This is my first time on this forum so apologies if I have posted in the wrong section, but I'm trying to handle a bit of an unexpected budgie situation and just need a bit of reassurance and guidance!
On Thursday morning my mother found an exhausted budgie in the forest flapping around the trail. She managed to catch it as it couldn't fly very well, and brought it home as she knew it would die if left outside (I live in rural England and it's getting horribly cold at night as autumn is setting in - not to mention the birds of prey, foxes, etc).
She brought it home to me and luckily I have been able to nurse it myself as I have a lovely pet parrotlet so I know the basics of caring for sick birds, although I have never owned a budgie before...let alone ever seen one in real life.
I will first say that I truly did not expect him to survive the night. He was so thin I think that if he had gone without food for even another hour he would have died, I could feel the sharp bone running through his abdomen so clearly, I couldn't believe he was still alive in such a state.
He was also very wobbly on his feet, unable to fly at all, too tired to do anything but sleep. He also has a few tail feathers missing which makes me think he has had a very narrow escape with something trying to catch him.
I set him up in a small "hospital" cage with a heating mat underneath, a soft pillowcase inside for him to cuddle into, millet and some food and water dishes on the floor (with added probiotics and vitamins I already had in case my parrotlet ever got sick). I've also put a sheet half way over the cage too to help him feel safe and cosy.
Anyway, I am so pleased to say that he is doing astoundingly well!!
He's eating, drinking, pooping and occasionally chirping to my parrotlet. This morning when I got up for work I even found him sitting on his perch rather than sleeping in his blanket, so I am thrilled he is obviously feeling much better!
He is very frightened of course, but he hasn't bitten me once despite me handling him to check for injuries (owning a parrotlet I have to say that is quite an alien experience for me).
I'm mostly leaving him alone to recover in peace, but my main concern now is his weight. I've just managed to weigh him and he's 26g (even after two days of frantic eating) which I know is awfully low for a budgie
I'm feeding him as many high fat seeds and millet as he will eat as I know they're best for stressed birds as well as weight gain, but I'm still very worried.
Is it best for me not to provide toys/any stimulation right now? I don't want to be encouraging him to move around and play whilst he's at this weight, but I also don't want him to get bored which might end up stressing him even more.
I'm also a very busy 20 year old juggling a job and college, meaning 6 days of the week I leave the house at 7am and don't get back until 6:30pm so I cannot be watching him 24/7. And as much as I would like to take him to the vet, they are ridiculously expensive here and since I can't see anything wrong with him that I can't heal myself, I am thinking it's best to wait and see how things go (unless anyone strongly disagrees with that?)
Lastly, do you think it would be a good idea for me to try to handle him slightly and bond with him now, so at least he might feel safe with me and know i am not a threat, or should I wait for him to be back to full health before I do this?
Sorry this has become quite long, it's a very strange situation I was not expecting and I just want to be sure I'm doing what is best for this budgie!
(Also, we are trying to find out who its owner is but nobody has posted anything online about a missing budgie, and since he is fully flighted he could have travelled miles and miles. If I don't manage to locate his old owner I will be keeping him!)
Thanks in advance everyone