Budgie Health

Health Tips | Signs of Illness | Emergency | First Aid Kit | First Aid For Birds Book | Avian Vet Directory
How to Remove a Broken Blood Feather | How to Curb Hormonal Tendencies in a Breedy Budgie

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Fluffed Budgie

Budgie Health Tips

  • ALWAYS QUARANTINE NEW BIRDS: When you bring a new budgie into the home and you already have birds, be sure to put the new bird in quarantine for a minimum of 30 days to be sure they are not carrying any illnesses that could be passed on to your current birds. Keep them in a different room and always wash your hands after handling them.
  • BUDGIE DIET: It is important that your budgie have a proper diet of seed, fruit/veggies, and pellets. See our Food section for recommended foods and easy healthy recipes that will get even the pickiest budgie eating their veggies and pellets! Budgies need plenty of out-of-cage time to fly around in order to stay healthy and fit.
  • BUDGIE WEIGHT: Be sure to weigh your budgie regularly as weight loss is the easiest way to know your budgie is sick.
  • BUDGIE POO:
    healthy budgie poop
    Keep track of your budgies poops. A budgie's poop is a signal of their health. Healthy poops are small round and black with a white dot of "urates" or urine in the center. They should not be really watery or different strange colors. A budgie that has recently eaten fruits or veggies could have watery poops.
  • BUDGIE VENT: A healthy budgie will have a clean vent. A stained, soiled vent, or poo sticking to the butt is a sign of illness.
  • BUDGIE EYES: A healthy budgie will have clear bright eyes. Discharge around eyes or swollen eyes is a sign of illness.
  • BUDGIE CERE & BEAK: A healthy budgie will have a shiny, non-flaky cere. If their cere or beak is crusty - this is a sign of illness.
  • BUDGIE FEATHERS: A healthy budgie will have strong, shiny bright feathers.
  • BUDGIE PERSONALITY: A healthy budgie will chatter and fly about happily. A budgie that sits listlessly, sleeps too much, or is fluffed up and does not play or sing is probably very ill.
  • FLUFFED BUDGIE: If your budgie is huddled and fluffed up or on the floor of their cage - get them to an avian vet immediately.

Budgie Signs of Illness

sick budgie

Budgies are prey animals and will conceal any sign of illness for as long as possible so they will not be cast from their flock or picked out by predators as weak. They will even pretend to eat food and drink water - just so others around them can't detect they are ill. In the wild, a flock can turn against one of their own if they perceive they are ill or weak. If your bird is showing signs of illness - you know it's very bad.

  • abnormal breathing
  • bleeding
  • convulsing
  • decrease talking/activity
  • discharge from eyes/nose/beak
  • dull/swollen/runny/cloudy eyes
  • falling off perch
  • feathers dirty/stuck together/ratty
  • hunched over
  • lumps/bumps/sores or swelling
  • not eating
  • picking/plucking at feathers (not regular preening)
  • poop change, runny/lack of droppings
  • poop stuck to vent
  • runny/inflamed cere
  • tail bobbing
  • vomiting (not the regurgitation they do as part of bonding)
  • weak/fluffed up
  • weight loss

Budgie Emergency

If your budgie has:

  • been bitten/clawed by another pet
  • been burned
  • been caught by another animal (such as a cat or a dog)
  • been hit by ceiling fan
  • been stepped on
  • fallen into water (toilet, etc)
  • flown into a window
  • gotten an electric shock (biting electrical cords, etc)
  • had a door closed on them
  • ingested/inhaled poison
or shows any of the above Budgie Signs of Illness, get them to an avian vet immediately. Be sure to take your budgie to an avian vet and not your regular pet veteranarian as bird vets require special exotic animal vet training.

In a Budgie Emergency: Key: Stay calm.

  • Gently restrain bird with a small towel or washcloth.
  • If bleeding, gently apply pressure to wound with serile gauze square.
  • In case of broken/fractured bones - place bird in stockinette to keep wings still.
  • Place bird in small hospital cage with heating pad or hot water bottle under half of the cage. Cover cage with warm blanket.
  • When transporting bird to the avian vet, make sure the hospital cage is secure and covered for warmth and darkness.

