birds. Watch the video (above) with the (female) Eclectus maneuvering the top of her cage. If splayed leg wasn’t enough of a challenge, check out another video below of the African Grey Parrot bathing with no feet

That blog post got me thinking about other bird handicaps and how bird owners cope. There’s quite a few challenging problems birds can encounter, not surprising when you think abut how fragile they are. They don’t weigh much. Their joints are thin and their bodies don’t have a lot of blood. Some people are natural caregivers and will take our winged companions under their own wings.


But accidents happen. In one of the videos below, a Q and A with Rod Villemaire of Bird Planet TV, a Cockatoo broke the tip of his (top) beak while cracking a walnut leaving some painful nerves exposed. In cases like this immediate veterinary help needs to be sought not only because of the pain your bird may be in but blood loss can be lethal in a bird quckly.

We know of birds who’ve lost their entire top beak and had them replaced with realistic-looking maxilla from medical-grade, bio-acceptable acrylic (an artificial beak). Working beaks are critical for climbing, preening and defense.

If a prosthesis is not an option financially, we know of birds that have lost their top mandible (beak) and they end up eating by scooping pellets with their lower beak and using their tongue to climb.


As advanced as science is, we haven’t heard of a prosthetic wing. We have one customer that rescued a Scarlet Macaw from anHawaiian vacation. Found him on the side of the road, literally – with a broken wing His broken wing was so mutilated it was amputated by one of the best avian vets in the county, Dr.Sakas, right here in Niles Illinois. Given a clean bill of health he now lives comfortably in a huge Michigan Avenue Bird Cage from Prevue Pet. I think the biggest challenge a one winged bird has is balance. It’s best to keep them in a confined enclosure with familiar surroundings that don’t challenge their mobility

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