Wanted to get my bird checked up. He cannot fly and has a lot of feature loss. African Grey. 10 years atleast. By

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Customer: Hi wanted to get my bird checked up. He cannot fly and has a lot of feature loss.
JA: Hi there. I'll do all I can to help. What type of animal are we talking about?
Customer: African Grey
JA: How long has the African Grey been dealing with this?
Customer: 10 years atleast
JA: What environment do you keep the African Grey in? Does he interact with other pets or animals?
Customer: By himself. Plays with family.
JA: What's the African Grey's name?
Customer: Raja
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know?
Customer: We got him from a good friend who got him 10 years ago. They had him as is and never took him to a vet. I believe either his wings are clipped or cut off and the feathere loss could be a result of depression.
Answered by Jeanne Smith in 25 mins 2 years ago
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Jeanne Smith
Pet Specialist
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11,730 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Bird Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Avian Medicine, Poultry Veterinary Medicine

Welcome to JA. I'm Dr. Jeanne Smith. I'll do my best to help you with home support care and advice for the best course of action. Does Raja preen normally: calm, methodical? Does he act agitated or itchy with his feathers? Does he stop pleasurable activities to pick at his feathers?

Customer
He preans normally like other birds I used to have
Customer
He does not stop his activities to pick at his feathers
That makes it most likely a behavioral/mental/emotional cause. Those are very difficult to resolve. Is he a calm, easy going grry or does he seem to stress or startle eadi llh y?
Customer
He is calm, he does startle easily. He does play with us. Maybe he was not in a good mental place with his last owner.
Customer
Anyways, my main concern is why he cannot fly
Customer
I am not sure if his wings are clipped or cut. His owner of 10 years does not know as they did not get him check to a vet and they got him from someone else.
Can you send me photos of his wings held spread out?
Customer
That would be really hard because he would bite me if I hold his wings.
Customer
What else can you suggest I do ?
Wing trims last about 1 year at the most. Birds molt their flught feathers once a year starting in mid summer and ending in warly fall. So if you just got him he could have clipped wings but I can't tell without seeing them If you've had him long enough that a wing trim should have molted out by now I would guess that he's damaging his flight feathers.
Customer
The person before me is my friend and he honestly did not do anything to the wings for the past 10 years. It could be damaged. I tried to take a picture but was unsuccessful. The most I could do was the video. Hopefully you can see something here.
Customer
File attached (33PMQ74)
Customer
Actually I was able to get a few good shots of the wings.
he is damaging his flight feathers. After 10 years I doubt you'll be able to change this behavior. Things to try, though, are foraging toys where you hide a treat in things like paper bags or socks or cupcake paper cups or drill holes in untreated 2x4 s and stuff a nut inside the hole.
Put his cage where he can look out a window and put a bird feeder outside the window to entertain him.
Customer
The things you are suggesting, what are those going to help him with ? Mental issues ?
African greys are very intelligent and get bored easily. Giving him things to do might help alleviate boredom so he doesn't spend his time damaging his feathers.
Customer
I am asking because I want to see if a.) We can help him grow his floght fathers so he can fly and b.) We can regrow his other feathers as he looks like he lost 30% of his feathers and is practically bald in a lot of areas.
Customer
Makes sense, those are great tips.
Customer
Do we have anything else to try to make him fly again ? Should I take him outside on my lawn and let him roam around under supervision ?
Customer
Btw is it possible that there is some kind of pins that are not allowing him to fly like hair clips
You can make him wear a collar do he can't reach his feathers to damage them. He'd have to wear it until he molts the old damaged feathers out and new ones grow in. If your lawn has no fertilizer or pesticides in it, yes you can let him walk on it with supervision.
There would not be pins in his wings. I could see in your videos that he has significantly damaged his flight feathers.
I don't recommend collars because they are so stressful on the bird and they usually go right back to damaging their feathers when you take them off, but if you're determined for him to fly thst might be what it takes.
Customer
I wouldn't wanna give him more stress. I think I will keep him entertained and happy
Customer
Thanks a lot doctor. Appreciate a lot
You're welcome.
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