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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I have a 5 week old baby who fledged yesterday, however since leaving the nest it appears one leg simply 'doesn't work'. Suffice to say all the poor baby does is fall to the bottom of the aviary. Proceeding to then sit showing signs of panic.

I've handled the babies from a few weeks old so the baby is fine with me collecting her up and holding her. She was also fine up until yesterday. If I attempt to balance her on a perch she spreads her wings to balance but is extremely wobbly. Her father then comes to her and is over excited and is now trying to mount her! So she falls straight back to the floor. When down there other birds stand on her and peck at her. I've removed her from the aviary today and placed her in a nest box in a small cage for hospitalization. Is this ok!? Also, I've seen her nibble at seed and millet but I think she was still relying on feeding from her father rather than being fully weaned.

She's weak, wobbly and maybe in pain so wont move or do anything. after further observation and time I'd say both her feet are not gripping, the original foot in particular so she cant perch or stand up. Her wings flap and when she flies, she falls. Just since fledging this has happened. I do have an avian vet I could go see, I also have Exact hand feeding formula I can attempt to help feed. I'm not to sure the best course of action. Can any experienced breeders offer any thoughts. Thanks.
 

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I've flagged your thread for input from our expert breeders.

Separating her from the others was definitely the correct thing to do.

I would suggest you begin offering hand feedings since you believe the baby is not yet fully weaned.
http://www.cutelittlebirdiesaviary.com/budgie-hand-feeding-and-weaning-guide.html

I recommend taking her in to see your Avian Vet to see if she is suffering from an injury or if there is neurological damage for some reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for flagging this post.

I've put some seed in the nest box but shes just sitting very somber. Could it be an idea to bring her father into the hospital cage and see if he offers her feeding?
 

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I agree that the best thing to do given the circumstances is to really have her properly examined by an avian vet and to have her separated from the flock for the duration of her recovery and depending on how things go to then introduce her back or keep her out of the big flock environment if she turns out being a special needs bird.
Before you noticed this decline in your chick, was she able to perch well?
What diet have the parents been on? And has she been eating well?

A good diet appropriate for breeding and a good calcium source are vital for the chicks' healthy development. Low levels of calcium will have a direct impact on a budgie's body (weaker bones that can break more easily and this will also translate into mobility problems)
It would be helpful if you could post a photo showing her legs to see if she has them correctly positioned (as in not splayed and spread apart).

Even for parent raised birds, we need to constantly keep a close eye on the parents as well as the chicks and check them daily to see if they are being well fed or need extra help from us.
During weaning, we as owners/breeders must have a more active role in order to make this transition to independence as smoothly and stress free as possible. And to help out and encourage the weaning chicks to eat on their own.

Keep on encouraging your chick to try out all the different foods (offer egg food, besides the normal seed mix, spray millet and veggies) and supplement via hand feeding when needed.

I'm wishing all the best for your chick and hope she will regain the mobility on her legs.
 

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Thanks for flagging this post.

I've put some seed in the nest box but shes just sitting very somber. Could it be an idea to bring her father into the hospital cage and see if he offers her feeding?
You can try that out, but it's not guaranteed that he will feed her. He may not like the change of environment of being placed on a different cage and may flat out ignore her. You should also be extra vigilant when it comes to aggression and these attempted matings while the chick is in a weakened state and intervene immediately to put a stop to it.

It's important to have her checked by a vet and you should also start to build her strength up via hand feedings at least till you see an improvement in her health.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you.

The parents diet is mixed. Seed, millet, fresh eggs, veggies. Access to cuttle bones all the time. Parents had a clutch of 3. The older two are perfect, fledged with no issues and now weaned. She was still being fed regularly while in the nest box up until leaving and perched fine on my finger prior to this happening.

I could bring the father in to the hospital cage and keep an eye on them through the evening. Any sign of trouble or stress he can be removed easily. I've mixed some egg food with water and have that on the bottom as well as some seed and millet. She's picking at the seed but not going in for a hearty meal. I'll get a picture of her and try to post on here for your ideas. I'm not ruling out the vet, but tomorrow is 3 kings and I live in Spain. Its a national bank holiday so they're closed tomorrow! Its the feeding that is priority in my eyes.....and dehydration.
 

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Yes, I know all about the important holiday tomorrow, "Dia de Reyes", Spain is my "next door neighbour" country. ;)
Since you are fully equipped with hand feeding formula and syringes/spoon it would be nice to give her a boost in terms of nourishment, by doing so you would also be promoting her appetite to come back to full force (this will also be helpful when worried about dehydration). If you offer some soft veggies, like spinach leaves, for example, your chick will also get water that way.
 

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Quick update.....I moved her father in to the hospital cage. So far so good, he wasn't spooked. In my opinion I think he was handled as a chick too. I bought him from a local pet shop and I think the breeder is quite good. So he's not splashing around the cage as you'd expect therefore I'm able to hold his chick near him. He's even standing on my hand too. There's been interest, immediately he went in for feeding but the chick hesitated. After 5 minutes the chick asked for food and he ignored her. The chick is exhausted, just wants to nap now.

I've seed, millet, egg food and a piece of romaine lettuce in there (haven't got any spinach). Water of course too. Dads eating. I've put them in a quiet room and will monitor.

I tried some hand feeding formula earlier and the chick just clenched her mouth shut. Can they get so far they won't eat?

