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Thread: Help! Budgie loosing feathers for no reason

  1. #1
    Brand New Egg crazybudgielady's Avatar
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    Unhappy Help! Budgie loosing feathers for no reason

    Hi everyone!

    I have the happiest little one year old budgie and he can never seem to grow (or at least keep) his secondary wing and tail feathers. He is a very happy bird, with 3 friends so he's definitely not plucking from stress. He is well taken care of. I read somewhere that it could be because he get's stuck in his cage then looses feathers trying to free himself, however I watch him basically 24/7 and never seen it happen. He can't fly so I am really hoping I can help him out...

    He refuses to eat fresh fruit and avoids his cuttlefish bone so I have added some dried fruit additives into his millet. I asked a retired budgie breeder for advice, but he didn't know what was going on. Maybe it's his diet or a deficiency?

    What do you guys think is going on? I'm willing to do anything to help as it's been almost a year.

    Thanks,
    -Crazybudgielady

  2. #2
    Tailfeather
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    Re: Help! Budgie loosing feathers for no reason

    Hi, and welcome to the community. I did some research on line, about the problem you are describing. Go to a website called...www.birdsonline, and search for....French moult in budgidiars or budgies. From what I am reading, this is what is called polyoma virus.

    There is great info on line on several websites. Very interesting reading. From what I have read, you would need to call an Avian vet in your area, and take your budgie in for a wellness check, and have them examine his feathers and body. They should be able to give you a list of foods and or other supplements to feed him. And perhaps give him meds, if necessary.

    Years ago, I had a male budgie that had what I call scruffy feathers. But he was normal otherwise and could walk and fly.

    I hope this info will be of help to you. Please update when possible.

    What seed and or pellet diet do you feed? Do you feed fresh green veggies? Fresh green leaf lettuce is a good food to feed. I have had budgies for many years, and they never took too well to fruits. And quite honestly, with budgies, I think fruits can uptake their sugar insulin. I currently have a 9 year old budgie who lost his sight a couple of years ago. I think it was caused from a seed mix I was using that had high sugar content and an additive called ma!dextrose in it, causing him to get diabetes. So, in my view, I would stick with fresh greens, but never feed any cabbage family veggies, including book choy, cabbage, kale or parsley. They all have a phyto chemical in them that can cause esophageal tumors in budgies.

    Millet is a great treat food, but does have high fat content, so should not be used as the only seeds. Ask the Avian vet, if you should give him daily vitamins. I would not do that until consulting the vet.
    Last edited by maxollie; 06-04-2020 at 11:06 AM.

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    Brand New Egg crazybudgielady's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Budgie loosing feathers for no reason

    Hi, thanks so much for telling me this!

    The food we feed him at the moment is sold in pet stores as budgie food, just millet, but not on the actual plant anymore. I'll switch them over to pellets asap! Also haven't tried leafy greens yet with them, but now I will. The vet in our area isn't very familiar with birds as they only get in cats and dogs. The exotic vet an hour away is $600 au just for a consultation! We can't exactly afford that at the moment, but I'm getting a job soon so I can save up for these types of things. That site you lead me to had a lot of helpful information. I highly doubt this will give him any other issues soon, but I'm going to do everything I can to help him.

    I'm going to continue researching and make some changes to better their diets etc. Again, thanks so much for telling me this! I wouldn't have found this on my own.

    Will update soon
    Last edited by crazybudgielady; 06-04-2020 at 04:21 PM.

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    Tailfeather
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    Re: Help! Budgie loosing feathers for no reason

    I would suggest you feed him a good seed diet, before beginning feeding pellets. Pellets are manmade foods, and are very dry foods. They require a budgie to drink lots of water, and eat fresh veggies and foods. I am a firm believer in seeds and not pellets. I have never fed pellets, and have had budgies live for a very long time With this feather condition he does have, I feel you would be better off to stick with just budgie seed and the fresh veggies and other foods of your choice for now. Also, pick up a bottle of bird vitamins at your petstore, and once a week, put a few drops mixed in with the seed mix in his seed cup, not in the water. Putting vitamins in the water is a red flag, because they can go rancid in the water, and make birds sick.

    If you live in America, there are several good seed mixes you can feed. Getting one with mostly seed is the best. I use a seed mix called 3DPremium Parakeet Food. It is in a big plastic jar. It is 5 lbs, and will last along time. It is sold at Walmart. It does not have the maldextrose I mentioned in my first post, in it, and my little blind budgie loves it.

    Also, if you can order items on line, there is accompany in California, that makes Volkman parakeet seed mix. This is an excellent seed mix as well, and you can order it on Amazon.

    Some seed mixes have pellets in them as well. So, check ingredients when you buy the seed of your choice.

