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Old 08-17-2020, 01:58 AM
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Angry Mutilated feathers and tail from flight feather "trim"

I went to a pet store I trust and have gotten wing clippings for my smaller birds who have a higher risk of escapingg from some parts of the house. Today when I went in to get my budgies wing trimmed there was a new employee. I instructed him to only trim a few flight feathers and he said he was able to do so, no problem. He went to the back of the store to trim them and came back with badly CUT feathers, not just the flight feathers!!!! AND HIS TAIL WAS GONE!!!

When asked why he did what he did despite the instructions, he said "he will sit on your shoulders well". When asked do you usually cut the tail during feather trimmings he responded with a vague "yes sometimes we cut across".

Now I am extremely worried about the budgie hurting himself badly with a crash which was never something I intended. My intention was safety, which has become even more of an issue than it was before.

What can I do to help him grow his feather back better and is there even a hope of all his feathers coming back? I have heard of feeding them egg/eggshells for more protien. How do I feed him that and how often do I do that. What else can I do to fix the issue. I can try lining the cage with a soft towel to reduce the impact of a fall but I have a cockateil who shares the cage with my poor budgie and is a little hormonal. Will it be okay to line the cage?

I have learnt my lesson of not getting the wings trimmed from there again, will be going to a vet to get it done. Please don't shame me for the wing clippings as it was done purely for safety reasons.
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Old 08-17-2020, 02:40 AM
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Re: Mutilated feathers and tail from flight feather "trim"

Oh my goodness, that employee really did a hatchet job on that poor baby didn't he?! I'm so sorry this has happened to the two of you. As for that tail...I wonder if it might have been inadvertently pulled out if your budgie attempted to escape and the employee made a grab for him? I once accidentally pulled out virtually all of my budgie's tail feathers when trying to catch him to give him his meds. Tail feathers tend to come out relatively easily, it seems to be a defence mechanism evolved to help them escape if a predator happens to catch them.

The flight feathers should all grow back when he has his next moult, so that will depend on how long ago his last moult was. Generally, birds moult flight feathers once a year at the end of breeding season, so late spring or early summer, but that schedule may vary. Feeding extra protein helps feathers to grow once they have naturally been shed, but I don't believe it will help your bird shed those damaged feathers any faster. He shouldn't be able to do too much damage to himself while caged (unless it's a particularly tall cage), but you certainly will need to ensure he doesn't try to take off from any great height or crash into any hard flooring in the meantime.

You may also want to let that store's manager know what a state their employee has left your bird in. My local bird vet publishes a pamphlet and makes it available to pet stores and bird owners so that they may avoid problems just like this and I have attached it here...

https://www.brisbanebirdvet.com.au/w...-Wing-Clip.pdf

...perhaps you could pass it on to them for future reference so they don't damage someone else's bird too.

Hopefully some other members will weigh in with some more advice for you soon. I'm sorry you are going through this and I wish you all the very best in keeping him safe.
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:03 AM
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Re: Mutilated feathers and tail from flight feather "trim"

Thankyou so much, I will be going back to the petstore and talk to the owner personally and show him wht his employee has done, and thankyou so much for the pdf file, i will definately take it and hand it to the owner. thankyou again. its very upsetting to see my once chirpy singing all day kind of baby just sitting quietly and preening. it must have been quite traumatic.. He is still tusting us to handle him, and willingly steps up (we make sure to not push against their chest because i want him to step up when he wants to, not when i demand), but i think ill let him be inside his cage for a while to calm down and collect himself.

I did take him out once and he perched on my finger and preened my beard, kind of made me feel worse.

Last edited by sadhman3; 08-17-2020 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 08-17-2020, 09:28 AM
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Re: Mutilated feathers and tail from flight feather "trim"

Truly great information and document provided above.
Over trimming of flight feathers is one of the most common complaints heard from pet store grooming.

When extensive feather replacement occurs, it places huge demands on the energy stores of the body. That requires the need for a very healthy diet to support the body and keep the Bird healthy during this period.

When such an extensive replacement of the full flight feathers on all three surfaces, it is very possible that it may require two full molting cycles before all feathers are replaced. With larger Parrots, it can take as long as two to three years to fully replace such a loss.

What that employee did to your Parrot was to take a flighted Bird and create a dropped rock. The suggestions regarding creating soft landing is very important. The dangers your Bird faces are very serious.

FYI: The only thing I would add to the document provided above would be to always cut away from the body, never toward the body!
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Old 08-17-2020, 12:31 PM
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Re: Mutilated feathers and tail from flight feather "trim"

Poor baby!!!
I am so sorry

I sometimes debate about whether I should get my budgies trimmed, because I would be devastated if they did manage to get through the front door and off the screened porch..
But then I remember the day one of them took a heavy bath, and ended up soaked through. He kept trying and trying to fly but just landing straight on the ground. I had to put him away to keep him safe until he dried off because he would not accept that he couldn't fly.