Here are pictures of her foot...

Yes, I know all about the important holiday tomorrow, "Dia de Reyes", Spain is my "next door neighbour" country. ;)
Oh yes! Portugal, hello neighbour! :)

Just checked them, chick is sleeping on the floor and dads sitting next to her close also looking like he is dropping off. Light is fully on in there so hopefully will be a quick nap.....hopefully...
 

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Hi again! :)
The chick's leg doesn't seem to be bruised nor do I see any visible swelling.
It's possible this is a case of exhaustion/stress from being trampled on by the birds on the aviary combined with lack of proper nourishment and after she gets continued care and the right nutrients she will gain the full use of her legs/feet.

Yes, unfortunately they can starve themselves to the point of no return and this is why it's vital that we must keep their appetite going. Hopefully the next time the chick begs for food, the father will feed her. And if not, you will really need to try to hand feed her some food. If she doesn't accept the syringe, you can try offering the formula via spoon or even on a little bowl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
They're both up and awake and active again. The chick has been eager to have a fly! So I let her have a few flights around the room then placed her back in. Neither dad is offering again nor is she asking.

I could try really forcing her beak open with the syringe but I don't want her to choke. I know they need to ask for it for this reason. I'll preserver and see how the night goes. Ill just keep offering her juicy foods and keep food in her sights.

Thanks for analysing the photos. I'll rest easy when she feeds and I'll post as update with news.
 

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They're both up and awake and active again. The chick has been eager to have a fly! So I let her have a few flights around the room then placed her back in. Neither dad is offering again nor is she asking.

I could try really forcing her beak open with the syringe but I don't want her to choke. I know they need to ask for it for this reason. I'll preserver and see how the night goes. Ill just keep offering her juicy foods and keep food in her sights.

Thanks for analysing the photos. I'll rest easy when she feeds and I'll post as update with news.
You're welcome!

Given your chick's weakened state and also due to her present inability to fully use her legs/feet, in order to avoid a rough landing where she can actually hurt herself and to conserve her strength, it's best to not allow her flight time. Not until she is stronger and fully fit for the task.

She wouldn't choke if you would just let her have a little taste of the formula, just by placing a tiny portion of the formula with the tip of the syringe. It's especially hard to use a syringe on an older chick, as they don't recognize it as a food source. You can use a little spoon and place it underneath the upper beak in hopes of encouraging her to open the beak and have a taste.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I haven't let her out again. I knew it would use up essential energy so that one time was it.

I've gone through 2 rounds of hand feeding. An hour apart, a little each time just to make sure something goes down. She ignored the spoon so I went for syringe. She resisted this too so I had to force it really. I have those narrow 1ml syringes and managed 2 rounds of 0.5ml per feeding. I went slow so not to choke her but in total she has had approx 2ml tonight. Her face didn't end up too messy so I assume a certain amount did go down.....I also have a pipette which I tried a tiny amount of water with at the end. That's it for the night now though, lights are off and their cage covered up. I've left her with her dad so assuming she gets through the night the male could be a good influence on her or even may feed her still.

Quick question, would the parents forget their young at all or simply just choose to not feed them. Like I mentioned at first, his initial reaction was to try to feed the chick but as she was none responsive he hasn't tried again. Would he feed her again if she asked now?

So all in all its now just a waiting game and to see if she gets through the night. I've been lucky her dad is much more tame than I assumed so stress levels are low in the hospital cage and company is always good for them.

Thanks for all your help, I'll let you know the status tomorrow morning.
 

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The parents, in this case the father will stop feeding a weaning chick when said chick is no longer begging for food and is increasingly using the food bowls to eat on its own. The weaning process is done gradually as the chick begins to eat on occasion so will the feedings from the father decrease till they are no longer needed by the chick.

I'm glad you have managed to successfully feed the chick and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Morning all. She survived the night! That's the first 'phew!'. She hasn't moved from where I left her on the floor and her father is sticking to the floor next to her. He started tucking into the Millet but she wasn't as eager. I spilled seed in front of her and she's been nipping at it. That's the second 'phew!' She's eating. She's not begging for food though so not sure dad being in there all day is worth while. I'll keep him there for now though. There's calm in there and she is eating and he's a positive influence.

There's absolutely no change to her leg situation. I'll take her into the avian vet tomorrow. So long as we make progress in the next 24 hours with feeding and she's strong enough.

As I'm writing this she's moving around a bit and dad is sticking close. I'll keep a very close eye on her.
 

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That's good to know! Even if the father is not feeding her, he can still be a good influence on her in terms of encouraging her to eat. She sees him eating the food and proceeds to do the same. :)
I'm glad you will be taking her to the avian vet tomorrow, as she may need vitamins and a specific type of medication to promote and improve the mobility on her legs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Evening everyone.

Well, we have all had a good day. I was out of the house for several hours today and up until I left the father hadn't fed the chick and all I had seen was the chick nipping at seed. I was anticipating more hand feeding.

I came home and wasn't sure if there was any change, so I decided to move the 2 birds into my larger cage I have in my lounge where my house budgie lives. The moment they both got in there the father fed the chick. I was so pleased! Afterwards he ate and went straight back to feed the chick again.

I caught them on video. It's long but the other thing is you can gauge the chicks mobility. She is balanced on a wide perch and against the water bowl. You'll see what I mean anyway....


Such a relief!!
 
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