Sun conure having trouble perching

(New Jersey)

My 19-year-old Sun Conure's right foot no longer curls fully around his perches or when he is climbing. As a result, his grip is weaker and he falls a couple of times per day with no injury thus far, as best I can tell. Other changes I've noticed over the past few months include sleeping more and the tips of his tail and wing feathers becoming yellow (rather than blue and green, respectively). But he is still an active and very affectionate bird!

I do have an appointment with an avian vet soon, but would appreciate another opinion. Thanks!

Comments for Sun conure having trouble perching

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Jul 13, 2012
Conure with perching problem
by: Tracie

What the vet suggested for Metacam sounds good to me, but I am not an avian vet, sorry.

Jul 13, 2012
owner reply
by: Anonymous

Thanks, Tracie. The vet said the most likely cause of the perching problems is arthritis--there's no fracture, he doesn't seem to be in pain, and since my bird has always had one or two toes that didn't quite function properly, it is possible that he can't compensate as well now that he's older. The vet gave us Metacam to try and see if his foot improves, and if not to come back for an x-ray. The vet also suggested that we add more vegetables to his diet, which we will do.

I've been trying to research Metacam before giving it to my bird--advice on this would be useful! The vet said to administer 1 drop per day, then reduce the frequency to the the lowest effective dose if it seems to help.

Jul 11, 2012
Conure trouble perching and feather changes
by: Tracie

I am sooo glad you have an appointment with an avian vet, because Dr B can not tell anything without an exam and talking to you about diet etc.

It sounds like a nutritional problem, and that lack of proper nutrition may have caused a tumor or disease. You didn't mention how you feed your bird, so it is hard to say. Feather color change is usually nutritional, but it could be feed or a disease that is keeping the vitamins from being absorbed.

If your bird is eating a cheap pellet like ZuPreem or others full of sugar and chemicals, or doesn't eat pellets at all, then nutrition will be part of the problem for sure.

If your bird needs to switch to a high quality pellet, then once your bird is well read our Switching Birds To Pellets article and purchase Harrison's or Roudybush pellets. Make pellets 80% of the bird's diet for optimum health.

Once you have the results back from your avian vet, please share them here and Dr B will be able to then give you a second opinion if you need it.

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