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 haven’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 don’t think that’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 who’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 she’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 there’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 I’d be careful doing that as the skin underneath will be soft and fragile.

The cere overgrowth doesn’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 haven’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 don’t think that’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 who’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 she’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 there’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 I’d be careful doing that as the skin underneath will be soft and fragile.

The cere overgrowth doesn’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
2,300
4,370
I don’t think you NEED to do anything. The thickened cere happens when the female budgie is in breeding condition for months. It’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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