Wednesday, 21 January 2009

An Ill Budgie (article)

What to do if your bird seems ill


  • Difference in feather appearance eg: "fluffed up look".
  • He/she may bob their tail more so than usual with a more distinct bob.
  • Their stools/droppings may also be a different colour to normal and watery.
  • A good tip for monitoring their droppings is to use newspaper or any other smooth surface so that you can visably see if there is any change. Even regular A4 sheets of paper is good for this.
  • They may be off their food or you may have noticed they're not eating as much as normal.
  • Change in weight because of the above
  • You know your birds personality, if they're sitting low down in the cage or their chirpiness has gone you'll know they're not themselves.
  • They may be off their feet, not be able to stand properly.
  • Discharge from their mouth or nostrils
  • Vomiting or bringing back seed (regurgitating)

  • Diagnosis.

    This can only be done by a qualified vet/avian vet. Avian vets are specialised in dealing with birds so if at all possible seek help/advice from them. Regular vets sometimes don't have the knowledge or experience in dealing with the exact cause of illness and don't do as many tests as an avian vet. Sometimes this isn't possible though and so an appointment at the regular vets will have to be made.

    Treatment until veterinary help is available.

    You should never give your birds medication that you have been given by someone else or that is not prescribed for your bird as this can do more harm than good.

    The most important things for your bird at this time are:

  • Heat
  • Clean, fresh water,
  • Food

  • If your bird is in draughts or is cold this will make him worse. If you have access to a heat lamp this is a good idea to keep him warm and a cover over the cage is also good to prevent any draughts.

    It is very important to always have a fresh supply of clean drinking water for your bird. Water substituted for cold weak black tea is good for the bird if unwell and should be replaced frequently too.

    Always have a supply of food available, anything you feel your bird may be tempted to eat. Does he have any special fruit or veg that he likes? Supply it. Millet is fantastic for ill birds as it has a high fat content so is good to replace energy that has been lost and is also good for getting food into your bird at a time when his eating isn't at its best.


    Keep these as low as possible and use only one perch. This will let your bird rest and not try and clamber up and down when he isn't himself. It also means he will get the fod and water as it'll be with easy reach.

    ===========Resource Box===========
    Kay Bell keeps and breeds pet budgerigars. Contact her
    for help and advice via the Adorable Budgies Forum
    This article is available for reprint in your opt-in ezine,
    web site or ebook. You MUST agree not to make any changes
    to the article and the RESOURCE BOX MUST be included.
    (c) Kay Bell All Rights Reserved

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