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adult budgie that can't fly?

budgieenjo

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vee
hi. i made this account just to post this as i'm not quite sure what to do.
i have two budgies, male brothers, who are a little under two years old (they turn 2 in june).
both are happy, healthy and active. they were purchased from a breeder and their wings have NOT been clipped.
the first budgie is very energetic and much more bold than his brother. even when he was a baby it only took him a couple weeks to begin trusting us. he is able to fly with no issue.
his brother is a little more ornery. when he was a baby he was scared of us and would not let us handle him, and even after he got used to our hands he would bite us hard if we didn't offer millet. he's since calmed down and is much more comfortable with being handled and even approaches me to pick him up, albeit he is still a little timid and sometimes runs away from people. the problem is, he's never been a good flier. i have no idea what could have caused this. at first i was worried that he was sick or injured-- as i have PTSD from budgie death and these birds have helped me with my mental health it was my worst fear. but he seems completely healthy and active. his flight feathers are all grown in and none are broken or damaged. the times where he has crashed or gotten stuck hasn't seemed to stress him out at all and whenever he is grounded he approaches me to carry back to his cage.
there don't seem to be any causes for this as he has never been a good flier. sometime last year he was caught by a dog in a freak accident but aside from being stunned he wasn't injured or stressed by this, and i don't think it has anything to do with his flight problems because as i said before he already couldn't fly before this happened. a friend of mine who knows how to care for budgies says there's a chance he could be disabled in some way, or that he may have never learned to fly.
i don't think there's anything i can do to help him learn to fly since he's already an adult, but i wanted to make this post just so i can ask for help on what i can do to keep him comfortable and maybe make his surroundings safer and accessible so he's less likely to get hurt. i'll try to post pictures of him later in case he might be sick or hurt and i'm missing the signs (i've attached a somewhat recent pic of the two below).

also, this is an unrelated question: is there any way to prepare myself for or deal with the grief of suddenly losing a pet? budgies are fragile, and i love my two with all of my life. i know i'm not going to take it well when they pass away and i sometimes have night terrors about the possibility of it happening suddenly and early. i'm not sure how to cope as i'm not used to the experience of losing a pet.
 

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expressmailtome

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Olliebirb

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I’m not sure about the flight thing but with your other question. It’s sad but we can never fully prepare ourselves for the sudden loss of a pet. What’s important is to give our little babies the best life we can possibly give them and appreciate them every day.

Budgies are small and can be fragile little creatures. it’s important to be weary of their surroundings and never let them get in a dangerous situation that would be otherwise avoidable. Like always checking windows and doors, watching where you step around them, never letting other pets that could be dangerous around them, and never leaving them unsupervised for too long. Anything that happens naturally is beyond your control. I also have lots of anxiety about my babies well-being so you’re not alone when it comes to constantly worrying about them:heart2:
 

Fergus Mom

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Since I surely don't know the answer to why he can't fly - I turned to google - and found this one:

Why are some birds unable to fly?

Flightless birds have a sternum (in this picture, the lower bone in the chest). But they're missing another bone called the keel bone, where flight muscles attach. Birds that can't fly often also have bigger bodies and longer legs than birds that fly.May 8, 2019

As far as lessening grief when they pass, I am sure I don't have the answer to that!
We experience grief because we love them, so the opposite would be to not care about them, which as bird lovers, would be unfathomable to us. ;)
 

UserAZ

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Money permitting, are there bird x-rays that can be done?
 

budgieenjo

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vee
hi all. thank you for the answers.

@Olliebirb thank you for your response. i always supervise them when they're outside the cage and do what i can to make sure they aren't hurt. my room is as bird safe as i can make it and i don't use any chemicals.

@Fergus Mom thank you!! this was pretty insightful. i figured it could be a matter of his bones or muscles developing in such a way that he can't fly or that he never learned.

@UserAZ possibly, but there aren't any avian specialists in my area and i would hate to stress them out by taking them to one and having them handled. they're both hand-tame and used to humans but they aren't usually comfortable being picked up or handled and i try to respect that :(
 

Birdlove

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From observing my own birds I think flight is something that they can do at different levels and it's also a skill they teach each other.
We initially got Nova and Sky, both males. Nova was a natural flyer but for some reason Sky just wasn't as good. They were allowed to be ground budgies and flighted budgies all over the place (we turn off fans, make sure we have a cool stove top so they don't burn themselves, and don't really have ledges we can't reach). Nova would show him simple things like flying onto their cage instead of climbing the ladder. And he did it consistently for a couple or weeks. Eventually Sky picked it up but he was never as good of a flyer. Later we had to travel and we had to clip them for their safety. Nova could land gracefully with clipped wings but Sky flopped. He's also never been as graceful of a flyer. It could be because he's a bigger budgie but I really don't know.
Maybe it's like humans. We may have legs and the ability to run but at varying degrees and success rates.
Sky now has a new mate and she is a decent flyer but terrible lander. She flew to perch on my shoulder and smacked into the back of my neck.
As for budgie deaths, it's just something that goes with the territory of keeping them as companions. They have short life spans but they offer a different experience than having a large bird. They're magnificent and they can be fragile but also sturdy little guys.
My sister had one that lived to be 9+years.
 

budgieenjo

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vee
thank you all for your help, it's given me more insight to his condition and what could possibly be stopping him. whether he has a disability that prevents flight or he simply never learned, i'll do all i can to keep him comfortable and safe from harm.

here is a picture i took of him a few minutes ago when getting ready for bed -- this is his preferred sleeping position. he likes to do splits while his brother sleeps on the perch in front of him. (sorry about the pellets on the bottom of the cage, it gets cleaned tomorrow.)
 

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