Budgie weight high, but can feel keel bone - Talk Budgies Forums


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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Your Budgie's Health > Diet and Nutrition


Diet and Nutrition Discuss issues related to diet and learn about encouraging your budgie to a variety of healthy foods

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  #1  
Old 08-14-2019, 04:05 PM
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Default Budgie weight high, but can feel keel bone

Hello everyone,

We have two budgies; one of which is making sounds like he's quite fat when he flies over long distances.

We've weighed him, and he's come out at 55g! (EDIT: last time we took him to the vet in April he was 45g)

The thing is, if we test for his keel bone then we can just about feel it. Do you think he is just overweight? My worry is that online it says you shouldnt be able to feel it if they are overweight, which is why I hope he hasn't gone something else going on (like a tumor).

His diet is mainly pellets throughout the day (with occasional veggies on the side), and then seeds in the evening. I'm thinking perhaps he has way too much of both as he does like his food.

What do you think? Just overweight or is something else going on?

Thanks!


Last edited by FurryBadgers; 08-14-2019 at 04:12 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-14-2019, 05:15 PM
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Is he an English Budgie, if not then 55 grams is quite heavy. What do you mean by he is making sounds like he is quite fat, is it a wheezing sound when he is flying? I would not expect to be able to feel the keel bone in a bird that is 55 grams and 10 grams is a lot of weight to put on since April, was he at the vet then because he was ill or just for an annual checkup? How much seed are you giving him in the evening?
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:24 PM
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Give your regular vet a call and explain your question to him. He will know of a good answer for you.
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:33 PM
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Yeah, that's what gets me: I can just about feel the keel bone. It's not prominent, but you can 'feel' it. He feels quite chunky either side though.

He's not an English budgie; the vet recommended about 40g for his size when we saw him. We had taken him to the vet because he had a respiratory infection (nose was blocked). That cleared up with medication.

The funny thing is, he lost weight afterwards because I changed his diet: I would give him the pellets during the day but then give only a tiny amount of seed in the evening, and millet would be heavily restricted. From a side profile you could see he was much thinner. Since then, I've relaxed that and I put a lot more seed in the bowls in the evening. I do think that was a mistake. The more I look at him, I think that he has definitely gained weight. He scoffs down seed and I wonder if he's eating effectively two-lots worth of a budgie's food diet a day.

He can fly, but when he flies after a bit he sounds like he is getting tired; reminded me 100% of somebody who was overweight trying to do exercise. His cere etc. looks completely clear, and there are no other symptoms of issues.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:10 PM
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How much is a lot more seed, about how many teaspoons full and is he eating all of it?
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:19 PM
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That’s the thing...I’m not measuring it. I’m pouring it in.

He’s not eating all of it: definitely way too much for that. But he does eat “fast” (we have another budgie who eats a lot slower).

When it was controlled I was putting in about a teaspoon between them.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:05 PM
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I would start measuring out his seed again and see if he can drop a bit of weight, if the vet wants him at 40 grams he has a way to go. If he stuffs himself try giving him just 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Make sure that he is eating his pellets during the day. If you are concerned about the keel bone have the vet take a look at him.
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:56 PM
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I wonder if you are able to feel his keel bone because he has more fatty tissue than muscle. Since fat is softer and not as dense as muscle, that may explain why you can feel it even though he is on the heavier side.

I'm curious to know more about when you say he's making noises like he's overweight. Does he breathe harder and pant (breathe with an open beak?) Is he making squeaking noises at all? It could be that he is not as fit as he should be and so creating more opportunities to gradually introduce more flight into his daily routine would be beneficial.

I'm also curious to know how old your budgie is and how long you have had him.

What kind of setup do you have for your budgies? Are they in a cage all the time or do they get out-of-cage time? How much exercise do your budgies get?
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Old 08-15-2019, 06:31 AM
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I would take him to a qualified avian vet who can do a hands on examination and tell you if he is overweight. My past budgie Petal was 50 grams but this was a healthy weight for her. She was likely heavier due to having more muscle as muscle is heavier than fat.
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:10 AM
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It's important to ration your budgies seed.
Please start measuring it again rather than pouring it.

How much out of cage time does your budgie get on a regular basis?

I believe it would be best for you to have your budgie carefully examined by an Avian Vet to determine if there are any underlying issues.

Avian Vets have special training to determine the cause of symptoms resulting from illness or trauma.
This is important as "regular" vets will often overlook symptoms that are quickly obvious to an Avian Vet.
When you rely on anyone who has not had training in Avian diagnosis and care, you may be delaying effective treatment.
This can prolong suffering that may be avoidable.
The bird will often require a more intense, prolonged treatment with a poorer chance of full recovery than it would have if you seek prompt professional diagnosis and treatment at the first sign of illness.

If there are no Avian Vets near you, please find an Exotic Pet Veterinarian with experience in dealing with small birds.
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