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  #1  
Old 05-24-2015, 02:22 PM
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Default Twigs' strange eating patterns...

Over the past several weeks, I noticed that at the end of the night while putting Twigs to bed, that he had started to have a noticeable over-bulging crop, and softer poops during the night. When the vet saw him, he noticed that it looked like he had gorged himself so badly, that the next day he was having gas in the crop and slow digestion. The vet burped him and did a crop culture, and fecal, and the results showed NO unusual bacteria or yeast. He saw and felt no tumors, blood work was not taken but it was fine a bit over a year ago, and virals were negative too. The vet just thought it was from overeating. BUT WHY for the behavior??!! He didn't know.

** Last year, we lost Pix (we got him together with Twigs at the end of 2012).
He also gorged himself on food as if he was absolutely obsessed with it. A 'pet type' budgie, he blew up from 31 grams to at his heaviest, 54 grams. Dieting only did so much . From the vet's assessment we just thought that his organ systems went awry from bad genetics, and that's caused him to have organ failure as well as hunger signals not turning off. No one was 100% sure.

NOW... I am looking back thinking, maybe it wasn't necessarily Pix's "bad genetics" that led to his overeating behavior, organ failure and death, but his overeating behavior which caused morbid obesity wich ultimately was too much for his little body and organs to handle, maybe caused his decline and death. Maybe? No one knows for sure exactly which scenario is accurate, but you see now THE REASON I am so concerned about Twigs' new found overeating hobby!! As he also came from Petsmart and the birdie mill .

Is this gorging and overeating "behavior" common in budgies? Is anyone familiar with the above behavior, or can this (with Pix and Twigs) just be an isolated occurrence? Thanks!

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Old 05-24-2015, 03:09 PM
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Hmm, this behaviour does seem worrisome. Budgies aren't ones to overeat, and when they do overeat, they don't gorge themselves like your boys. Weight gain in budgies is most often due to an improper diet consisting only of dry seed and a sedentary lifestyle. You haven't mentioned what you feed your kids, but I'm assuming you feed him something besides just seed.

One of the possible reasons for this weight gain and overeating could be due to a hormonal or metabolic disorder, such as hypothyroidism (or is it hyper?). There's also the possibility that his body isn't processing his food properly. I'd maybe try mixing powdered dandelion root into his sprouts or wet food to help cleanse his system. You can get organic dandelion root at health food stores and grind it into powder in a clean coffee grinder at home. I'd also suggest mixing cayenne into his food as it's supposed to help reduce the amount amount of food converted into fat, and help eliminate that excess fat in the body or something. I'd also recommend giving him homemade ginger root tea. Hopefully it will help with digestion and cleanse his gut. Remember to serve cool or at room temperature.

If you feed him seed and you aren't sprouting it, I'd recommend the only seed given to him during the day be sprouted, since it has less fat and carbs, along with having more bioavailable nutrients.

Hopefully you can find out what's wrong with him.
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  #3  
Old 05-24-2015, 03:32 PM
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Thank you Robyn. Yep, I'm worried about a thyroid disorder too. That's what the avian vet suspected was wrong with Pix (who I mentioned in the cage thread that you saw).

No, I don't give him much seed at all (none lately) and was only a small pinch at night for a treat previously. Seed is only a treat for all my birds. The budgies get Harrison's, and recently Roudybush too. He also has organic unfiltered ACV water, and Harrison's probiotics to sprinkle on food. Thank you for the herbal remedy tips too, I will look more into it.

Being from a pet store, Twigs was not weaned onto veggies, and I am still struggling with him. I've been "meaning to" (lol) start sprouting for all of us (all birds and humans) for years now.... I think I will get started on it this week . Since it's a little 'closer' maybe to seed, maybe they'll be more inclined to try it than regular veggies cut tiny.. I wonder if most budgies take to sprouts more readily than other fresh foods being closer to the natural diet?

Mink WAS weaned onto veggies, but after coming home she says 'nope, no more'! But that's another story...
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Old 05-24-2015, 03:54 PM
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Yeah, I'd definitely try out sprouting (tsk tsk Julie!). The method I've settled on using is where you thoroughly rinse the seeds, then soak them for six hours in a glass pie dish. I rinse the sprouts twice a day (morning/noon and night), although it'd probably be better if I did it three times a day.

Sprouts are definitely more readily accepted than veggies, since they're pretty much just eating seed that is a bit softer and tastes fresher and yummier. When you first start giving them sprouts, you'll have to pat them dry since the moistness can be a little off-putting for them at first.

Oh! Something that is easy to sprout, readily accepted, and low in fat would be spray millet. I cut the spray into portions that I know my guys can eat in four hours or so, thoroughly rinse them, then let them soak in a glass mason jar for six hours. After that, make sure to "whip" the portions to get as much water off at possible, and lay them in a dish. When it's time for the evening rinse, thoroughly rinse and put them back in the (waterless) jar after getting the drips off. Then rinse in the morning, put them in the dish again (not the jar), and so on and so forth. I find my spray millet likes the humidity that the jar provides, but needs to be left in the open to air out during the day, or else it smells like it's going to turn into beer . I feed the spray millet after the millet "grass" has sprouted to a quarter to a half an inch long.

