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Lack of regrowth of primary wing feathers

Expert Question

Hello Dr.Speer, My regent parrot had his wings clipped when I got him. He is 9 months old now and the primary feathers have grown out on only one wing. I am concerned that they have not grown on the other wing.
Could this be a medical problem?

Expert Answer

In many psittacines of this size or larger, the juvenile moult is first completed (in my experience) in the 6-10 month age group or so. It is possible that your bird still may get there. One of the spin-off problems that occurs with some of the types of wing trims that are performed in young birds, is that the stage is set for falling, recurring trauma and a secondary inhibition of pinfeather re-growth. If this is a persistent observation in this bird after another few months, I would certainly recommend a physical examination.

Brian Speer, DVM
About Brian Speer, DVM

Avian veterinarian Dr. Brian Speer was raised in a small town on California’s coast. He received his BS in Biology from California Polytechnic State University in 1978, and his DVM degree from the University of California at Davis in 1983.

An active member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV), Dr. Speer is a much sought after guest speaker and has presented at numerous conferences in the avicultural and zoological communities both within the United States and abroad. He is well published in the AAV annual proceedings, has served as guest editor for the journal Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine, the Veterinary Clinics of North America, and authored chapters in several recent veterinary medical texts on pet bird, avicultural and ratite medical topics. In 1995 he co-authored the extensive avicultural reference, The Large Macaws, and helped to co-author Birds for Dummies in 1999.

Since 1989, Dr, Speer has run a “bird’s only” practice in the San Francisco Bay area and is the President and Director of The Medical Center for Birds. He is a consultant for The Veterinary Information Network (Avian Medical Boards) and the Maui Animal Rescue and Sanctuary. In 2003 he was the recipient of the Lafeber award for excellence in private practice of avian medicine and surgery and in 2006, was named Speaker of the Year for the North American Veterinary Conference.