Splay Legs. One way that works for me
Howdy. Besides being heavily involved in the Pigeon Racing hobby. I also raise African Grey Timneh Parrots.
I have had splay legs on pigeons in the past and now have a Timneh baby with that problem.
I came up with an idea that seems to be working very well, and is very easy.
A took a few pics, because everyone loves pics of baby birds. But they are a little out of focus. Sorry.
Anyway. I have two baby Timnehs hatched on July 4th and July 6th. One is obviously bigger than the other. The smaller one ended up with a splay leg problem. I believe it was because the older one was always on top of it in the nest box. Not really sure of the cause though. The nest box is a large "L" shaped metal box, specifically made to breed African Greys with. I have about two inches of pine shavings on the bottom of it. But perhaps I need to make it three or four inches instead of two. I am going to do that. Can't hurt, I don't think.
So, in the past with pigeons that had a splay leg condition. I have tried string (didn't work very well), and tape, which is the worst way to deal with the problem.
Now what I do, is take two clip on marker bands commonly used to mark pigeons in pairs, or for whatever reason. They easily clip on and off of a pigeons leg, and they come in various colors, for marking purposes.
I attached two of these bands to a common rubber band, that is about 1 1/4 inchs long, and then put the bands on each leg of the baby parrot.
It seems to be working perfectly. The legs are kept underneath the baby parrot, and yet it can manage to walk and climb as if it was a normal baby at that age.
I am very satisfied with myself for coming up with this very simple and easy way to defeat the splay leg problem. I have not tried it on a baby pigeon yet, but I see no reason it would not work. The ankle is too big to let the clip on bands ride up the leg, and the feet are too big to let the bands slip off.
Of course the best way to handle splay leg problems, is to prevent them in the first place. With pigeons, some common sand in the bottom of the next bowl works very well. The parent birds will still build their stick or pine needle nest on top of the sand. But the sand helps to prevent splay leg problems, and it also helps to warm eggs and hold them in place.
Anyway. Here are my little ones, and one pic shows the contraption I came up with, on the smallest ones legs.
Again. Sorry they are out of focus. We take the parrot babies from the parents at 21 days old, and hand raise them with "Exact" handfeeding formula, via an eyedropper. It takes about two to three minutes, every four hours or so. Depending on age. They become very tame and attached to humans when this is done.