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Oscar and Felix lived their whole lives in a vet clinic, never getting out of their cage and being annoyed by every pet and person who came through the door. The clinic is remodeling and they came to my work looking for a last home for their clinic birds. Now that I have something of a reputation for being "that bird lady" my boss pulled me out of the groom room and I agreed to see what I could do. Three days later, the old men are in my bedroom for their quarantine period. My place is being called their retirement home by the clinic staff, who seemed to genuinely care about the birds.

Oscar has more grey on him while Felix has far less.

Oscar appears far older than Felix and has a very tired look to him. He is also incredibly ragged but active. They are both fluffing and preening now, enjoying the breeze from the open window.

Should I be concerned about Oscar's health, or should I wait a few days to see if a misting or a bath might help his ragged appearance? I don't want to stress these two old men out, they've lived a high-stress life for two decades.

Being that they're from a vet clinic though I would like to think they're not entirely unhealthy but they weren't in the greatest situation, with a clinic staff very uneducated about birds at a clinic that only saw cats and dogs.

So I've attached some pictures that will hopefully help you guys help me out - it's much appreciated!!!
 

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Looks like he's had a very bad clip aswell I'm betting his diet consists of only seeds you may need to get some vitamins to help and also try and encourage them to eat more veggies etc but misting may also help with the feathers. Are you sure they are 20? Maybe it's worth a trip to the vets for a health check?
 

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I would get a vet check to be safe. It could be age, but my 22 year old does not look like that. (Of course, that's only anecdotal evidence, but my point is that being 20 would not necessarily cause them to look that way.) Thank you for helping them!
 

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They are handsome! I'm guessing the raggedness may be due to poor nutrition, and yes I also think taking them for a visit to a proper avian vet would be a good idea.
 

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Avian vet for sure- Good nutrition with fresh food like it was mentioned here and also good bird food like for instance Zupreem . These guys are lovely! Congrats on hou giving them the love and care they were so unfairly denied for so many years . Lots of love for all of you X x Teresa
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks so much everyone!

As suspected, their diet has been seeds this entire time. I'm really shocked that they lived at a vet and received such poor care. Felix is missing the majority of his right wing feathers, either through blood feather issues (like wade), plucking, or a truly awful clip job.

I'm giving them a varied diet now. We're trying the veggies but they're not fans (yet!). Felix is really, really interested in the zupreme pellets! I'm so proud of him. They're also getting some molting supplements, vitamins in their water, and nutriberries.

They did get a few little mistings and they look so much better now! Still a bit rough around the edges but very much better.

And the soonest I could get into the avian vet was monday the 27, so they'll both be going in then.

As for age - I'm absolutely certain that they are more than 14 years old and less than dead (and hopefully will be for a very long time!). The doctor who bought the clinic inherited them from the prior clinic's people (who must have been good with them, because they're coming out of their shells very quickly!). That was 14 years ago and they were between 5 and 7 at that time.

I will certainly update after their vet visit, and if anything of note happens between now and then :3

as always, thank you so much for your feedback and suggestions! you all make having 'tiels a community learning process and its amazing.
 

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Well, to be completely fair, if they really are 20 then things were vastly different in the bird community when their owners originally got them. When I got my Sunny (who is now 22) in the 90s, it was accepted practice to feed an all seed diet because nobody really knew any better. They also encouraged all owners to buy and hand feed unweaned babies. (I handfed Sunny when I was five years old! It's a miracle I didn't kill him.)

Not that it's really an excuse to not continue learning and updating knowledge, but I do think there's a bit of a generational thing where today's older birds had very different early lives than what's accepted as proper bird care now.
 
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