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Can my Grey fly?

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Can my Grey fly?

Postby Symbasmom » Fri May 11, 2012 9:58 pm

Hi there,
I have a really important question about my 14 yr old Congo African Grey. I have had my boy since October of last year, of whom I have adopted from a very nice, bird loving couple. The husband was going though chemo and it was hard to keep the majority of their birds due to all the visits in to town. I believe Symba was the last of the large parrots to be re-homed. I am so honored and adore my Grey! Yet, I don't understand. Since I have had him, he has NEVER flown. I know now that he was "fancy" wing clipped., but I have not touched a feather of his since I have had him. I do know that his wing feathers are taking a while to grow in, yet, he has never attempted to fly. I was alright with this at first, but now after being with him, I think he gets bored just "standing" around all the time. I wish I could show him...but well, being human and all, just not realistic, lol!
What can I do though for him? He does flap his wings pretty strong at times, but really, no flight comes from it. The only TWO times he has ever "fallen" from a perch, etc, it was close to the floor, but he just fluttered down...no real attempt to take off from there.
I would never want to see him hurt, so I have never tried any type of antics, but what can I do that is safe for him? Or is it just a fact, he may never fly?
Any advice that you may have would be greatly appreciated. I truly love him and want him happy. I feel the ability to fly is innate and that he should be able to give it a try. Your thoughts?
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Symbasmom
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Congo African Grey, Peach-faced Lovebirds
Flight: No

Re: Can my Grey fly?

Postby pennyandrocky » Sat May 12, 2012 4:52 am

when i inherited my :amazon: he was older than yours and never attempted flight he was caged for so long i had to teach him.i had him on my arm and slowly moved my arm up and down until he flapped,one day he just took off but he never gained full strength in his wings.if you want to try to teach him just be prepared for crashes hang blankets or somthing soft around the area your teaching him so he doesn't get hurt.
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pennyandrocky
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 915
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: green cheek conure,ducorps cockatoo
Flight: Yes

Re: Can my Grey fly?

Postby marie83 » Sat May 12, 2012 7:29 am

Sometimes when the wings are clipped the feathers may never grow back properly if it was badly done. Please check his feathers are now in good condition not just grown back before you start flight training to prevent any accidents.
After 14 years of not flying he probably doesn't even realise he can fly, plus his muscles probably aren't very strong due to lack of use.
Michaels Kili was clipped when he got her and he taught her to fly by using perches and gradually increasing the distance between them. He used food as motivation to cross the gap but you could just as easily use a toy or something if your parrot isnt food motivated. He has an article about it on his blog, I've never used it myself but it looks very good and I think it could help you.
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marie83
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 3565
Location: Midlands, UK
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Yellow sided Green Cheek Conure
Pineapple Green Cheek Conure
Flight: Yes

Re: Can my Grey fly?

Postby Symbasmom » Sat May 12, 2012 9:56 am

Thanks for the advice! Blankets and soft things sound good while I am training.
As far as wing condition, I am not quite sure what to look for. His feathers look nice and full. His wing feathers have several that still look clipped as he hasn't dropped that many yet. How long does it take for new wing feathers to emerge?
I will definitely check out Micheal's blog. Thanks again :D
Symbasmom
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Congo African Grey, Peach-faced Lovebirds
Flight: No

Re: Can my Grey fly?

Postby marie83 » Sat May 12, 2012 11:14 am

If you scroll down on this link theres a photo of a parrot in flight. http://www.quakerparrots.com/forum/inde ... opic=49897

You can see all the ends are nicely rounded not straight as when clipped, which shows the feathers are pretty much their proper length. You can see each individual feather kind of meets up the one next to it creating a sort of fan (arghh I dont know how to describe it!! lol) with no gaps. You will be able to tell if there are feathers missing or some are short from clipping as there will be a sudden 'gap' in the feathering when the wing is outstretched like that, rather than a gentle curve round.

How long they take to grow back depends on the bird I think. I've read somewhere not all the feathers are molted out each time so it might take a while. I have no experience with greys what so ever so you might want to wait for someone elses advice but with most birds I think you would be fine to start training if your bird only has 2/3 feathers missing but it does depend on which feathers are missing as to how crucial they may be.
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marie83
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 3565
Location: Midlands, UK
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Yellow sided Green Cheek Conure
Pineapple Green Cheek Conure
Flight: Yes

Re: Can my Grey fly?

Postby liz » Sat May 12, 2012 7:48 pm

I have been working with :amazon: Rambo, my 21 year old pedestrian. He stands on my fingers while I lift him up and down. He flapps on the down. Lately he has gotten enough lift to take off. He does not go far but his landings are getting better. He enjoys the flight that he gets.

To keep him company while he walks, Myrtle, my 2 year old flier has been walking with him.
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Cockatiels: Shadow Tammy Flutter Phoenix Jackie
Andy Impy Louise
Flight: Yes

Re: Can my Grey fly?

Postby pennyandrocky » Sat May 12, 2012 8:23 pm

that's so great liz. i'm a huge rambo fan :D
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pennyandrocky
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 915
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: green cheek conure,ducorps cockatoo
Flight: Yes

Re: Can my Grey fly?

Postby Symbasmom » Sun May 13, 2012 1:17 am

Wow, those were great pictures of full flighted wings. :) Next time Symba does his feather display (he's not a real big fan of a lot of probing and touching from anybody), I shall examine how well his feathers are looking.
Thanks all of you for your help.
If anyone has any other tips to offer, please let me know.
Michaels blog is really good. Once I see Symba's feathers, I shall determine, when I can start the flight training. :thumbsup:
Symbasmom
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Congo African Grey, Peach-faced Lovebirds
Flight: No


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