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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Your Budgie's Health


Your Budgie's Health Learn about avian health and vet care. This forum does not substitute for veterinary expertise.

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  #1  
Old 04-24-2017, 02:18 PM
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Default Have his wings been clipped?

When we got Mal and Merc two weeks ago, the breeder mentioned nothing about wing clips. However, it soon became apparent Mercutio cannot fly. He has no obvious primary flight feathers.

As you can see in the photo below, Mal's wings (back) are perfectly shaped and he flies wonderfully. Merc in the foregrounds wings are rounded instead.

He is happy, chirpy and good at climbing bars, but he is still too scared for me to spread his wings and take a good look.

Judging from this photo, would you say his wings have been clipped?
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Old 04-24-2017, 02:31 PM
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Yes, it does look like Merc's wings have been clipped. If you see him stretch out his wings after a nape or waking up, you should be able to see evidence of the feather clip.
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Old 04-24-2017, 02:44 PM
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Thanks PoukieBear,

I've been trying to get a good look, but he is being surprisingly coy about stretching his wings, and when he does because his feathers are all white it's a bit hard to see one from the other.

I fear it was a good hard clip, because his flying is a bit more of the crash-landing style. However, he is starting to moult, so I'm hoping that those clipped primary flight feathers will grow back before long.
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Old 04-24-2017, 03:54 PM
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His wings do indeed look pretty heavily clipped, but I'm sure that they'll soon grow out and Mercutio will be joining his friend in no time!
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Old 04-24-2017, 04:03 PM
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Thanks StarlingWings,

Bless him, he is a determined bar crawler right now, and he often nibbles Mal to get him to move out of the way if he's blocking the route from A to B! I'm glad to hear it's almost certainly a harsh clip and that his feathers will grow back given time!
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Old 04-24-2017, 04:18 PM
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Haha, determined bar crawler
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:51 PM
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Poor little guy -- that is definitely a severe clip job.
I'm surprised the breeder clipped them so short.
Generally, a breeder knows to do a simple "safety-clip" of only the first two or three feathers and not to cut them clear up to the secondaries.

I'm sure Mercutio will be much happier once he molts and has new flight feathers.

Be aware, it may take him some time to learn to fly well since he hasn't had the opportunity to do so.

Does he sit on your finger?
If so, you can raise your hand and then lower it to encourage him to flap his wings while holding on to your finger.
This will help him exercise his wing muscles during the time you're waiting for his flight feathers to grow in.
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:02 AM
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Thanks FaeryBee,

The breeder, although recommended, was not one I would go back to again. She hasn't got back to me when I asked about the wing clip, and some of what she told me seems... well, lets just say the birds aren't exactly proving all she said about them (that they already eat fresh food and that they're well-handled: some of that might be due to them still settling it, but after a fortnight I would have hoped for them to be a bit happier in their old behaviours, such as eating the fresh food.)

Mercutio is cautious, which could have something to do with the fact he is a month younger than Malvolio, and could also be his natural disposition. He will climb on my hand for millet, but is still very hesitant and uncomfortable about that notion. I'm taking it very slow and careful, getting him used to me rather than rushing in, so that hopefully he can trust me as time goes on.

As soon as he's confident, I'll bob him gently up and down to get his wings flapping.

He does try to fly in the cage sometimes, bless him, but honestly it's a bit of a worry. He seems to hit the floor with a fairly hard bump.

Thank you for your advice. I'll let you know how he's going!
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:25 PM
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You might want to put some towels down on the floor in the area where he seems to land "hard" at this time to help cushion the landing until the flight feathers grow back.

Blessings to your little fellow!
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