Budgie's first moult needs
My little budgie (around 5-6 months old) seems to be going through her first moult. Her baby bars had started receding already when we brought her home 2 months ago but she has only now started losing lots and lots of feathers. I was wondering if you have any advice on how to make this as pleasant and healthy for her as possible.
1. I've read that they need more nutritious food and energy during their moult. I usually give her a bit of boiled egg once or twice a week. Should I offer her egg more often (and if yes, how often) now that she is moulting? She seems to prefer the egg white but which one is healthier?
2. How often should they bathe or shower when they are moulting? My older budgie usually enjoys a bath once a week but isn't so keen during the week. The little moulting one has only once had a quick dip. I'm not sure if she's got the concept of hygiene yet. ;) Anyway, should I spray her regularly and if yes how often? Is there any disadvantages to bathing/showering more often as long as they stay warm?
3. Are there any other foods recommended especially for moulting? She eats leafy greens (or any green vegetables, really) every day apart from her seed mix but doesn't seem keen on other things like carrots though she did try a bit of cooked sweet potato yesterday. I mix a bit of flax seeds in with her seeds but she's never touched them. She also doesn't eat Harrison's pellets (neither of them do :rolleyes:).
4. I've seen moulting vitamins/supplements in pet shops. Should I get those? If yes, any particular type? I usually give both my budgies a vitamin mix that I got from the vet in their water every second day since my older budgie seemed to have a bit of vit A deficiency (and her beak looks much, much better now). Should I just continue with that or get her something else? Is it possible to overdose on vitamins? I know that humans can overdose on some vitamins like vit A so I'm a bit worried even with their current dose. My older budgie doesn't eat any vegetables (or anything apart from seeds) and the younger one just nibbles a bit on them but also prefers seeds.
5. Anything else I can do or should be aware of?
6. How long do first moults last on average?
The first molt at 2.5-4 months (usually at about 3 months) is when the budgie molts the face and head feathers. During the first year, your budgie will also molt flight feathers, tail feathers and chest feathers at different times.
I would recommend giving egg during the molt, but since you already give it, I don't think you should give more than what you're giving. Mixing in veggies and flax seeds with the boiled egg would be a great treat and would give lots of nutrition.
I use Nekton Bio vitamins for molting, and it really helped Sammy pull out of his last molt that just seemed to keep going forever (he'll be one year old in about 2 weeks!). My vet really recommends them, but doesn't recommend Tabernil, which you can buy in every pet shop here. You want to get something that is backed by a scientific council; you wouldn't buy a vitamin that wasn't backed by the FDA or similar, for example. :)
Regarding the bathing, if you've tried lots of different ways to offer the bath, then just let your budgie decide. Sammy hates spray baths and bath tubs, but he'll bathe in a running faucet. He also loves to play in wet parsley or cilantro leaves hanging from his cage. Maybe your budgie would like that.
If you see that he's itching his pinnies a lot, you can give him a spray bath with warmish water. Aim for above his head instead of at his head so that it falls like rain.
Good luck! :)
Bethany has given you excellent advice! :)
Since she's hesitant about flax seeds and her Harrison's pellets but does eat egg and veg, you might want to try Lindsey's awesome egg food recipe: Egg Food- Our Aviary Recipe Step By Step - Cute Little Birdies Aviary
My birds were the exact opposite: They ate pellets and flax, but distrusted all but a couple veggies, and wouldn't go near eggs. But something about having everything all food-processed and crumbled together like this was like a magic wand. They loved it! (I made mine with well-rinsed quinoa for the grain, and broccoli, carrot and parsley for the veg, but I'd say whatever her favorites are, especially if she really likes something like parsley or another herb that has an enticing aroma.)
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