I first want to say I am a bit nervous abut posting. I am a new budgie owner and I am doing my research both with Google searches and with reading threads here. Here is my story. I got my little guy Kiger about a month ago. I've been working with him regularly and I want to think I've made progress. He will eat out of my hand when I offer his seed feed. (I am trying to convert him to pellets, but one thing at a time.) Last week I noticed his droppings had more urine in them. So I kept an eye on things and the next day they were better in that sense but now there were seeds in his droppings. The boyfriend took him to the avian vet where she concluded he had a digestive infection and sent him home with antibiotics. So here I am with a budgie that is doing better but still needs to take antibiotics until next Tuesday. I admit to being afraid of hurting him with the restraint hold and he has a tendency to squirm free. Sometimes he will be still long enough for me to give him a drop sometimes not. I tried wrapping him in a towel but I have the same issue. Needless to say he ends up rather stressed at the end. I am giving him a treat of seed mix before putting him back but I fear I am taking huge steps back with the taming process. I understand why, no one wants to be manhandled but he still needs to take the antibiotics. So I am wondering if anyone has any advice on how to make this easier for the little dude? I am going to try one last thing that the vet suggested and that is cover his millet seed with the antibiotic and see if he will take that. I hope that makes sense.
I'm sorry your budgie has been sick and while it's true that during treatment there can be a setback in training, this is something that can't be avoided.
Your budgie needs the medication to get his full health back, that's the most important thing right now and the work in taming and re-establishing the bond can start after the budgie is fully healed. The information on the stickies here at the Taming and Bonding section will be very useful to you and if you haven't done so already, you can check them out.
All the antibiotics my birds ever took were administered on their food, so if the vet suggested that would be ok then maybe that is the better option. Saying that though, does he eat anything besides seed ? They hull the seeds and might not get the full benefit of the anti biotic. Pellet's, cakes, egg, shelled seed, are all better for putting medication on.
It would be good to consider getting a pro biotic for use after antibiotic treatment to restore good digestive bacteria levels.
Also check out our thread on regular use of organic ACV...highly recommend...
I am semi attempting to persuade him to eat other things besides seeds but so far I have been unsuccessful. I am not entirely sure how to go about starting him of other foods, I've been offering different things in his cage but he will have none of it. My first goal is to switch him to a pellet diet...but I am taking a break from that until he is off the antibiotics, I don't know if that's a good idea or not...
In regards to having help, I am on my own during the week so I guess with giving him the antibiotics I may just have to hunker down and work past it and start over with taming once we are past this.
I'm not sure where I would find a probiotic for him.
I'm sorry to hear that your little boy Kiger is sick but I hope he feels better. It does seem like the best option is for you to administer the antibiotics, and I agree that a diet change at this time is not advisable as it may make him more stressed.
Since you had previously been at a good point in taming, I believe that after the medicine, patient work and having him see you aren't trying to shoot meds into his mouth every time you approach him will pay off and soon you will be able to progress further.
As for a probiotic, Randy has made a good suggestion. Apple cider vinegar is actual a natural probiotic, so a few drops in his water could help him a lot after his medicine is over. The link he provided will give you more information
I hope your little one feels better soon!
Meanwhile, be sure to keep reading around the forums and the articles! If you ever have any questions after reading through everything, be sure to ask as we'd be happy to help
We'd love to meet Kieger soon, keep us posted on his condition!
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
Kiger is doing better and we had our first less stressful medication session this morning. I still had an unhappy budgie but not a super stressed out budgie. I am curious about his personality. I wonder what roughly defines a shy or nervous bird versus a bird that does not trust their human? Is the fact that there was progress with the taming process a sign that he isn't a shy/nervous bird? Are these silly questions I should know better than to ask
I will look for the AVC this weekend when I go grocery shopping. Another question I just thought of, after we are past the antibiotics does anyone have any hints tips or ideas on how to switch my "seed addict" to a more balanced diet?
Member of the Year 2016//Exceptional Service Award August 2016//MOTM May 2013
Hello and welcome. Looking forward to the adventures of Kiger.
