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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Hope everyone is doing well. I just have a quick question to you all about my budgies, Oreo and Jackson: since I live in New England, direct sunlight is hard to come by this time of year and I've read about how important Vitamin D is for budgies..so I recently purchased a featherbrite bulb and positioned it on top of the cage, at the recommended height of 12-18 inches from their perches. However, when I let them out of their cage, they sometimes sit on top of the cage very close to the bulb. Is this too much UV exposure for their bodies? I ask because I've also noticed that they're losing a lot of feathers lately (Oreo especially)…I woke up this morning and found about 15 little feathers around their perching area, all shed overnight. I know its not plucking because I've seen them fly out while he's preening…could this be a result of the UV exposure or just regular molting? They're about 6 months old now and have already been through one big molt that got rid of their baby bars…please advise!

Thank you!
 

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Jenny, I really have no expertise in this area, but I have had similar issues. My bird's alway's seem to lose feathers between molts, and I have come to the conclusion that UV lighting may be the cause. I was running mine 6-8 hours a day and have backed it down to 1-2 hours recently hoping to see a change...:fingerx:
 

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Jenny,

You definitely do not want your birds closer than 12"-18" from the UV light when it is on.
The UV rays are much too intense for them if they are closer.

Since Oreo and Jackson sit on top of their cage during out of cage time, please be sure to turn the light off during that period.

With regard to molting in general, some budgies do lose feathers more frequently than others and I have three that seem to lose feathers on an on-going basis (and I do not use a UV light).

Budgies only need 20 minutes of direct sunlight per day to absorb sufficient Vitamin D3.
Budgies should receive a maximum of no more than 1-2 hours of UV light from a full spectrum bulb per day

This article gives the recommended time limitation mentioned above:
http://talkbudgies.com/articles-gen...lighting-how-much-should-your-budgie-get.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you Jonah and Faerybee, I'm going to follow my gut and your advice and dial down the UV exposure…they really do love the light, and love sitting under it, but I think 6 hours a day is getting to be too much for them. I knew they need only about 1-2 hours but I didn't think the extra hours would harm them..since if they were in the wild they'd be in the sun all day anyway? (But I guess the UV exposure varies depending on time of day..) sorry, I'm just typing out loud :)…I'll see if reducing exposure does the trick!
 

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Maybe they like the heat more so than the goodness they are receiving? Do they have their cage covered and placed in a warm environment ? Maybe this cold also be a reason they love sitting near the light, I know I love sitting in the sun :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi prettyboy, I think they like the bright light because they're able to see better under it, since the bulb doesn't actually produce heat…my house is heated pretty well ( I can't control the heat)..sometimes I have to crack a window if it gets too stuffy..they dislike any sort of covering on the cage (huddle close to the uncovered side), so I've stopped doing that. I've thought about dryness being a factor in this feather loss too, usually they don't like baths but lately when I put in their drinking water they dip their faces, tails, and tummies into the water very quickly. I've gotten a humidifier to help too, we'll see how it goes...
 

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Jenny,
Since they are trying to use their water dish as a bath now, you might try offering them an actual bath on occasion. Sometimes budgies will change their mind and decide "Wow! :wow: I DO like baths" after they get over their initial reluctance to get into the water. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Faerybee they have a bath but they refuse to use it as one :)…the first day I bought it they dipped themselves in as much as they do in their water bowl, but then decided it functioned just fine as a second water bowl…I am considering buying them a water bottle since I read that they're more sterile than bowls...
 

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Wait, so the light's supposed to be 12-18" away from them? :wow: Guess I should have read the instructions more carefully!

I have the same problem trying to get my guys to bathe. The day I put their stainless steel water dish in, Samantha and Alice swam around in it. Since then, they haven't bathed in it. I think the trick with some budgies is to only put their birdbath in a couple of times a week so that the novelty doesn't wear off.

Oh, so as for the full spectrum UV, I guess you could rig up a UVA lamp to be on all day, while only have the full spectrum lamp on for an hour or so?
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi all,

Sorry to be repetitive but I'm really hoping to get some reassurance on this: it turns out the feather loss was because both of my birdies are going through their first big molt (wing feathers and everything)…I know its normal to expect less activity and even more sleep, but how extended of a time is this likely to go on for? I ask because I've noticed both in my birds for the past two days..they've spent a large portion of the day napping, and are not flying around like is typical for them…they've also had night frights for the last two nights (I got very worried last night because they really crashed around the cage a couple of times and I took them out and spoke to them gently till they were normal again)..they're still very very alert, slight noises cause them to wake up right away, have healthy appetites and regular poops…they do chirp around but its only for short bursts…is all this normal? I spent the large part of yesterday browsing through threads and I'm freaked out that there could be some unforeseen incident..I'm making a call to the vet tomorrow for a checkup since I can't point to an emergency, but I was someone could shed some light into this..should I be worried? thank you
 
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