29 year-old macaw doesn't grow flight feathers

I have a 29 year old blue and gold macaw. I've had him for about three years now. His left wing looks normal, but his right wing is completely void of flight feathers except for three or four at the tip of his wing. Needless to say he can't fly, nor have I ever witnessed him attempting it. I am unaware of the full details of his history. Could this be the result of some injury, or some procedure to permanently de-flight him? He's happy and healthy but I've always wondered why the flight feathers don't grow.

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Sep 06, 2011
by: Original Poster

I take him to my vet regularly to get his toenails trimmed. The vet always tells me that he looks to be in very good condition. I doubt it's nutritional because he has a very varied diet, he's active and talkative, and has sleek shiny feathers. I was unaware that someone could permanently remove the follicles, how and why would this be done?

Editor's note: It is a cruel surgery and there is not a good reason for why it is done.

Aug 31, 2011
Macaw without flight feathers
by: The Avian Vet

It could be an old injury, or someone permanently removed the follicles, it could be a bad wing clip that has not grown back, it could be nutritional deficiencies (are you feeding a pellet diet?) Have you had him examined by an avian veterinarian? If not, that would be my recommendation.

Dr B
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Switching Birds To Pellets article

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