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Old 03-29-2013, 04:16 PM
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My first bird was a parakeet named Buddy (passed away November 8, 2012). My newest friend is a parakeet named Chipper.
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Question My parakeet seems to be losing weight

I've noticed lately that my parakeet, Chipper, just feels lighter when I hold him. It seems like he's losing a lot of weight. Otherwise, he seems okay. He has a good appetite and he seems to be eating fine. And he's been drinking water. He chirps a lot and plays with his toys and climbs around his cage. His droppings look normal. But I'm concerned about him losing weight.

Just to be on the safe side, I already made an appointment for him to see the vet on Tuesday morning.

He has been molting, could him losing a lot of feathers cause him to feel lighter? I assumed that feathers are so light that it wouldn't make a difference in his weight. But I don't know. Also, he is starting to grow his flight feathers back and he can fly now! (And he knows it, he's getting an attitude!) Is it possible that maybe since he can fly a little now, his muscles are stronger and maybe he's lost a little weight because of that?

Does anyone have any ideas? I guess I'll know if something is going on when I take him to the vet, but I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts about this in the mean time.
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Last edited by ct92404; 03-29-2013 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:26 PM
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Re: My parakeet seems to be losing weight

Feathers make up around 10% of a birds weight, but unless he's almost naked, I'm not sure you can really feel that small of a change, but maybe it is possible.....

How old is this budgie?

Instead of running down to the vet, you might call & may be able to save a fee, just a thought.....
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:28 PM
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Re: My parakeet seems to be losing weight

it would be good if you could get him weighed today, but due to the holiday things are closed, maybe with the exception of wal-mart. I use a gram scale and weigh my birds.
since they don't sit on it and just fly off, you can use any container with a lid, weigh the bird, then weigh the container and subtract the two weights, & you will get the weight of your budgie.
since tomorrow is Saturday, and your vet visit is Tuesday, if he's loosing any significant weight, he may loose more within the three day period...hopefully not.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:29 PM
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Re: My parakeet seems to be losing weight

Can you see his keel bone well? When the keel bone is protruding its a sign they are underweight.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:48 PM
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Re: My parakeet seems to be losing weight

I think just to be on the safe side I agree you taking him to the vet. Even though you can find out what's happening, I'd rather have a expert doing it. Have you moved chipper to another food brand ?
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:34 PM
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My first bird was a parakeet named Buddy (passed away November 8, 2012). My newest friend is a parakeet named Chipper.
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Re: My parakeet seems to be losing weight

His keel bone isn't protruding at all, and when I pet him, I don't really feel it either. So maybe I'm overreacting. Just a little while ago, I took him to the bird farm where I got him because I was going to get him some spray millet. He likes to go outside, and he even seems to like going on car rides. (I have another smaller cage that I use to take him on outings). They all know me there, and I asked if someone could take a look at him. They said he looks good, and one lady picked him up and felt around his chest and said that his weight was fine.

But just to be sure, I'm still going to take him to the vet. I want to have him checked out anyway.

I would rather waste a vet fee and find out that Chipper is perfectly fine, then overlook something. He looks okay, and he's eating fine, but to me he just kind of felt lighter. Also, it's been a while since he's been to the vet so it might be good for him to get a checkup anyway.
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Last edited by ct92404; 03-29-2013 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:12 PM
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Re: My parakeet seems to be losing weight

How long have you had Chipper? It is possible he wasn't on the best of diets when you got him, and came home a bit overweight. He may just be balancing out at a healthy weight. He also may have "beefed up" a little over the winter. I know Kiwi grows a ton of extra down feathers (they all come out in the spring) in winter, and I wouldn't be surprised if he gained a few grams in cold weather too (I don't weigh him at home). Nothing you've described sounds to me like signs of a sick bird. Though, I also tend to be on the cautious side, and think it's wise to have the vet look him over and just be sure he's healthy. It's always best to catch potential health issues as early as possible.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:31 PM
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My first bird was a parakeet named Buddy (passed away November 8, 2012). My newest friend is a parakeet named Chipper.
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Re: My parakeet seems to be losing weight

I got Chipper in November. Kiwibird. He was 2 or 3 months old at the time. (He still had his baby stripes on his head, and they said he was 2 months old). I think your possible explanation of him gaining weight over the winter makes sense. We've been having some really nice warm weather lately, and I've been able to take him outside on the porch more often. So maybe a bird's metabolism adjusts for the seasons? Maybe now that it's been warmer, he could be going back to a lighter weight? When I first got him, he was on the heavy side. I have a binder where I keep all his records, and he weighed 36 grams when I took him to the vet on November 15. I think that might be a little bit heavy for a parakeet. He might have been a little bit pudgy.

I have to admit though that he's not on the best diet. He only wants to eat seeds. I keep trying to give him vegetables, but he's not interested. I do always try to get him the best quality parakeet food I can find though, and I get "Ecotrition" supplements to add to his seeds. (Like "Grains and Greens"). The last time I took him to the vet, she said that whole grain wheat would be good for him, and so I get him whole grain wheat crackers. He likes those. I just bought some broccoli and carrots from the store tonight, and I'm going to try to put that in his food bowl and see if he will eat them. Picky bird!

What just concerns me is him losing weight so fast. His weight had felt pretty much the same until just recently. I'd say maybe in the past few days or so it seems like he's lighter. But I'll see what the vet says. I don't have a scale, and I'm just going by how he feels in my hand.
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Last edited by ct92404; 03-29-2013 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:14 AM
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Re: My parakeet seems to be losing weight

Get a cheap little gram scale... $25 or less... and weigh him. He should weigh around 30 grams.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:27 PM
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Re: My parakeet seems to be losing weight

I hate petcos standards . When I weighed pepsi for his first visit he was 57 GRAMS . All of those months of him eating millet and seed and water at petco made him obese. Though now he's eating apples, zupreem , and fresh water.
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- Jacques Deval


A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song
- Chinese Proverb

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- John Webster

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TOO !!!
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