The idea of having one confused and stifled like that for *months* instead of minutes is so heart breaking. I hope he recovers well!!
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Old 08-18-2020, 01:30 AM
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Re: Mutilated feathers and tail from flight feather "trim"

Update: went to the petstore to talk to the manager, he said that this is how its done, even tho i took my other budgie at it CLEARLY wasnt done this bad of a job. The manage then proceeded to say that we usually cut about 8-10, here he went a little over board, but its fine its not perfect but its fine. HE THEN ACTUALLY OFFERED TO TRIM MORE TO MAKE IT LOOK "NICER". he asked what it is that we want, we said not much, just want you to educate your employees on how to trim properly, so this doesnt happen to other pet owners in the future. He said he will talk to his employee, but then said just because someone did a bad job once doesnt mean he doesnt know how to trim wings. He further mentioned that they dont take insturctions from customers on how to trim the wings, and if he was there taking my request to only trim the first 4 flight feathers, he wouldve refused service. He said the bird is in no danger, the wing doesnt do anything for balance.. the tail he said shouldve never been touched, and

This is in sydney, Birdsville petstore located in Alexandria. Im thinking of reporting them to some sort of authority for their neglegence, i went through their google review, and im not the first. I wish i had seen those reviews before... If anyone knows who to contact in NSW asutralia over this please let me know. thanks.

I have also lined the bottom of my cage with towels to help with his landing. the aparetment is carpeted so the floor isnt much of an issue, but making sure he doesnt try to jump from high surfaces. I will alsobe including eggs in his diet to help with wing/feather gowth come his next molt.
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Old 08-18-2020, 02:26 AM
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Re: Mutilated feathers and tail from flight feather "trim"

Wow, well I must say I'm surprised your concerns were addressed by the store manager in that manner. You mentioned that you will be taking your bird to the vet next time you need trimming done, so definitely raise it with them because they would probably be quite interested to know. You could try contacting the NSW Department of Fair Trading for advice but otherwise, vote with your feet and take your future business elsewhere!
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Old 08-18-2020, 07:43 AM
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Exclamation Re: Mutilated feathers and tail from flight feather "trim"

took him to the vet a little while ago, the doctor was quite shocked seeing what has happened, and said the tail feathers were pulled out due to misshandling during the trim, she said they must have pulled the bird out holding the tail or something along that line must have happened as the tail doesnt look like its been trimmed upon further inspection. she said it may take upto a year for the tail feathers to come back and mentioned imping, but unfortunately not possible on our little louie as the tail feathers were pulled out and there is nothing left to hold the implants in. I mentioned to the vet about the pet store, and they said they will be going for a visit and teaching them on how to do it. she is also giving me a signed and written professional opinion letter, which i most likely will be sending to RSPCA.

Health wise louie is fine, nothing seems to have been damaged, he might be a little traumatised. The vet suggested i put him in a smaller cage for a while to minimise injuries. Basically i have to pick between a depressed bird or an injured bird..
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Last edited by sadhman3; 08-18-2020 at 07:46 AM. Reason: added an image
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Old 08-18-2020, 04:44 PM
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Re: Mutilated feathers and tail from flight feather "trim"

Deary me, that wing really is a mess! Imping is generally done to restore the flight feathers in pet birds rather than the tail. I've had it done on a much larger bird because we have hard floors and I was genuinely worried he might seriously damage himself if he crash landed. It was hugely successful and he was flying virtually straight away, but as your original goal here was to restrict flight it's probably not a path you'd necessarily want to go down. Honestly though I think Louie will recover. Budgies are such resilient and cheerful little souls and hopefully your boy will be back to his usual chirpy self soon.

I'm glad your bird vet says they will try to educate the pet store manager so that at least some other poor unfortunate won't have to go through this experience!
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Old 08-18-2020, 09:24 PM
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Re: Mutilated feathers and tail from flight feather "trim"

Quote: Originally Posted by LaManuka View Post
Deary me, that wing really is a mess! Imping is generally done to restore the flight feathers in pet birds rather than the tail. I've had it done on a much larger bird because we have hard floors and I was genuinely worried he might seriously damage himself if he crash landed. It was hugely successful and he was flying virtually straight away, but as your original goal here was to restrict flight it's probably not a path you'd necessarily want to go down. Honestly though I think Louie will recover. Budgies are such resilient and cheerful little souls and hopefully your boy will be back to his usual chirpy self soon.

I'm glad your bird vet says they will try to educate the pet store manager so that at least some other poor unfortunate won't have to go through this experience!
yes, honestly thats all my partner and I really want. I am really glad we found this vet, the doctors there take really good care of all the pets that walk in. I would honestly reccomend THE WILD VET to anyone living in the Sydney region.
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