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Old 08-14-2019, 03:00 PM
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Question How Long till She Flies?

When I got my Sunny in Mid-March she had been clipped pretty drastically. At that point she was mostly green on her back & wings.
A lot of her feathers have changed to yellow since then, and when she jumps she flutters Ė straight down, but fluttersórather than falling like a stone.
But sheís still really not even gliding, much less getting lift.

Iíve had the budgies clipped twice already in that time and, based on Jeffersonís avowed determination to fly, might need to get them clipped again soon. The second clipping was partly necessitated by the budgies Flying Inside their Cage -(NOT merely wing-assisted jumps)- which is definitely too small for such activity.

And this is why Iím wondering when Sunny will fly. Her cage right now is Perfect for her. It is reasonably large, and itís tall. It has two platforms to catch her when she falls. (She falls occasionally, although less than at first, due to a bum claw.) She only uses the top two-thirds of the cage. Iíve been looking at a larger cage that would be really nice but it does Not have platforms. Which, at this point she still needs.

Sunnyís cage would also be perfect for 2 Flying Budgies. Several times I almost ordered a duplicate for them. But, Iím not sure if Sunnyís cage will be sufficient once she starts flying. It Might be, in which case I will need a second cage, of the same type, for the budgies. But on the other hand, once she flies, she should be able to catch herself if she falls, right? And at that point, she may need more wingspace to move around. This is why Iíve been looking at the larger, more expensive, platform-less cage for Sunny. IF I get her a larger cage, then the budgies can just have Sunnyís current cage. It would be perfect for the both of them.

But until they have a larger cage to move into I will need to keep the budgies clipped. So Iím starting to wonder when I can expect Sunny to fly. I got her in March, and she came Very clipped, and she will be a year old in late September. Shouldnít she be flying soon?
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Old 08-24-2019, 12:48 AM
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Re: How Long till She Flies?

Like a human child who hasn't been allowed to use their legs for any kind of self-transport since the first day they learned to walk, and has since grown larger and heavier while their muscles and bones have only got smaller and weaker, how long it takes will depend on how badly stunted her physical development is and how much practice she does now that her flight feathers are functional again. It sounds like she has the know-how, confidence and desire for flight, so all she needs is more practice to build up her aerobic fitness, muscular mass and neuro-muscular connections.

Budgies in the wild are nomadic and spend almost every waking hour in flight, not even landing when they fly low to take a gulp of water mid-flight. Their respiratory system is highly efficient to make this possible, so like all animals whose primary mode of transportation is flight, flying is the only exercise that's physically demanding enough to make them use their lungs to their full capacity. So it doesn't matter if they're climbing and walking all day, no flying still means no aerobic exercise. Getting zero aerobic exercise is bad enough for all the same cardiovascular and neurochemical reasons it's bad for humans, but for birds, getting insufficient weight-bearing exercise is devastating too, because it results in a) low bone density, which makes their already hollow bones even more fragile as well as preventing females from using their calcium stores to form a healthy egg, and b) poor muscle mass and neuro-muscular control, making it even harder for females to push out their weak calcium-deprived eggs. Lack of exercise is the main reason that life-threatening egg-binding is so much more common in captivity than in the wild.

I'm telling you this to explain why I think your budgies' current lack of exercise is a serious problem akin to two huskies being kept in single small room all day with no space to run. Buying a suitable cage for them today would not be a waste of money even if Sunny's cage became available tomorrow, because every day that their cage is so cramped there isn't even enough space to safely fly, and every day that you risk having to clip them again for their safety, is unacceptable. If that happens you can always sell the one you buy at what would only be a small loss as a slightly used item.

Last edited by Aspie_Aviphile; 08-24-2019 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 08-24-2019, 09:10 AM
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Re: How Long till She Flies?

