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Injury Advice: Living With A Broken Wing

Poppy_HK

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Good morning Parronts!

In preparing to potentially bring a feather-baby home, I turn, yet again, to the faithfully helpful and insightful AA community for some input.

A little bit of background on the situation: For those of you who have been advising me the past few weeks on the Sun Conure I was looking to bring home, thank you for all your support and advice.
There has however, been an unexpected development. My partner had not yet met the Sun, and when we went to meet her last night at the rescue, she HATED him on sight. Their energies were chalk and cheese. With me she was sweet, cuddly, docile and loving. With him, she bit, screeched, flew away to escape, bit some more, and worse, showed extreme aggression to him when I was holding her and he came near me. The owner of the rescue could not believe how night and day this birds' sentiments were towards two people, with no apparent provocation.

I was pretty devastated. It was a heartbreaking turn of events. She is a wonderful bird, but I made the decision not to bring her home, as I didn't feel this would be fair on the bird, or my partner at all. We may foster her as a temporary arrangement (to help out the shelter for a few weeks in October), but I don't see how I can justify adopting her when she is so uncomfortable in his presence.

The positive turn of events: Sorry to sidetrack for those who only clicked on this post to offer advice. I knew it would save me a lot of questions later from the lovely individuals who know me already on AA to post the above explanation.
SO. The owner of the rescue had received a Black-Capped Conure only an hour after I had left the rescue the weekend prior, who I had not yet met. She brought him out after our meeting with the Sun, just to explore other options.
This BCC could not have chosen us more profoundly. He cuddled the crud out of both of us, and perched on both our shoulders (he likes the taste of my hair, apparently) quietly and happily while we heard his story.

The BCC named Alex, is 10 years old. He was in his last home for 10 years, but his companion bird died suddenly, so his owners decided to call it a day and get rid of Alex too (cue angry gasps of indignation all round). He was not handled at all for the last 2 years in his previous home, but has remained the sweetest little thing despite this. Literally, the sweetest.
The catch: Alex has a broken wing, from an accident at his breeders' before his last owners bought him. The breeder did nothing (assuming he would just die, and be done with it) .... But the little guy is a fighter, and he thrived, but by the time his owners bought him, his wing had set and "calcified", destined to remain broken for the rest of his life.
So, he is a happy little flightless bird, with a broken, fused little wing, that doesn't cause him any apparent aggravation. His vet visit upon intake at the rescue was flawless, and he has been given a 100% clean bill of health.

My question is this: Can those of you with a disABLEd bird tell me your stories?
We have pretty much decided Alex is going to be our bird, but I wanted to gain some insight into life with a little one in this situation. I want to do everything I can to make the rest of his life happy, and comfortable.
Is this a hindrance on their happiness? Have you noticed an advancement of pain and/or discomfort as they get older?

Anything you can think I need to know as a soon-to-be Mum of this little one is worth its weight in literary gold.

As always AA community, thank you so much in advance for your help!
-Lauren
 

expressmailtome

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TikiMyn

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Oh no I am sorry to hear about the sun! But how amazing this little bird chose both of you! Congratulations! I can’t Wait to hear more about your journey with this new fid! Does he/she already have a name?
You can compare his situation to that of a clipped bird I think. He won’t Be able to fly everywhere, so you might have to add more ropes hanging to the floor for him to get everywhere by himself. He also won’t be able to fly away if he doesn’t want to be with you/go somewhere else. That means you have to pay extra attention to his body language, but as he was already so comfortable with both of you, I think you won’t encounter major problems:)
Do you know if he is prone to falling? If so, you might want to add fleece to the bottom of his cage with paper on top so his ‘landings’ are a bit softer.
I think your major changes in environment Will be a focus on climbing instead of flying, so more ladders/ropes/perches etc:) Ideally you could also make sure he can get to you from his cage/play area(s) and go when he chooses.
 

BeanieofJustice

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I'm sorry to hear about the Sun, but, Alex sounds like a great fit! :) I hope it works out for all of you!

I've had Sam for almost four years and is the same way; his left wing was broken and didn't heal correctly (I know nothing about why/when, my vet has a theory but, it's all just theory) so he cannot fly at all. I haven't noticed any pain or discomfort, though the risk of them developing arthritis is something to keep in mind but he's 26, and as happy as can be. He knows that he can't fly, but even the vet was impressed with how strong his legs are. He's more cautious about new perches and will test them before he'll use them.

Stability has been key; I have to get perches that do not move, his one rope perch that I could find (that he would use; I bought boings, long rope perches that he refused to go near) is thick, has a wire running through it, and is wrapped around a more stable perch. He doesn't like anything that moves under his weight. It took a LONG time to convince him to use a rope perch because he didn't feel stable, and he is aware of his inability to fly.

