Missing flight feathers

by leighann

Hi I have just bought a 10 week old budgie from a pet store and I am worried because he cant fly - he has no flight feathers! also his tail feathers seem sparse

Is there somthing wrong with him? I am also worried because he sometimes falls off his perch and he might hurt himself. I would really appreciate some advice.

Kind regards


Comments for Missing flight feathers

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Jun 09, 2008
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your comments - i really appreciate it and we are taking him to get checked out tomorrow.


Jun 09, 2008
Possible Polyomavirus
by: The Vet

This could be a serious problem. Budgies present with polyomavirus and beak and feather disease virus. It may also be that he is over-clipped. Take him to see an avian veterinarian immediately.

Dr B

Jun 07, 2008
Re: Missing flight feathers
by: Anonymous

Are you certain about his age? Could he possibly be younger, and his flights haven't grown in yet? If he's younger, he may not be fully weaned and may need supplemental heat, as well. Call the pet shop for more info. You may need to return the bird there until he's older.

Are the feathers missing because they have been trimmed by the breeder or the pet shop? Those will grow back at normal molting time. (Don't force him to fly until his flights have regrown, usually by 6-8 months of age. You'll see him gripping a perch and fanning his wings, building muscle in anticipation of that day.)

Are they missing because they did not grow in, or they grew in too short or otherwise deformed? If so, I hope that this is the only hookbilled bird in your household. He may have been exposed to polyoma or to PBFD (psittacine beak and feather disease.) Either of these diseases would be of concern to a breeder or to someone with multiple pet birds, but a single pet budgie can be expected to live a nearly normal life span (10 - 15 years) with good palliative care.

That means nourishing food (including chopped fresh veggies), clean water for drinking and bathing (this helps soften feather sheaths) and a clean cage located away from any draft or chill air, and not in direct sunlight. It's also a good idea to cover the cage with a lightweight cloth at night.

Meanwhile, line the cage floor (on top of the grate) with fresh paper towels and place perches near the floor of the cage - but not high enough that he can get stuck under one.

The diameter of each perch should be large enough that he can grip it with his claws; the claws should not close on air underneath the perch. If he can't grip the perches, they (and the entire cage) may be designed for a smaller bird, such as a finch, and inappropriate for a budgie.

If the perches are large enough (but not too large!) and he doesn't grip them - back to the pet shop, please. They should have a heat lamp or a heating pad they can properly use to make him more comfortable.


Houston TX

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