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African grey too lazy or unable to fly?

Diveks

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hey everyone, so a little backstory about Dolly, I was given a neglected African Grey about two months ago and she has been adjusting well to the home. she used to live in an aviary with a macaw and a few other birds she was rarely interacted with and they told me she was mean and always attacked everyone. Once she came to my house I saw no aggression at all she was just really shy and scared of humans. Bonded over music and a bit of treats and now she is the most well behaved parrot I have. She is okay with stepping up to new people but a bit warry but I expect that form a grey. She came in malnourished only eating peanuts and sunflower seed from the previous house so I changed her diet to TOPS and fresh veggies which she accepted easier than I thought. a really food motivated parrot so she was a breeze to train. but i found out the aviary she was in only had metal perches since they say she keeps destroying the wooden once (totally normal and good for parrots but think the owners was tired of buying new ones) so she is TERRIFIED of wood perches, tried different shapes, simple ones, different types of wood nothing. the only wooden thing she would touch is the wooden dinner table. She is not scared of any other material just wood, which was unusual to me since most parrots are scared of wool, carpet, or metal. So this had me torn since I want her to be out of the cage on a perch/tree with toys (supervised) but she just won't have it she just chills on the furniture/floor and anywhere else beside perches. a bit hard for me to give her toys like this. (slowly working towards desensitizing her with wood)

So about the problem, she was flying really well even doing laps around the room but now as she became more and more comfortable with me she just asks to be placed on a new piece of furniture and I think this is taking a toll on her flight muscles. Her flight has been degrading I always do recall training with her and now sometimes she will just plop on the ground when she tries to fly too far she is trying really hard to fly but its like looking at a young parrot learning to fly, they look heavy. I thought she might be too heavy but she was 300 grams and now she is 350 9feel like it's a bit small for a congo, but maybe she is just tiny?). should I limit her food intake cause she is currently inhaling everything like she hasn't eaten in days but she did come in really thin despite of the sunflower seed diet. I have taken her to the vet and she was perfectly healthy the second time I came in just worried of the flying thing and they checked everything and they said she was healthy. I'm really confused on what is wrong and what to do, the years i've had parrots none of them stopped flying in a span of a few weeks. Anyone had experience with anything like this? I was going to bring her to free flight with my other parrots once she is fully trained on recalls but I just feel like im going backwards. I'm currently still doing recall training but only as far as she can fly.
 
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Destiny

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I am sorry, I can't offer any advise regarding her sudden loss of flight. That is very concerning to me and seems like it could be medical rather than behavioral. I would watch for any other symptoms and continue to encourage safe flights.

Regarding her wood phobia, if you have any wood perches that you would like her to use, you might try hiding the wood using vet wrap. People use it to protect rope perches but it might work for your situation too. Vet wrap sticks to itself, but doesn't stick to other things, so it is used as a type of bandage that will not stick to skin or fur in veterinary medicine. It comes in lots of fun colors. You can wrap it around all the scary wood bits to hide their woodness.
 

sunnysmom

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As for her not liking wood, have you thought about a PVC stand? @Matto one of our members here makes very nice ones. I don't have Grey experience (although I'm going to meet 2 in a couple hours :) ) but a good way to see if a bird is over weight is to check the keel bone. As for her not flying, has she been vet checked since you got her?

@Greylady1966 ?


Keelbone-ILLUS-2.jpg
 

Gigibirds

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I have a lovebird with just a tiny patch of missing feathers on her wing. But that causes enough of an issue to make it very challenging for her to fly, so she just won't do it anymore! Did you check to see if she has any missing feathers? You can't see the missing patch on my lovebird unless she stretches her wings out. Wishing you and your congo all the best! :)
 

Diveks

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I am sorry, I can't offer any advise regarding her sudden loss of flight. That is very concerning to me and seems like it could be medical rather than behavioral. I would watch for any other symptoms and continue to encourage safe flights.

Regarding her wood phobia, if you have any wood perches that you would like her to use, you might try hiding the wood using vet wrap. People use it to protect rope perches but it might work for your situation too. Vet wrap sticks to itself, but doesn't stick to other things, so it is used as a type of bandage that will not stick to skin or fur in veterinary medicine. It comes in lots of fun colors. You can wrap it around all the scary wood bits to hide their woodness.
As for her not liking wood, have you thought about a PVC stand? @Matto one of our members here makes very nice ones. I don't have Grey experience (although I'm going to meet 2 in a couple hours :) ) but a good way to see if a bird is over weight is to check the keel bone. As for her not flying, has she been vet checked since you got her?

