Cockatiel missing tail feathers

niamhandori

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So i did get Koji a friend!
The new bird is in quarantine for the 30 days they are in separate rooms but i have already heard them calling to each other which i think is a good sign.
on the photos from online (i went private in hopes of not clipping wings)
they show the bird with long tail feathers. However having picked up the bird she/he doesn’t have tail feathers. He/She is also quite big!! much larger than Koji is. I’m wondering if this one is actually a little older. the guy said they are babies but because of social distancing we couldn’t ask questions because it was very quick to avoid contact.
Is it normal for a young cockatiel to have no tail feathers? This bird is parent reared and Koji is hand reared, does that make any difference in weight and size?
I just don’t know if this all is normal.
 

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Stinkie

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The tail feathers are broken, that happens sometimes with clipped birds (which this one is). You need to be careful now that he doesn't try to fly as he will go backwards and keep breaking his tail. Will probably be ok eventually but he will have a rough ride getting there. Are you in the UK? I've never heard of so many clipped birds.
 

niamhandori

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The tail feathers are broken, that happens sometimes with clipped birds (which this one is). You need to be careful now that he doesn't try to fly as he will go backwards and keep breaking his tail. Will probably be ok eventually but he will have a rough ride getting there. Are you in the UK? I've never heard of so many clipped birds.
yeah i am in the uk. on the photos he really didn’t look clipped though in really not an expert on spotting a clipped bird. he is very good at flying he’s better than my other 2 birds. I got my other 2 from different pet shops my 1st bird i didn’t know was clipped and he was my 1st and it took me about a week to work out he was clipped. the shop didn’t tell me or ask me. then my 2nd was from another shop that i trusted more and i believed they would also ask me which they didn’t so when i went to pick him up he tried to fly but couldn’t. this one was from a private seller who was a breeder again i had no idea they would clip him on the photos they had a full tail and seemed to have full flight feathers. i just feel horrible for them all since every time i’ve tried to avoid getting a clipped one it’s been to late but like i said he is very good at flying he’s not flying backwards i did some research on why he has no tail feathers and it said they can fly backwards but he is flying really really well
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
I will always advice any new bird to be taken to the vet with the tiel they should be tested for chlamydia as this can be a more common problem north of England. the vent remaining dirty may also be the reason if the damage to the tail feathers
 

niamhandori

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I will always advice any new bird to be taken to the vet with the tiel they should be tested for chlamydia as this can be a more common problem north of England. the vent remaining dirty may also be the reason if the damage to the tail feathers
ok as today is a bank holiday they aren’t there today but tomorrow i’ll book him a appointment. i don’t want anything to happen to him and i am worried about him
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
he looks a good weight and providing he is eating and drinking I would not be worried as if he has a problem it can be rectified but I will keep him isolated until yore vet has cleared him.
 

CaptainHowdy

Regular Member
I always take all new birds to be seen by my avian vet for a checkup. I always have them tested by blood for psittacosis and pbfd regardless of if they are showing any symptoms.

Please do not get your bird tested by faecal sample. The faecal test can throw false negatives as the bird has to be actively shedding the disease at the time the sample is taken for it to show positive. Have the test done by blood.

If your vet wants to charge an extortionate amount for the tests then you can do it yourself via animal genetics uk (previously called avian biotech), i have used them for years with no problems. You go onto their website and request a blood collection kit, they post it out to you and then take the bird and the kit to your vet and request they take the blood sample for you. I don't know how much they would charge you for this as I get it done when I have the blood taken for the in house psittacosis test or I take the sample myself.
Then fill in the form and send off the sample with payment. It takes 7 to 14 working days for the results. Please note with the current state of play I am not sure if they are currently open so please check with them first if that's the route you need to go down.

If the vent is extremely mucky you may need to clean it as you don't want it getting dried on and blocked. A warm water bath works well, gently hold the bird in a shallow dish of warm water so the vent is submerged, then use tissue or a towel to gently wipe away the mess. Make sure to keep the little one is a warm room with no drafts as they dry off.
 

JackAndRob

Regular Member
Could a messy vent also be a sign of the stress of moving to a new environment? I seem to remember that a couple of our budgies were like that but they soon settled down and got into their cleaning/preening routines.. I'd say monitor him, but I would expect him to clean himself up very soon. If not, follow Captain Howdy's advice. Keeping handling down to a minimum at this stage will allow him to establish a routine quicker, so avoid it unless it is really necessary.

All of our birds were flying, weened youngsters when we got them, except Eclectus Frankie who was a couple of years or so old. They weren't particularly good at looking after their first full plumage but were getting better by their first moult. I guess that it is a skill that improves with practice.
 

niamhandori

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Ok so do you think it’s worth me taking him to the vets tomorrow or should i leave him a little longer?
 

JackAndRob

Regular Member
I think that it is worth calling the vet and discussing your situation. Yes, getting the bloods tested is recommended and having an avian vet do an early assessment would also be advisable, but your vet may only be doing urgent cases at present. If they are also doing regular consultations, great, get him in asap.

If he hasn't started cleaning himself by late afternoon, follow Captains Howdy's advice. He won't enjoy being handled, but he will appreciate being clean again. Don't leave it too late else he'll go into the night with wet feathers.
 
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