I was on the sofa reading when all of a sudden, I heard a thud. Marge had fallen off her perch and it sent both of them into a blind panic. Marge really isn't great at flying and she got stuck at the bottom of the cage. Every time she flapped her wings, the newspaper rustled and they both went in to panic mode again. She gripped on to the side of the cage and normally she just climbs up but for some reason she kept trying to fly towards a perch on the other side of the cage, she couldn't make it and kept landing on the bottom again. She flapped her wings, the newspaper rustled the panic started again..
It was really awful
After almost an hour, I managed to settle her on the tray at the bottom and then coax her onto my hand with some broccoli and lifted her back up to her perch. They're now just sitting there wide eyed and panting
Even during the day Marge seems to fall off her perch quite often when she's sleeping... She has no claws on her front toes so I suppose she doesn't have as good a grip as she should. They have a flat perch but neither of them use it and there's lots of perches of different diameters and textures.
Could it just be her missing claws? Or could it be something more serious?
Oh dear, Nettles - this does sound distressing. Can I ask why Marge doesn't have claws? I am guessing this is probably a factor in her maintaining her grip. I wonder why she didn't use her normal strategy of just climbing up. I expect the upset of this kind of thing happening will keep them on edge generally. Perhaps others will have more informed perspectives on this happening.
Post by starlingqueen on Sept 29, 2013 9:03:26 GMT
Maybe you can get a shelf perch for her. I have an African grey who used to fall off his perch all the time but you have just made me realise he hasn't done it since we bought him a new cage. Not sure of the reason behind that though.
Sorry to hear this. How upsetting it must have been for you all. I would have also suggested flat-ish perches but you say you already have them. Did this happen at bedtime? Are the flat perches in roosting positions? I can't think of anything else. It does seem odd that Marge decided not to climb back...
I am also sorry to hear of this Nettles, obviously I can't contribute a professional opinion. I have notices that whilst Joey has claws he seldom grips the perch with them. Where the claw enters the foot there is a little pad under the foot, he uses this to rest on. Even when he is out cold that's what he uses. Does Marge have anything like that? I do hope it's nothing serious.
Click on Joey, let him take you to Oldpeckers blog,
When we got her birdguhl the breeder grabbed her with a small towel and her claws got caught. At the time I didn't realise they'd been ripped off but when we got home, she just had little dots of dried blood on her toes and the claws never grew back I think the reason she didn't just climb back up was because Melman was still flapping about at the top of the cage and her panic instinct was to fly too..? They have a flat shelf type perch starlingqueen but neither of them use it. I'm glad your African grey seems to have grown out of the falling. Maybe there's hope for Marge yet Yes sweetpea it was at bedtime. Their cage was already partially covered and their night light was on. They'd been fast asleep for hours.. Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean by "roosting positions" It's at the top of the cage but facing a different direction to the main one she sleeps on. I could move it though if you think it might help?
I haven't noticed a pad on her feet OP but I'll check. I remember one of the pics you'd posted of Joey sleeping and I noticed his claws weren't gripping the perch at all. Now that I come to think of it, Melman doesn't really grip the perch either. I really hope it's nothing serious Apart from the falling, there doesn't appear to be anything else wrong!
We tried loads of pet shops beforehand and none of the birds looked healthy The "breeder" was the only local one we could find and it seemed to us like he knew what he was talking about.. As we had run out of suitable places to buy budgies from, we bought from him. Since joining this forum, I've discovered that much of what he told us was false! He clearly didn't know as much about budgies as he led us to believe..
Apart from possibly causing her to fall off her perch, Marge's missing claws don't seem to effect her at all.
While mostly they will just sit on a perch and balance is enough, the loss of those claws I feel could be a very good reason for her falling off - if she tilts forward or back while asleep, those claws would come into their own and keep her on the perch. I have had a little experience of how important the claws are - when Smudge was quite young she would often get her claws caught in a dress that I wore around the house quite a lot. She was my first hen and I wasn't aware that hens' claws are generally sharper than the cocks'. Anyway, I thought I was helping her out by taking the very, very tip off so she didn't keep getting caught as she would try to pull away and then get a little panicked when she couldn't ..... I thought she may rip a claw out in her efforts. Anyway, what I found then on, until that tiny tip grew back, was that she was inclined to slide off my shoulder and would have to flutter about to stay on. It was the tiniest bit that I took off; I was amazed at the difference that little bit made.
This could well the reason for their night frights earlier on too. Melman would be freaking out thinking Marge had been attacked, and Marge would be half asleep wondering what the hell just happened!
It's amazing how a slightly shorter claw can make such a difference!
I thought it was all her front claws that were missing but I had a closer look earlier and it's the longer toe on each foot that the claws are missing from. She just has a very tiny claw on the shorter toe. She wouldn't turn round to let me see the rear ones but from what I can remember, they're fine.
I think it was samwiseg who suggested a while ago that the night frights could be one of them falling off the perch.. I hadn't seen it happen the other times as I'd been in bed but after seeing it for myself, it seems that suggestion was absolutely spot on!
Regardless of the night light, Marge's poor flying abilities means she can't make her way back up to the top as quickly as she'd like when she's panicked.
Interesting re connection with these night frights. As you might have read i have recently put a plastic covered baby changing mat at bottom of Berry's cage as he has frequent falls and I am trying to reduce chances of him properly hurting himself. Maybe this would reduce chances for Marge as well, and also noise and general commotion? I know you said that she normally climbs back up but didn't on this recent occasion for some reason. This may not be useful but do they have a ladder in the cage? Might it help if there was a ladder from floor to first perch?
Thanks birdguhl! I actually did read about the changing mat but couldn't remember who posted it and the search thing on my phone is rubbish.
During the day when she falls, she wakes up just as she looses her balance. She's already started flapping her wings so by the time she reaches the bottom her landing is softened.. The other night though she must have been fast asleep and landed with such a loud thump on the plastic base As you say, not only would it protect her more but it would reduce the noise factor!
They had a ladder higher up the cage but I removed it as neither of them went near it. I'll put it in again at the base and hopefully she'll attempt it if she needs it.
Sorry, I can't remember if you said what causes Berry to fall.. Is he ok? Or is it just something he does?
Hi, Berry is the happiest wee bud in the world but unfortunately he has Beak and Feather Disease (caused by circovirus) and so he has abnormal plumage and no long feathers so therefore can't fly. Sometimes I think he forgets he can't fly and launches himself in their big cage and plummets straight to the floor (like us falling 4 levels as cage is big). Sometimes he just misjudges a jump and ends up there too. It struck me after I got the baby mat that another way would be to get a piece of foam cut to size to fit in the bottom and cover it with newspaper. Or even wrap foam in cling film then cover with newspaper (but I think only if they can be relied on not to seek out and nibble same, other plastic covered mat better.) Mine have never taken to ladders either - very suspicious and avoidant. Here is pic of my wee Berry Boy: