Three Week Old Budgie with bruised (?) leg

Aerial

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Sep 20, 2019
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Hello,
I'm hoping for some advice. I went to get a budgie from what I didn't realize was a breeder, or rather a lady who had a clutch of budgies.

I noticed the bird in the photo had in injured foot. I told her the bird needed to go to the vet (our vets are closed) and she said she'd give him to me for free and give me the brother/sister bird instead.

So on my way home, I realized I was so flustered by the whole situation I forgot to ask how old they are and she just texted me that they are 3 weeks old.

I thought I was getting an older, hand raised bird and walked right into a sketchy breeding situation. I couldn't leave the birds there and now I don't really know what I'm doing. I've read that they should stay with their parents until 7-8 weeks and also that you can take them away at 3 weeks and hand feed them.

I've never hand fed a baby bird, they are eating seed and egg pellets (maybe, it's hard to tell with beaks that fast) but this baby has a bruised foot and needs to rest, not be bothered by an amateur.

Can someone please tell me the FACTS on if this little bird is OK eating seed and chop and egg pellets or if I need to hand feed formula? She/he's already very tame and so is her brother/sister so I wouldn't be hand feeding to tame them.

The woman was very rough with them and had a canary who had a injured let, she told me he'd been that way for a year. She also had a disabled child who was grabbing the birds. I believe the baby bird had their sharp nails caught in something and was grabbed too roughly and that is how her foot was injured.

HELP!

I just took them from their parents not realizing they were only 3 weeks old.

Thank you for any help.
 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Welcome to you and your hapless budgies! I'd characterize your actions as merciful rescue, these birds are safer in your custody than with indiscriminate breeder. I have no budgie experience and cannot evaluate feeding at three weeks. Please check linked thread for advice and excuse some of the purposely harsh language. https://www.parrotforums.com/threads/so-you-bought-an-unweaned-baby.74363/

Can you post images to help members evaluate their age and needs - nothing the breeder states ought be accepted at face value!!
 

LaManuka

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Truly dreadful to think of the conditions these poor unfortunate little souls have endured thus far. Apologies that I am also not familiar with hand-feeding regimes, but if I was in a similar position I would be making tracks for my bird vet for health checks, advice and support asap. Below is a link that may help you locate one in your vicinity, just in case you are not already familiar with one......


I hope your little ones pull through, I certainly think they stand a much better chance now that they are in your care!
 
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Aerial

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Thank you both, I came to the same conclusions about nothing she told me being true and made a vet appointment and looked up photos of three week old budgies and I’m pretty sure there is no way they hatched three weeks ago. Here’s a photo of the one with the hurt leg. He’s fully feathered. No pin feathers.

He’s not three weeks old, right? That’s his brother/sister behind him.

I’m tempted to go back and get the rest of those birds. It seems like in reality there are very few people that should have pet birds. It’s heartbreaking.

They will be easy to tame and I’m also now having the clip or don’t clip wings debate with myself. They aren’t very talented fliers yet but if I clip their wings they won’t get to practice. The one with the hurt foot shouldn’t be flying anyway because of the landing possibly hurting his foot more. My son and I are considering covering the floor of his room with soft comforters and letting the not hurt one learn to fly safely in there along with the two vet checked rescue budgies we have that will never be tame - we think they should get to fly. One is clipped but I’ll let his wings grow back. Is that a bad idea for any reason I’m not thinking of?

I coming to see that birds belong in the wild, not in houses. But we still must care for the ones we have.

Sad...thanks for any advice on my budgies’ age and free flight idea.
EFD21FD6-B231-4B5C-BC11-71FE8947FF94.jpeg
 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Thanks for setting up vet appointment, deep respect for your philosophy! If you have the means to rescue the remaining captives, consider yourself a hero!!

Clip vs unclipped an ageless debate with cogent arguments either way. I'd lean towards unclipped for fledglings as beneficial for physiological and emotional development. Once mature you can apply individual circumstances for future consideration!

