moony123

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Jul 20, 2022
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Hello! I am not an owner of budgies myself, but my grandmother is. She has 3 budgies (2 males, 1 female, at least 6 years old), all in the same cage. Upon looking at her budgies today, I noticed that the female has an overgrown cere. I can't tell if it's covering her nostrils, but apparently it's been growing since at least January. I saw various different results about it online so I'm not exactly sure why it's happening or how to fix it. In addition, they eat a generic parakeet/finch seed and have a calcium/cuttle bone, with occasional millet, so I'm not sure if diet could contribute to it as well. I attached some photos, but some health related/diet advice would be appreciated! I've never owned birds before so they're not my specialty. I don't believe my grandmother has access to an avian vet at this time but I will take all the tips I can get, thank you for taking the time to read!
 

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HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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I think I can see nostrils. I have seen photos of much worse overgrowth but it does look thick. Maybe a budgie expert could advise? I havenโ€™t had a budgie in many years.

I recall a few reasons ceres can overgrow. One is from scaly face mites. But those are rare, they make a really heavy whitish crud on the face, and I donโ€™t think thatโ€™s what it looks like. Also, I think lack of vitamin A can cause hyperkeratosis of cere and feet. (I saw that in an abused conure whoโ€™d been starved and it went away with good diet and foot rubs.). Being really old can also cause some buildup on the cere as well as prolongedly being in a breeding state.

When my birds were not eating pellets, I used a sprinkle of vitamins (in this case, nekton-s) on their food. Many seeds are fortified with vitamins but if sheโ€™s feeding the really cheap seed, it may not be. So feeding vitamin enriched seed or buying vitamins could help. Certainly some greens and veggies would be great!

I would make sure thereโ€™s no nest box or nest or shadowy enclosure for the budgie to be confused by.

You can also rub some oil on the cere which should help loosen this stuff up. I hear it can be gently flaked off. But Iโ€™d be careful doing that as the skin underneath will be soft and fragile.

The cere overgrowth doesnโ€™t look too bad to me.
 
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moony123

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Jul 20, 2022
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I think I can see nostrils. I have seen photos of much worse overgrowth but it does look thick. Maybe a budgie expert could advise? I havenโ€™t had a budgie in many years.

I recall a few reasons ceres can overgrow. One is from scaly face mites. But those are rare, they make a really heavy whitish crud on the face, and I donโ€™t think thatโ€™s what it looks like. Also, I think lack of vitamin A can cause hyperkeratosis of cere and feet. (I saw that in an abused conure whoโ€™d been starved and it went away with good diet and foot rubs.). Being really old can also cause some buildup on the cere as well as prolongedly being in a breeding state.

When my birds were not eating pellets, I used a sprinkle of vitamins (in this case, nekton-s) on their food. Many seeds are fortified with vitamins but if sheโ€™s feeding the really cheap seed, it may not be. So feeding vitamin enriched seed or buying vitamins could help. Certainly some greens and veggies would be great!

I would make sure thereโ€™s no nest box or nest or shadowy enclosure for the budgie to be confused by.

You can also rub some oil on the cere which should help loosen this stuff up. I hear it can be gently flaked off. But Iโ€™d be careful doing that as the skin underneath will be soft and fragile.

The cere overgrowth doesnโ€™t look too bad to me.
Okay, thank you for the advice! I will look into better food/supplement options and see if that can help long-term. Do you know what oil could be best? I saw something about cottonseed oil and olive oil so I was thinking of trying those out but if there's a better option I'm open to suggestions! Thank you again for responding, I really appreciate it!
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
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I donโ€™t think you NEED to do anything. The thickened cere happens when the female budgie is in breeding condition for months. Itโ€™s not a big deal.

If you must treat the cere, some coconut oil would help soften the tough keratin and is supposed to be antibacterial/ antifungal.
 
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moony123

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Jul 20, 2022
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Hi all! Thank you to those who responded with advice! A few days after posting in the forum, the overgrowth began to fall off! Her cere is completely clear now!!
 

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