I have a problem with my budgie. She was always very stubborn and a horribly picky eater. She's mainly on bird mix. Trust me, I tried everything to encurage her to even try fruits and vegetables: presenting it like toys, eating stuff in front of her and so on. The only thing I found to acctualy interest her in greens was presenting it like one of my beloved house plants she so liked to destroy. But when I put it inside her cage, she just trows it on the floor and poops on it (little ******). She's now 6 years old and I've basicaly came to a conclusion there is no way to convert her to healthy diet anymore.
The problem arose when the only brand she was willing to eat changed their packaging from cardboard to plastic bags. I'm quite sure they haven't changed the mix, just packaging, but she refused to eat it. Could it be the plastic somehow changed the smell or taste? Also she is stubborn to the point she would starve herself to death if not presented with what she wants. At first she ate it, so I didn't give a second thought about it, but lately I noticed she seemed lethargic and slept all the day. I got concerened she was in breeding mode again and lightly held her to check for an egg. The only thing I found was that she lost some weight as well. I'm quite certain she cracked the seeds but didn't eat them or didn't eat enough of them.
The first thing I did was to go and buy some millet, cause I knew that was the only thing she was willing to bite my finger off. She basicaly mauled it till nothing was left. I also put a litle bit of honey in her water to boost her energy. She seems a bit better now, but I can't keep her on millet only diet for the rest of her life. I tried to buy a new brand that had similar mix and putting millet on top to encourage her to eat it, but she just picks through millet and leaves the rest. In my country, avian vets are realy rare and the closest one is 5 hours drive away (the regular one is refusing to even check on her), so for an older bird that stresses out easily 10 hour ride on a bumpy road is not realy an option, and they refuse to give any advice over the phone.
I know this is not an alternative to vet care, but has anyone had any similar problems with their budgie and solved them successfully? Any answer is much appreciated, thanks.
Wow, you certainly have a stubborn little budgie. Have you tried homemade egg food? (boiled egg with some seed, fruits and veggies thrown in)
Can you identify what seed it is that she's trying to pick out of the mix? Is it millet, or another type of seed or grain? Perhaps if you could identify it, you could buy just that seed and fill her food 50% budgie mix and 50% what she likes. I do that with Sammy because he loves canary seed and will ignore the other seeds (luckily he eats egg food and fruits and veggies as well)
I'd also say please don't give up. She might one day decide to take a peck at a fruit or veggie. (Let's hope!)
I tried with egg food as well, I also covered it with millet to look apealing. She glanced at it and ignored it. I have something similar set up in her cage right now and it is still ignored. She goes through all the usuals spots I leave her food at, but makes a big circle around that corner ang goes back to sleep.
The only fruit she was willing to even lick was peach, but she doesnt eat it and they are out of season.
She is a lovely looking girl, even though you feel it is not worth the waste or hassle keep offering her different vegies mine love basil, thyme, sprouts, a small amount of lettuce , parsley , kale. broccoli. try placing some wet lettuce leaves on the cage bottom or hang them with a clip. Have a look here on the forum for some yummy bird bread and treats that are all good food for a budgie. You can also get some probiotics either on line from ebay or Amazon add these to her food.
Thanks for all the answers! I'll try some stuff mentioned here. I realy hope someday she'll try and like some fruit or veggie. Don't get me wrong, I still offer stuff regularily, I haven't gave up on veggies, she just doesn't see that as anything worth her attention. I want her to live at least this much more. She makes my life so much brighter and it makes my heart break to see her this lethargic. Getting better, though. She tried some of the new stuff yesterday, but I can't realy say she liked it. I'll try adding it slowly to millet and see if she'll try it then. She gained some weight back in the last few days and I hope she recovers to be the attention needy old self that hangs around on my head all day and tries to stop me from my work by sitting on my keyboard.
Oh, I just noticed I haven't posted her name anywhere. It's Kicho. It's realy a boys name cause I thought she was a boy for a long time until at age 4 she laid her first egg (and around 8 after that). My reaction was: ok, so it's a girl after all. She's a true poser, this is a picture from time she went into breeding mood and laid eggs.
Member of the Year 2016//Exceptional Service Award August 2016//MOTM May 2013
Try to order some Electrolyte without sugar like Avitech brand. If she were to get a mold infection the sugar in honey and molasses would feed the mold. Try putting milk thistle liquid with no alcohol in her water or drops on food or a drop in her beak. When we get older our internal organs do not work as well as when young. Milk thistle helps the liver detox her body, It is safe to use. you can get milk thistle at local apothecary/health food store. Ladygouldianfinch ships international and carries vetafarm products and avitech. Fresh sprouted seeds is a really good idea our babies walk around the weaning cage with sprouts hanging out of both sided of beak. If she will eat millet sprouts try others and soak them in electrolyte water so she gets nutrients from the liquid on the sprouts. Have you tried the spinach leaf bath we put flat dishes on the floor of flight and add water and spinach leaves. Our guys take a bath and eat the spinach as well. Once you find the key it will open lots of doors for her diet. Ladygouldianfinch has a herb salad that consists of flowers seeds leaves and stems from natural garden plants and our birds love picking out just the right piece to nibble..
Good luck, it sounds like you have a tricky girl there! My thoughts were firstly that you could try sprouting millet as suggested previously. It increases the nutrient in the seed so is more nutritious. I imagine she would ignore sprouted seed at first so do it in tiny steps.
Firstly soak a few seeds for an hour or so (not enough to make much difference) and mix them into the dry ones so they are well hidden. Once she gets used to that soak them longer until they are having an over nightsoak. Still only a few hidden in the dry ones. Then start to leave them for a few hours to sprout after soaking.
Once they are soaked they swell and will look and feel and taste different so take the time to get her used to that then just sprout them enough so theres a tiny white dot on one end. At that point they are nutritious but still look like a seed rather than a seedling.
Keep offering the othe things but don't fret yourself about her eating them. Sprouted seed is vastly better than dry seed so any improvement on eating them will be good for your bird. Oh and they always loved grasses with seed heads.
Have you tried a slice of orange dipped in seed? That was one of the first thing my budgies went for when introducing new foods.