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Kakariki, Care, Breeding, Ecology, and Conservation :: View topic - injured leg
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injured leg

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Regular Member
Regular Member

Joined: Jul 14, 2008
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:27 pm    Post subject: injured leg

Hi all!

When I got up this morning I noticed my Gerard hurt his leg. I haven't the slightest idea how it happened! He must have been up to some mischief early in the morning or the evening before. He is out 24/7.

He still tried to go about his everyday bussiness, limping about the place. I trapped him in his cage when he came down for his breakfast, hoping that some cage rest would do him good. He still uses the foot a little bit, so I guess it may just badly bruised, rather than broken. He is twice as depressed now, however, because he can't fly around.

Shall I leave him in the cage for a good long rest, even when he hates it so? Will his leg mend? The other thing that worries me that it's really cold in my flat (although I made sure it isn't draughty) and that he won't get enough exercise to keep himself warm.

Your advice would be much appreciated,

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Foundation Member
Foundation Member

Joined: Apr 24, 2005
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:22 pm    Post subject: Injured leg

Hello. Sorry your boy is hurt. Leg injuries happen. One of my hens broke her leg whilst outside in my flight cage Shocked . To this day I don't know how. I saw a vet the next day and he put a splint on it ( which she absolutely hated ) however the leg healed a little out of position and as a result she now has difficulty when climbing and moving around on the smaller perches. The vet explained it is difficult to get something so small in exactly the correct position at times. To this day she has difficulty walking and she never walks aroung upside down on the top of the cage like all my other Kaks do Crying or Very sad
If your Kak is having difficulty using the leg, I would suggest a trip to your local avian vet is in order. It may be just a sprain, but....... why not check just to be sure. I would keep him warmer than you might usually. A bird who is injured needs to expend it's energy on healing, rather than keeping warm. I have a small 60 watt ceramic radiant heater ( also called a basking light...usually used with lizards ) on a clamp that I use for such occasions. With such a heater, he can come get warm when he feels the need to. Keeping him in his cage is a must as far as I am concerned. There are too many ways for him to reinjure or further injure himself in the outside world. I don't like staying in bed when I am sick, but sometimes it is necessary in order to heal. You might want to spend a little more time with him because of his isolation/incarceration....... If you have any willow trees around still alive, give him a few brances ( with leaves ) of that and let him chew on it. Willow contains a natural analgesic in it that the birds here in Canada will use when they are not well. I make a willow tincture ( tea ) when I am in pain sometimes.
Basically it is much like a human. Keep him warm, quiet and well fed, see the doc, and he should come through it ok. <v>
Hope this helps. I'm sure Step will come up with some advice also.
Good luck and keep us updated as to his condition
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Regular Member
Regular Member

Joined: Jul 14, 2008
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:06 am    Post subject:


Thank you for getting back to me so promptly. The basking light is a great idea! I'll do as you advise.

Thank you,

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Site Admin
Site Admin

Joined: Oct 06, 2004
Posts: 4550

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:34 am    Post subject:

It is not uncommon for our smaller birds to bruise, stain, twist a leg...
we have never had a broke leg...normally left alone over a couple days all is fine

My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
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Snr Member
Snr Member

Joined: Dec 02, 2005
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:09 am    Post subject:

A possible reason for mystery leg injuries in outdoor aviaries, as in Wiccawolf's case for example, could be night predators especially owls, they can cause night-fright mainly in young birds that sometimes don't roost in very secure places; the kakariki will fly into the wire and hang on, the predator will grab it's feet and hang on, there is usually no other damage other than a leg injury as the predators beak can't bite their body through the wire.

I have lost about 12 birds to our little NZ owl the Morepork, the Kakariki's leg is usually broken up high and they have to be euthenized; sometimes there is a ruffled slightly plucked look to the breast, and feathers on the wire netting.

I remember that the great work Luis Catteral is doing with relocating Red Crowned on Islands out of Auckland lost a few birds that were being temporarily housed in holding aviaries, always wondered if it may have been poorly roosted birds being traumatised at night by Morepork?.

I have had to build a predator shield of 50mm netting 200mm away from the aviary netting, this stops the Kakariki legs getting grabbed; though night fright can still result in blood noses etc, least they can still use their legs, apart from any that might break their neck or receive serious head trauma.
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