I just saw this after my Penny update on her flying triumph!!! She is best guess abrvibfo giv j at rescue close to ten, it's taken her a year to learn to fly.
Has your bird gotten in all the flight feathers after the clip? My parakeets also change out flight feathers much faster than me other birds. Penny took about six months to get all her new flight feathers replaced.
I think Sailboat said it's the landings that make I an un-flighted bird afraid. And if they missed that fledging stage due to being clipped , they loose a lot of instinctual driven urge to learn. They also become emotionally stunted, lose confidence. It's so very important to let birds fledge fully before clipping wings if you must...
One thing to try if all flight feathers are in, is to make a game of short leaps to a soft surface like your bed. You might have to gently force this a bit, start just a couple inches from the bed, and slowly move a little higher, based on your birds take of this activity. It lets them know they can land without hurting. Most birds who never learned to fly also lack confidence to make even shirt hops between perches too. Penny had yet to learn the hop..
Good luck! Takes time!!! Read Sailboat blue sticky at the top of the Amazon forum, lost of great reading for shut down birds, and birds that can't fly ( I think I read there) anyway it's great reading for everyone regardless of the type of parrot you have.
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Old 08-24-2019, 10:09 AM
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Re: How Long till She Flies?

Yes, I had the same question as Laura: have you actually gotten the new feathers in yet?

Once the feathers are back, it’s just. A matter of time as aspie outlined above.
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Old 08-24-2019, 02:02 PM
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Re: How Long till She Flies?

I really recommend HowCast on youtube for parrot training videos. Here is a good one on learning how to fly:
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Old 08-24-2019, 05:12 PM
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Re: How Long till She Flies?

She actually does Not have her flight feathers back. That's kinda what I was wondering, the time frame for new flight feathers.

I got her in mid-March, and she's definitely swapped out a lot of the green feathers on her back for new yellow ones since then. But her wings are still rather short, very ragged & uneven.

So, I've been wondering when to expect those flight feathers might grow back.
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Old 08-24-2019, 05:23 PM
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Sunny Conure Monkeybird (hatch 9-2018); & pair-o-keets: Mr. Bossypants Jefferson (green stripey watchbudgie) & Miss Calliope the Housekeeping Albino Acrobat (both appx 11/2018)
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Re: How Long till She Flies?

Quote: Originally Posted by Aspie_Aviphile View Post
... Buying a suitable cage for them today would not be a waste of money even if....
Funny you should post this today, FedEx tells me their new cage is waiting for me at home right now. I will be heading home shortly to bring it in and put it together!
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Old 08-24-2019, 08:32 PM
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Re: How Long till She Flies?

Quote: Originally Posted by fiddlejen View Post
... I've been wondering when to expect those flight feathers might grow back.
The answer depends on when her last molt was.
Per the below link conures molt once a year, and the entire process takes 2 months.
A gradual molt makes sense because if all the feathers fell out together the bird couldn't fly or stay warm.

I suspect the actual time of the year when its molt occurs may depend on which hemisphere each conure lives in since the two hemisphere's seasons are reversed.
Perhaps molt time is also affected by how much artificial light it gets in your home, maybe temp, humidity, and diet ?????
Just saying ... when the molt actually occurs may might be predicted with great precision.

Green Cheek Conure Molting ? Understanding these cheeky conures
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Last edited by YSGC; 08-24-2019 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 09-02-2019, 02:21 PM
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Sunny Conure Monkeybird (hatch 9-2018); & pair-o-keets: Mr. Bossypants Jefferson (green stripey watchbudgie) & Miss Calliope the Housekeeping Albino Acrobat (both appx 11/2018)
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Re: How Long till She Flies?

Quote: Originally Posted by fiddlejen View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Aspie_Aviphile View Post
... Buying a suitable cage for them today would not be a waste of money even if....
Funny you should post this today, FedEx tells me their new cage is waiting for me at home right now. I will be heading home shortly to bring it in and put it together!
There were some problems - specifically, they sent the wrong cage at first - so it took longer than hoped, but the budgies have been living in their new cage about a week now. It's definitely better for them. Calliope is aware she can't fly, and waiting till the prior clipping grows out, but Jefferson is DETERMINED. There is plenty of space, and he makes full use of it, fluttering all the way up and down. Also when I open the doors
& put up their return-ladder, to give them the option to come out, the budgies tend to remain INside their new cage. (This is complete change from the prior cage.)

Now I'm just hoping that whenever Sunny finally grows new flight-feathers & starts flying, that her identical cage still remains sufficient for her. I THINK it will. The cages are pretty spacious, and the platforms really increase the usable space too.

Last edited by fiddlejen; 09-02-2019 at 02:26 PM.
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