Budgie Injuries - Broken Wings & Legs

How do legs and wings get broken? And how can you prevent it?

Accidents happen, itís a fact of life. You canít prevent your budgie from taking the occasional tumble, but if the damage is serious, you can help them by knowing how to treat their injury.

The most common reasons for budgies to break their legs, or wings, is to either crash into something, like furniture or walls, or to get their foot caught in something. These accidents happen from time to time, but there are a few steps you can take to minimize the chances:

  • Make sure that windows are masked, itís sad how many budgie die, or get seriously injured, by flying into windows. I know net curtains arenít to everybodyís taste, but some sort of mask or screen is essential for windows in any room your bird has access to.
  • Make sure the endless surface of the wall is broken up, so your budgie knows they canít fly through it. If you donít have any pictures on the wall, you can add the occasion sticker or piece of blue-tack. Itís not too pretty, but it looks a lot better than seeing your pet injured.

How do you know if your budgieís bones are broken?

Itís actually really easy to spot. Budgies might not be the smartest animals in the world, but theyíre smart enough not to try to walk on a broken leg, which puts them above some people. If your budgieís leg, or wing, is broken, itíll just hang limply. Youíll easily spot that the limb is out of itís usually position.

In the worst cases, youíll see that the bone has broken through the muscle and skin, and youíll see it sticking out, along with some blood.

How to treat broken bones

If the bone has broken through the skin, and left an open wound, you need to take your budgie to an avian vet, because itís not the sort of injury you can treat at home. A specialist will have experience of putting everything back where itís supposed to be, so your little friend can recover.

For less serious fractures, you can either take them to the veterinarian, or treat them at home if you feel comfortable doing that. Broken legs need to be splinted:

  1. Measure the exact length needed, and cut a straw to that length. Then make a cut up the length of the straw.
  2. Wrap gauze around the leg.
  3. Fit the straw around the leg reasonably tightly, and tape the straw in place. Make sure the tape is only on the straw, so you donít hurt your budgie when removing it.

You can remove the splint after ten days. Your budgie will avoid using the leg normally until itís fully healed and has regained its strength. Itís perfectly normal. If youíve ever broken an arm or leg yourself, you know it take some time to build its strength back up.

If thereís no open wound, you can treat broken wings in the same way, by splinting them. With wings, instead of using a straw, you simply put the wing into its normal position, and hold it in place with strips of gauze and tape.

What about broken toes?

If thereís no bone sticking out, you donít need to do anything. Just like when a person breaks their toe, there isnít really anything you can do about it. You just have to give it time to heal by itself.

Other tips to aid the recovery process

Put your budgie in a small cage if you have one, and take out anything that encourages them to move around too much. And only leave two perches in the cage, high enough for the leg to hang down without touching the ground. No one likes to be bored while theyíre ill, but we all have to put up with it for a few days now and then.

Cover the bottom of the cage with soft, scrunched paper. It wonít wear down the claws like sandpaper does, but itís much easier to walk on.

Lastly, make sure your budgie has easy access to gravel, a cuttlefish and a mineral block. Getting enough calcium and vitamins will speed up the healing process.


Budgie Illnesses, Diseases, and Injuries
Information on common budgie illnesses, diseases and injuries. Find out what's wrong with your budgie and what you can do about it.

Budgies, Budgerigars Information
The Budgie-Care.com homepage. Find lots of information about budgies and budgerigar care.