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S. August Abbott, CAS
S. August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 10588
Experience:  Work w/Avian Vet; published bird care nutrition& behavior articles; consults, research
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11 week old Derbyian parrot. Looked to have injured wing

Customer Question

11 week old Derbyian parrot. Looked to have injured wing yesterday. Today he’s unstable. Can’t fly, can’t walk. Can’t negotiate perches. Falls on his back and cant right himself. Fell head first into water bowl and couldn’t get out nearly drowning. Breathes with mouth open.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Have you seen a vet yet about the wing fall?
Customer: no as my brother breeds parrots and he advised to remove perches and keep in cage to allow him to rest
JA: Did he bleed at all from the fall?
Customer: no. He flew into a window
JA: And what's the parrot's name and age?
Customer: hes called Bubba Flint. He’s 11 weeks old. Hand reared from birth
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Bubba?
Customer: no I think I’ve mentioned everything. Oh he quite lethargic tonight
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Virtual-mod replied 9 days ago.

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 9 days ago.

I'm August Abbott Cert.Avian Specialist; owner of BrokenBirdsOrg sanctuary. Let's work together on this.  Please note that we experts are not site employees, and as such, we are not aware of when you posted your question and if there has been a delay, I’m truly sorry.  This is the first I’ve seen this.

Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 9 days ago.

Your brother's information about keeping your Derby protected by removing perches is spot on.  Once you saw the inability to stand or balance consistently - that's when this became something only someone with years of university needs to engaged.  And not "Google University" (oh so dangerous when people think they can become doctors this way)

Your baby may have injured his spine or have bleeding internally or any number of other things that are important to diagnose in order to treat.

Until you get to the vet, let's modify your brother's suggestion and make your baby a brooder box

For a makeshift brooder,  use a small box lined with soft clothes like tee shirts.

Use a thick, clean sock and fill it ¾ with plain, raw white rice. Knot the end and microwave it for about 1 ½ minutes.  Shake it afterwards to distribute the heat and be sure it's not too hot.  Tuck this in just under the cloths.

A heating pad under the box is also helpful, set on low.   This is one of the few times I’d ever use both heat sources if necessary to maintain incubation temp (90-105 degrees).

If ever using an electric source for heating anything in anyway, please be vigilant and constantly double checking carefully.

Gently drape a light cover over this box to further help hold heat in and keep light low.


You may offer a few drops of sugar water to the side of their beak with your finger or by eye dropper; or a dab of corn syrup, maple syrup or bit of natural jam/jelly to help with blood sugar levels.
I wouldn’t force fluids or food though until a professional has agreed it’s required and shown you how.  The last thing we need is aspiration pneumonia.
A bird may show their weakness, illness and lack of energy one moment, even for a few hours or days - and then “suddenly” seem to be fine.  This is their getting a second wind.  Finding the strength to ‘mask’ the illness or problem.   And since this masking can continue for a while, the underlying issue is only getting worse.  The next time you see the bird acting ‘off’, it might be really, really bad.
If your bird is acting ‘off’, no matter what – no matter when, they need to be seen by their vet.  Infections and disease are far more successfully and inexpensively treated when tackled early.  Unlike mammals, avians don’t fare well with a “watch and wait” protocol.
Though specialized avian vets are ideal, any vet who sees a majority of birds or at least 1/3 of their practice consisting of birds is a good choice.
If you have a Pet Smart, you have Banfield Clinic inside, open 7 days a week and they see birds.
If you have a Pet Co, they have a list of vet names that they use for themselves and are happy to give you, ask for 'bird vets'.
Ask any vet in town who they'd recommend for bird care.   Ask any good breeder in town who they use (if they don't use anyone, they are not a good breeder, stay away from them).

Good luck & move swiftly