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Old 06-11-2019, 11:31 AM
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Vomiting budgies

Hello,
I am having a bit of an issue. Last night I noticed one of my budgies had what looked like to be spikey feathers on top of his head. I remember hearing about this somewhere indicating that it might be the budgie vomiting. So I quickly called an avian vet and said they can see him this Friday. He is eating normally and drinking plenty of water. Doesnít seem to be puffed at all and even chirps. I separated him from all of my other birds. A few hours later, I noticed that another one of my budgies had the same spikey feathered appearance. What could it be? Iím so nervous. Iím taking them to the vet this Friday but I just wanted to know what could possibly be the cause of this?
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:13 PM
itzjbean's Avatar
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Re: Vomiting budgies

I think you may have confused 'vomiting' with 'molting' maybe?

Parrots start getting these spiky pinfeathers around their body and this is a new growing feather. They go through a 'molt' which consists of losing old feathers and growing new ones which appear first as pinfeathers that appear spiky and pointy. These 'pins' eventually fall off and replace the old ones. They do this a couple times a year, for as long as they are alive.

If you have not observed your budgie vomiting, I think they are fine just going through a molt.
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Last edited by itzjbean; 06-11-2019 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:48 PM
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Re: Vomiting budgies

I’m pretty sure he’s vomiting I just watched him fling his head from side to side and a clear liquid coming out and coating his top feathers
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:03 PM
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Re: Vomiting budgies

Quote: Originally Posted by Yasmine View Post
Iím pretty sure heís vomiting I just watched him fling his head from side to side and a clear liquid coming out and coating his top feathers
Okay I see...yes a vet check would be the best route!! Hope he is okay.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:14 AM
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Re: Vomiting budgies

The "Spikey Feathers" on the top of your Budgie's head don't have anything to do with your bird vomiting or being sick, they are just "Pin-Feathers" like Itzjbean stated above; so whomever told you that they were related to vomiting or sickness (or wherever you read it) was giving false information. I'm only telling you this so that you don't get worried and think that one of your Budgies is sick every time you see spikey Pin-feathers on their heads or anywhere else on their bodies, because you're going to see these spikey Pin-Feathers quite often; they'll get them all over whenever they are Molting, and when they get them on their heads or on their faces/around their beaks, Ceres, eyes, etc., they are very, very "spikey" looking and feeling, and this can happen at any time whether they are molting or not, especially if they are living in the same cage with each other. I have found over the years that for whatever reason, Budgies who live in cages or Aviaries together tend to get very tiny, short, very spikey Pin-Feathers all over their faces and their heads because they are either playing with each other and they "pick" at each other's heads/faces, or because the over-preen each other. I have 8 Budgies living in a large, walk-in Aviary in my house who are all a little over 6 years-old right now (they are siblings that I bred and hand-raised, 7 males and 1 female who I remove only during both natural Breeding-Seasons to prevent inbreeding and breeding in-general). And 4 of the males are very closely-bonded with each other, they are constantly playing with each other, flying and chasing each other, swinging on the swing together, playing with toys together, etc. And it's only these 4 that I find with a lot of these little, spikey Pin-Feathers on the tops of their heads and around their beaks and Ceres, because they over-preen each other and get aggressive sometimes when they play. It's not a problem UNLESS you ever see any wounds or blood on their heads or faces, then that particular Budgie needs to be separated from the others before they sustain a serious injury, or are even killed by the others, whether they are bonded-mates or not, it happens all the time with Budgies.

