General health

How do I know if one of my budgies is ill? 

You should check your budgies each day for any signs of illness. These might include the following: 

  • Watery droppings 
  • Fluffed up feathers 
  • Lack of energy/sleeping more than usual 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Drinking much more or less than normal 
  • Unusual swellings 
  • Loss of feathers 
  • Limping or holding one leg up 
  • Unusual bleeding 
  • Watery eyes or nostrils 
  • Overgrown beak


If you see any of these signs, visit your vet straight away. Birds will hide signs of disease as long as they can, so if your bird looks unwell they may be in an advanced stage of disease. Therefore, don’t hesitate taking your budgie to your vet. 

There could be other signs of illness, not on this list, and any change in behaviour should alert you to the possibility of illness.

What should I do if I think one of my budgies is ill? 

If you are worried about the health of any of your budgies you should make an appointment to visit your vet straight away. Medical conditions can worsen in birds very quickly, so don’t hesitate to make an appointment. 

Will all vets treat birds? 

Ideally, you should find a vet who has a special interest in treating birds. They will be able to offer the best advice and will have the most appropriate facilities. Your local veterinary practice will be able to tell you where you can locate an avian (bird) vet in your area. 

What should I do if one of my budgies gets an overgrown beak or nails? 

If you use the right type of perch (please visit “What type of perch is most suitable for budgies?” on our Budgie behaviour page) nails should stay at the right length naturally.  If you notice that they are becoming overgrown you should take your budgie to your vet to have them trimmed. If regular trimming is required, your vet can show you how to do this yourself, as well as discussing ways of keeping them worn down naturally. 

Similarly, the beak should not normally become overgrown. But in some birds, the upper and lower beak do not meet properly, so the beak doesn’t wear down naturally. This can cause problems with eating. If the beak becomes overgrown you should take your budgie to your vet to have it filed down.

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