Have you tried offering them romaine lettuce at all? I find it's easiest to get budgies to eat their veggies if you try using romaine.

Also, maybe you should try cutting back the amount of pellets by half, replacing the other half with sprouts and veggies. While I hear that the pellets you use are good, they are pretty much made up of only fattening grains and synthetic vitamins and minerals. Maybe you should try getting a small bag of Goldenfeast pelltets, Golden Oble's III or whatever they're called, and converting your boy to them rather than the current pellets you're using. The Goldenfeast pellets derive all their nutrients from the ingredients in them. Said ingredients are composed of organic veggies, herbs, spices, grains, and fruit. I've tasted the stuff, and it tastes pretty good to tell you the truth. Maybe the varied, whole ingredients used in Goldenfeast pellets would suit your boy better?
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Old 05-24-2015, 04:09 PM
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Now... I'm actually excited about sprouting . I shall whip it up over the next week! I actually eat pretty healthfully myself, and have been missing eating sandwiches with sprouts. Maybe not millet though!

Do you use GSE or anything in the water to inhibit mold growth? That is my paranoia about sprouting.

I usually only give 1/2 teaspoon twice a day (lately) of pellets, and mix tiny veggies into it. They of course push it aside to get to the pellets. Today though, they have spinach leaves and zucchini here and there by their dishes and swings. Hopefully someone will "play" with it and find it yummy .

My parrots have had great blood work results over many years on a staple of Harrison's as their dry food. But I've heard great things about Goldn'Obles too. I'm always willing to try it. Do you happen to know the protein content?
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Old 05-24-2015, 04:37 PM
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Yeah, I wouldn't be too keen to eat a millet sandwich either . I do not use GSE for the sprouts, since I found out that the reason that it prevents mold is because manufacturers often add very dangerous chemicals to it. The unadulterated GSE is incapable of preventing mold. However, if you are concerned about mold, you can add ACV to it. I forget how much you're supposed to add, but you should be able to find out online. In every batch, I only get a few sprouts that develop mold, and this is without me using the ACV.

The protein content of the Goldenfeast pellets (they have such an awkward name!) is a minimum of 17.5%. Also, protein's filling, so that should hopefully help your boy.
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Old 05-24-2015, 05:03 PM
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I am quite interested in this sprouting idea.... I will give it a go too.

Something I have done for many years is to grow fresh bird seed, cut it with a good deal of stem and leaf as soon as it flowers and hang it in the cage. An added benefit here is the natural vitamins and minerals through growth, that I believe are usually added artificially to bought dried seed. A lot less stodgy too!

They absolutely love it, particularly canary seed and white millet. And of course all it takes is a very small amount of your regular bought dry seed to do this.

Only possible in the spring and summer, at least in the UK, but usually it takes 4 to 6 weeks to flower and seed from planting. I just do this indoors with plant pots in a sunny window.

It has never failed for me - give it a try! I also grow chickweed indoors and they love that too! I wonder what other budgie owners do - I am sure there are loads of things!

Last edited by Penzance; 05-24-2015 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:01 PM
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Interesting about growing your own bird seed Simon! Organic and natural without additives...

I will stay away from GSE. I have some organic unfiltered ACV. I've also heard of lemon juice. Must be the acidity that inhibits mold.
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Old 05-24-2015, 09:33 PM
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I've not come across overweight budgies, only Galahs/Cockatoos, that were fed only sunflower seeds...maybe them both coming from Petsmart, where breeders don't concern themselves with the quality of the poor offspring, it maybe a trait of over breeding of the parents...hoping the little guy has his issue under control soon.

On the subject of Goldenfeast pelltets, I found a site that had an Australian blend...the ingredients look marvelous and wonder if this is the blend you were discussing, please ? I am trying to locate a distributor for it at the moment...I was thinking of changing ours to Harrison's, but now am liking the Gf p better. Goldenfeast Australian Blend

I've also been growing some oats for the GPs and rabbit and have been giving the seed heads to the budgies - they love it. Like Simon, I wish to grow some home grown seed for them...also, the sprouts...so, Thank You All for this info, even though it's a tad cold, I think it will have good growing results.
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Old 05-25-2015, 04:36 AM
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Interested that your budgies like the oats Susan. I have tried that, and they have tended to wolf down the first batch but then ignore it thereafter. Same with wheatgrass. I wonder if it is a specific strain you grow - it is the wild oats I have tried before.

Another one that goes down well with my lot is fresh ryegrass seed. Mother nature provides a lot of that for 2 months of the year in Cornwall. Needless to say, a thorough wash of anything from outside before offering to the birds is a good idea!
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