I'm hoping someone can give me an idea about what is going on with my bird Buckbeak. I've had him about a year and got him before he went through his adult molt. Ever since then, he seems to be stuck in thd molting cycle. He will be fine for a few weeks, then have a few days where he molts, then be fine again. During the molt, he's lethargic, hardly eats, and sometimes has green droppings. I've lost track of how many moults he's been through this year, and although he does start acting more normal, he always seems to have pin feathers on his head. The vet asked about his photoperiod, but on any given night he gets 10-13 hours of darkness, which should be enough.
About the time this molt cycle started, I noticed the tips of the feathers on his head looked yellow (he's white and blue). I thought maybe he rubbed against something, but when i gently rinsed his head it wouldn't come off. A few feathers around his mouth are also brown and crusted looking. I attached some pictures, and am hoping someone can tell me what's going on. I've taken him to 2 different vets, neither of whom have been able to figure this out. I've now been referred to an avian specialist an hour away, and am willing to take him there if I need to, but I'm in a PhD program and have little time and money.
Thank you again for all your help and suggestions!
Last edited by bashebabe; 09-14-2017 at 06:23 PM.
Reason: fix typos
I definitely recommend you take Buckbeak in for an examination by your Avian Vet.
(An hour isn't a long drive at all!)
Buckbeak may well have a nutritional deficiency.
Avian Vets have special training to determine the cause of symptoms resulting from illness or trauma.
This is important as "regular" vets will often overlook symptoms that are quickly obvious to an Avian Vet.
When you rely on anyone who has not had training in Avian diagnosis and care, you may be delaying effective treatment.
This can prolong suffering that may be avoidable.
The bird will often require a more intense, prolonged treatment with a poorer chance of full recovery than it would have if you seek prompt professional diagnosis and treatment at the first sign of illness.
Having your budgie examined by an Avian Vet allows you to develop a good relationship with the vet in case your bird needs care for an injury or illness in the future. Additionally, it is always helpful for the vet to have a baseline for your bird to refer to should it need future treatment.
Please be sure to update us in this thread with regard to Buckbeak's prognosis once you've had him in for his Avian Vet appointment.
Additionally, please take the time to read through the Site Guidelines, all of the How To Guides, the FAQs, the Budgie Articles and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.
Truly, the very BEST advice anyone can offer you is to take the time to read ALL of the stickies throughout the various Talk Budgie forums as well as the Budgie Articles we have posted.
These are great resources for Talk Budgie members and have a wealth of reliable information which will assist you to learn the best practices in caring for your budgies for their optimal health and well-being.
Buckbeak is a gorgeous boy and I do agree that you should take him into the avian vet as soon as you can. From the photos, I'm not seeing prominent signs of mites, but either way, it's good to be sure. Besides, if he is continuously moulting, he most likely has a nutritional deficiency or an underlying problem that is treatable and should be treated right away.
Please keep us posted on how little Buckbeak is doing!
Meanwhile, you've been given great advice and resources above by FaeryBee.
Be sure to read through the links provided above, which include the forum's many Budgie Articles and "stickies" (threads "stuck" to the top of each subform for easy reference) to ensure you're up to date on all the best practices for budgie care.
If you have any questions after reading through everything, be sure to ask!
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
Thank you very much for the advice. I scheduled an appointment with the avian specialist for next Tuesday (the earliest he could see me). The good news is that Buckbeak (aka BB) is starting to act more like himself (playing, chatting, etc.). In the meantime, I am trying to get him on some different foods. When I first got him I tried a few different fruits and veggies, but he showed a strong preference towards broccoli and spinach, so those have been his primary fresh foods. I also tried weaning him onto pellets but was unsuccessful. Since I've realized how many vitamins are in pellets though, I'm re-doubling my efforts to switch him to these, and am also trying to introduce new veggies and fruits. Hopefully this will be a step forward in addressing the constant molting.
I'm very glad I found this site and am grateful for the wealth of information here. I've looked through some of the posts and stickies. After our vet visit, I will post an update on how BB is doing. Thank you again for all the help!
I apologize for not updating this sooner; things have gotten very busy at school and updating the post slipped my mind.
The avian vet did not find any problems with Buckbeak, but suggested that he get a shot of Lupron to calm his hormones down. He also gave me several samples of various pellets for BB to try so I can figure out which he likes best. Since the visit, he hasn't had one of his spells, and I'm SO PROUD that he is finally eating pellets. After trying (and failing) the conversion method, I followed the vet's suggestion and laid several pellet varieties on a paper towel and made note of which one(s) he seemed most interested in. Ironically he chose the one I thought he would like the least, the Lafeber's Premium Pellets (they look like rabbit pellets IMO).
He is also eating kale now, and I'm still trying to find a fruit that he'll eat (apple and oranges are out; this week I'm trying kiwi and banana). He is still eating seeds, but not as much. Today I noticed him regurgitating seeds as well as a brownish liquid and flinging it all over the cage. I was worried maybe he had a crop infection, but after emailing the vet, he said it was probably fine unless the vomited material smelled bad (it didn't). So all I can conclude is that he really really wants to breed. I'll see how he's doing in the morning. I also figured out that the yellow stuff on his head and facial feathers is dried vomit from previously (eww). I have tried getting this off him in the past, but it's dried pretty good and I'm afraid I'd yank his feathers out if I tried any harder to remove it.
Overall it seems that he is a healthy bird, and I am a worry-wort when it comes to his well-being. Thank you to everyone for their suggestions and well-wishes! I'll try to post some photos of him on my profile page.