Ask Lafeber

Question:

July 28, 2021

Movement outside of cage


Hello! I have a 1y.o. pearly green cheek conure. When I got her from the breeder, her wings were clipped & she was abt 8wks old. Throughout the first 6 months I had her she liked to run across the bottom bars of her cage to play with the dogs. In doing so she tore up her tail feathers and some of her longer wing feathers, but I have since fixed this issue and she is now fully flighted and most of her tail feathers have molted and regrown. She climbs around her cage fine, but when I take her out of her cage it’s like she doesn’t have balance and can’t perch on my finger all that well. Also when I put her on my chest or on the floor she usually leans forward all the way so she is pretty much laying on the surface with her wings out and tail feathers spread. I’ve always had her on a pellet + nutriberries diet with some treats here and there. I’ve had her evaluated by an avian vet, and she is a healthy bird. Thank you!


Answer:

Hi Hannah,

If the Vet cannot find anything physically wrong with her, then she may have developed insecurities when her feathers were messed up. She uses her wings and tail for balance, so without these being in good shape, it leaves a bird very vulnerable. If she can perch in her cage, and only does this when she is out of it, then she feels insecure. Try holding her foot or feet with your thumb when she is on your hand. Then just keep working with her, trying to get her to step from one hand to another. Make sure she has several perches in the cage, of different sizes, so that she can exercise her feet and legs. She may have become too used to being on the flat surface of the cage floor. It’s probably going to involve daily work to get her to perch normally, and build her muscles through exercise. If she does not sit on a perch in the cage, then I would suspect something physical that the Vet hasn’t detected. As for the dogs, be careful because dogs can post a bigger danger to parrots than cats. Dogs think they are a toy, and have the tendency to grab a bird and shake it.

Thank you for Asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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