Spread legs in a baby catherine parakeet

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If I were to define the problem of spread legs, I would say it is not a disease or disability from birth but rather a deformity that recurs after the baby is born in the nest. Several factors can lead to this leg spreading. Often when the little bird tries to position itself and cannot find any support to hang on its legs. To this must be added the weight of the parents during the brooding …

Hence the interest of checking the nest regularly to avoid this problem and to intervene quickly to correct the spacing of the legs if necessary. Sometimes it is enough to redo the bottom of the nest so that the chick can grip to position itself.

In captive species that accept a garnish (chips or twigs) in the bottom of the nest, this phenomenon is extremely rare. However, it is a real scourge in other species that do not accept a nest bottom, such as the budgerigar for example.

My story following a problem with spread legs

After many years in the bird industry, this is the first time I have encountered the problem of spread legs in one of my youngsters.

At first I did not believe my eyes, because at the time of his luggage everything was fine. This problem appeared a week later, the baby catherine parakeet was over 15 days old.

Then, I discovered the rose pot, the parents scratched the bottom of the nest and the shavings gathered on the side and nothing at the bottom. The little baby slipped and by dint of trying to find his position a paw moved away …

I remember that moment very well, it was late (10 p.m.) and it was a Sunday. I was really both angry with myself and sad for the little one. It was necessary to react immediately not to accentuate the separation of his paw.

My intervention following the legs apart in a baby catherine parakeet

I knew what I had to do to make a splint. But unfortunately I had not found flexible materials, as if the spell was hitting me.

Temporary solution for 15h

In short, being resourceful and comfortable handling my young chicks, I opted for a temporary solution. The baby catherine parakeet was already ringed on its left paw, so I placed an open ring on its right paw. Then, I connected the two rings with a very fine and flexible metal wire, handling it with care. I left a suitable gap so that the baby could rest properly. I then wrapped the metal wire with tape to avoid its contact against the skin.

Finally, I piled up the chips at the bottom of the nest and put the baby back inside. While waiting to put in a new splint the next day.

Definitive solution to solve the problem of splayed paws for 17 days

The next day, I thought about it at work to find a comfortable solution that will last over time. I wanted a simple and effective solution, so I chose a rubber band and made a prototype.

As soon as I got home in the middle of the afternoon, I put on the new brace. It was necessary to make some fittings and adjustments to find the right spacing (about 3cm) and so that the splint does not come off without tightening the legs. It was a balancing act and in pairs with my wife.

The little catherine parakeet kept the splint on for 17 days and a week after removing it she was 100% well and without sequelae.

Video to summarize the convalescent period of the catherine parakeet

In this video, you can see my intervention and the whole period that followed step by step to correct this problem of the spread legs of the little catherine parakeet.

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