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Flightless Budgie climbing too high?

avantia423

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Hi all,

I posted earlier about my 5 week old budgie who is currently flightless. I was worried, but after the group analysed her wings we realised she is not clipped or plucked, she’s merely very young and hasn’t yet learnt to fly. She is showing pre flight behaviour like grabbing perches and flapping furiously.


I’ve only had her a few days and have tamed a parrotlet in the past so I’m a somewhat experienced owner, but I’m concerned here. I moved all her perches low so she won’t fall too far. However she does this thing where she rapidly climbs to the top of the cage once or twice a day and just hangs out up there, refuses or doesn’t know how to climb down. Eventually she gets sleepy and I’m worried about her falling. I know it’s a huge impediment to the taming process, but after an hour or so I tend to remove her from the top and put her low in fear she’ll hurt herself.

What should I do? Ignore the behaviour, does it mean something? The cage is 3 feet tall, cockatiel size, because I wanted to spoil her with room to fly and didn’t know she was flightless when I brought her home. One time she did fall before I could catch her, and I almost jumped out my seat, but she looked totally fine and unhurt. Not sure what to do here.
 

Monica

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Still feel she might have french molt... feathers do not appear normal for her age.

You can provide a soft landing and make sure there are some perches up high but otherwise, I'd let her do her own thing as this helps to build confidence.
 

Lady Jane

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Get a ladder large enough and long enough so that she can come back down.
 

SummerBerry

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Make sure she can access all parts of her cage and like @MauiWendy said make sure she has a soft landing if she does fall. I like the woven grass mats that hang on the bars as the bird can climb down a lot easier, there also great for chewing lol!
 

Lady Jane

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The boing is a great idea too. Birds seem to like them.
 

avantia423

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Thank you all for your suggestions! She is getting better at flying every day but still cannot fly - however she keeps climbing up, flapping and trying and her landings are getting softer and less clumsy, so she is probably just practicing.
I’ve softened her fall and am getting a rope ladder she can use to climb.
She’s also already eating out of my hand and perching on me, albeit with much trepidation, so taming is going pretty well!
 

avantia423

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Still feel she might have french molt... feathers do not appear normal for her age.

You can provide a soft landing and make sure there are some perches up high but otherwise, I'd let her do her own thing as this helps to build confidence.
WAIT. OH NO. No you are right. I just researched the hell out of this, I think she had French molt!! It was hard to tell because she’s not tatty but she really is missing those flights and tail, you are right...what do I do?? I’m going to take her to the vet but there is no cure!! I’m not sure how to care for a disabled budgie, I mean I will have to learn but now I’m very anxious
Plus doesn’t this mean I can never have another bird?
 

Monica

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Please don't panic. Take her to the vet and make sure of this diagnosis. Thanks for your update.

Agree with this! See a vet first before making any rash decisions! She can still have a great life with you if she does in fact have it, but only a vet can confirm for sure!
 
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