Troubleshooting Youngsters - Part 3 - Undershot "Slipped" Claw
Drawing from my book "Canary Tales". Article titled Slip Claw
I noticed this German Roller had an undershot or slipped claw when he first left the nest. With nice neck marks on both sides, I was just sick. A roller is judged only on song so it can be shown with undershot claw but you want the bird to have a normal life and breed so it is important to fix it.
I use medical paper tape to secure the foot in proper position making sure that the back claw is in line with the leg and not off to the side and that the bandaged foot is in proper position. I like to provide more narrow perches and wire bottom and side cages so he will be encouraged to grip with the damaged claw.
Each week, I check his foot and make the bandage smaller allowing the front toes freedom and making the back bandage more and more curved like its normal shape.
Seeing how well he was gripping today, I decided to see if his foot is fixed.
This bandage has been on about a week and is ready to be changed.
Whow!! I have been giving him new bandages about weekly now for many weeks probably at least two months but look at him now!
Unfortunately, this Border was so deformed by undershot claw on both sides that I didn't take his picture. I didn't notice till he left the nest and when he flew down to the wire bottom, he totally broke his right (banded) leg. I have seen a number of motorcycle accident patients with severe leg breaks where the leg bend like an elbow but not where it should. His leg was totally severed and thought he would surely lose his leg and it might be more human to euthanize him but I just couldn't do it so I thought why not try and see how he does. So I took the medical paper tape and put the leg in position the best I could and wrapped it the elbow bent to his body to immobilize it. Then I bandaged both feet for the undershot claw problem. I but newspaper over the wire cage bottom so that would not break the other leg. He was 18 days old. I would put him back in the nest several times a day but he would not stay still even on the bottom of the cage.
Tip: Wire bottom cages are dangerous for undershot claw birds until they are properly bandaged.
His leg is not perfect but he can perch and his undershot claws are fixed too. He will make a good pet bird if he is a cock or a foster if it is a hen.