Hello all... I haven't been on here for a while but I have a problem and need some advice.
Chip (aka Julio for all you old fans) has recently developed an obsessive and overly excessive regurgitation problem. He wants to feed everything... and I mean everything.
It all started with metal objects - bell toys, mirrors - so we removed those (that was a few years ago, it was never anything major). Then about a year ago he became obsessed with feeding the stainless steel food dishes in his cage and the cockatiel cage. It was to the point where he wasn't even digesting food, he was just taking in seed only to "feed it" again. I ended up bringing him to the vet because he was losing weight and was very lethargic one day. She prescribed an oral probiotic. I removed all the metal dishes and replaced them with plastic ones.
He has been fine since, but this past month he has started up again with the obsessive feeding of objects. It started up again with finding a metal washer on a wooden perch and feeding that. Then that was covered so he moved his "spot" to the top of the wooden perch. I moved his cage around so he couldn't reach that end and his "spot" moved to the plastic connector on his rope perch. We tried covering that with newspaper and put a lava block above it (which he loves) and he moved his "spot" over to the other side of the rope perch. We completely removed his rope perch and now he races over to the cockatiel cage every time he is let out to get to their rope perches. He will also do it to the middle of the rope so it's not just the end.
We are just at a loss at what to do, it seems that when we try to cover an area or move things around, he just finds a new object or area to feed. I'm worried that it's not going to stop and he will just keep doing it until he makes himself sick if anyone has any advice, please help!
Also, he loved millet, but he will not play with any type of chew toys, like kabobs or shred toys, he loves to swing rings but otherwise he really won't play with toys. I'm wondering if he's bored but he never has played with any of the million toys I've bought him except the rings. Also, he was on a pellet diet for two years but we had a recalled batch of zupreem once and he almost died, so he was given seed then and I have not successfully been able to switch him back to pellets.
Thank you in advance for anyone's help, I appreciate it!
Was there a change in Chip's environment that you can think of that might have contributed to the behavior's escalation?
Have you taken him in for a visit to his Avian Vet since he's started this behavior again in the last month?
How much time are you spending with Chip on an individual basis each day?
Will he engage in playing with you when you are present and talking to him?
I truly believe you need an expert opinion from a professional in this matter.
Continually regurgitating may result in a nutritional deficiency, malnutrition, weight loss and overall physical illness.
Are you sprinkling Harrison's High Potency Mash on his seed?
Is he eating vegetables and egg food?
I hope, with the help of the Avian Vet, you will be able to determine and correct this problem before it adversely affects Chip.
He is such a precious little fellow - I just can't stand the thought of him being sick.
Please let us know how things progress.
I'm sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers for Chip's full and complete recovery.
I agree that it would be good for you to consult your avian vet specialist for advice on how to deal with this issue.
Besides any medication or vitamins prescribed by the vet, for your budgie's rehabilitation, it's important for you to spend quality one-on-one time with him on a daily basis and to actually engage with him in playful activities and encourage him to be more active and play to keep his mind occupied with other things besides the regurgitation.
If need be, you can contact an animal behaviourist experienced with pet birds to help you out in the process.
In order to be successful and to have higher chances of fixing this behavioural issue, I believe the combination of meds/vitamins with lots of love (the dedication and commitment involved) and play time therapy is the way to go.
I'm wishing your budgie boy a steady and full recovery of his mental health and stability.
RIP sweet Tito (Summer 2008 - January 17th 2013).
You are missed and never will be forgotten.
Jill, I'm very sorry to hear that Chip isn't doing well and has regressed to the obsessive behaviour.
You've been given the very best possible advice from our staff above and I agree completely. It seems that his behaviour could be due to either an illness or a hormonal imbalance, either way only a qualified avian vet could tell you for sure.
Please be sure to update us on his condition!
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
Oh poor Chip I'm so suprised to hear about this and hope your other birdies are well. Please keep us posted on Chip and hope he'll be ok. Miss you and your cute birdies
HOUSE JEDI OF BUDGITON "Let birds of ALL feathers flock together" Thy Royal Court
Prince Kobe, Lady Gisele, King Chewie, Queen Betty, Princess Silverhawke (RIP 10/31/2015), Lord Artoo Guardians of Budgiham Palace
Viserion, Rocco, Drogon, Rhaegal
Hi, I also have a light blue English baby named Chip !
I see you've been given some great advice above. I feel also, that it is not something that is an easy overnight fix, and will take some routine change and daily effort and dedication, along with your avian vet's recommendations to remedy. I wish you all the best!
thanks everyone! we are trying to change things up and trying to prevent it in every way possible. He seems completely healthy otherwise and it hasn't gotten as bad as it did before. He's currently sitting on top of his cage singing in the sunshine I just hope it's something that he will give up with time and hoping that spending more time with him now that I have the summer off from teaching will help too!