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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Budgie Breeding > Mutations and Genetics


Mutations and Genetics Learn about budgie genetics and the wide variety of mutations.

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Old 04-23-2009, 09:58 PM
critter mom (Mary)
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Default geneticly weak feathers?

My Francie has always had weak blood feathers. She breaks a blood feather about once a month. Maybe not that much but close. It doesn't seem to be that big of a deal. She bleeds some and them by the next day she has cleaned herself up. Once or twice I have had to rince her off and use styptic powder. I only say this because Noel and Star never seem to break any blood feathers at all. I think this is genentic because I know someone who got a bird from the same breeder as Francie and they have even worse feathers. Her feathers are very weak, seem to break at the drop of a hat and never get very long. Francie seems to grow new ones and it doesn't have a lasting impact on her. I wonder is this a common genetic issue? I also wonder if I let her wings grow out don't clip them, will that help? Please anyone who has any ideas let me know. In the entire 8 months I have had her it has been like this. Thanks

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Old 04-23-2009, 10:20 PM
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I have a bird with a similar problem, but I still have not come to any conclusions as to what the problem is (other than something genetic). The edges of his wings also look worn, but he seems to have a poor command of distance/strength when he flies. He is spooky and panics easily...so there is a possibility that his rambunctiousness is the cause of his tendancy for broken blood feathers, or it could be that the pain causes the behavior!
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:55 PM
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I would be concerned if you let the flight feathers grow out that if they come out one at a time, the first ones may not have enough support to not break. I think it is possible that it is a genetic issue but maybe some extra vitamins would help.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:11 AM
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My first assumption would be lack of protein or vitamins in the diet. Budgies need a well rounded diet that uses seed as the basis, to which vegetables and both animal and vegetable proteins must be added. You can add a vitamin block to chew which provides vitamins and in smoe cases calcium and iodine which are essential for budgies health.

It could also be a sign that this bird had french moult or poor nutrition as a young baby and undergone what you might call a "failure to thrive", meaning it may always be a weakly feather-shedder. There may also be some feather mites present that are feeding off the blood feathers which eventually damages them to the point where they fall out. It can also irritate the bird to the point where they peck and pluck the feathers until they fall out and if left for too long untreated, can cause the bird to develop psychological problems.

Of course, these are all worst case scenarios, but it gives you a base point to work off and check your bird. In any case i would firstly make sure a great variety of food is available, and then watch to see just what your bird is eating. Some birds are picky eaters and may not be eating what they need to grow and maintain healthy feathers.
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Guthwulf View Post
My first assumption would be lack of protein or vitamins in the diet. Budgies need a well rounded diet that uses seed as the basis, to which vegetables and both animal and vegetable proteins must be added. You can add a vitamin block to chew which provides vitamins and in smoe cases calcium and iodine which are essential for budgies health.

It could also be a sign that this bird had french moult or poor nutrition as a young baby and undergone what you might call a "failure to thrive", meaning it may always be a weakly feather-shedder. There may also be some feather mites present that are feeding off the blood feathers which eventually damages them to the point where they fall out. It can also irritate the bird to the point where they peck and pluck the feathers until they fall out and if left for too long untreated, can cause the bird to develop psychological problems.

Of course, these are all worst case scenarios, but it gives you a base point to work off and check your bird. In any case i would firstly make sure a great variety of food is available, and then watch to see just what your bird is eating. Some birds are picky eaters and may not be eating what they need to grow and maintain healthy feathers.


Don't think it's diet at all. They get a great mix of pellet and seed plus veggies. I also give a a suppliment. They don't like fruit must but love broccoli. Like I said with my bird it doesn't have a lasting impact she grows new feathers and the feathers she has do not look tatterd or frayed. They just break maybe once a month a blood feather will break. She doesn't pluck at all. I thing the issue is genetic but I am wondering if clipping the wings makes it less likly to break the blood feathers. Thanks for the info
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by missmadison View Post
I have a bird with a similar problem, but I still have not come to any conclusions as to what the problem is (other than something genetic). The edges of his wings also look worn, but he seems to have a poor command of distance/strength when he flies. He is spooky and panics easily...so there is a possibility that his rambunctiousness is the cause of his tendancy for broken blood feathers, or it could be that the pain causes the behavior!


The edges of her wings are not worn they all look great it's just that when she gets excited and fly and just around every once in a while she will break a blood feather. She doesn't seem in pain at all. When it happens its just like oh well life goes on
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:47 AM
critter mom (Mary)
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Originally Posted by pal0m1n0 View Post
I would be concerned if you let the flight feathers grow out that if they come out one at a time, the first ones may not have enough support to not break. I think it is possible that it is a genetic issue but maybe some extra vitamins would help.
Oh when the flight feather grow out it is fine she flys great and loves it. I just think she gets clumsy whenshe gets excited and maybe clipping them would limit movement and cause fewer accidents. Am I right?
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Old 04-24-2009, 04:17 PM
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If several birds from this breeder have the same problem the most likely reason would be that they are inbred. Genetic faults like this often appear when closely related birds are bred together
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:40 PM
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If several birds from this breeder have the same problem the most likely reason would be that they are inbred. Genetic faults like this often appear when closely related birds are bred together
I have thought that all along. Thank goodness Francie just grows a new blood feather doesn't bleed that much and life goes on. The bird my friend got alway looks thrashed. I gues the best thing to do will be to keep the wings clipped to prevent clumsy accidents.
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