My uneducated guess suggests they are greater than 3 weeks considering feathering. Your vet can better assess wounded foot, hopefully nothing more than sprain/soft tissue damage that will fully heal.
 

Kitekeeper

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Welcome Aerial,

Thanks for the picture! Yes, be sure they are older than 3 weeks, possibly 3 months old but not older than that. You can be sure they are young as their head stripes go all the way to the cere (nose). Adults will have a clear forehead. Also their eyes are still all black (without the usual adult white ring) which is a baby feature.

I also support your idea to go back and buy them all. I know we are not able to support any suffering creature of the world, but once I meet one I kind of feel it´s my duty to do (of course if I have the means to help it) ;) .

Maybe the person that sold you the budgies was not the person who took care of them since they were born. She might have got confused and said they were three weeks old instead of three months old...

I agree with Scott regarding the wing clipping at that point. I am not against it, in fact it can be a way to keep them safer if they are not yet too much used to the new home. Considering they are still young, it might be wiser to let them fully develop before clipping and allow them to practice flight.
 
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Aerial

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Thank you all. I’ve emailed her and am now making a plan to go pick up the parents and the last remaining baby who is much smaller and hopefully going to be OK. She does have pin feathers.

Now I have another question:
Since I’m about to have a “breeding pair” is the only way to prevent another clutch is to separate them or will lack of a nest keep them from breeding?
I’ll research more on that later, but a short answer now would be amazing! I now I have to set up another cage and drive back to the city.

She also has a canary “situation” if anyone in Edmonton, Alberta has the means to rescue those.

I feel so badly for these birds, but lucky to have them.

Thanks for all of your help. Our Conure is not impressed with the new additions but the rest of the family is delighted! The Conure is sitting on his perch quacking at them. His best friend is a budgie who speaks perfect English and Conure but he’s still, not impressed.
 

Kitekeeper

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Since I’m about to have a “breeding pair” is the only way to prevent another clutch is to separate them or will lack of a nest keep them from breeding?

No need to separate them, just don´t put a nestbox in the cage. Soon it is going to be autumn in Alberta and they will reduce their sexual hormones. The pair may eventually have sex but without the nestbox there is a good chance the female will not produce eggs.

Thanks for rescuing the whole family :) :)

Sorry, I am way too far to reach that canary...:confused:
 

fiddlejen

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Thank you for taking these budgies, it sounds like they will have a good life with you!

Regarding clipping -- my first two budgies Jefferson and Calliope, came from the petstore with clipped wings. Around the time they were starting to fly I had an injury, and had to clip their wings twice more. Well Jefferson was quite upset about that, he wants nothing more in the world than to fly. But he got over it, and both he and Calliope fly perfectly well, quite stunning flyers actually.

Just to say, budgie feathers grow back Very quickly and if you need to clip them once or twice while getting adjusted to your home, or healing from injry, it should Not do them any lasting harm.
 
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Aerial

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Thank you all for your kind replies and help. Our baby budgie is still small and weak but her parents are feeding her and the vet found no medical issues. The vet gave us meticam for the one with the bruised leg and she is now putting weight on it and improving!

I gave our wild budgies their first “free flight” time in a safe room with vaulted ceilings and one left the cage briefly and then returned, the other one never left the cage I believe. Every time I checked on them they were happily in the cage with the door open. I will try again but I guess I can let go of “cage guilt” on those two!

Everyone one is well and our house is full of happy budgie sounds. Thanks again! This forum is so amazing.
 

LaManuka

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Thank you for the awesome update - this is all excellent news! Nothing like a house full of happy budgie sounds :) My Val loves nothing more than to sit in his cage with the door wide open and sing to his little heart's content. I shoo him out to get a bit of exercise every now and then but otherwise he's a bit of a perch potato, albeit a very vocal and happy one.

I'm so glad these little ones have found a wonderful forever home with you! :D
 

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