Help! Changed budgie behaviour after holiday away
I went away for two weeks and left my pet budgie in the hands of a friend of a friend who was keen to house sit. She loves animals but unfortunately didn't do a very good job at looking after my bird, Snowy. I left her detailed instructions but anyway, long story short, when I got home I nearly had a heart attack when I saw his seed container was full of empty seed husks from bottom to top. His water container was a quarter full and his top perch that he spends most of his time on had somehow half collapsed so it was on a steep angle...
I also don't believe she was home very much. She works full time and spends most of her free time at the gym, whereas my husband works from home so Snowy is used to human interaction every day, close to all day.
Found out she was only replacing his seed every five days D: and never blew away the husks and topped it up.
It's now been a week since we got home and I'm a bit worried about him. He is the same bird when he's with my husband and I, he's not skittish or scared. But he doesn't seem to be eating very much. For example before we left he was always super keen for his seed once we got up in the morning, but now when I top up his food (this is happening every day) he has no interest. Today it's been two hours since he's woken up and he hasn't gone for his seed once. Worried, I'm giving him veggies out of his cage and trying to at least get him to eat millet, but he's barely making a mark out of his seed. He is eating it a bit but nowhere near as much.
Some other behavioral changes - he's doing a lot of 'screaming/screeching' and loud chirping, which is just unusual for him. Normal Snowy behaviour is chattering and whistling with the occasional chirp. He's also been fluttering his wings a lot - not completely - just against his sides a bit, if that makes sense... he seems happy, but he's clearly acting differently.
Anyway, should I be worried? Does he just need more time to settle back in after what I can only imagine was a horrible two weeks for him? I'm just so glad we came home to an alive bird!!! What a way to end a holiday!
I'm very sorry for what your Snowy went through while you were on vacations. :(
Hopefully with time and lots of TLC your Snowy will go back to his happy and relaxed self.
No doubt the experience has been traumatizing and quite stressful and given the fact he has been deprived of a good source of food for the two weeks you were out, you need to pay close attention to him and to keep on encouraging him to eat his food. You can also offer him some egg food to help him out during this time.
It would also be good to have your Snowy examined by an avian vet specialist, because depending on the level of malnourishment, he may need supplements/vitamins.
I'm wishing your Snowy a steady and full recovery.
I'm so sorry poor little Snowy went through such trauma while you were away. :( I do hope you had a long talk with the "friend of a friend" about how displeased you are with the lack of care.
I agree with aluz. It is going to take Snowy some time to get over the stress he's been through.
I would suggest you give him some Guardian Angel or Pedialyte for a couple of days to help re-balance his body's electrolytes. That may help stimulate his appetite as well.
If you don't currently have him on pro-biotics, now would be a good time to start.
Taking Snowy in to your Avian Vet for a checkup at this time is certainly advisable as nutritional deficiencies can be quite serious.
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.
I'm very sorry to hear that your little one wasn't treated right while you were away! :upset:
Poor little guy, I would agree that he's very traumatised. I agree with the great advice above, as well!
Please keep us updated on how he's doing, I hope he's back to his old self soon! :fingerx:
Omg im going on vacation for a week in 4 weeks for the first time since I got Rocky and reading this scare me BUT my best friend will take care of my Rocky and she has experience with bird but I'm sorry to hear about what he went trough ☹️I would not be happy about that and I hope that everything will be back to normal for Snowy ...good luck [emoji847]
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Nathalie -- to give you some piece of mind... I had to go away for 4/5 days after having my budgie for about a month, and I had a neighbor friend who has owned budgies for a long time & has 3 now... check in on him daily... but he didn't get the same amount of attention that he normally would have. I bought a timer for lights and television, so that it was on during the day and would turn off at bedtime. ...He was totally fine. I was worried, but I chose to have a sitter check in on him vs. going to a boarding facility because I was nervous about him catching something from other birds. (That's probably paranoid, but that's what I decided to do. Also I thought it might be stressful for him to be around a lot of new birds since he's not used to it, etc.)
Anyhow... it worked out well, he was totally fine & happy. He gave me about a 5 min. cold shoulder upon my return, but when he actually noticed I was back he did happy chirping and head bobbing. ... I think your Rocky is going to be a-ok while your gone.
I hope Snowy is back to his old old self soon. ...! :)
Thanks everyone for the tips! I hope he's healthy again soon.
I hard boiled an egg yesterday as per your suggestion aluz, crushed it and gave it to him, he's never been a huge fan though so hasn't touched it really... except the shell as he loves crunching on it haha.
When I get home from work tonight I will definitely try the electrolyte recipe, thanks so much for that.
As we speak he has joined me for breakfast as he usually does and is enjoying a piece of my wholemeal toast :) bit more forgiving of the mess he's making as I just want to see him eating haha ;)
I'll keep monitoring him closely, at this stage I don't think I'll take him to an avian vet because I live in a regional town and they are far from easy to access ><
Will let you all know how he progresses.
Good luck and enjoy your holiday Nath :) rocky will be fine. Particularly if he's in the hands of someone you know! I would just suggest that as well as giving them a dot pointed list of what they need to do, show them exactly how to do the essentials like feeding. What seems easy and logical to someone who's had prior experience is not so straightforward to others without any experience.
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