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Baby Wren With Broken Toe?

4042 Views 16 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Jay3

I don't know if anyone can help me with this one. I took over the care of a fledgling Wren today which was caught by a cat. It's sibling died but so far this little one is doing ok.
The trouble is I've noticed one of his feet is deformed and he keeps losing his balance. He was only sitting in a flat box when I got him, so I've put some small sticks in his box to see if he can perch.
He manages with one foot but on closer examination, his other foot is curled up. From what I can tell his long back toe is lying forward and is possibly broken.

He is so tiny but is reasonably happy being handled as he's been hand fed for two days. I don't know how I'd do it but is there any point in trying to strap his toe in place to see if it can be encouraged back into position.
I wonder if he would even manage better without that toe because at the moment he has trouble staying on a perch as he can't put this foot flat. Then at least he would be able to wrap the front toes around the perch.

I've tried a photo. Just wondered if anyone has any advice as to how I can help his foot.


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you can do this one, it's easy, it's going to be difficult to describe though but i'll try.
you need to take a heavy piece of paper like some packaging is made out of, like your diskettes box, or manila file folders.
you make sort of a shoe, longer in the center so his longerst front toenail and rear toenail just go over the edge, then you cut it to fit with the curved part of the nail going over the edge of the shoe.
you tape the toes individually in place with paper tape, then tape them all down well, i drew a really crappy pic in ms paint so you get the idea on how to cut it.
i would leave it in place for at least 5 days then remove to see how he does, if it goes back then you'll need to do it again.
he won't be able to perch during this but he should be fine
i raised 4 of those little cutie pies last year, i flippen loved them, they hung around for a long time, they used to come and take naps in the cup holders of the chairs on my deck.
i hope your stocked up well on mealworms, if your not you should order some asap, there is another shortage this year
Thank you so much, I'll certainly give it a go.

He is such a wriggler and just won't stay in his box, I've found him on the floor twice tonight, and that was with the lid on the box too !!! ;)

He's been spoilt wrotten and the lady who had him said he had kept her up all night shreaking for food. No-one told him he was supposed to go to sleep at night. He just takes two mouthfuls of food and falls asleep, but only for about two minutes, then starts again. He's had me and my daughter at it all afternoon and evening. I've just put him back in his box , (with the lid firmly on), and shut him in a dark room. I'm ignoring his cries tonight and hope he will settle down now until morning. He is the cutest little thing.

I'm got some freeze dried mealworms in stock that I can soak up for him but I can get some live ones from a fishing shop tomorrow which might be better. So far he's just been on soaked cat biscuits, that's all she had.
So glad to hear you raised some successfully as I was worried about taking him.

I'll let you know how his foot goes, thanks again for the drawing.

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you can do it, he will appreciate the mealworms alot, and may eat more for you, he looks as if he may be ready to start eating a little on his own.
mine never ate any eggs or cat food even though i offered it everyday, all they wanted was mealworms, crickets and the occasional blueberrry and they can eat alot in one day. they are almost exclusively insect eaters in the wild
it's much cheaper if you can find an online store and order them by the thousands.
once you release him if you leave mealworms out for him he may visit you everyday.
i'm surprised to hear he is up at night, all my birdies silent right up once the lights go out.
maybe you can put a little stuffed toy his size in his cage or a clean unused feather duster, maybe he was lonely
Have you tried going on Starling Talk. A couple of people there have sparrows, maybe they can help you also. I do know they recommend the starling diet to sparrow also. Which is cat food, animal protein I believe around 30% and fat around 15%, but don't quote me on that, but they can tell you exactly what you need. I do no the first ingredient on the bag should be chicken or turkey, not chicken by products of corn meal. He is really a cutie and they make wonderful pets. They also recommend a little egg and greens. min
So cute!! I hope he does well. :)
He is adorable. You can raise mealworms too. I had a cute little carolina wren who would sit in my hand to take the worms. I raised the worms and put them out in a special feeder for them, and they would bring their babies and feed them. It was great. They're amazing little birds, and will keep coming back year after year if you feed them this way. I hope he does well.
I was surprised he was up at night too. For some reason he was tweeting constantly even though he wouldn't always take food. I think you're right, maybe he was lonely and just wanted attention. The lady who had him had just kept him up all night as she thought he wanted food so perhaps he was spoilt !
i'd spoil him too, soo cute, let me know how he does with his new shoe

I posted earlier about how I'd managed to strap the toe back, but I've just decided to take it off, so I deleted the post.
It was too difficult to get the shoe thing right as he moved it so much and it was stressing him in the process.
I did make a strapping with cohesive bandage, cut in a very thin strip wrapped round in a figure of eight. It seemed to do the job and I had been pleased to see him perching a bit with that foot resting on the perch.
However this evening he seemed very restless and held the leg up out of the way, and I just got the feeling it pained him. The toe has movement, so must have feeling but I 'm thinking if he was born like that, and I force it back, then it could be worse for him. Not knowing how it came to be like that is making me re-think trying anything else myself. I may take him to a rescue centre where they have experience and a vet on call to look at him.
I'd hate to make things worse for him, and he just might manage if he can grip with the other foot and use this leg as balance.
I have a chaffinch that comes to feed every day called Hoppy. He has one good leg and a stump. He has learnt to balance and although he can't manage to feed from a hanging feeder, I put food on the ground and he eats there. This is his second year, and last year he fathered some young who I saw him feeding in the trees, so he adapted well.

I'm a little worried about Titch as he doesn't seem to find a comfortable position to sit in and rolls about a lot. Also he's very dozey between feeds, just opens his eyes and then his mouth, I pop a mealworm in and then he dozes again. He does flutter about and potter about on the ground occasionally, but he's not as lively as he was yesterday. We'll see how he is tomorrow.

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i either towel them or have someone hold them while i do it, it can take a few tries to get it just right.
it might hurt him, and he may be uncomfortable for the first couple of days with it on.
i think it's a good idea for you to bring him to the rescue center so they can check him out as soon as possible.
is it possible he is a victim of a cat attack? he should be a demanding little eater, something isn't right.
some birds can do all right without one leg, some can't, the way these little wrens hop around and hang on the sides of trees, i think it would be hard for him to catch and find food on his own.
if he decides not to migrate, he won't be able to take turns on his feet to warm them up when it gets cold out.
can you tuck him in a little bowl with tissue to help support his body

I'm sad to say he didn't make it through the night. He did seem very restless but not as alert yesterday. Yes he was caught by a cat initially. The lady that had him said her cat brought in two of them. She had him for two days, so I'm not sure if this was due to the cat. He may have been born with that toe problem, but I really don't know.
I was worried about his chances in the wild as he didn't seem to have a much control over that leg and as you say, it might have been hard for him in the long run.

I wish it had turned out better for him, I'll miss his little squeaks.

Thanks so much for your advice.

dam... the cat saliva killed him and i bet broke his foot also when it bit him, cats are like komodo dragons to birds, if they don't kill them right away, that one little pin prick from a tooth or nail causes them to get a raging infection thru thier tiny little bodies.
if i get a bird suspected of a animal attack i always start them on antibiotics even if i can't find any wounds on them.
poor little guy, thank you for trying to save him, and tell that lady she should keep her cat in, it's healthier for the cat and the wildlife
I'm really sorry that he didn't make it. You did the best you could to help him. Sorry.
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