Check out ladygouldianfinch.com, Windy City Parrot and Foster and Smith vet catalog. They have a variety of dietary support to help him get used to other foods. For conversion to a diet with pellets fresh and egg food. Try Harrison's super fine, and nutriberries. The nutriberries are shelled seed plus nutrients with various percentages of pellets. The Harrison's super fine is softer to crunch than many other pellets also small pellets the size of small seeds like millet and fruit flavored Zupreme pellets canary size. are options many of us have used to introduce new choices in the diet. Keep reading and take notes in the diet area. Many of us have found that a balanced diet that includes canary/millet/
oat groats/ and a small percent of oil seeds like flax is good during molting
egg food is very important , cooking birdy bread allows you to chop in a blender carrots and other veggies so tiny That the bird can not help but get a taste - It takes a while but he is a young bird and young birds are easier to untorduce to new diet.Windy City Parrot has some components for a first aid kit including an edible antibiotic ointment that is safe for birds, and avitech support nutrients like a sugar free electrolyte. We also like Guardian angel. There are many choices of probiotics. Foster and Smith has a liquid that I like in emergencies which we mix with electrolyte to give a sick bird a boost and then add to water or food. Lady G has has herb salad and powdered minierals as well as the vendor for vetafarm in Australia, They have an excellent Vitamin that also has probiotics called Soluvite D. Prime is also a good multi vitamin.Keep plenty of things for Kiger to chew. Like millet spray, kabobs cuttlel bone , manu roses . Cut an inch off of a piece of fresh corn and let him try this. Budgies need to chew and forage. If you provide plenty of chew toys budgie is less likely to destroy expensive perches and ladders. The Jelly fish made with coconut shell and braided banana leaves is also a good chew. Swings, ladders, and various type of wooden perches are great There is also a plastic type with sand on the side to trim nails and smooth top and reverse to rest soft part of feet. Rope perches are OK as long as you do not see budgie chewing on strings. Strings can get caught in crop and block the GI tract. Lava Rock and sea shell calcium perches are also good choices
Cactus skeleton is a great perch, even some safe cuttings from yard trees like willow/grape/ crape myrtle and apple. These are just quick suggestions that you can find in the various areas of TB. Several years ago when my favorite budgie , Apollo, who looks just like Lyns Indigo , became ill while weaning. We had to restrain him and give shots of meds and fluids several times a day. He recovered and is a tame sweet budgie. That spends lots of time with the computer watching TB and Youtube budgie videos as well as saying Hi to Indi, and Noah and the Skipper and Peachy crew adventures. and lots of others You will meet here on TB. I have not covered much but a few hints to get you started. You budgie will still bond with you. It is essential that you and your vets staff be able to handle him. He should learn to ride in the car in a transport /hospital cage without getting upset.
Best wishes and glad to hear your little one is responding yo meds.
So if I switch him to the Harrison super fine I should still make it a gradual change right? With the nutriberries are they feed or treats, all of the above?
He does have chew toys and two wood stick perches and one that came with the cage. I've seen him peck at bells and climb on his swing (proceeding to hang off the side) and bite at the chew toy. So I'm not sure what to do in the toy department since he doesn't seem to play with any one ever. Just investigating before going back to doing his singing.
I have two questions in regards to millet and cuttel bones. First I heard somewhere (not here at least yet) that millit is not the healthiest thing for budgies. Something along the lines of it is high in fat and should be used as a treat. Also I read (during a Google search) male budgies don't consume cuttel bones as much as say females since there isn't as high of a need. I'm not sure what to think other than his cuttel bone shows no sign of him chewing on it. I will move it tonight to see if it being in a different spot will get his attention. In the meantime I'd love if someone could clear up these two probable misconceptions I have thanks to google?
Member of the Year 2016//Exceptional Service Award August 2016//MOTM May 2013
Hi, good questions. Cuttle bone and other chew toys are for your budgie to chew to relieve stress, will ingest some calcium and other minerals budgies need. The chewing will help him reduce and shape his beak which like toe nails continue to grow all of his life. Rough perches and Lava rock, and sea shell perches help reduce toenails. You may still need to trim toenails. Excessive growth needs a vet visit. Millet spray is a treat so it needs to be served after regular food is eaten like at the end of the day as a nibble before sleep. The grass rings are also good as treats as well neither have excessive protein or fat and supply nutrients We keep millet spray as emergency food when budgie will not eat. A budgie that refuses to eat millet spray is really sick and needs to see vet. you can presoak millet spray with electrolyte. probiotics and even meds you put in drinking water. This does not replace meds by beak but helps keep your bird eating as no eating does not provide food energy to keep bird warm and a cold bird dies quickly with out assistance. Wee keep several meds on hand from our vet for situations when vet not available IE so is need for first aid kit and First aid procedure posted here on TB. This is First aid ONLY and follow up with vet is needed. This helps keep bird stable till see vet. Again we use nutriberries when converting and encouraging sick or very young birds to eat as seeds are pre shelled and softer and molasses provides energy needed to feel able to eat. You will have to explore which brand works best most people who have had birds a while do try different foods. Soft egg food with some form of grain is used when parents feed chicks that need crop milk when they are very small and you can sprinkle vits minerals, meds probiotics and electrolytes or coconut oil for example. easy way to get nutrients in and keep fresh fresh daily. Blessings, Jo Ann