    I can fully understand the huge amount of money Avian vets charge, and in your case, with this little budgie, I do not think it is absolutely necessary you take him to that vet. I did not read anywhere in my research that this condition is contagious to other budgies. So, in my view, make good changes in his diet, feed the millet seeds for treats only, and after a month or so, see if you see improvement of his feathers. He may never be able to fly like other budgies, but with a good diet, alone, I expect his feather condition to improve some, and also his energy.

    Special needs birds are very courageous, and never let their disability interfere with their happiness. I am in awe at my little Muffin! Even being blind cannot nor will it stop him. He can find his food, water, seeds, and even plays with his mirror girlfriend.

    With new seeds and foods, it takes awhile for them to get used to eating those, so the main goal is to try to feed the seeds and foods every single day. Always provide the seeds in his cup every day. Clean the cup each morning and fill with fresh seed. The same with water. Personally, I give my birds fresh pure bottled water like we humans drink. There are too many chemicals in our tap water. As long as the other budgies do not get aggressive with him, I would leave him with them. Try your new seeds and foods on all of your budgies. Let us know how that goes.

    We will welcome your updates.
    Last edited by maxollie; 06-05-2020 at 09:01 AM.

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    Brand New Egg crazybudgielady's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Budgie loosing feathers for no reason

    Hi!
    Thanks for all this useful information

    Luckily I have some extra different types of budgie seeds and mixes in the cupboard already (recently bought so no old food)! I can just mix them in the right proportions. I used to feed them the other seed mix, but I saw that they were loosing weight from it so I changed. If I mix that mix with the new one (which seems slightly high it fat) it could balance out to a great mix! I also use bottled water for them because they put so much chlorine in tap water where I live. They seem to be loving a few greens already as well! The french moult budgie is still very happy, luckily his cage mate is also his best friend so they don't fight, but I wouldn't mess with him haha!

    He's definitely very lively even without flight, not to mention he can run sooooo fast. You're little blind budgie is such a cute inspiration!!

    I live in Australia, so there aren't too many different mixes available that are actually suitable, but if you go to several different shops you can get a good combo. I was worried about switching them onto the pellets as well, because they may not have liked it at all (picky bunch). After seeing some other pictures online of the french moult, I think he's doing well as he has a few extra shorter feathers in his tail which help him slow down if he falls. He's very dedicated to exploring so if we don't take him to where he wants to go, he'll jump and run to it... Secretly our favourite out of the bunch, but don't tell the others!

    I sometimes worry about him jumping, because I don't want him to get hurt. Luckily we're all doing a great job of stopping him when we can and he also seems very tough which is great. He also has those classic 'deformed feathers' that sites talk about when french moult budgies grow back a feather. That's probably a huge reason why he struggles to keep his feathers.

    I'm going to start them on the new seed mix tomorrow, and when I get the opportunity I'll make sure to send a photo! I'll let you know how everything goes
    Last edited by crazybudgielady; 06-06-2020 at 02:35 AM.

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    Tailfeather
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    Re: Help! Budgie loosing feathers for no reason

    It is only natural he would be the favorite of your flock, but you are doing a great job caring for all of them. I am glad they are liking the greens! It is a real plus that the budgie in his cage is his friend and they get along well together.

    We will welcome your updates and pictures anytime! Australia, as you know, is a favorite place for birds to live. It is a beautiful country, and I often watch Australian birds of all kinds on YouTube!

    Wishing you the best success ever with your flock! I will be interested to hear if the diet change has helped his feathers, and overall health, after a few weeks. It does take time. One remsrk I will add is that when you change bird diets, it often causes them to molt feathers, because the new nutrients they are receiving are helping to bring them to great health and immunity. I suspect they all will be more active, chirping more, much more activity among them, and eating much more!! So do not be alarmed if they all molt feathers.

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    Brand New Egg crazybudgielady's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Budgie loosing feathers for no reason

    Thanks for helping me out! I'm not sure how to insert pictures yet, so I'm probably going to try and figure that out. They're loving the new food so far

    (edit) I don't think I can upload any photos so I'll try putting him as my profile picture if possible
    Last edited by crazybudgielady; 06-07-2020 at 12:24 AM.

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    Tailfeather
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    Re: Help! Budgie loosing feathers for no reason

    To upload you need an online picture account. The one many use here is one called tiny pic. It is free. Many charge fees.

    One other thought I have is to crush a cuttlebone and mix the very tiny pieces in the seed cup. I take some paper towel and wrap it around the cuttlebone, then take a tack hammer, and gently crush it! Lololol. Since they are loving the fresh greens, that too will give them calcium.

    Budgies are special loving little parrots. I have homed them for decades. They really are low maintenance birds, and generally get along well together.

    We will welcome your updates.

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