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Old 08-06-2019, 08:10 PM
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Exclamation Is my budgie sick?

I recently took in my boyfriend's roommate's budgie.
He's had him for some time, a few months or so now, and he wasn't exactly kept in the best conditions. He's been fed only seeds. He had a mirror toy that he became obsessed with and as a result became very bitey.
He took to pleasuring himself on the towel draping his cage and then became very territorial and would attack your feet or hands.

His first few days here I removed the mirror part of his toy. A few days later, the toy was replaced with another one because it seems to trigger him. His behavior improved a lot and he became more aware of his surroundings almost.

I noticed then that he seemed to have poop stuck to his vent. I had been planning to switch him over to a healthier diet so I started right away. I had heard that seeds diets can cause problems later on, as well as constipation.
I got him to finally eat broccoli that night, as well as pellets, carrots, and apple the day after.

I began giving him only a little bit of millet and occasional seeds, but majorly pellets. He was eating normally, but would go crazy when I'd give him some millet like an addict.

He became more cuddly and allowed me to scratch his head, even asking for it. He'd fly around my home without any issue.
However, now he's more quiet. He'd be all jumpy in his cage and then when let out he'd just want to sit and have his head scratched, occasionally flying.
Tonight his behavior has changed even more. He became nippy again, he goes into his little fabric hidey home thing (which he never used to do), he's been poofed up for days, and only now he seems almost depressed and disinterested even in the bathroom mirror.

What could be causing this?
His poops look normal, but his feet are a little colder.
His roommate used to let him go freely about the apartment all day, but of course I can't do that.
Is he depressed because he's in a new place, because I took away his mirror, because I changed his diet, because I don't let him out as much?
He seemed odd before I gave him new food so I don't think it's that. I only started the new food because I was worried the just seeds diet was making him like that.
I've kept his cage the cleanest it's ever been too.

Was it something before I even took him in? Is he maybe hormonal?

Edit: Also he's just been sitting puffed up, sleepy, and stretching his wings frequently as of the last 30 min.

Last edited by aleks0_0; 08-06-2019 at 08:17 PM. Reason: More info
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:56 PM
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Re: Is my budgie sick?

Puffed up and sleepy are usually signs of illness. Youíve done a good job noticing! Can you get him to a vet?


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Old 08-07-2019, 07:34 AM
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Re: Is my budgie sick?

First of all, thanks for giving the budgie a home and improving his life. He’s been through a lot of changes so it’s impossible to say without a thorough vet check. It sounds like you are doing everything right but there still may be health issues. Birds are known for hiding illnesses, I agree with Inger, I would schedule a visit with a certified avian vet. I would remove the fabric hidey home immediately, they are extremely dangerous for several reasons, they can intensify hormonal behavior and if a bird swallows enough of the fabric they can get crop infections or impacted crops. It’s very wise of you to keep his cage immaculately clean. I hope you can find the cause behind the symptoms very soon so he can get back to being a healthy, happy budgie. Please keep us updated.
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:33 PM
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Re: Is my budgie sick?

Update:
I gave him a fair amount of seeds yesterday when he was acting strange. I thought that maybe he wasn't eating enough or the new food might've been causing him to not feel well.

This morning he was completely different. "Back to his old self" I would say, as in being slim and not puffed and being bitey and unfriendly.

Could it be the seeds? I've heard that seed diets can cause behavioral issues as well as health issues. Maybe it's like an addict whose drug has been taken away?
When he wasn't eating seeds he became friendly, but almost depressed.
I gave them back and now he's unfriendly and hyperactive.

I replaced his food with pellets and fresh veggies again to see if this would do anything.
As of right now he's in perfectly good health again.
Active, good poops, not puffed.
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:36 PM
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Re: Is my budgie sick?

Quote: Originally Posted by Inger View Post
Puffed up and sleepy are usually signs of illness. Youíve done a good job noticing! Can you get him to a vet?


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I posted an update on how he's doing now below. It's really strange and I think it has to do with his diet. He's not poofy or lethargic anymore.
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:38 PM
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Re: Is my budgie sick?

Quote: Originally Posted by Allee View Post
First of all, thanks for giving the budgie a home and improving his life. Heís been through a lot of changes so itís impossible to say without a thorough vet check. It sounds like you are doing everything right but there still may be health issues. Birds are known for hiding illnesses, I agree with Inger, I would schedule a visit with a certified avian vet. I would remove the fabric hidey home immediately, they are extremely dangerous for several reasons, they can intensify hormonal behavior and if a bird swallows enough of the fabric they can get crop infections or impacted crops. Itís very wise of you to keep his cage immaculately clean. I hope you can find the cause behind the symptoms very soon so he can get back to being a healthy, happy budgie. Please keep us updated.
Thank you for your advice and information, I have removed the home.
I posted an update on how he's doing.
He's no longer poofed up and exactly how he was before. No signs of lethargy, good poops, etc.
I think it might have to do with the seeds...
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:07 PM
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Re: Is my budgie sick?

It's possible that the removal of the seeds left him puffed up and lethargic. A slow change from seed rather than a quick change would be my suggestion. Wean him off of them and onto pellets if you can. Seeds are a more natural food source for birds so a lot of them prefer to eat them over other food types. Your bird may simply have been lethargic and "poofy" because he was very hungry.

Your bird needs to relearn what food is when you change over to pellets so imo mix seeds and pellets and every couple of days reduce the amount of seed to pellet until there are no more seeds. Hopefully he will learn that pellets are food an d not hold out for seeds alone.
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:19 PM
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Re: Is my budgie sick?

I agree with Talven,try to slowly reduce the amount of seed to more pellets over the next couple weeks. For a parrot seed to pellets is like hamburgers to salad for humans! (What IS this stuff they are feeding me???!!!) The little guys system might have gone into "shock" ( for a better word) from being switched to pellets so fast. As you decrease the amount of seed,look in his food bowl for signs of pellet crumbs/dust,that'll give you an indication that he is at least trying them. It could take time but he'll eventually eat them,after all...he won't starve himself.
When he is out with you,you can try having a plate of fruit and veggies in front of you and have him with you while you say to him " Yummmm this is GOOD!" and nibble in front of him and offer him a tiny piece of broccoli or apple,he'll get the idea that its not poison!

And a big THANK YOU to you,for offering this guy a much better life and caring so much for him!! Budgies may be small but they have HUGE birdonalities!


Jim
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Jonesy, a cute Goffin 'too
that had to be rehomed :-(

And a Grey 'teil, BB...a.k.a. The Beebs
that was 18 weeks old 5/20/2016,






Rest in peace,my precious Smokey..4/2015 at 28 years young
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