Keeping your budgie healthy
It’s important to keep an eye on your budgie’s health and check them every day for signs of illness. There are also lots of things you can do to keep your beloved budgie in tip-top health.
Finding a vet for your budgie
It’s really important for all your pets to be registered with a vet – including your budgie. Ask your local vet if they’re an avian (bird) vet or if they know one in your area. An avian vet has a special interest in treating birds – they’ll have the right knowledge and facilities to give your budgie the best health care.
Health emergency: signs and symptoms to look out for
Birds hide signs that they’re ill for as long as they can. Look out for any changes in behaviour as these could be an early sign that your bird isn’t well.
Sick budgies can go downhill very quickly so if you spot any of these symptoms get to your vet straight away:
- 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
Overgrown nails and beak
Some budgies can suffer from overgrown nails – often because they don’t have the right perch to help them wear down naturally. Your vet can trim them for you. If your budgie needs a regular nail trim, your vet can show you how to do it safely.
It’s uncommon for budgies to have overgrown beaks. However, if their upper and lower beak doesn’t meet properly the beak won’t wear down properly and can make eating difficult. Your vet can file the beak down.
Preventing health problems in budgies
It’s really upsetting when you beloved pet becomes ill. Luckily, there’s lots of simple steps you can take to help keep your budgie in the best of health.
Bird baths: keeping your budgie clean and healthy
Putting a bird bath in your budgies’ aviary will help them keep their feathers in top condition. This is really important for birds who live indoor because the heating systems in our homes can dry out the air.
Budgies love to splash around in their bath. If yours is an indoor budgie, try an enclosed bath so they can splash to their hearts content without making too much mess.
You can also try spraying your budgie with lukewarm water from a mist dispenser – lots of budgies love it.
Stopping budgie boredom
Budgies need toys and other objects to keep them busy and stop them getting bored. Things like rope ladders and swing perches are ideal. Make sure they’re zinc-free and safe for birds, as zinc can be toxic for budgies.
Mix it up and give your budgie different toys each week. It’ll make playtime more interesting for them and give you a chance to properly clean their toys.
The perfect perch
Your budgies will need a perch or two in their aviary so they can rest safely. The perch you choose can have a big impact on your budgies’ foot health, so it’s important to get it right.
Avoid smooth, tube-like surfaces (like the wooden dowelling perches sold with many bird cages) and perches covered with sandpaper. These are bad for your budgies’ feet and could lead to health problems.
A natural branch is best for your budgie. It’ll help the blood circulation in their feet and they can strip the bark with their beak, which is what budgies would do in the wild.
Follow these tips to give your budgie the best natural perch:
- It should be roughly 1cm thick and have an uneven surface.
- The best perches are covered in bark that your budgie can strip – an important natural behaviour.
- Choose a perch from trees like willow, birch, poplar or alder, or fruit trees like apple.
- Make sure it hasn’t been treated with chemicals.
- Bake the perch in the oven for an hour – this will kill and parasites living under the bark.
Natural perches can be tricky clean so replace them regularly.