Budgie Emergency First Aid Kit

Always keep an emergency first aid kit with your your parakeet. This should include the following items:

  • styptic powder/flour/corn starch to stop bleeding (Quik Stop causes soft tissue damage) for broken feathers and nails
  • heating pad/infrared lamp
  • bandage/roll of gauze/gauze squares
  • hospital cage
  • avian vet number/hours
  • towel/washcloth if you have to towel them
  • bird nail clippers
  • tweezers
  • scissors
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • neosporin (creme not the oil-based)
  • charcoal capsules (to absorb toxins - only on advice of poison control)
  • grapefruit seed extract (anti-microbial disinfectant)
  • sterile saline solution (for cleaning wounds and flushing eyes)
  • pedialyte (for rehydration)
  • betadine disinfectant
  • aloe vera gel
  • wire cutters
  • masking tape
  • cotton swabs

First Aid For Birds: An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet

At last, a book for pet owners that focuses on administering first aid to birds. You'll not only learn step-by-step information on emergency situations bird owners might encounter, you'll also learn how to quickly save your bird's life by taking action, and how to prevent emergencies by feeding your bird a balanced diet, regularly trimming his wings and nails and bird-proofing your home. First Aid for Birds is written by an expert and includes instructions on monitoring your bird's health by regular veterinary visits and observing your bird daily for signs of illness. Best of all, the book is filled with color photos, info-packed sidebars and fun facts to make caring for your pet bird easy and enjoyable.

In case of poisoning: call National Animal Poison Control Center Hotlines 1-800-548-2423 or 1-900-680-0000

Phones answered by licensed vets. Accepts visa/mastercard/discover/american express only.
1-900-680-0000 $20 - first 5 minutes. $2.95/min thereafter.
1-800-548-2423 $30 per case.

You will need to provide them with the below information.
Your InformationPoison InformationAnimal Information
NameAgent exposed toSpecies
AddressAmount of agentBreed
Phone #Time since exposureAge
Problems animals are experiencingSex
Weight
# of animals involved

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How to Remove a Broken Blood Feather

  • Stay calm.
  • Gently restrain the bird with a small towel, taking care not to restrict breathing by constraining around the chest.
  • With a hemostat or tweezers, firmly grasp the broken bleeding feather at the base and pull in one swift motion in the direction of feather growth.
  • After the feather has been removed, apply moderate pressure with a serile gauze pad to stop bleeding for one minute then apply flour or corn starch.

How to Curb Hormonal Tendencies in Breedy Budgie

Every year around springtime budgies everywhere go mad with hormones. This can be a problem with female budgies especially as some will start laying eggs, which is very hard on a budgie body. They can become susceptible to egg-binding, oviductal prolapse, peritonitis, and deat. My budgie Skye has battled with this year after year. It is especially hard for her because we also have many handsome boy budgies that she wants to get busy with. She has had lupron treatment which didn't work because of her contact with the boy budgies. The only thing that finally worked was permanantly separating her from the boys and getting a spring Lupron shot. She has had thousands of dollars in vet care for the hormonalness and 2 egg-binding incidents.

  • Less light per day. No less than 12 hours of dark. Springtime's longer hours of light signal breeding mode in budgies.
  • Take away any cage liners, newspaper, soft wood shreddy toys, or other nesting-mode-triggering toys and materials
  • No soft, moist food that reminds them of gurg (regurgitation)
  • Give them their food at certain times of day but don't leave a whole bowl out all day long. Having an abundant food source makes budgies think it's a good safe time to lay and raise a clutch of baby budgies.
  • Remove any toys or other objects they may be amorously attached to. This sort of behavior includes lots of head-bobbing, beak-pecking, kissing, regurgitation, and vent rubbing.
  • Move the cage to a different part of the room. Rearrange their cage toys more frequently. This will discourge them from feeling the cage is a safe place to lay their eggs.
  • If your budgie does lay eggs. Shake or freeze them but do not remove the eggs. She will simply lay more if you remove them and this is very hard on her body as it depletes her store of calcium.
  • Make sure your budgies don't have access to any dark, enclosed spaces. These are similiar to hollow tree cavities they nest inside of in the wild.
  • Make sure your budgie is eating a healthy diet rich in calcium and getting plenty of exercise and Full Spectrum Light. It is especially important that they be in peak health when going through the stress of hormone overload.
  • If none of these steps work and your budgie continues to lay eggs, talk to your avian vet about hormone injections. Our budgie Skye gets a Lupron injection each spring, in addition to having no contact with the other budgies, in order to avoid egg-binding.