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SusanK 07-02-2019 11:03 AM

Rescue Budgie Questions
 
Hello,

As of a few days ago I am the owner of a rescue budgie. He was found on a sidewalk hanging out with the local sparrows. He is hand tame and very friendly. After I got him I brought him to an avian vet for a full check up. Overall, he is in good health. He is a male about two years old.

I haven't had a pet bird in many years. but consider myself fairly experienced with parrots. I previously owned a Cockatiel, a Lovebird and a budgie.

All the birds I've owned were hand fed and had their wings clipped when I got them. I assumed that since this rescue budgie had escaped his original home it was a good idea to clip his wings. The vet also agreed. Sadly, I think I made a big mistake by doing this. Initially he was falling in his cage when he tried to fly from one perch to another. So, I took him out of his cage and supervised him on the floor for a while. He kept trying to fly up and obviously couldn't. I was hoping this would be a safe way for him to learn that he cannot fly right now. I am now giving him time in his cage, not disturbing him. I have read that he will need a couple of weeks to learn to trust me and that I should leave him be for now.

He is eating well and after a few days began chirping and nattering away.

Questions:
  1. Can he learn to be happy with clipped wings or will he always want to fly? Is this cruel for a budgie?
  2. What else can I do to help him through this transition period?

Thank you!

P.S. His name is Mac.

Cody 07-02-2019 11:48 AM

Thank you for rescuing this budgie, I am sure that he will have a longer life with you than he would have had outside.
To answer your question about the wings, this is a hot topic that can result in very heated exchanges. Yes, he will always want to fly.
I am of the opinion that birds are much better emotionally if they are allowed to fly as that is their natural way of locomotion. Some people clip initially in hopes of having an easier time in taming and bonding with the bird, and as the clipped feathers molt out and new ones come in they do not clip any longer so the bird can regain his ability to fly. What size cage is he in? You can provide some extra perches to help him get around.

RavensGryf 07-02-2019 12:35 PM

I agree, he is a very lucky budgie, as he ultimately wouldn’t have survived if not found. I hate to ask, but did you or whoever found him attempt to find an owner? Someone might be missing a sweet little bird.

I second Cody’s opinion on clipping. Although I have a rare exception in one of my parrots. He was born many years ago, and wasn’t really raised properly by the breeder. He was clipped and sold to a bird store before he could fledge. He spent most of his life clipped, so he became accustomed to it and never tried. Now he’s flighted, but won’t fly unless on rare occasion he’s startled. So my opinion is that is a rare exception. If a bird has fledged (able to take first flight) it will most likely always be “in them” to fly. However, for the time being, he will adapt. Birds are very resilient. Helping him with extra perches for now would be nice though.

StarlingWings 07-02-2019 12:46 PM

Hi there and :welcome: to the forums!

Thank you so much for rescuing this little one :hug: I'm sure he'll have a much better life with you.

It's great that you took him to a vet. It's good to hear he's in good health despite everything. Since he's been fully flighted for a long time, it's probably a bit of a shock to him to have his wings clipped. He'll get used to it soon. As Cody mentioned, wing clipping is a hot debate and has pros and cons. Personally, I only would recommend wing clipping when it is necessary for a bird's safety - for example, if they are healing from an injury which flying would exacerbate. Of course, his flight feathers will grow back after a couple of moults.

Mac will surely settle in even more over the next few weeks. Talking to him and sitting by his cage as much as you can will be great in helping him settle in. You can also play soft music for him when you're not at home.

You've come to a great place to stay updated on the best of budgie care practices. Be sure to read through the forums' many budgie articles and "stickies", and if you have any questions afterwards, please be sure to ask as we'd love to help!

Hope to see you around the forums! :wave:

SusanK 07-02-2019 01:01 PM

Thank you all for your responses.

I will not clip his flight feathers once they have grown back in. How many molts does it usually require and how long do you think it will take?

The woman who found him did try to find the owner (she tried some local vets and online social media). No luck.

His cage is 17" x 17" x 24" high. I did add more perches after he initially fell, and put them closer together. He's now getting around the cage without issue.

sweettreat 07-02-2019 06:25 PM

Sounds like Mac is a very lucky fella. If you get a chance, some pictures would be great.

FaeryBee 07-02-2019 06:59 PM

Hi! :welcome: to Talk Budgies

Thank you for taking in Mac and giving him a safe and loving forever home. :hug:
In the future, it would be great if you could provide him with a larger cage. The bigger the cage the better as long as you ensure the spacing between the cage bars are no more than 1/2".

I'm glad to hear that once Mac's flight feathers grow back in you will no longer be having him clipped. It may take 6 months to a year (one or two molts) before all his feathers have grown back. Generally a budgie has two "big" molts per year which are in the Spring and Fall.
Fully flighted birds are much healthier and happier!

Please take the time to read through the Site Guidelines, all of the How To Guides, the FAQs, the Budgie Articles and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.

Truly, the very BEST advice anyone can offer you is to take the time to read ALL of the stickies throughout the various Talk Budgie forums as well as the Budgie Articles we have posted.

These are great resources for Talk Budgie members and have a wealth of reliable information which will assist you to learn the best practices in caring for your budgies for their optimal health and well-being.

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Krazybirdlady19 07-03-2019 11:30 PM

Hi and kudos to you for giving this little fella a home. Happy to hear that you will not be clipping his wings in the future. A bird that has been flighted and then lost his abilitly to fly is a sad budgie indeed. He is now adapting to a whole new life. He hopefully will never loose his will to keep trying and can be fully flighted again. I once adopted a little hen who was clipped as a baby and even though I never clipped her again she never became fully flighted again. She would just flutter to the floor. She had attitude though and walked and climbed everywhere...lol


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