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Imping for severely clipped bird who is plucking as a result of no flight.

augustus7

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Hi! i just joined this forum looking for potential opinions/ answers on this topic. My rescue lovebird's previous owners cut their wings so stupid short that he/she hasn't molted a single primary since we got him. He/she watches my other birds fly around the bird room and house and just stands there very still taking it all in. since we got them, the plucking has gotten worse and worse until now their entire neck and belly is bald and it just makes me so sad to see. i don't think any more time is going to help to be completely honest. does anyone know of an avian vet in socal who knows of imping and can help my depressed bird to fly again?
 

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Parutti

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Welcome to the forum! I have a parrot who can't fly due to feather destruction, but is still young enough he does seem to remember how - it's so hard seeing how he reacts watching the two that can fly. I think it's great you found us, and I hope you'll find an avian vet that meets your little one's needs! I'm in the Midwest so am no help there. I have noticed with my guy that his flight feathers only come back during his big summer molt, though - he's a totally different species and he's one that does tend to have "big" molts, but maybe there's a bit of hope still for your lovebird? In any case, it sounds like he has a fantastic home now and hopefully you'll get a few leads!
 

Shezbug

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Call all the avian clinics you know of ask about imping, if they do not do it then ask them to ask their other vet contacts if they know of someone. I see people posting about having the procedure done more often than I thought would have been necessary, when I first joined this forum (five years back) I had only heard of Sarah's experience with imping and I was amazed with the whole process. I have read that imping is really quite common in falconry as they apparently often break feathers and they really need to be precise with their flying and swooping in order to grab a meal- maybe finding avian vets who see birds of prey might be extra helpful.
 

WillowQ

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Have you had this bird through the summer-fall molting period? If not, I would just wait a few months. If you have, your vet might consider pulling the primary feathers, or just waiting for them to be shed.

Severity of the clip doesn’t change how often the feathers are shed. It still usually happens once a year, in late summer or early fall.

Why have feathers imped in June? Wait until August or Sept is my opinion.
 

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Yes, it can take 6-12 months for birds to regain flight, depending on a variety of factors (diet and timing of last clip being the biggest ones.) They often don't lose all of their flights in each molt session, either.
 

Shezbug

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Have you had this bird through the summer-fall molting period? If not, I would just wait a few months. If you have, your vet might consider pulling the primary feathers, or just waiting for them to be shed.

Severity of the clip doesn’t change how often the feathers are shed. It still usually happens once a year, in late summer or early fall.

Why have feathers imped in June? Wait until August or Sept is my opinion.
I do agree with what you say but I also think that if the clip is as extreme as explained by the OP then one molt is not likely to fix all the flight issues as not every flight feather is usually changed out at each molt and then there is the chance of the new flights being broken with no support next to them etc.
 

augustus7

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Yes, it can take 6-12 months for birds to regain flight, depending on a variety of factors (diet and timing of last clip being the biggest ones.) They often don't lose all of their flights in each molt session, either.
The reason i am considering it for my bird is that we have had him for a bit over a year and a half now and no feathers have grown in.
 

augustus7

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I do agree with what you say but I also think that if the clip is as extreme as explained by the OP then one molt is not likely to fix all the flight issues as not every flight feather is usually changed out at each molt and then there is the chance of the new flights being broken with no support next to them etc.
i'm honestly just looking for options because he's plucked more and more since we've found him and it's just horrible to watch. his neck is completely bald and his chest is very patchy and i just want to help him
 

augustus7

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y
Have you had this bird through the summer-fall molting period? If not, I would just wait a few months. If you have, your vet might consider pulling the primary feathers, or just waiting for them to be shed.

Severity of the clip doesn’t change how often the feathers are shed. It still usually happens once a year, in late summer or early fall.

Why have feathers imped in June? Wait until August or Sept is my opinion.
yes we have, we have had him through last summer too and i just can't take watching him anymore. the plucking has only started the last two months even though he is engaged and as active as he can be all day, he just can't get the excercise he needs to thrive
 

augustus7

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Welcome to the forum! I have a parrot who can't fly due to feather destruction, but is still young enough he does seem to remember how - it's so hard seeing how he reacts watching the two that can fly. I think it's great you found us, and I hope you'll find an avian vet that meets your little one's needs! I'm in the Midwest so am no help there. I have noticed with my guy that his flight feathers only come back during his big summer molt, though - he's a totally different species and he's one that does tend to have "big" molts, but maybe there's a bit of hope still for your lovebird? In any case, it sounds like he has a fantastic home now and hopefully you'll get a few leads!
UPDATE: I SEARCHED within 50 miles of me and called every single one and was able to find one that does it for a relatively low cost!
 

Icey

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That's great news!
Please keep us updated on the progress. :)
I had been checking in my area for an avian vet to do one wing on my cockatoo who had been bitten from previous owners pet dog, but wasn't getting anywhere. Within this past year, she has had new feathers coming in and is really flapping and wanting to fly.
I know how you feel about wanting them to fly. :)
Hopefully her next molt will give her enough for lift off.
Have you thought about a soft cone to prevent her from plucking for now? It could help :)
 
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