Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman
This super rare mutation (above) is what is known as the Feather Duster budgie. They are bred for their unusual feather growth which results in shortened lifespans.
Cynthia H. asks
I have been raising parakeets for 6+ years and even handfed and took to bird stores to sell, but in the last couple of years I didn’t hand feed and they all crossbred with each other, I did not have the time to take to keep them separated.
But I noticed some kind of birth defect. The babies cannot fly, their wings start freezing up.
Their backs start curving down and they can barely walk and have a breathing problem, most have died. I still have one who loves getting her head scratched. Is this happening cuz they are inbred?
Help. Thank you for your time
Without an exam from an Avian Veterinarian, it is not a for sure to tell why the babies are not doing well.
It could be an illness.
Budgerigar Fledgling Disease, Also known as Papovavirus, is caused by the Psittacine polyomavirus virus, which kills the young birds before fledging (flying).
It does not affect adult birds, although there is the possibility that they may be carriers of the virus.
Or Inbreeding problems.
Budgies do not mate for life and are in no way monogamous.
If given the chance in a colony breeding situation they can, and will, mate with multiple partners.
Hens can easily lay eggs in another hens nestbox, and males can mate with a number of hens that are only limited to how many they are in contact with.
If you have any related birds in your flight/aviary regardless of who they technically pair up with, you have absolutely no way of knowing who the mother or father will be of any given chick.
It will only take a few generations of such breeding practices for the genetic weaknesses, abnormalities, and the unavoidable shortened life span that comes with these weaknesses to catch up with all of the babies you produce by the colony breeding method.
If you wish to continue with your birds, please take a sample group to the vet and find out what is going on.
I wish you the best in finding out the problem.