Ask Lafeber


March 26, 2020

Struggling to fly after not being let out of the cage for 3 weeks.

I recently left my 7 year old African Grey ‘Billy’ at my moms house while I was away for 3 weeks. He was in the correct cage but during this period was not let out to fly. When I returned he did not step up straight away instead he climbed around the cage in circles, I felt he was a little nervous/ unsure about coming to me. ( but I took this as a little mood he was in because I left him) His daily home routine is that he is normally out of his cage during the day unless I am at work. Billy is a cheeky mischievous bird, who always flys to me when I have food, he can also be naughty and defiant at times, however, I have brought him home and noticed he is struggling to fly, he is stretching his wings a lot but when he tries to fly, he falls to the floor. I think he is a little on the quiet side but know he is also happy to be home as he is being very loving. He has no problems with his climbing net above his cage and he is letting me check his wingspan, (with a little bit of attitude) however, I do not know what I am checking for and normally he does not let me check without biting hard.
I am worried my bird is sick or could it be that he hasn’t been let out to fly for a few weeks. I’m also not sure if it’s relevant but worry that my mam used to house budgies in the same cage 3 weeks prior to billy staying.


Hi Kendra,

If you are concerned that Billy is sick, take him to an Avian Vet. It is likely that he lost some muscle condition in the three weeks. And not being able to fly when he was used to flying can cause him to be less confident. Yes, there are diseases that he could get from budgies, but as long as the cage was thoroughly cleaned before he used it, then it should be fine. Most likely he is still a bit mad that you left him and not happy that he can’t fly as well as before. He should get his condition back soon since he is exercising his wings. But again if you have any concern that he is sick, then he needs to be seen by a Vet.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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