- Jan 24, 2023
- Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
I had a budgie that lived to be 13 and never ate anything but a budgie seed mix. He had an amazing avian vet that took care of his medical problems and injuries over the years. They encouraged me to feed him pellets but he wouldn't eat them. He finally passed from kidney failure but it took two years for him to die. Every time he began to fail I brought him to the vet hospital and he was admitted for several days to get fluids and be tube fed until he got his strength up. The vet did a free necropsy (his idea) so he could see the insides of a "geriatric budgie" (his words). He had bad cataracts, and his kidneys were clogged with urates. They also found the remnants of a testicular tumor that had outgrown it's own blood supply and shrivelled up. He was a visual male until he was three years old when his cere slowly turned tan/brown. As he aged past ten, his cere turned back to that of a visual male (lavender because he was recessive pied). The vet had suspected a hormone secreting tumor was responsible for his "sex change" and slow change back. What's interesting is that this tumor has nothing to do with his eventual death.You have no idea how amazing it was for Sweetie Bird to live to be 15! I'll tell you his story. Please don't judge me after you hear it.
Back then I knew NOTHING about parakeet diets (Google didn't exist then, or if it did, I wasn't using it). I bought him as a baby from a breeder. He couldn't fly yet.
The breeder gave me instructions on hand feeding, weaning, and adult diet, which meant (in our case) seeds, crushed oyster shell water, toys and cuttlebone. Also they told me to cover his cage at night. That was all the information I had and I followed the instructions. I got all my information from his breeder. I trusted they knew what to do. They probably had 100 budgies.
His cage was right off the kitchen. I used non-stick cookware, plus all kinds of sprays and scented cleaners. I was a clean freak so I used every cleaner known to man. 🤢
Our house was big and open with high ceilings, so maybe that saved him from the teflon and other fumes in the air.
He lived in a large conure cage, not because I knew he needed space, but because a California Cage was better built than Preview Hendrix, and I chose the best, most expensive cage for him. He never got sunshine or had a UV light because I had no clue. I never misted him with water because no one told me he needed misting. He never had a bath that I remember either. I used a water bottle with a little ball spout for him to drink from because I didn't want his water to get bacteria in it, so maybe that contributed to a long healthy life. His water was always clean. We had well water at that house so maybe that helped as well.
However, he had lots of attention and love. Old folks used to tell young couples, "You can't live on love." Maybe Sweetie Bird lived on love.
I'm positive of his age because I wrote the dates in a veterinary hand book.
Poor fella never had fruit, veggies, or a UV light! The only good advice I got was to not use a mirror and to cover his cage at night. If I knew then what I know now, he might have lived even longer.
I thought Sweetie Bird had the best care possible until I decided to get another parakeet and began reading up on them online. Talk about shock!