Fluffy, inactive Budgerigar

by Chanty
(New York, NY, USA)

I have a male & female budgerigar both about 2 years old. Both have always been very talkative and active.

About a week ago, the male became inactive, just sitting around fluffed up and has been very quiet. He continues to eat a lot. It seems that he is eating more than normal.

Although I have always provided a mixture of seed feed and pellets, both birds have consistently refused the pellets and consume only the seeds.

His eyes and nostrils are clear and look normal. His breathing appears normal as does his stool. He is not shedding feathers. But his lack of vocalization and inactivity are uncharacteristic. Could this be molting or seasonal behavioral changes or does he need medical care?

The female seems normal except that she is less vocal than usual but that seems linked to the male's lack of response to her talk.

Comments for Fluffy, inactive Budgerigar

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Nov 18, 2011
How to know if they eat bird pellets
by: Tracie

One evening when you are going to bed, remove all food from the cage. The next morning put only pellets in the dish. Sit and watch and see if they eat any.

You might have to do this on your day off, if you work. You can also count out say 10 pellets and then come back an hour later and see how many are still there. You will need to make sure the cage bottom is clean so you can see if they threw them down on the floor if you don't sit and watch them.

Nov 17, 2011
Fluffy, inactive Budgerigar another question
by: Chanty

Thanks you for your comments. I will take both birds to the vet ASAP and I will try your feeding techniques.
I have been giving them both types of feed for the 2 years I've had them. The upsetting thing is that I've been giving pellets mixed in with the seed. All the pellet brands I've tried said you must switch them gradually and that budgies would starve rather than eat an unfamiliar food.

How can I be sure they "know" the pellets are food. I could never tell whether they had eaten any pellets at all.

Nov 17, 2011
Fluffy bird and not eating pellets
by: Tracie

Sitting fluffed, inactive and quiet is a sign of illness. Dr B can not tell if your bird is sick or has an infection without an in person exam. He suggests that you Find an Avian Vet to examine both birds soon.

If you are putting the pellets and the seed in at the same time, the birds will naturally leave the pellets alone.

If your birds for sure know that pellets are food, you know they eat them but don't prefer them, then this is how you can get them to eat the pellets and help them stay healthy. (If your bird eats mostly seed it will end up with health problems.)

Budgies should have 70% pellets and 30% treats (no more than 10% seeds). Feed high quality pellets like Harrison's or Roudybush because colored pellets and cheap pellets with sugar and chemicals will deteriorate the birds health.

At night clean out the food dish. Either put the pellets in before going to bed or first thing in the morning. The birds will be hungriest in the morning, and will be more likely to eat the pellets then.

In the afternoon or evening, give the birds their seeds and treats according to how much pellets they have eaten. When you see how few pellets you give them, you can see that they should eat very little seed.

Our birds will often wait until late in the day to eat most of the pellets. They are holding out for seed and will sometimes even chirp like they are starving and have eaten all their pellets. We check the dish, and if they still have a bunch of pellets, we turn around and walk off. They will then eat the pellets! LOL

Either way, around 8pm even if they haven't eaten most or all the pellets we add some seed and treats to the dish. If they were really hungry, they would have eaten the pellets, because the birds are not going to starve themselves when they know there is food there.

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