Never take food totally away from budgie. Use the gradual approach sprinkle in food dish that he likes. budgies love anise seed so this is a good treat also flax especially if molting. Budgie may be uncomfortable and grumpy during molt. A bath Or a soft mist spray may help and also cool bird off. It can take a long time so be patient. there are some amazing of finally getting budgie to eat pellets. Many people here on TB take a more moderate approach that includes base seeds like canary oat groats, millet along with pellets egg and grain or biscuit soft food plus sprouted seeds and fresh veggies like spinach kale etc Budgies love to take baths in very damp leaves . carrots, beats, sweet potatoes, frozen peas and corn is a good food that you just defrost so fresh food does not go bad Parsley and cellantro ,peppers hot and regular. We feed dry alfalfa, And herb Salad that Lady G carries. Broccoli fresh and dry is also to hang a bunch in cage for budgie to check out . Just keep offering and you eat as well our birds will try food we eat . It will take time o develop trust. We use mung bean sprouts -our chicks love then and trundle all over the cage with sprouts hanging out of beak. A hunk of fresh corn on the cob is a good treat fresh food provides moisture especially for young birds that are weaning they get water even if do not drink water yet. We give birds what ever we eat as far as fresh veggies. Budgies do not eat a lot of fruit. Strawberry. apple and banana are possible offerings. Do one or 2 changes at a time . including changing types of toys and perches. Perches need to vary in shape and diameter.our birds love cactus skeleton perches. Grape vine and willow, eucalyptus, crape myrtle. Just be sure they are clean and free of chemicals. Hens seem to chew more during spring breeding season. but all budgies need to chew. Kabobs are easy to find and a great chew. A bird may not chew a cuttle bone for a while and then will start. when the feel the need of minerals. We use powdered minerals from Lady G as well as manu roses and other mineral blocks like Brown salt wheels with iodine. Kelp and bee pollen are also good sources of nutrients. We give our birds as many options as possible so that they can participate in the choice process. After a while your bird will be so used to treat and toy changes that they will no longer fear new things. Purchase a hospital/travel cage and get your bird used to it and travel in a car around the block before your trip to vets. This will help you and vet when you have to give meds. A wiggly bird does not get as good exam as the bird that holds still for vet exam. When you introduce new things. lay them near cage in place bird can see and gradually move closer so it becomes a part of environment before actually goes in cage. Make it boring to see it then it will be easier to accept inside the cage. When you allow out of cage time. have perches attached to outside of cage before so bird sees it as a safe perch. When you have a lot of budgies it is easier because the old timers teach the newcomers the ropes. Budgies are family oriented and they feel safer with a pleasing background noise to feel safe. You tube radio music birds singing feel safe to a bird so when to at home leave some noise on. cover sides back and partial top as budgies fear predators coming from above and behind. if hot lay t\wet towel that is rung out
over top of cage to allow moisture to evaporate and cool the area. put and ice cube in water bowl. Our Apollo like to lick an ice cube or drink water from a glass.
Just a little will cool budgie off. Never put a fan directly on a bird but cool air can circulate in the room from fan or A/C in emergency close shades on side of house where sun is Place cage lower to floor as it will be cooler there. Be careful of ceiling fans!!!! Check out more of the info here on TB as it will answer a lot of questions. Blessings, Jo Ann
Today was the last day of antibiotics!
Tonight I will go back to working with him on trust, taming and maybe bonding.
I did adjust his cage this weekend, (is this bad?) food and water are in the same place but I moved perches around and some toys as well. His food and water stay in the same spot but I did put the cuttel bone by his food dish where he can get to it and maybe be curious enough to try it out. The other thing is I put a millet sprig in also by the food. I don't think he has touched it yet, I am wondering if he might not recognize it as food. He loves the white millet in his current seed mix and he is otherwise eating. I'm not sure what to do for treats. I was using his seed mix for hand feeding but I am kind of taking a step back and looking at my process and working on a new game plan. I intend to start over from the top. Sit by his cage and talk/sing and keep doing that until something? (I need to go back and re-read some threads) I do recall reading a sticky thread about taming. I need to re-read it since parts are still fuzzy but the gist of it was bringing the bird into an empty closet and just sitting with them, talk, and spend time together. I am wondering if I can use my shower/bathtub area since I lack a empty closet. I'd take out all containers and put down a towel in the tub and it would be similar to a closet once I drew the shower curtain. This might be a bad idea but I'd thought I'd ask for opinions.
Another question, toys! I am looking at them and wondering what would qualify as a budgie size toy when there are few at a glance specifics to size? What constitutes a chew toy? I know to avoid cotton and synthetic fiber ropes, but I hear mixed things on Sisal. Some things I read say its safe as long as its not treated with anything, others say all ropes are bad...can anyone clarify this? I will look into getting new perches but with his so far reluctance toward toys I have absolutely no idea what else to get him. So far he has two different kinds of swings a ladder by his food dish and cuttel bone a toy that attaches to the side of the cage and can spin, it also has bells attached to the outside and beads incased inside, and a hanging toy with colored wood blocks and a bell. He also has a ball with a bell in it that is a "foot toy". I am unsure but can I really just have a bird who doesn't care for toys? Can anyone point me in the right direction on this as well?