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Advice/Tips for Flight Challenged Budgie

AussieBird

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LJ is estimated to be around 7-8 years old and I need some advice/tips. LJ has never really been amazing at flying and I would like to adjust their cage to help him out if I can.
He regularly breaks tail feathers in his failed landings, he was growing some new ones a few days ago, but snapped them too :(
I try to encourage him to fly and exercise as much as I can, but is there anything in particular I can do to help improve his flight skills?
I have thought about raising the floor of his cage, but that would mean less room for the other budgies.
All tips welcome!
Thanks in advance!
 

Zara

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Is there a reason his flight is poor?

I have thought about raising the floor of his cage, but that would mean less room for the other budgies.
You could always move LJ and house him in a 30x18x18 finch breeder cage lined with non pilling fleece near the other budgies...
 

AussieBird

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You could always move LJ and house him in a 30x18x18 finch breeder cage lined with non pilling fleece near the other budgies...
Have thought about this possiblity, but i recently had to remove Snowflake and Obsidian from the flight and i will struggle to fit three cages in my home. I will try to figure out how to do it though.

Is there a reason his flight is poor?
Before i knew any better he did have many opportunities to exercise, so he's never been the fitest.
 

The_Mayor

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This is entirely spit-balling, without knowing what his specific problem is, but this is something I've observed and other people who know a lot more about flight than I do have mentioned it as well.

My birds used to have a *lot* of trouble flying down. Up was a no-brainer and side to side was fine-ish. But flying down and landing was tough. And, unintentially I'd created another challenge - I used papers to cover the grate, but didn't have them firmly weighted down, which meant that when one of my dudes came in for a landing towards the bottom of the cage, the beating of their wings caused the edges of the papers to fly up, leading to a lot of aborted landings and making them less confident about the whole procedure. I mean, it's hard enough to land anyway, and if the runway suddenly flaps up at you, who wouldn't be a little taken aback?

But, I assume if it were a rustling paper issue you would have noticed it.

How I helped with the flying down thing was I had dowel perches [footnote 1] zig-zagged down the cage so they could fly down to one that was a little lower, then fly back to the next one that was lower still. Since my cage wasn't internally very high, the next one was almost on the cage floor so they could just step down from there. Because of the scary paper, that sometimes took a while, but eventually they got to the point where they could navigate up and down. Although, in their cage, I think the flight angles always made flying and landing on the floor a little awkward so they'd mostly land on the lowest perch and get down from there.

I don't have the training perches set up in their current home, they can fly from ceiling to floor and back again with no hitches, but if I did introduce other birds who were less confident flyers, I would consider if they needed that.

[footnote 1]: I intentionally used dowels since they were the only perches I had that went the entire width of the cage. That gave them the most unobstructed landing zone possible, so they didn't need to figure out how to manage their wings to land on a perch that was close to the bars of their cage. Obvs, if you have long perches that reach well away from the walls you wouldn't need to use dowels.
 

AussieBird

Rollerblading along the road
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This is entirely spit-balling, without knowing what his specific problem is, but this is something I've observed and other people who know a lot more about flight than I do have mentioned it as well.

My birds used to have a *lot* of trouble flying down. Up was a no-brainer and side to side was fine-ish. But flying down and landing was tough. And, unintentially I'd created another challenge - I used papers to cover the grate, but didn't have them firmly weighted down, which meant that when one of my dudes came in for a landing towards the bottom of the cage, the beating of their wings caused the edges of the papers to fly up, leading to a lot of aborted landings and making them less confident about the whole procedure. I mean, it's hard enough to land anyway, and if the runway suddenly flaps up at you, who wouldn't be a little taken aback?

But, I assume if it were a rustling paper issue you would have noticed it.

How I helped with the flying down thing was I had dowel perches [footnote 1] zig-zagged down the cage so they could fly down to one that was a little lower, then fly back to the next one that was lower still. Since my cage wasn't internally very high, the next one was almost on the cage floor so they could just step down from there. Because of the scary paper, that sometimes took a while, but eventually they got to the point where they could navigate up and down. Although, in their cage, I think the flight angles always made flying and landing on the floor a little awkward so they'd mostly land on the lowest perch and get down from there.

I don't have the training perches set up in their current home, they can fly from ceiling to floor and back again with no hitches, but if I did introduce other birds who were less confident flyers, I would consider if they needed that.

[footnote 1]: I intentionally used dowels since they were the only perches I had that went the entire width of the cage. That gave them the most unobstructed landing zone possible, so they didn't need to figure out how to manage their wings to land on a perch that was close to the bars of their cage. Obvs, if you have long perches that reach well away from the walls you wouldn't need to use dowels.
I can try the dowel thing, but i only have two dowels. And i am not a fan of perches that goes the entire length of the cage but if it helps him out...

Also while we're on the topic, i also need some advice about Winston.
He was clipped, but feathers grew out and he hasn't really realised he can fly yet. Which makes him not confident to navigate gaps bigger then a hop. Not sure if there's anything i can do to help him realise.
 

scrape

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More flying "exercises" might be helpful. I put Mark on a stand and offer millet at different places (at a distance you know they are capable of). And I also set him on my finger up high and drop it fast enough he has to flap his wings. Thinner (varied) perches helped Mark strengthen his grip-strength if that is problem as well.
Maybe you will have more luck than me.
 
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