Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing
How Can I Help My Cockatiel’s Broken Wing Heal? Will it ever heal so he can fly again?
NOTE: We do not advocate being your own avian vet except for emergencies when you cannot get the care you need.
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 then introduce the sock (below).
If it’s a fracture go straight to the sock.
Use an infant’s sock and cut a slot for the good wing.
Some say to use vet wrap but if it’s too tight it will suffocate the bird.
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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 it will try to climb.
Lower a couple of perches close to the bottom grate/cage floor.
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 backup socks as the bird will chew them.
Will your bird ever fly again?
You won’t know for about 2 weeks.
Cockatiel’s long bones like their legs heal rapidly having no marrow.
I would advocate that your vet checks for osteoporosis.
How do you trim your cockatiel’s nails?
Is it because when you’re handling the bird its 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 birdy 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 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 and 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 the strong grip that pointed toenails offer.
The result is the bird falls from the top to the 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 trimmer.
Many people have Dremels in their home workshops already.
Simply towel the bird and begin to trim the nails.
We won’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.
Best of luck