Ask Lafeber


August 8, 2022

Toe loss

A friend adopted a goffin cockatoo in November we know nothing about it’s past. We believe he is around 34yrs old and wild caught (open band). He came with only one toe and Wednesday night when saying goodnight that last toe fell off. There was no blood or obvious signs of pain. What would cause this? He is acting, eating and pooping normally


Hi Kelly,

I actually have one of the older imported Goffin’s. They came into the country in large numbers, and often had foot and toe injuries. Mine has a missing toe and partly missing toe on one foot. The partial toe is non-functioning. Foot injuries happen in the wild, but a lot happened in transit because of overcrowding. They would bite another bird’s toes to make it move out of the way. My guess is this toe has always been a dead toe, or may have had very little blood flow that eventually stopped. It could have had fine thread or fiber from a toy wrapped around it that slowly killed the toe. Since there was no bleeding, I wouldn’t worry about it. If he picks at the foot or you notice blood or swelling, take him to an avian Vet. He might appreciate some flat perches or at least one wide perch. But these old imported birds are very resilient & resourceful and don’t seem as affected by things as much as the hand feds.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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