@Greylady1966 ?


View attachment 378341
thank you for the wood fear suggestions i will try both! She came in underweight but now she is gaining weight almost at the normal keelbone pic. Maybe because of the new weight she is gaining she is not used to it yet.... and yeah she has been to the vet when she came in and also when i was starting to become concerned with the loss of flight. The vet checked everything including her weight, stool, and wings and said she is healthy but gave me some vitamins to bring home to give her for a couple days.
I have a lovebird with just a tiny patch of missing feathers on her wing. But that causes enough of an issue to make it very challenging for her to fly, so she just won't do it anymore! Did you check to see if she has any missing feathers? You can't see the missing patch on my lovebird unless she stretches her wings out. Wishing you and your congo all the best! :)
She does not seem to be loosing wing feathers, that was my first concern when i saw her flight declining. She might have molted 1-2 wing feathers but she doesn't have any missing feathers on her wings. and thank you for the wishes!
 

JLcribber

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When there’s a sudden change in behaviour like that it almost always points to something medical. She needs to get checked out and then you can start worrying about stuff. Greys are known for being lazy.
 

Tazlima

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Greys are known for being lazy.
Generally, though, when I think of a lazy bird, I think of one who is reluctant to begin a flight, preferring to walk or ride when the option is available. One who takes off but then poops out halfway through a short flight is concerning. It would be one thing if the bird spent years in a small cage or clipped and had muscle atrophy as a result, but a bird who was a solid flier just a short time ago? *frets* A healthy bird can fly with wet feathers or carrying objects, so a small amount of extra weight shouldn't cause that extreme of a change, especially if the weight gain was reasonably gradual.

This definitely calls for a vet visit.
 
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Mizzely

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My Jardine's came to me on a crappy diet and over 2 years later is finally starting to fly. When I took him to the vet when I first got him, he had a lot of malnourished symptoms which take longer than 2 months to resolve. Vitamin A, Calcium, and D3 were the things I was told to make sure he gets a lot of. Is she still getting a lot of outdoor time? Since TOPS has a low amount of D3, if she's not still going outside her calcium levels may have dropped, which affects the muscles.
 

tka

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When you say checked her stool, what do you mean? Were any tests for bacteria or parasites done?

I would also encourage you to get blood tests to see if there any any vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
 

Greylady1966

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If Dolly hasn't had a wellness check up I would do that first bloodwork/x-rays and anything else your vet would recommend. I adopted my CAG, Nikki from a couple that traveled every week. She had a very small house and wasn't let out much. When I asked them how much time she was out a day they said about 2 hours a week. Nikki wanted to but lacked the muscle strength. It took almost a year before she could fly across the room.
 

Hankmacaw

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With her previous diet, she really needs to have a CBC and Chem panel done - especially to check for liver disease ( there is no test of the stool, except color of the urine and urates that can tell you what her liver and kidney condition are). Afric an Greys are about third onthe list for liver disease and she's sure a candidate. The live can swell very large and cause her so much pain she won't fly.
 

Diveks

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My Jardine's came to me on a crappy diet and over 2 years later is finally starting to fly. When I took him to the vet when I first got him, he had a lot of malnourished symptoms which take longer than 2 months to resolve. Vitamin A, Calcium, and D3 were the things I was told to make sure he gets a lot of. Is she still getting a lot of outdoor time? Since TOPS has a low amount of D3, if she's not still going outside her calcium levels may have dropped, which affects the muscles.
Yeah i know that about TOPS so she has sun time in the morning when she bathes.
With her previous diet, she really needs to have a CBC and Chem panel done - especially to check for liver disease ( there is no test of the stool, except color of the urine and urates that can tell you what her liver and kidney condition are). Afric an Greys are about third onthe list for liver disease and she's sure a candidate. The live can swell very large and cause her so much pain she won't fly.
And yeah i just took her to the vet yesterday she got her wings and stool checked out but haven't had a blood test. The vet that i took her to works with exotics although she was not an avian vet. Theres only one avian vet in my whole country and they are about a 6 hour drive from me. Im thinking of bringing her there. I was really worried about liver disease with her since i found out about her diet. She panicks on car rides that is why i took her to a local vet first to to lower her stress. I will be taking her in to the local exotic vet and specifically ask for a blood test this time, if they cant then ill take her to the avian specialist.
 
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Diveks

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Update: unfortunately the vet here don’t have the machines and experience to take her blood today so they told me to go to the avian specialist. I have an upcoming consultation with the vet and will surely update on her.
 
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