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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > General Budgie Talk > Budgie Behavior


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  #1  
Old 07-21-2018, 05:35 PM
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Default Budgie wasting food

Our first budgie, Ehciel , tends to "ball" his food and store it in his mouth. When he's on his favorite mirror swing, he "feeds" it to his friend in the mirror, and then tilts his head and drops it on the floor of the cage, like someone spitting into a spittoon. When we take his mirror swing away, he still spits his food on the floor when playing with his other non-mirror toys. Unfortunately, this causes 80%+ of the food to wind up on the floor, and hence our other budgies, don't have enough to eat.

We think Ehciel developed the "balling" behavior as something to do, back when he was a solo bird (after we rescued him a year ago from outside and couldn't find the original owner). After 6 months, we got the other three, and they now live in one of those large "flying" cages (except when they're flying around the house). Although he took a liking to Blanche and tries to feed her, she usually resists, especially as he's too rough in feeding her. Ehciel's behavior dropping the food on the floor has gotten progressively worse. He survives now almost entirely on lettuce and millet, since everything else is on the floor, except the few pieces that the others are able to catch as they're dropping. We don't dare recycle the food from the floor, as we're concerned about contamination with their poop.

What to do?


Last edited by Newba; 07-21-2018 at 05:38 PM. Reason: misspelled food
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  #2  
Old 07-21-2018, 08:48 PM
justmoira (Moira)
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Feed him separately from the others to start with. This both makes it so the others get their share and you can see just how much of the seed and whatnot he's taking for himself. Second, if he's surviving on lettuce and millet alone, I would take him to a proper avian vet to get a physical done as soon as you can and to discuss changing his behaviour and/or diet changes to make sure he's healthy.
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:53 PM
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Hi! to Talk Budgies

It's very doubtful your budgie is "balling food in his mouth". He is exhibiting budgie behavior of regurgitating the food in his crop to his friend in the mirror. You need to remove the mirror from the cage permanently. When a budgie becomes obsessive with regurgitation to mirrors (which are not recommended for budgies) it can easily begin to suffer from mal-nutrition.

It would be better for your budgies for you to introduce them to vegetables other than just lettuce - especially if you are feeding them ice-berg lettuce which has no nutritional value.

Each budgie should be receiving 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of a high quality seed mix every day. Separate the birds for feeding if necessary to ensure they are all getting their share. I recommend keeping pellets available 24/7 and expanding the types of vegetables you offer.

Please refer to the links below:
https://www.talkbudgies.com/articles...ur-budgie.html

https://www.talkbudgies.com/articles...lay-roses.html

https://www.talkbudgies.com/articles...-seed-mix.html

I recommend that you purchase Harrison's High Potency Mash and sprinkle it on Ehciel's seed.

It can take several weeks (or even months) for budgies to decide to try a new food.
Fruit is high in sugar content so vegetables are actually healthier for your budgies with fruits given only occasionally (once or twice a week)

The first vegetable which my budgies that had not been weaned to vegetables tried (and loved) was sweet corn kernels sprinkled with a teeny bit of garlic powder (NOT salt).

Budgies seem to love "spicy" tastes.
They also adored fresh basil, cilantro, chickweed, zucchini and red pepper.
Using Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother)
as a natural pro-biotic is very beneficial to your budgies:

Apple Cider Vinegar

When I introduced pellets to my budgie, my Avian Vet recommended using Harrison's High Potency Mash and sprinkling it on the budgie's seed mix every day. This way, when the budgie hulls the seed it tastes the pellet mash and ingests bits of it as well. This helps the budgie identify the taste as a food source.

Many members seem to find the easiest pellets to use for introducing pellets to their budgies to be the CANARY sized Zupreem fruity pellets. Most budgies like the taste and the "Canary" sized pellets are tiny enough for them to easily eat them. Once they've become accustomed to the Fruity Pellets, introducing the smallest "natural" pellets is then an easy step.

Other than when I was using the Harrison's mash, I've never mixed my birds' pellets and seed together. My birds have three separate dishes each with a different brand/flavor of pellets available to them 24/7. Their seed is rationed to approximately 2 teaspoons of seed per budgie each day. I give them seed first thing in the morning right after putting clean newspapers on the bottom grate of the cages. I sprinkle their morning ration on the paper so they can forage for the seeds. I then do the same thing in the evenings (after replacing the soiled newspaper with clean) and again allow them to forage for their seed.

All of my birds have the option to eat the available pellets whenever they like throughout the day and they all enjoy them!

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Old 07-21-2018, 09:26 PM
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Thank you so much for your replies. We'll definitely look for that mash...that sounds like a great idea. We'll also see if we can find a swing similar in design to their favorite mirror swings but without the mirror part. We are trying to introduce them to foods other than lettuce, but that's their favorite. The only other thing we've introduced that they'll eat is cilantro. They don't know what to do with carrots, but we're hoping that if we put some as toys, maybe they'll play with them and eat them accidentally.

One thing I'm a little confused by is how to feed Ehciel "separately." It would be nice if we could just post their names over the bins, but I don't think that would work. The only thing I can think of there is that when we're home, we could hand feed the others or put in extra food when Ehciel flies to his favorite perching spot outside the cage.
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Old 07-22-2018, 05:44 PM
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I split my budgies seed rations into two parts so they have "Breakfast" and "Dinner".
My birds have two types of pellets available 24/7 and get fresh vegetables, egg food, dried herb salad and "miracle meal" (available through LadyGouldianFinch.com) as appropriate.

If you feed your budgies their seed ration in two parts, morning and afternoon, then put Echiel in a separate cage during those feeding times.

Each budgie should be getting 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons each of a high quality seed mix per day. Since Echiel is underweight, then I'd suggest you give him a minimum of 2 teaspoons per day. Try giving him egg food and flax seed as well.

Look into using Dr Harvey's or Volkmans Seed Mix if you are in the US. They are pricey but for your budgies' health, worth the money.
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Old 07-25-2018, 05:08 PM
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Hi there and to the forums!

You've been given excellent advice! I hope that a new routine will help Ehciel get the food he needs

Keep us posted on how he's doing soon!

Meanwhile, be sure to read through the links provided by FaeryBee to ensure you're up to date on the best of budgie care practices!

If you have any questions after doing so, please be sure to ask as we'd love to help!

We hope to see you around and to meet Ehciel soon!

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