Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman
Linda Kay asks:
Hello Catherine- wondering if you can help, maybe a suggestion, we know you can’t make a diagnosis.
We have a young (1 yr) female budgie that suddenly (overnight) became wobbly, has a hard time perching, tucks her head in her wing, and has lost interest in all budgies in the flight (12) even a best buddy.
She can fly, she eats.
We’re very careful about diet and safety.
We checked her for physical issues (nails, feet, vent, wings) nothing visible.
Any thoughts on how to keep her comfortable or whatever?
Hate to see a vet but I would.
Usually, they don’t ever come home 🙁 Thanks for your attention.
We are very sorry to hear about your budgie not being well.
We fully understand how you feel and your plight.
These sweet little birds have been pets to humans for so very long that they have become known as disposable pets.
That does not mean that they have less value to us than our dogs, cats, or larger birds.
But instead is due to their low cost in purchasing and ease of breeding.
Wholesale can go for $2 a bird and more than not can be picked up free from friends and rescues.
This results in a pet often purchased on a whim with little cost other than the cage.
The food provided is often cheap and low quality and when they become ill, taking them to the proper veterinarian for them can be a heart-stopper when it is revealed that the visit is $200 and up.
So when these birds get ill, they often don’t get taken anywhere which of course is sad.
But unless one has the extra income, it isn’t going to happen.
Due to parakeets, budgerigars, all being so inbred, they don’t have the strong genes they would have in their normal green and yellow states.
They suffer more from health issues, tumors, feather problems, and even neurological issues.
Largest swarm of budgies ever ~ video
They could live 25 years, but currently, parakeets in our homes live 2-12 years at most.
The best thing to do is to put the bird in a smaller cage and be sure there is a lot of clean water and seed available, keep the cage in a warm place and watch and clean the cage and maintain as needed.
If the other birds don’t bother her, maybe she can stay in the big cage.
Just place a big dish of food at the bottom and a shallow dish of water nearby as well.
The reason I say all this is due to this morning I found our ailing budgie, passed away on the floor of the budgie flight.
So I too am mourning the loss of this little bird for only a few hours now.
I had been watching and waiting over this little one for the last few weeks.
She had started spending more time at the big blue pie pan of seed I keep at the bottom of the aviary.
The birds also have 3 seed feeders up high along with two water dishes and 2 water bottles.
They also get 2 chopped veggie dishes mounted high.
She seemed okay but would spend more time eating there than above, so I added a shallow water crock nearby. I noticed that she stopped going back up above to sleep. She started sitting on the lip of the dish, then eventually just stayed in the middle of the dish surrounded by the seed. I suspected she might be blind.
Inside the life of budgies ~ video
I would change out the whole dish of seed every other day, picking her up and setting her into the new dish. She did fuss so she had some energy.
The other birds did not mess with her at all. One might come down and share some of the dish, but she was not harassed in any way.
I didn’t want to remove her if they didn’t bother her. I am sure hearing them, having the light on and bird music helped her pass the time until she no longer could make it another day.
Mitch had offered to put her down a few days ago but I felt she was not suffering in her final days but was more disoriented.
She was with us for about 4 years. She was one of 10 rescued budgies we took in over the span of a year.
We started with a found parakeet who we realized was feral and we found her a friend, then we were gifted 2 more. Then in no time we were up to 10 and put a stop on accepting any more.
We set them all up in a large aviary and they have all lived very well together until about 6 months ago when one died suddenly with no warning. Bypassing one who had not appeared well for 6 months. Then he passed.
It being winter we then had two budgie bodies in the freezer, waiting to be buried in the flower bed alongside our other past sweet pet birds.
So now this morning we lost this little one. It pains me, Mitch doesn’t know yet. The remaining 7 birds are not as loud today, I made sure to play their birdie music playlist and life goes on.
They may be little, but they make an impact on our lives.
I hope your little one recovers and rejoins the flock.
Thank you for sharing.
First and foremost, thank you for such a quick reply.
Thank you for your empathy and obvious compassion for our feathered friends.
We were especially thankful to read your sad but insightful account of your very recent experience with your little budgie.
We, too, share the sorrow of your loss and couldn’t agree more about their impact on our joy and the importance they offer. These parakeets have given us a tremendous amount of enjoyment over the years. We have the original 2-then 4-purchased in Chicago 8+ yrs. ago.
We have provided “housing” at the bottom of the flight (2 3′ flights that we opened up and connected) – food, water, soft perch.
Walking on the bottom is hard for her, she’ll flip on her back but can “right” herself.
She still flies and perches high (mainly on a large carousel) or low and still interacts with her favorite boy -although, regrettably, he seems to have lost interest-not mean-just not as interested as he once was.
We took her to the breeder where we purchased her, said it seems neurological as she has seen this before and couldn’t offer any help.
About 10 mos. ago we had a sick female, took her to an avian vet and as you say, really to no avail. We separated her with her extremely devoted male by her side to the slow, agonizing end. It was horrible. so we hate to repeat the process with little Sun. If need be, we will.
In closing, we’d like to say, we have been in your store in Chicago and follow your weekly emails. We know about the Breakfast Club and can even recall a “rescue” that was added to the original bunch.
We have been meaning to email you to tell how successful the chopped fresh veggies on the romaine leaf went over with the birds – they’re wild about it and demolish it completely in a couple of hours if that.
We now have eliminated the millet as enticement! We’re now working on the Good Seed Mix.
Thanks again for responding.
Lin & Monnie-in Florida.