I have 2 budgies almost 4 yrs old: a male, Calvin & a female, Hobbes. Lately they went through a bit of a molt, only for a day it seemed. About that time Calvin's feathers looked very ragged or messy and have stayed that way for about a week. It doesn't look right. Hobbes looks normal. Poops look normal, eating & behavior appears same.
I keep staring at Calvin because sometimes I THINK I see his wings go through a very small shiver, but then I think I'm imagining things because I don't see it again. But that could be a symptom??
Hopefully the photo uploads correctly because otherwise it's hard to explain.
Last edited by AprilW; 09-15-2020 at 09:16 PM.
They both peck toward each other all day long, about 3" away from each other, as if to tell the other one, "I want this spot!" It's more of a posturing toward each other, not actually touching. It is only sporadic thru the day.
The worst for them is bed time. Then they do peck aggresively right at each other, beak to beak. (I cover their cage overnight, so I don't know if Hobbes bites at Calvin on the back where the feathers are ruffled.) And Hobbes seem to be more the aggressor at that particular time.
But I thought that was normal for when they each try to get the highest spot in the cage.
I looked at his chest feathers & they don't SEEM abnormal. I'll get a photo & post it.
btw- I feed them Goldenfeast Basics Plus & a couple months ago I ran out of Goldn'obles Small Beak Bird Pellets. I wasn't able to find it again, so they've been out of pellets. I don't think they were a big fan of the pellets anyway though. With this latest concern, I added some Zupreem pellets yesterday (leftover from the breeder that they were raised on) to their seeds to give him a boost. (I try to avoid coloring & added synthetic vitamins, but if it helps, I'm willing to try it.) I give them fresh veggies almost every day too.
I'm sorry that I didn't stress the fact that they peck TOWARD the direction of each other SPORADICALLY throughout the day. Stressing "TOWARD", about 3" apart, gesturing, "I want that spot on the branch now" kind of thing. Then the other one moves & it seems settled for a little while. Each takes turns with that.
I think they seem ok together in the cage. They're certainly not love birds though! They give each other space & have enough room.
ONLY at night when I cover them, do they actually go "beak to beak" - and usually only for about 5 minutes. Isn't that normal? (Although Hobbes does seem to be the agressor at that time, more so than him.)
So it your gut feeling that the look of this feathers is from her biting at his feathers from the back & not some kind of disease?
I often give them grass seeds when grass is overgrown from our lawn (no chemicals.) Maybe a wild bird had something he caught? But then again, I would think they both would have "it", if "it" was something catchable... ??
Last edited by AprilW; 09-16-2020 at 07:15 PM.
Reason: add photo
My gut is not necessarily that she is picking at him I was hoping that might be an obvious explanation but if you do not see her actually biting or tugging at his feathers that is probably not the reason for the tattered look. Are the tattered feathers new ones that have come in and opened from the keratin sheath that way or old feathers that have suddenly become like that? If it is the new ones, I am more inclined to think it is a medical or nutritional issue, in the second picture it looks like some of the chest feathers are not quite right, is that actually the case or is it just the way the picture is? He is a very handsome guy. My other thought is that he maybe is starting to feather pick/chew in response to stress which may be caused by Hobbs, and as FaeryBee suggested they need to be separated.
Ah ha! I do remember a couple times where Hobbes tugged on Calvin's tail feathers & one actually got bent!
I don't know if it's the old or new feathers that are the ragged ones.
Now MY gut is thinking the ragged feathers could be from him CHEWING at his feathers, INSTEAD of just preening, due to some level of stress from Hobbes. He is a LITTLE more quiet and just a LITTLE more tired than usual, nothing significant. He's still singing up a storm, just maybe a little less often.
Oh boy, maybe it IS time for a cage change... We did that once when they were brand new. She pestered him badly at that time. He had a BIG wad of bird poop on his foot when we bought him & she took advantage of his stress. (I was inexperienced & looking back, we feel the breeder was unscrupulous.)
They cried out loudly to each other for a while, then when we got tired of hearing that & put them back to together - they LOVED each other! The cage was peaceful once again!