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.

I will give you two short answers and you’ll read about everything else right here

Galvanization, or galvanisation, (or galvanizing as it is most commonly called in that industry), is the process of applying a protective zinc coating to steel or iron, to prevent rusting. The most common method is hot-dip galvanizing, in which parts are submerged in a bath of molten zinc.

Zinc is highly toxic to birds thus galvanized wire is less than ideal. You’ll see it used for housing smaller birds like finches and budgies but because your macaw will be climbing on the wire he or she will be licking zinc

This question has come up before and the answer still opaque so I invested $27 on your behalf to buy this e-book – you can copy and paste the link into your browser to read the book.


Personally I think it’s abit of a rip off (it’s actually supposed to be five books) understates the value – I’m going to wrestle with the author because there are pictures of macaws on his website


but no mention of how to build an aviary for macaw

btw – 10gauge is suited for macaws 12gauge is more suited for African grays in Amazon’s – more to follow

New subject

Hi I have a 7 month old english budie that was born with a one splayed leg that sticks straight out. His wings were overclipped when I got him at 2 months of age. I have waited unpatiently for his wings to grow out as my other parakeets are flighted.

I see from the way he perches like a kick stand mostly on a ladder. that he has close access to his one wing with bad leg and over preens and chews on just this one which makes him flutter lopsided. He doest seem to know he can start flying, but gets around quite well. Do you have any advice on how to stop this chewing of the one wing.

I would love to see him fly with his friends. They have free time out on top of four cages with tons of perches and toys.They have never figured out in seven years they could go around the corner down the hall, which is a great plus for me. They are my little babies, I refer to them affectionately as keebler elfs. Thanks for your help. Michelle


ME-> 6/9/2016 12:24:38 AM Yikes!

fyi – 

Chances are this bird is too old so before we resort to extreme measures I’m going to advocate the introduction of at the very least one flat perch so your budgies good foot isn’t getting overworked.

I would like to know how often he gets bathed? Perhaps with the introduction of more moisture into the feathers praying could be reduced. We can also recommend products like Natra and Featheriffic

This is where I would start – please send feed back so we can try to fix this together


Follow up

Hi Mitch, I wrote to you a while back about my handicapped english budgie Kenny a while back. He has one splayed leg that sticks straight out and up. He likes to perch at a angle where he looks like a kick stand. I thought he was chewing his wing feathers on one side, but he now seems to have almost finished a long molt cycle.

He has started to fly with my other parakeets, although wobbly he can now do 90 degree angles. It has been the longest six months waiting Kennys feathers to grow back. He was only 8 weeks old when I rescued him, and if you remembered his wings were over trimmed .My 4 other parakeets are all flighted and out most of the day as I am home.

Kenny had an extra cage set on the floor next to the table (with one of 3 large cages I have in a cluster) with a long ladder up to side of cage on the table,with many wooden clothes pins clipped to side of table cage he used as a ladder (as this side had vertical bars). Being on the top of this cage is the favorite Cool Spot for all the birds.

I believe many, many times Kenny fluttered to the floor over the six months and then the long climb up three flights actually made his leg and foot stronger. The Lord works small miracles everyday. Thanks for your reply and I go have three shelf perches that he sometimes used but doesn’t favor them now that he is King of the Hill. Thanks for your blogs.Many prayer thoughts for you and Popcorn. RIP.


As you are finding out animals don’t know they have sustained an injury – all they can do is work around pain in order to – at the verybleast attempt to achieve “normal”

kudos on your persistence

Thank you for engaging with our content

Interesting question – anyone??

Do you know of anyone who would be interested in cleaning 4 birdcages once per week? The cages are located in the Elmwood Park, IL area home of a leukemia patient who is unable to clean them due to a compromised immune system.

If someone is interested, please have them email me with their contact information and the cost for their service. Thank you for any help you may offer. Customer

10/5/2015 4:07:24 PM actually this is a good idea – let me work on it


your zygodactyl foot note


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

I know it’s hard to imagine a bird with one wing, but the irony is, most exotic birds today arecaged birds, who rarely if ever fly. Many bird owners choose to keep their bird’s wings clipped, so life without a wing isn’t a stretch. It also really drives home the points of how much birds rely on their beaks and feet. Check out the video below of the one winged popcorn eating Cockatiel.


Birds have better vision than humans. Bird’s eyes have 4 types of cones, which allow them to see ultra violet – humans have three and lack UV vision. Although rare, we’ll encounter a blind bird not to be confused with birds that eat blinds. (The joke isn’t intentional, it’s just one of those granular issues Google needs to work out). Apparently, birds like people can get cataracts. Some blind birds need ques, like the blind Cockatoo in the video below. Others much like people, maneuver from memory.

However you choose to take in or keep a handicapped bird into your life -thank you.

If you have some thoughts or questions on this subject, please comment below

Until next time

written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing

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