As far as the "vomiting" goes, what you're describing doesn't sound like your Budgie vomited at all, but rather either drank too much water/got water up in their Sinuses (pretty common) and they were getting it out, OR it's quite possible that he actually has either a Sinus Infection or Upper Respiratory Infection, and he's got a lot of fluid/drainage that he's trying to get out. If you hear him coughing, sneezing, wheezing when he breathes, see him open-mouth-breathing, etc., then these are all signs/symptoms of a URI or Sinus Infection (either Bacterial, Fungal, or both), and for this reason your Avian Vet should do BOTH a Fecal Gram-Stain and Culture & Sensitivity on a fresh Fecal-Sample that you need to bring in with you to the appointment and can be up to 24-hours old as long as you put it in a baggie/container and put it in the fridge immediately, AND on a Swab/Culture that the Avian Vet will take from his Nostrils/Nares and sometimes also the back of his Throat, and sometimes also from their Eyes, depending on what signs/symptoms they have (the Culture & Sensitivity is sent-out to the lab they use and takes 3-4 days to get back, the Gram-Stain and Microscopy is done on-the-spot in their office while you're there)...The fact that he's eating normally, playing/moving normally, acting normally, etc. is all good, and again, since the "spikey" Feathers on the top of his head have nothing at all to do with any type of illness and are just Pin-Feathers growing-in, and what you're describing doesn't at all sound like vomiting, he probably is fine, but you're always right to take him to your Avian Vet immediately if you think something might be wrong, that's the only way to be sure and to stay ahead of any illnesses your Budgies/Birds may have, as they hide them so very well and for such long periods of time. Just an FYI,, when a bird actually Vomits, it's quite a disturbing thing for both them and the people watching. It doesn't happen often, but when it does there is no mistaking it for anything else. it's not like when they Regurgitate for another bird or for a person purposely; during Regurgitation they typically make a "head-bobbing" motion a few times in a row very quickly, and then a small bit of solid, white-colored material comes out of their mouth, usually onto you, lol. The head-bobbing motion they make is much like what baby birds having a "feeding-response" to their mothers/fathers feeding them, or to a person hand-feeding them with a syringe. In-contrast, when a bird actually Vomits, they look/act very much like some dogs do when they Vomit, they make that very odd "heaving" motion over and over again where their bodies heave back and forth, and then up comes actual Vomit, which looks like our Vomit, it's undigested or partially-digested food and liquids. The only time I've actually seen any of my own birds/parrots EVER Vomit was my Quaker Parrot once when she got into a piece of pizza that I had set on my nightstand when someone came to the door late one night (was a State Trooper there because my neighbor thought it was better to call the PA State Police on me at 9:30 p.m. because they thought that my car, which was parked on the street in front of my house, not their house, was 5" too close to the edge of their driveway, which was on the other side of the street and up, rather than walking across the street, knocking on my door themselves, and asking me nicely if I could please "Move my car forward 5" for them so they felt more comfortable backing their huge-ass Extended Suburban out of their driveway"...But I'm not bitter...)...Anyway, obviously my pizza was sitting there much longer than I thought it would be, and Lita, my Quaker Parrot, decided she was going to try to eat as much of it as she possibly could...When I cam back upstairs my Senegal Parrot, my Green Cheek, and my Cockatiel were sitting on their stands, all with their own "Somebody did something they shouldn't have done and now we feel guilty and know we're in-trouble" looks...And Lita was still on the plate, munching away on what was left of my slice of Pizza (it was a huge slice of Pizza by the way)...I scooped her up and was getting ready to give her my "I'm very mad at you because you were bad and you know it" look, but she started heaving before I got a chance...She vomited-up about half of a large slice of New York style Cheese-Pizza that she had just started eating only 15 minutes prior, and it came up, and then came up again, and again, and again, and again, every time in large piles of mushed-up cheese pizza...Poor thing heaved and vomited at least 6 times, she punished herself so I just held her and stroked the back of her neck, telling her it was going to be okay...Poor baby kept looking at me like "Mama make it stop! I'm sorry Mama, I won't do it again!"...It upset me and broke my heart because watching a bird actually vomit is pretty disturbing to begin with, and if it's your own bird then it's horrible...

Keep us posted and let us know how your Budgie is doing and what the Avian Vet says...Make sure you take a Fecal-sample with you...Oh, by the way, I don't know if your Budgie likes to take a bath (most of them LOVE baths), but even if you mist those Pin-Feathers on the top of his head with a water-bottle that can spray a mist, this will make the Keratin-sheath around the immature-feather inside (what makes Pin-feathers "spikey" and pointy/hard) fall apart more-quickly than it will on it's own, and most-importantly it will stop the itching that they cause. Pin-feathers are horribly itchy and uncomfortable, and if you touch them the wrong way or push them in the wrong-direction, they actually cause the bird pain and they'll usually scream at you and even nip at you if you do it. I try to help my guys with the Pin-feathers on the top of their heads and other places that they can't preen themselves. If they are mature enough, you can roll each individual Pin-Feather between 2 of your fingers very gently, and they will fall apart into little flakes/dust, and the feather will be released. But you have to be very gentle so it's not painful for them. And if they have cage-mates that preen each other, then they'll usually get all of the Pin-feathers for each other that they can't reach themselves. So if your Budgie likes to take baths in his water dish or in a container, this is the time to give him one (Budgies usually LOVE those cheap, plastic Birdy Bathtubs with the mirrors in the bottom of them that they sell at Petco and Petsmart for like $3.
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