Parakeet scratching and rubbing his face; lots of white flakes

by Henry

For the past few weeks (probably more than a month), my budgerigar has been rubbing his "face" on various objects (my finger, the perch in his cage, etc.), almost as if he's trying to scratch an itch. Also, whenever he uses his claws to scratch himself, many small white flakes (almost like salt) fall onto my shoulder or arm.

Is this cause for alarm? What's going on?

Also, my bird eats mostly seed, although he LOVES spinach. Is it bad for him to eat so much seed even if he gets plenty of exercise every day (his wings aren't clipped)?

Comments for Parakeet scratching and rubbing his face; lots of white flakes

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Apr 24, 2008
Seed only diet and exercise
by: The Vet

Exercise is very important and helps to burn the fat that is in the seed diet. However, it does not make up for the many nutrients that are missing in seed diets. The spinach is a good treat, but does not balance the diet. The very best you can do for your bird is to get him to eat Harrison’s pellets. Some budgies are very stubborn and refuse to eat pellets.

Follow the instructions on switching to pellets and your bird will be eating them in 1-2 weeks. (The instructions can be found under our Parrot Training link to the left of your screen.) If he does not eat the pellets, there is a product that can be added to water – Avi-x Bird Builder – that replaces some of the nutrients not found in seed. It is not the optimal way of feeding a bird, but some budgies refuse pellets and so this nutritional supplement should be used in these cases.

Dr. B

P.S. (From Tracie) The white flakes and scratching are from the bird molting. Providing bath water will help this some.

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