Sam's toys are arranged so he has room to climb, perches that span across the cage are really nice for hanging toys above. Though, Sam is also the kind of bird who loves to hang upside down in his cage, so I try to not crowd it too much.

When I first got him, there was a big issue with him falling (before I bought him a cage, he lived on the top of another bird's cage and had no means of exercising) enough so the lady I got him from would put towels on the floor. Now that he's had cages, perches and ways to move, he hardly falls but, I have fleece or towels below the paper just in case he falls.

Give him a lot of room to crawl and climb; it's their only means of exercise. At least, with Sam, it's hard to get him to open his wings because he will throw himself off balance if he's not careful. It's fun to watch him climb too because he'll slide down the bars like a pro.

If you have other pets, something to keep in mind is that you really have to make sure your bird is away from them because these special guys can't get away. You also have to pay more attention to body language because of their limitation, I was pinched (never broke skin, just enough to get his point across) a few times early on because I didn't understand what he was trying to say.

While Sam knows he can't fly, it doesn't seem to upset him, he doesn't even try to. He's not a perch potato by any means, he loves to climb and plays with his toys like any other bird at this point in his life. He's not a timid bird at all, he's very active, happy, inquisitive and boisterous fellow. So, I wouldn't say that it hinders his happiness at all, he isn't uncomfortable (my vet has assured me about this) though he's still young at 26 (EDIT: well, technically the vet said he's anywhere between 20-40).

I'm no expert by any means, but you have more questions, I can try my best to answer them. This is kind of a scatterbrained post but, I tried to include everything that I could think of. I wish I could give my boy flight, but, I wouldn't trade him for the world.
 
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finchly

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I have rescued a cockatiel with an old injury/broken wing. Mine is a much older bird and I suspect lived in a tiny cage, he doesn't play with toys or move around too much. They adapt. Mine is learning about our home and somehow after "flying" to the floor while I had the door open - managed to climb to the top of his cage!

Pretty much everything @BeanieofJustice said so I won't repeat it.
 

MojoIRN

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It all depends on how he copes with a broken wing. If he is prone to falls I advise a soft landing, just make sure he doesnt chew said soft landing! I have a ladder on Mojo's cage so if he ends up on floor he can get himself back onto his cage. I advise making sure his cage has horizontal bars not vertical.

My ringneck has issues flying due to only having one nostril.

Thank you for rescuing. I wish more people would. I am horrified that when he broke his wing he wasn't sent to an avian vet. The poor guy must have been in so much pain.
 

MojoIRN

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I have rescued a cockatiel with an old injury/broken wing. Mine is a much older bird and I suspect lived in a tiny cage, he doesn't play with toys or move around too much. They adapt. Mine is learning about our home and somehow after "flying" to the floor while I had the door open - managed to climb to the top of his cage!

Pretty much everything @BeanieofJustice said so I won't repeat it.
Keep trying with the toys. I tried loads of differen't one with my budgies. One of them came with just one toy he would sadly jingle from time to time. He mostly just cuddled up to his mirror sad and lonely. As soon as he saw my Indian Ringneck his whole personality changed and now he has a lover (another budgie) he is super happy. lol

Woven paper sticks, shredded paper, balsa wood they love and dangling things like beads and straws. They have a bell too. I don't provide mirrors personally.

Maybe he'd like a cockatiel friend?
 

finchly

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Keep trying with the toys. I tried loads of differen't one with my budgies. One of them came with just one toy he would sadly jingle from time to time. He mostly just cuddled up to his mirror sad and lonely. As soon as he saw my Indian Ringneck his whole personality changed and now he has a lover (another budgie) he is super happy. lol

Woven paper sticks, shredded paper, balsa wood they love and dangling things like beads and straws. They have a bell too. I don't provide mirrors personally.

Maybe he'd like a cockatiel friend?
Hi Sarah,
Alll good ideas. I have only one toy in there now because it’s so scary to him but will definitely try more. Or he might find some on his own in the ‘playground’ area after quarantine. I do have 2 tiels he will hopefully like ... he has already been chirping to them.

So glad your baby fell in love with another bird and is happy!
 

MojoIRN

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Yes some birds you have to slowly introduce then to toys. I'm lucky my 3 birds don't care and go straight to new toys for a look lol
 

jennifer18

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I know this is an old thread, but I adopted an African Grey 6 months ago with a broken wing. Looking for ways to make him more independent. He won't go near a boing so he is basically "stuck" where we put him.
 

Shannan

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My Walter (TAG) had limited mobility but he got along fabulously with the adaptions to his cage. I used a lot of vet wrapped perches as well as flat perches that allowed him to stair step up to different heights. He also did not like any perch that moved, so no swings and such. I used a lot of paper towels to pad his floor (which I did not put the grate down but cleaned it up several times a day. He loved playing with his toys on the ground and climbing. They usually adapt well (they don't know they are disabled).
 
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