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Thread: My Tallulah Needs to Gain Weight

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    Moulting Agnes's Avatar
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    My Tallulah Needs to Gain Weight

    Any suggestions to help my English budgie gain weight. She has available to her a seed/pellet mix, but skips the pellets. She loves her cucumber and spinach, but won't touch much of anything else. She did have a couple of bites of a grape yesterday...

    I took her to the vet's today and she weighs only 38 grams, which shocked me. The vet said nothing about her weight, but I think it's much too low for her. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.


    Booger, Max, Molly & Tallulah

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    Re: My Tallulah Needs to Gain Weight

    Oh my goodness Agnes I have not seen you around here in ages. I hope everything is good with you these days. I got to ask how is Booger? Hopefully she is still with you and doing good.

    I really do not know anything about Budgies and how to fatten them up but it does sound like he she is rather light for a English budgie. I know I use to always try to fatten up Boomer and the only thing I found that seemed to make him eat lots of his food was to put his food in a small peanut butter lid and then put it in my hand. He would happily sit on my hand and chow down on his food if I fed him that way. It worked and when he was sick it was the only way I could convince him to eat at times.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: My Tallulah Needs to Gain Weight

    As English Budgies are the larger of the Budgies I would also be worried about 38g
    Budgie Blue comes in at 48g and she is not an English Budgie. So to me something sounds wrong!
    Have a feel of her breast bone (Keel bone) and feel the meat either side of it. This will give you a better idea if she is thin.
    I am not sure how to fatten a bird up. But you could try chopped up nuts added to her other foods. These are fairly rich fat wise.
    R.I.P my little ones.

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    Re: My Tallulah Needs to Gain Weight

    Hi Deanna!

    Thanks so much for that advice. I did put a dab of peanut butter in a dish and she ignored it. I'll try it again with me hand feeding it to her or I'll eat a sandwich and offer her a bite. I forgot that she will try things if I'm eating it.

    It's so nice to know you are still around giving good advice. I'm sorry for my long absence. Booger passed away 5 years ago. She had slowed down greatly the last few months and spent most of the time in the palm of my hand. On her last day I had a feeling she wouldn't last much longer so I kept holding her instead of putting her back in her cage that evening. She passed while sleeping that night. I'm so glad I kept holding her... I miss her everyday.

    I hope all is well with you and thank you again for your advice. Take care.


    Booger, Max, Molly & Tallulah

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    Re: My Tallulah Needs to Gain Weight

    Hello Clive,

    Yes, she is much too light and it's worrying. I'll try adding nuts and see what happens.

    Thank you.


    Booger, Max, Molly & Tallulah

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    Re: My Tallulah Needs to Gain Weight

    I would suggest you try giving her a little mashed up boiled egg. Egg is good protein. You could use the white and the yellow of the egg, or either one. Also, I feed my budgie some small pieces of whole wheat bread every day. I just stick about 1/4 piece of the bread in between the cage bars and he loves to eat some and shred it as well (of course the shreds end up on the cage floor).

    Another thought would be to get a can of "baby bird formula", and see if you could get her to eat by feeding it with a plastic spoon. I would fix it according to the directions on the can. There are good nutrients and other vitamins in the baby formula that would be good for her. Even though she is no longer a baby budgie, in my view that does not matter. I would feed her this mix once a day in the morning during her breakfast time, or, if you work and can't take the time in the morning, early evening would be fine.

    And if you do not know, you can take a food scale and weigh her every day. I would keep track of her weight during the time you are feeding the baby bird food for awhile, and see if that will give her a boost, and put some meat on her bones, so to speak.

    Sometimes the last hatched of the clutch will be smaller, depending upon the number of eggs that hatched. The parents have a very busy task to feed and care for lots of chicks when they hatch. And also, sometimes the DNA of birds just passes from one generation to another and some birds are smaller than others.

    I always say that the posts I write are only my own thoughts and opinions. In the end, you are the caregiver, and the person who must decide what is best to feed and care for your bird.

