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Hello, everyone! I recently adopted Simon :grey tiel:, a young cockatiel hatched on Thanksgiving 2015, from a local parrot rescue organization. He's very sweet. :) I am new to birds. Simon came to me with his wings clipped and it was initially working the way it was supposed to: he could get a little bit of lift and could fly/glide to the ground quite well. He started getting clumsier when he started losing some of his tail feathers.

Two weeks ago, he jumped off of my hand onto a table, landed on what I will refer to as A Bunch of Stuff, and injured his left foot. I took him to an avian vet who said it was a soft tissue injury, she expected it to heal fairly quickly, and to keep him from jumping down. It has not healed yet and that is partially because of the difficulty of keeping him quiet. His cage is 38" high and with his injured foot he sometimes looses his balance and I hear a loud "thunk!" as he hits the bottom. He also has gotten away from me a few times and has clearly hurt his foot when he has landed. I am determined to help him heal!

I just got him a cage that is 30"Lx18"Wx18"H. This should stop the "thump!" in his cage, at least. How low to ground can I have the cage without him being very unhappy? I want to minimize the chances of him getting hurt when I take him out of his cage and I'm just not yet adept at keeping him on my hand.

Any suggestions for keeping him happy for a couple of weeks??? He's used to an open top cage and hanging out with his budgie friends, one of whom also has an open top cage and the other comes over to join them. They spend a lot of time cage hopping, checking out each others toys and (identical) food. He is not going to be happy with a change to this routine.

Also, any suggestions of anything else I can do to help his foot heal? The vet prescribed meloxicam, an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. I've contacted her about whether I should continue to give it, haven't heard back yet, but this is the weekend and not exactly an emergency. Anything that it might help for him to stand in?

All suggestions welcome! Thank you!

Leah
 

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foot injury

Sorry to hear about your "birdie boo-boo!" It is hard to keep them inactive. One idea I had from a vet when I had a budgie with a foot injury was to put him in an empty aquarium with one or 2 low perches. It's pretty boring for them, but it will prevent him from further injury until he heals. You could also remove any high perches from his cage and just leave a low perch. Of course, then he'll still be able to climb on the bars, but hopefully he won't fall from them. I know it's hard, but could you put him in a separate room from the budgies for a while? It might keep him less active.
I hope little Simon heals quickly!
 

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**Points up at the post above hers** What Janalee said :) A low perch in a cage should prevent excessive climbing. And keeping Simon from the budgies until he heals should curb some of his more....excited.... activities, LOL. Yeah. Birds are hard to keep still when they need to heal!
 

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I would continue the meloxicam until it is gone. If the vet didn't tell you when to stop then that's probably what they intended.

Definitely try the fish tank. You can line it with bedding or papertowels, something to add a soft bottom to the tank. It doesn't need to be up high, this way he's not falling and hurting himself more.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi. I wanted to update this thread. It has taken a while, but Simon's foot is finally healed. "Feet", really, because he got a pressure sore on the other one, plus that foot and leg got a little swollen. Back to the vet and a 2nd medicine (salve) for that. I was getting very worried. The 30 by 18 by 18 cage with a towel on the bottom did the trick; I didn't have to switch to an aquarium. Even though he feet are better and HE is convinced that he should go back to his larger cage, I'm going to keep him in this one for a while longer. One of his primary flight feathers has grown back in, but the others next to it have not yet. I'm hoping that keeping him in this cage i will make it less likely that he'll break the one primary flight feather while waiting for the others. He's very happy his increased mobility and I'm letting him do a little more. He kept himself entertained by destroying some shredder toys. :) I did let him out of his cage some, but kept him on things low to the floor.

Keeping my fingers crossed that more of his feathers grow in without any of them getting broken off! I don't know about having him fully flighted in the long run, but he needs something at the moment to help with his balance while he doesn't have tail feathers. (He was given an asymmetrical wing clip which isn't working well without the tail feathers!)
 

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My friend has a parrot that is quite old. So old that when he falls asleep he sometimes falls off his perch. So now he has a fluffy pillow on the bottom of the cage covered with a towel and then newspaper. He hasn't hurt himself since she put the pillow in. Maybe you could try that.
 

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Thanks for the update on Simon :D Oh dear @ getting a pressure sore and needing medication for that! Silly bird!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Particularly silly bird given that he doesn't exactly like my forced handling of him!!

Thank you for the pillow suggestion. I might do that when I first move him back to his larger cage.
 
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