Senior Conure with some coordination issues

highergroove

New member
May 20, 2022
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Hi, My conure is almost 28 years old and about 6 months ago I noticed him on the bottom of his cage and he was acting like he couldn't climb back up (3-4 feet) to his perch/nest box where is normally is. I picked him up and then he seemed fine so I thought maybe he just wanted to be down there. I found him down there again about a month or so later. I figured he is just getting old and losing his balance so I ended up placing some shade cloth and cut his cage in half so if he fell again, he wouldn't fall far. I have found him on the bottom (18" above his perch now) at least once, maybe twice. He does seem to prop himself at times next to his nest box but a lot of times he is totally free and moves all over his cage just fine. I have noticed he tilt his head to the side to drink water and sometimes while he is just sitting there but it's not all the time. He also sleeps a lot more and I notice him dozing off during the day, and doing funny mouth movements like he is snoring or like an old person. He is eating very well and generally seems in good health. I am wondering if maybe he had a stroke or this is just part of him getting old - or if I should maybe take him to the vet. When I called them they said it could be a number of things but there may not be a lot they can do about it. It's been 6 months or so now soi I don't believe it's an infection and it's not gettign any worse. Anyone out there have very senior birds and have experienced this? Thoughts?
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
1,440
2,152
Yes. I had a 24 y.o. Quaker, Lucy, who had been hurt when she was little. She had a bad leg and couldn’t fly. In the last years of her life she got clumsy and stiff and couldn’t get around her cage very well. I saw her fall a couple of times. I lowered everything in her cage and tried lots of things until I found what she could balance on best.

Lucy liked to perch on a ladder that was horizontally across her cage. I put hooks on both ends of the ladder so it was secure. I also had a triangular corner perch that she loved. I put this a bit higher in her cage for a security and watching post.

I also had given Lucy a big heated perch that was wrapped in vet wrap so she could held onto it, and a block heater in back of her cage by the porch. She loved the heaters. At first, I put hand towels over her cage grate when I saw she couldn’t climb across it very well. Later I bought chuck pads (like they put on hospital beds) and wrapped her grate in those so she wouldn’t fall through. I changed those every 2-3 days.

Before Lucy was as stiff, she had some bigger perches either wrapped in vetwrap or roughened with a file so she could hold on better. She could not grip much with het left foot as a toddler had accidentally broken her leg when she was young. I checked the bottoms of her feet for hotspots as she did put pressure on certain spots.

There you go! A whole adaptive cage.

Does that help? Is there anything else about the cage that he has trouble with?
Bless you for loving and taking care of your little old man. Do you have any photos?
 
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highergroove

New member
May 20, 2022
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Yes. I had a 24 y.o. Quaker, Lucy, who had been hurt when she was little. She had a bad leg and couldn’t fly. In the last years of her life she got clumsy and stiff and couldn’t get around her cage very well. I saw her fall a couple of times. I lowered everything in her cage and tried lots of things until I found what she could balance on best.

Lucy liked to perch on a ladder that was horizontally across her cage. I put hooks on both ends of the ladder so it was secure. I also had a triangular corner perch that she loved. I put this a bit higher in her cage for a security and watching post.

I also had given Lucy a big heated perch that was wrapped in vet wrap so she could held onto it, and a block heater in back of her cage by the porch. She loved the heaters. At first, I put hand towels over her cage grate when I saw she couldn’t climb across it very well. Later I bought chuck pads (like they put on hospital beds) and wrapped her grate in those so she wouldn’t fall through. I changed those every 2-3 days.

Before Lucy was as stiff, she had some bigger perches either wrapped in vetwrap or roughened with a file so she could hold on better. She could not grip much with het left foot as a toddler had accidentally broken her leg when she was young. I checked the bottoms of her feet for hotspots as she did put pressure on certain spots.

There you go! A whole adaptive cage.

Does that help? Is there anything else about the cage that he has trouble with?
Bless you for loving and taking care of your little old man. Do you have any photos?
Thank you so much! This helps in validating it's likely old age and not something neuro going on. I didn't think to wrap his perches but that is a great idea!~ He climbs the cage bars still too and seems ok with that using his beak. I just want him to be comfortable in his last years :)
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
1,440
2,152
Thank you so much! This helps in validating it's likely old age and not something neuro going on. I didn't think to wrap his perches but that is a great idea!~ He climbs the cage bars still too and seems ok with that using his beak. I just want him to be comfortable in his last years :)
I’m glad it helps! Yes, birds get stiff and creaky, too.

If you see your senior bird with debris on his feathers, you may need to help him clean up. Lucy could not reach anymore in her last couple of years. Plain water or diluted baby shampoo works pretty well.
 

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