Close up cockatiel with outstretch wings

How Can I Help My Cockatiel’s Broken Wing Heal?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Will, it ever heal so he can fly again?

If you can see the break you can use 2 very small cable ties and a coffee stir stick or cocktail straw as a splint to restrain the wing it then introduce the sock (below).

If it’s a fracture go straight to the sock.

Use an infants sock and cut a slot for the good wing.

Some say use vet wrap but if it’s to tight it will suffocate the bird.

This question comes to us from Quora – read more answers here


Slip it over the bird pulling the good wing through

This will restrict the broken wing.

Remove all perches high in the cage because the bird will not be able to easily balance itself and we don’t want it falling from up high because they will try to climb.

Lower a couple of close to the grate.

Add a couple of flat perches or shelves

Keep food and water on the grate.

Put a heater close to the cage to increase ambient air temperature

Have back up socks as the bird will chew them.

Will your bird ever fly again?

You won’t know for about 2 weeks.

Cockatiels long bones like their legs heal rapidly having no marrow.

I would advocate that your vet checks for osteoporosis.

How do you trim your cockatiels nails?

Another Quora question

Is it because when you’re handling the bird it’s feet are getting stuck on your clothing or similar scenarios?

We call that anthropomorphic behavior, in other words imparting human views upon a different species.

Assuming your motivation is anthropomorphic let’s look at the implications of this action.

Before I get into the meat of the question let’s assume for the sake of argument you really have no interest in doing the procedure yourself so you take your bird to the vet for a wing and toenail trimming.

You come home, everything is fine and at birdie bedtime, Mr. bundle of feathers goes into the same cage that he slept in last night.

You dutifully cover the cage and go about your business.

I need to do little a housekeeping here.

Wings are not only used for flight but they are used to slow birds down and with landing as well as for balance.

I’m sure you’ve seen a bird land on a perch but simply extend its wings momentarily until its feet were able to grip the landing perch.

A door slams, something is dropped on a hardwood floor.

This triggers night frights with your bird who starts flapping uncontrollably but has no handle on its balance.

It also cannot maintain a strong grip that pointed toenails offer.

The result is the bird falls from the top to bottom of the cage breaking a wing that gets caught on a toy on the way down.

I just wanted you to have that picture in your mind before we talk about nail trimming.

If you still feel the need to get at least the points removed off the toenails we advocate using a rotary tremor.

Many people have Dremels in their home already.

Simply towel the bird and begin to trim the nails.

We don’t ever advise trimming beaks because they are live organs with lots of nerves that can be easily damaged.

Many will say my bird will be freaked out by the sound of the rotary trimmer”.


To that, I offer Ann Castro one of our partner behaviorists and consultant to the German government who helps enforce the German animal welfare act.

The German Animal Welfare Act

Best of luck


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