Budgerigars / Budgies – Common Diseases

Budgerigars / Budgies: What diseases do budgies most frequently come down with, such as feather diseases, infection, malnutrition, etc.

Fatty Tumors

Budgies, like all birds, are very adept at concealing their illness. This is a self-preservation mechanism, as the sick and the weak are the ones predators will focus on. By the time your pet looks ill, you can assume that your pet is seriously sick and is likely to deteriorate quickly unless appropriate treatment is provided.

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    By observing your pet daily you will learn its normal behavior and you will be able to notice anything out of the ordinary. Below is a list of things to look out for as possible indicators of disease / illness; and a vet may need to be consulted.

    Signs of illness to watch out for:

    Critical / Serious – bird needs to be taken to vet:

    Could be serious – consult with vet:

    • loss of appetite
    • fluffed up and/or untidy appearance
    • abnormal droppings
    • excessive feather picking or plucking
    • abnormal sleep pattern (continuous, both feet on the perch when normally one foot is tucked up, head tucked under the wing, head turned towards the wing with eyes only partly closed)
    • any change in normal activities (talking or whistling, playing with toys, preening, interaction with other birds or humans, energy levels, different perching area)
    • disorientation
    • drinking a lot more water than usual (diabetes?)
    • soiled vent (diarrhea)
    • drooping head, tail or wings
    • cere changes color to purple brown (in male budgies) – could be a clue that a budgie is suffering from testicular cancer.

    Diseases / conditions budgies are usually diagnosed with:

    • Malnutrition:
      • Vitamin A and calcium / vitamin D deficiency are the most common deficiencies seen in seed junkies. Since seeds are higher in fat than many other foods, many seed eaters are often obese as well.

    What you can do:

    Introducing healthy foods – such as green leafy vegetables; red or orange fruits and veggies (which contain beta-carotene) – is a natural way to provide this nutrient safely. Calcium blocks should be provided also, to prevent calcium deficiency.

    For seed addicted birds offer sprouted seeds instead. Sprouted or germinated seeds are usually more easily accepted by “seed addicts” than fresh fruits and vegetables.

    • Sprouted seeds are healthier as the sprouting changes and enhances the nutritional quality and value of seeds and grains. Sprouted seeds are lower in fat, as the process of sprouting utilizes the fat in the seed to start the growing process – thus reducing the fat stored in the seeds.
    • Sprouted seeds will help balance your bird’s diet by adding a nutritious supply of high in vegetable proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll.
    • Soaked and germinated “oil” seeds, like niger and rape seeds, are rich in protein and carbohydrates; while “starch” seeds, such as canary and millets, are rich in carbohydrates, but lower in protein.
    • It is an invaluable food at all times; however, it is especially important for breeding or molting birds. Sprouted seeds also serve as a great rearing and weaning food as the softened shell is easier to break by chicks and gets them used to the texture of seeds.

    Find Your Local Avian Veterinarian

    Related Web Resources: Index of Bird DiseasesSymptoms and Potential CausesBird Health CareGlossary of Avian Medical TermsMedications Used in Avian and Exotic Medicine and Pharmaceutical TermsHow to administer oral medications to a bird

    Further Budgie Reading

    Budgie Health Programs



    Here at Beauty of Birds, you can get the information about the Budgerigar / Budgie/ Parakeet Health Program Budgie Info, Budgie Diseases, Bird Care Requirements / Tips before Choosing the Right Pet for Your Family.


    Budgerigar / Budgie/ Parakeet Health Program

    Author: Rob Marshall – Avian Vet

    Over the past 5-10 years the budgerigar fancy has become very well informed as to the importance of a healthy flock for breeding and show success.

    However, the budgerigar fancier has failed to understand that true and continuing health relies more upon a strong level of natural resistance in the budgerigar flock rather than upon the use of medicines.

    A flock with a strong natural resistance will rarely experience health problems when the aviary is well managed, but the flock with a low level of natural resistance will experience health problems irrespective of the level of aviary management employed.

    For this reason, the fancier must think carefully about developing a flock with strong levels of natural resistance and practice good aviary management if continuing good health is to be enjoyed.

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      The health systems that Dr Marshall have developed for budgerigars concentrate on first developing natural health within the flock then using medicines wisely to maximize breeding and show success.

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        The health systems are divided into categories for breeding birds, aviary birds and show birds.
        The breeding systems are designed to maximize the breeding potential of the flock. The aviary systems maintain and enhance health and the show bird systems bring the birds into the peak of health for top show performance.

        The ultimate goal is to produce the champion budgerigar.
        There are many successful methods used to prepare Exhibition Budgerigars for the show.

        It is the strict attention to detail and careful planning which separates the very best fanciers from the rest.

        Success in the show arena is solely dependent upon the results of the breeding season. For this reason, preparations for a successful show campaign must begin well before this time.

        The correct selection of the breeding pairs and the production of healthy and robust youngsters lay the foundation for a successful show season.

        A strong foundation of good health paves the way for a successful show season.

        Nowadays, the time spent with the birds is often limited by work and family commitments.
        This means that realistic goals and careful planning are needed for the continuing success and enjoyment of this very challenging hobby.

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          The joy of keeping and showing budgerigars and the camaraderie within the Budgerigar Society must not be spoilt by the disappointment of failing to achieve unrealistic goals, because of time restraints.

          If your time is limited, then lower the numbers and varieties of birds that are exhibited and set the birds up for just one or two major shows a year.

          The custom-made health program is the best option for the busy fancier.
          A custom-made health program is by far the best and most cost effective way of controlling disease and enhancing breeding performance and show success.

          The health programs are designed after analyzing the droppings and talking with the fancier.

          The Basic Health Programme

          Day of WeekWater SupplementsFood SupplementsAdditional Instructions
          MondayFresh waterSoft Food Recipes with Turbobooster and an energy supplement on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. See Budgerigar Medicine Book for recipes.INSECT CONTROL
          Ivermectin type medicine for 2 consecutive days each 3 weeks. Coopex aviary at the same time. WORM CONTROL
          A wormer for 2 consecutive days each month. COCCIDIOSIS CONTROL
          Coccidiosis prevention for 3 days each 5 weeks. Megamix for each day for up to 4 days of rain.
          TuesdayFresh water
          WednesdayFresh water
          ThursdayFresh water
          FridayWater Cleanser

          Further Budgie Reading

          Photo of author

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