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Need advice Parrot won’t fly

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Need advice Parrot won’t fly

Postby Chali’Naru » Mon May 11, 2020 4:35 pm

Hello everyone I have rescued a blue and gold macaw her name is Sally she’s 25 years old and she’s the love of my life. I rescued her November 2019 I have recently noticed that Sally won’t extend her right wing fully I have taken her to the vet And they told me that she had some swelling in her elbow. they gave me anti inflammatory medication and I’ve been adding it to her food. For the first month that she’s been here she was extending both wings and fluttering them both now she only does her left. does anyone know how long the recovery process is for the swelling in her elbow? Also I noticed that she is terrified of stepping or standing on any surface that is unstabilized, that includes my arm. She is so scared I think she believes she’s going to fall. I don’t know much about her past history so I don’t know if she’s ever flown or not. I haven’t clipped her wings nor I plan on doing so as I would like for her to be able to free fly. Once her wing is healed how can I teach her or get her to be confident enough that she is able to fly from point a to point B?
Chali’Naru
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Re: Need advice Parrot won’t fly

Postby Michael » Mon May 11, 2020 5:00 pm

Very good that you appreciate a bird for being a bird and want her to be able to fly naturally. Unfortunately after 25 years of being forcefully handicapped, the bird is as psychologically dysfunctional as physically. This is why it is necessary to perform flight training rehabilitation therapy and training. On one hand so the bird could develop the physical strength to fly and on the other hand so that it can develop the will and knowledge as well. I developed the Parrot Training Perch Kit primarily for this purpose. It's a set of 2 stands, clicker, target stick, and DVD to use for encouraging the bird to fly between the stands. You can see videos of how this is done and get the stands from Parrot Wizard.

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Michael
Macaw
 
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Re: Need advice Parrot won’t fly

Postby Pajarita » Tue May 12, 2020 11:04 am

Michael's advice is right on the money but I would think that first you need to determine exactly what is causing the inflammation on her joint because the only thing I can think of is trauma. Now, it doesn't necessarily mean that there is a fracture (could be hairline and not really that noticeable in XRay -was one taken at the vet?) because, in my personal experience, soft tissue damage in wings easily ends up being permanent even after healing. Wings are VERY delicate and a single torn tendon or atrophied muscle would render a bird flightless. The other problem with macaws is that you need 30 ft of distance in a straight line for them to actually fly (shorter distances are not real flight, they are more like a skip with an added impulse from the wings) and because this represents a very large room -something most people do not have, the greatest majority of them are raised without any real flight. A bird that does not fly is a bird that has not only atrophied muscles and shrunken tendons in the wings but also weak chest and abdomen muscles and a semi-atrophied respiratory system. And this is why the exercises that Michael shows are so very important! BUT you cannot exercise her if there is still inflammation so you will need to get the OK from the vet before you start any rehabilitation with her.

In the meantime, do make sure her claws are not cut too short or too blunt (this will make her feel insecure because she would not be able to 'grab' well) and that when she perches on your arm you hold it next to your chest (meaning, the upper arm -from shoulder to elbow- should be held against your body and the forearm -from elbow to wrist- should be held at a perfect straight angle to the upper arm and very close to your torso, this will give it more stability -less 'bounce'). You might have already figured this out but I said it anyway because I have noticed that most people who have no experience with large birds hold their arms out and away from their bodies. But, in my personal experience, when birds are afraid of 'unstable' perches is because they never flew. Flighted birds are not worried at all about instability, bounce, being upside down, hanging from one single claw or anything because they know they will not 'fall' - if they lose their hold, they just glide or fly down.

PS One more thing (I had to come back because there was something you said that kept on bothering me), you say that you are putting the anti-inflammatory in her food? That sounds VERY strange to me because all the anti-inflammatories I know that are used in birds need to be extremely precise in the dosage and are always given in the beak at exact times (usually twice a day - every 12 hours) and at a dosage that the vet calculates exactly based on the bird's weight. I SERIOUSLY doubt that an anti-inflammatory put in the food would work because these are all meds that cannot be overdosed so, by necessity, the dosage the vet gave you to put in the food would have to be very low as you can't really pre-determine the amount of food the bird will eat or that it will be done every 12 hours. You can give antibiotics in the food and you can give certain herbals like tonics and cleanser but anti-inflammatories? I've never heard of that before...
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Flight: Yes

Re: Need advice Parrot won’t fly

Postby Navre » Tue May 12, 2020 1:18 pm

If the fear of unsteady perches is new, then it’s most likely related to her inflammation. Maybe try letting her hold your other hand with her beak so she has 3 points of contact.

Ask the rescue if she ever flew when she was there, maybe out in the aviary?
Also, I know the rescue never clips birds, but ask if she was already clipped when she came in. It might give you some insight into what her flying ability will be once her inflammation goes away.
If she spent her younger years clipped, she might not even know she can fly.
Navre
African Grey
 
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Re: Need advice Parrot won’t fly

Postby Pajarita » Wed May 13, 2020 7:41 am

I don't think she came from a rescue, John. People nowadays call adopted or rehomed animals 'rescues' - incorrectly, of course, because rescuing implies that the animal was abandoned, neglected or abused which is not necessarily the case when we adopt or rehome an animal from their previous owners. The OP also states he/she has no knowledge of her past - which, commonly, would not be the case if the bird was adopted from a rescue. I think the bird must have been adopted from a private party.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Number of Birds Owned: 30
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Flight: Yes

Re: Need advice Parrot won’t fly

Postby Navre » Wed May 13, 2020 9:59 am

I still keep track of the census for the rescue. We adopted out a Blue and Gold named Sally in Nov of 19. I was assuming she was the same bird.
Navre
African Grey
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 1904
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Turquoise Green Cheek Conure
Hooded Parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: Need advice Parrot won’t fly

Postby Navre » Wed May 13, 2020 10:00 am

Her profile says she adopted from RIPR. (The parrot world is a small world.)
Navre
African Grey
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 1904
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Turquoise Green Cheek Conure
Hooded Parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: Need advice Parrot won’t fly

Postby Pajarita » Wed May 13, 2020 10:18 am

Oh, WOW! Well, yes, the rescue world is small. But wouldn't the rescue tell him all they know about the bird's background? They would have told him if there was something wrong with the bird's wing -that much I know and, possibly, not even adopt out a bird that is still in treatment for injury- but wouldn't they have told him if the bird flew or not? And any other significant information like whether she needs some sort of special handling... like her not feeling 'safe' when she perches on an arm?
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 16965
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Need advice Parrot won’t fly

Postby Navre » Wed May 13, 2020 11:03 am

Pajarita wrote:Oh, WOW! Well, yes, the rescue world is small. But wouldn't the rescue tell him all they know about the bird's background? They would have told him if there was something wrong with the bird's wing -that much I know and, possibly, not even adopt out a bird that is still in treatment for injury- but wouldn't they have told him if the bird flew or not? And any other significant information like whether she needs some sort of special handling... like her not feeling 'safe' when she perches on an arm?


Yes. The issue with the wing is new. She says that the first month she had Sally she was extending and flapping both wings, now she only does the left. The not feeling safe on an unsteady perch is new also, probably related to the wing issue.
Navre
African Grey
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 1904
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Turquoise Green Cheek Conure
Hooded Parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: Need advice Parrot won’t fly

Postby Pajarita » Wed May 13, 2020 11:37 am

Maybe somebody from the rescue could contact the OP? Because the putting the meds in the food worries me as well as the not having a real diagnosis on the wing issue and the difficulties the OP is having with the bird (does the rescue adopt out large birds to people with no previous parrot experience?)
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 16965
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

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