Ask Lafeber


September 16, 2022

Can’t Fly After 3 Weeks


My Green cheek conure fractured her wing 3 weeks ago. She was advised to stay in her cage for 3 weeks by a vet so that she can heal. She is unable to fly completely now after this period and her wing is drooping again. Please help!


Hi Leah,

It doesn’t sound like the Vet has much experience with birds. With a wing injury, the first step would be imaging to see how bad the fracture is. Then either the wing would be immobilized or if the break is bad, surgery may be needed to insert a pin to keep the bones together while it heals. Another image would be done after 2 or 3 weeks to see if the bone has healed – they do heal quickly – and then the pin would be removed if it is healed. At that point, the bird would still need to have limited mobility for another week or two to make sure the wing is strong again. This would be followed by some physical therapy so the bird can rebuild strength in the wing and not re-break it. I hate to tell you but after three weeks with no real treatment, the wing might need to be re-broken and corrected surgically for her to have a chance to fly again. It’s not a good sign that it is still drooping. In some cases, depending on where the break is and if it’s a simple fracture, the wing feathers are clipped to reduce the weight on the wing and the break does heal on its own. But again to still be drooping after 3 weeks, I’m afraid she may never be able to fly again without treatment by an Avian Vet who is experienced in treating fractures. I’m very sorry this has happened. I know how hard it is to find a qualified bird Vet. On a positive note, she is a light-bodied bird and can lead a good life without being able to fly, but I know you would prefer to find her the help she needs so she can fly again.

Take care,


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