Causes Of A Cockatiel Holding One Wing Out

A cockatiel holding one wing out may seem strange.

After all, it is not normal to see your pet behave this way. And so, it leaves you wondering if your pet is okay or requires medical attention.

So, if you notice your pet doing this all of a sudden, or it has been happening more than once, keep reading to find out the cause of this behavior and whether it should worry you or not.

cockatiel holding one wing out

Cockatiel Holding One Wing Out – Why It Happens

When you notice that your cockatiel is holding one wing out, this could be due to a number of reasons. Perhaps your pet is experiencing stress, or it could also be a sign of happiness and excitement.

But there are instances when certain malaise is linked with this behavior such as ataxia, infection or perhaps even an injury.

The best way to deal with this is by taking your pet to a vet so that proper diagnosis may be provided. 

Now, let’s take a look at these common reasons once again and why your cockatiel may be holding out one wing.

1. Excitement

When your cockatiel is eager, happy, and excited, you may see it spreading the wings or just lifting one wing out. There is nothing to worry about in this case since it is a normal reaction, just as when humans lift their hands to express happiness.

Many cockatiels do this once they are comfortable with their owners and have bonded closely with them. For instance, if you have left your cockatiel for a few hours, you may be greeted by your pet with one wing held out. It only means that your cockatiel is so excited to see you and has been missing you when you were away. 

2. Ataxia

This is a medical disorder affecting the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system. Moreover, this can impact the brain, inner ear, as well as the spinal cord. If your cockatiel is diagnosed with this condition, then it may have a difficulty to coordinate its movement. There may also be damages to its musculoskeletal  system, which means that brain signals are not properly sent. Hence, some uncoordinated movements may be observed.

When there are damages to your pet’s musculoskeletal system, this can result in the muscle’s poor coordination. This is why one wing may be held out, and in other cases, your pet may also hold out one leg. 

But do take note that when you address this issue sooner, this condition can be treated. Thus, you should take your pet to the vet when you observe these symptoms and other issues with its limbs.

As for the causes of this medical condition, there are a few things to note. For example, it can be an underlying symptom of a nervous system issue. There may also be some damages to the nerves and the spinal cord. Other causes of ataxia include vitamin E, calcium, and selenium deficiencies.

3. Injury

When your pet is injured, particularly in the wing area, it may hold one wing out as a sign of discomfort and pain. Perhaps your pet has gotten into a fight and was injured by another bird. Thus, your cockatiel may lift the painful portion.

If you notice any wounds on the wing that your cockatiel is holding out, it is important to have this treated appropriately. You may want to consult your vet for this, and he may recommend the best treatment for such a wound.

In the case of a more serious wound or injury, further medical assistance may be required. There may be a broken limb or any similar issues that would have to be properly diagnosed and treated by your vet. 

Now, it may also be an issue with discomfort. For instance, your pet may hold one wing out because the natural position is not comfortable. Check the feathers, which should be parallel to your pet’s body. In the case of a feather sticking out, it would be best to have your vet inspect this issue closely to make sure there is no underlying problem.

Cockatiels with one wing held out may also be suffering from an infection. Make sure that you have your vet check your pet and conduct proper diagnosis for this. Some types of bacterial infection, or even fungal and viral infection may result in this condition.

Read More: Is Your Cockatiel Pooping Water? Find Out Why!

Should You Be Worried?

When you have a cockatiel holding one wing out, you may be confused why this happens. Although there are instances when it is nothing to worry about such as when your bird is simply excited or happy to see you, there are other possible reasons why your pet may display this unusual behavior.

Some conditions that may be present include a selenium deficiency, calcium deficiency, or perhaps an injury on that side of the wing that your pet is holding out. Moreover, you may want to rule out Ataxia, which is another condition that can lead to this symptom. This happens because of a nerve issue, which is why your pet is having poor muscle coordination.

And lastly, check for signs of infections in your pet. An infection whether bacterial or viral can also cause discomfort, which may be a reason why your bird is holding that wing when pain is present.

By taking your pet to the vet, and by observing other present symptoms, you can ensure the health and overall condition of your cockatiel. An early diagnosis is very important so that proper remedy can be provided and prevent further issues from developing. 

While some causes of this behavior are nothing to be concerned about, there are other more serious conditions that you need to investigate. And the best way to do that is to have an avian specialist take a good look at your pet and provide a more definitive diagnosis.

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