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    Re: My Tallulah Needs to Gain Weight

    Thank you, Ellen. I think that's a great idea. Is it something I can get at a regular pet shop or would I need to go to a bird supply store? I will start weighing her daily to make sure she's gaining. I wish I had thought to do that before, but she just looked so healthy, it wasn't a concern.

    I'll post again with updates. Thank you very much.


    Booger, Max, Molly & Tallulah

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    Re: My Tallulah Needs to Gain Weight

    How old is she? I should have asked that in my post above. You should be able to get the baby bird formula at either the pet shop or the bird supply store. Personally, I am not much into Kaytee products, and if possible, if I were you, I would try to get another brand of the bird formula. I believe the name of Kaytee's is "Exact". I know other companies make the formula. It usually is in a rather tall plastic container. It is a powder. You mix it with water (pure water would be best). I never give my birds tap water at all. They have pure bottled water each day. (That's just another thought I had . . . that would be up to you if you decide to give her bottled water all of the time). I just don't like the chemicals in the tap water where I live, so I provide my birds with the pure water).

    You use tepid warm water to add to the formula. Then you give it to her. You could even get a little plastic syringe that you could use. Put some of the formula in the syringe, and give her a little that way. Just be sure that you don't over feed because the food can aspirate into the lungs from the crop if it is too full. With a little budgie you won't need much, but I do believe ti would be worth a try to help give her a little boost for adding some weight.

    Lots of bird owners weigh their birds every day, irregardless of whether they are heavy or light weight. I think it is a good idea, because if for any reason you have a bird that starts losing weight, then you know it needs to be evaluated by an Avian Vet. And she just might be a budgie that is not ever going to be regular weight. I would say the bird formula will help you to tell if she is going to gain any weight at all.

    All birds hide their diseases and illness very cleverly. Thankfully, your Vet gave her a good health report. One other question I have for you is do you feed the cucumber and spinach every day? Here is a website you need to visit Budgie Place. (google those words). Then in the center of the upper 1/2 of the page there are words: Advanced care. Click on advanced care, and look for an article called "The Budgies Diet". It is a "great" read. I just came from visiting that page, because I also had some concern for you feeding her spinach. The article says that spinach, chard and beet greens should be fed only once a week, because there is an acid called "oxalic acid",which binds to calcium in the digestive system and can cause deficiencies. (these are words that I took directly from the website).

    I would suggest discontinuing the spinach, and substituting any leaf lettuce, the green, or the red leaf lettuce. My Muffin loves both of them. I feed them every day to him. They are on the "good food" list on the article I just mentioned.

    When you get some time, read that article. I think you will get some great information from it.

    Please keep us updated as to her progress. I'm thinking removing the spinach from her diet may also help her, because maybe it is causing her to not be able to gain weight with the info I just discovered. I did think of the spinach because of the fact spinach has lots of natural iron in it. And you know, so do beets have iron. And the article said to feed beet greens sparingly, if at all.
    Last edited by maxollie; 05-25-2014 at 08:44 PM.

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    Re: My Tallulah Needs to Gain Weight

    Hi Ellen,

    Tallulah will be 6 on June 1st and she does have spinach everyday. I haven't read anywhere that it would be bad for her, but if that's true, I would feel terrible. I'll check out Budgies Place and stop giving her spinach. Also, we have well water with a whole house filter, so our water should be very good. Even so, I will buy water today while I'm at the grocery store. So far she hasn't eaten any of the extra food I've given her. I plan on getting unsalted shelled sunflower seeds and other nuts. My other bird would go crazy for sunflower seeds, but Tallulah had a hard time with the shell and lost interest. Maybe if they are not shelled she'll eat them.

    I bought the Kaytee Exact on Amazon yesterday because it got good reviews and I didn't think I could get it at my local pet shop. The bird supply store is an hour away and I only have the car until my husband leaves for work and, of course, because it's a holiday weekend they are closed. I'll see what my local pet shop has tomorrow. Hopefully they will have something better.

