Conure with sore foot – help

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I recently saw this Twitter “tweet” “Conure with sore foot help”. The link led me to this discussion. 

Causes & Actions:

Unsuitable Perches / Standing & Walking Platforms:
These abscesses are frequently caused by unhealthy “perching” conditions, such as plastic perches, sharp-cornered perches, the standard perches that tend to come with cages of a uniform diameter, or wire floors.
If unsuitable perches or platforms are the cause, a small reddened area, or sometimes a small shiny patch, can usually be seen on the foot.
Cause of action or preventative measures:
Provide a bird with natural perches with different circumferences and textures

I think this really needs to be elaborated upon because it’s very important. Also mentioned pedicure concrete perch being used. Someone said that that should be removed from the cage. I respectfully disagree with that which I’ll get to in a moment.

First I want to back up and talk a little bit about a bird’s anatomy. It’s important to understand that birds are on their feet 24/7 and unless in flight and most of our birds are never in flight, they are on their feet 24/7.

More importantly we need to know that most birds have something called a flexor tendon in both their legs. This tendon enables a bird to lock its foot or both feet around a tree branch thus allowing them to literally sleep on their feet (or foot) without falling off a tree (or perch).

If you and I are on our feet long we begin to shift positions – a bird’s feet are locked down. Birds also have very few nerves in their feet so the threshold for pain tends to be much higher and may not be self aware of a foot injury until it becomes more severe.

We’ve seen many bird cages with some sort of pedicure perch used as sleeping perch. This has a high potential for injury to your bird’s foot. But don’t toss it out just yet.

I suggest you move it to the inside of the cage door is illustrated here. The thinking behind this set up is when it comes time to let your bird out he or she will come down to this perch and do a happy dance. The happy dance is enough time to groom nails and maybe a rub or two of the beak. Now you’re made good use of a pedicure perch.

I suggest all parrot cages, have 3 to 4 types of perches. This will cause your bird’s feet, to constantly be moving around a different surfaces, challenged if you will.

The sleeping perch should be rigid but soft. We like Booda perchesbecause after selling them for many years we know that they are both durable and washable. More importantly they are soft on the bird’s feet. As a side note they are great for parrots who may be plucking because it gives them something else to peck at.

Your cage probably came with a solid dowel perch – those are fine. But in addition to that hard perch we suggest is a Manzanita perch.

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He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.