I just made an appointment with an avian vet for tomorrow, but I also thought I would post about my birds on here as well.
My budgie, Franky, has had a few brown feathers above his cere for about the past two weeks. Since I have only had my birds for about two months and I am an inexperienced budgie owner, I thought nothing of the discoloration at first--only that it might be some dirt. It wasn't until two days ago that I started reading online about it and found out it could very likely be due to a respiratory infection. Ever since I brought the birds home, I have noticed their tails each have a slight bob to them and even tremble occasionally. They don't ever appear to be breathing heavily at all and they show no other signs of illness. They have also been eating and drinking normally and are very active and vocal, always playing with their toys. Could this just simply be the result of a vitamin deficiency? Franky just started eating spinach for the first time this week and I almost feel like I am starting to see the brown feathers go away, but maybe I am just seeing what I want to see. I have also been trying to convert my birds to Harrison's pellets, but they have been very stubborn. My other budgie, Eleanor, doesn't have the same discoloration above her cere, but seems to have the same slight tail bob as Franklin.
I suppose it could be a possibility as I have found one of his feathers on the bottom of the cage each yesterday and today. The only reason why I doubt he's molting is because he had just gotten over a molt when I first took him home a little over two months ago. He had pin feathers on his head and some of his newly clipped flight feathers grew out. Though I do realize some birds simply molt at completely different rates. We also just moved a week ago which could have triggered a molt, but I am certain he had the discolored feathers before the move. I'm mostly certain Eleanor is starting her first molt though. Is it at all possible that when birds who are caged together will tend to molt at the same time--similar to how women's menstrual cycles line up?
Welcome to the forums! You have certainly come to the right place as you will find all you need to know on budgie care here.
Since you are relatively new to budgies, the information on the several articles and sticky threads located at the top part of each section of the forums will be extremely useful.
The options you have mentioned are plausible in terms of explaining the current brown staining above your Franky's cere and you will have a better idea on your budgies' condition tomorrow after you have them examined by the avian vet specialist.
About the moults, generally speaking young budgies can start their first moult as soon as they reach 3 months old (when they loose the baby barring on the forehead area), later on at about 6 - 7 months old they will have their second moult and after reaching adulthood, they will usually have their 2 main moults (per year) during Spring time and at Fall.
Even in a larger flock during the moulting seasons it's possible to have a few pet birds who will not follow the trend and will either moult before or after this time.
Best of luck at the vet's!
RIP sweet Tito (Summer 2008 - January 17th 2013).
You are missed and never will be forgotten.
I'm glad you will be seeing the Avian Vet with Franky and Eleanor tomorrow. I'm hoping the vet will confirm there is no infection and Franky's feathers are discolored from a molt. I'll be looking forward to your update tomorrow after their appointment.
Please take the time to read through all of the How To Guides, the FAQs and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.
You'll find most of your basic questions about budgies and caring for them will have been answered after you've read through all of them.
I'm so glad you've joined us and already you've been given some great advice. It's good to hear you've made a vet visit in advance already--it's always such a relief to have some peace of mind when our little ones are involved.
Meanwhile, be sure to read through the links provided by Deborah so that you are caught up on the very best of budgie care and practices!
I hope to meet your little ones soon!
Keep us posted on how the vet visit goes, too
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
Good news! The vet saw no signs of illness. Even checked their droppings and they were very healthy! She suspects Franklin is just having a small molt. The only bad news is that Eleanor is very young... probably a little over three months and I received her more than two months ago, which means the pet store or breeder may have separated her from her parents earlier than she should have been.