    Thank you for all the information you provided. I'm hoping I'll find something that will work. Take care.
    Last edited by Agnes; 05-26-2014 at 05:29 AM.


    Booger, Max, Molly & Tallulah

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    Tailfeather
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    Re: My Tallulah Needs to Gain Weight

    The Exact will be fine. You must make the choice of which one to feed. As I had shared, I am just not into Kaytee products, but they have been around for along time. I would suggest that you feed sunflower seeds sparingly, perhaps about once a week. I say that because they are quite heavy in "fat" content, and even though it is good fat that we as humans can consume, too much fat can cause "fatty liver" disease in birds.

    I would say since you have well water, and it is filtered, that most probably would be fine to give to her. I was speaking of "City" water which often times is full of chlorine and other additives.

    Has she always been low weight or did you pick up on that when you took her for her Vet checkup.

    I do believe the article I mentioned to you above is a great read for any person who has a budgie. It is very complete in content of care of budgies.
    Last edited by maxollie; 05-26-2014 at 09:28 AM.

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    Re: My Tallulah Needs to Gain Weight

    I went to my local pet shop today and they only had Kaytee baby food there. I did pick up some Avi-Cakes for her, but she's not touching it, same with the sunflower seeds.

    "Has she always been low weight or did you pick up on that when you had the Vet check?"

    She was of normal weight when I got her, not on the low side. I wish I kept weighing her. I weighed her today and she is up 1 gram, but that could be a difference between my scale and the vet's. I hope she actually gained a little.

    Thanks again, Ellen. I hope you are enjoying the holiday. Take care.


    Booger, Max, Molly & Tallulah

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    Tailfeather
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    Re: My Tallulah Needs to Gain Weight

    Since she is 6 years old (soon), it will take awhile to get her used to some other foods. And sometimes, they just keep their current preferences after all the years. Patience and time are on your side.

    I would say the best advice I could give you in regard to the spinach would be to check with your Vet that just gave her the check-up, and ask him/her if they would agree you can feed the spinach every day, or how often can she eat it. And you also might check with them about sunflower seeds at the same time you are asking about the spinach. That way, you will have the information right from a Doctor. You might also ask your Vet if she/he has a list of foods that you can feed her and foods they do not recommend. And that definitely would give you peace of mind.

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    Re: My Tallulah Needs to Gain Weight

    I am sorry you lost Booger I just loved that little girl of yours and have spoken about her many times here when people asked about how long lovebirds live. She was one strong loved old lovebird and my favorite part of her was her yellow age spots. I lost Boomer about the same time and know how you sure do miss them when they are gone. I am happy you spent her last night together with her.

    The The Kaytee exact is a great idea Ellen! Reading what Ellen wrote to you reminded me that when Boomer was sick I use to go to the organic stores here and buy shelled seeds and nuts out of the bulk bins and give them to boomer and he really loved them. You can buy hulled millet, hulled buckwheat and even just plain old sunflower seeds. If they are too big for Tallulah you can chop them up a little bit more so she can eat them easier. Cooked brown rice and cooked quinoa are also good foods and if you eat them perhaps Tallulah will too.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: My Tallulah Needs to Gain Weight

    I plan on going to the bird supply store tomorrow because they have something for adult birds to gain weight. Has anyone tried this? https://www.birdsupplynh.com/catalog...oducts_id=2409

    The Kaytee Exact arrives today and I will see if Tallulah will eat it, but the Aviteck AviGain you sprinkle on your bird's normal food. I feel I'll have better luck with it since she is being picky with new foods. I'll let you all know how we progress. Thanks everyone.


    Booger, Max, Molly & Tallulah

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    Re: My Tallulah Needs to Gain Weight

    Thanks, Deanna. They do become a very special part of your life...

    Take care and thank you again for your kind thoughts.


    Booger, Max, Molly & Tallulah

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