close up head shot white disabled budgie

What is a Suitable Perch for a Disabled Parakeet?

Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing

Vee B. is seeking a disabled parakeet perch.

Hi, I’ve rescued a disabled parakeet named Henry.

He was malnourished when he was young and the vet believes that’s why over time he has lost the ability to clutch anything with his feet.

In addition, the prior owner had his wings clipped incorrectly so he can’t fly either.

Consequently, he spends all his life on the bottom of the cage, with his bird buddies often pooping on him and he can only scoot along the sides of the cage using his beak to clutch the cage.

He gets very little sleep because just as he nods off, head leaning on the cage, he loses his balance and wakes up. I am desperate to give this little guy some quality of life… is there any kind of perch he might be able to shuffle into that would allow him to sit balanced in it and sleep?

Thank you so much for your help!

Dear Vee

Thank you for helping this little bird have a good life. Unfortunately, birds, pets with handicaps, illnesses, injuries are all different, and finding the setup that will work for one bird may not work for the next one.

So you will have to do some trial and error arrangements until you find the ones that work.

Is the bird in a community cage with other keets? 

Are you finding any aggression from them?

How large is the cage? How tall is it? Have you considered a small cage just for him? Is it tame?

Have you tried rope perches? Can he pull himself along one at all? Are his feet basically useless? Any gripping at all?

Sorry for so many questions and I have even more, but more details, pictures would be helpful as I would only be guessing and throwing out ideas that may not even be in the right arena.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Hi, Catherine.

Henry isn’t tame so he doesn’t wish to hang out with you, or I would suggest you try to put him in your shirt pocket or even a small tub near you while you work at your desk or watch TV as that might appeal to him.

But as it is not tame, I assume it wants to be where the other birds are and that makes it harder on him. The tall cage has to be difficult, both mentally and physically for him ashe can never be up high where the other bird goes. 

Does the other bird just share the cage or does it try to go down to be with Henry?

I am assuming that he is basically ignored.

How old is the bird? You’re mentioning him sleeping with his head against the cage side and falling once he falls asleep concerns me.

He may do better in a very short cage like a hamster cage. Or even an open-topped tub or aquarium. Then all things would be on the bottom of his home and easier to get around. Perhaps a small mirror mounted where he can see it will be appreciated by him so he has a buddy at his level. That would help him not be lonely.

I look forward to seeing some pictures of him, his cage and the surrounding area, the other birds.

Catherine,

Thanks so much for your response.  While somewhat friendly, Henry isn’t tame and gets quite stressed if he has to be moved, for cleaning the cage and such. He is actually owned by my housemate and I’ve just come to love him as well and have noticed his sleeping issues (I have insomnia as well so, birds of a feather, lol).

He’s in what I would consider a medium-sized cage (about 2 ft square and maybe 3 ft tall) with one other parakeet.

They seem to get along fine and there are other birds in cages around him as well for the company.

He has no gripping power at all with his feet at this point so they are kind of useless, so he uses his beak to grab the side of the cage and kind of slide along, but it is a challenge for him and often loses his balance.

Stepping up onto anything I think would be pretty impossible for him.

Maybe he just needs something on the side of the cage to prop his head against when he wants to sleep that would help him keep his balance?

I will take some pics of him and his cage this evening and send them along.

Thanks so much I’m advance for any suggestions you may have 😌

Hi, Catherine-just wanted to thank you again for your advice and give you an update. I noticed he seemed to be breathing really hard and I mentioned it to my housemate. She observed it too and took him to the vet today and they confirmed he was not in good health and the most kind thing to do was to let little Henry go and she did.

I’m really sad because he was so sweet but I’m also relieved… I was concerned about his quality of life without knowing about any additional issues, so I’m glad a professional intervened to help my housemate make the best decision for Henry. Bless you, for taking the time to respond to me and for doing what you can to help those of us who want to help, but don’t always know what to do.

Warm Regards,

Vee

Dear Vee

I am very sorry to hear that the little one didn’t make it. It was not for your lack of trying to make his life better

Catherine

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