Last Updated on April 18, 2022 by Ali Shahid
The bodies of Budgies are extremely thin and streamlined, designed for maximum air resistance. Because of their naturally lithe appearances and their feathers, you will often not realize that your bird is losing weight because you will not see it. If you see your budgie is losing weight, there is no doubt you will think of a lot of reasons responsible for my budgie looking skinny.
In some cases, budgies lose weight because they are ill or because they are fed an insufficient nutrition diet. Budgies’ social problems can also lead to dominance between themselves, where one bird refuses to share its food or drink with another bird. Weight loss is often a result of a Wasting Disease, psittacosis, and respiratory infections. A damaged beak may also cause physical pain to the budgie so that it cannot eat normally as a result of the injury.
Why My Budgie is Skinny?
Even a small loss in weight, such as 5-10% body weight, is substantial for birds. This is especially true for small birds, which don’t have much bodyweight to lose. Birds are susceptible to many illnesses that can cause them to lose weight.
In order to monitor your budgie’s weight for drastic fluctuations, it may be useful to weigh him three times a week. In my professional capacity as a vet, I would strongly recommend that you have your bird examined by the vet if he/she displays any other symptoms in addition to demonstrating weight loss.
Why Do Budgies Lose Weight
Earlier I discussed the fact that there could be a number of reasons that could be the cause of a skinny budgie. One reason could be that budgies do not eat a lot. But there can be some instances where birds are eating but still losing weight. The most likely explanation for this would be some sort of illness. Let’s discuss this in detail.
Budgies can become malnourished if they do not consume enough food regularly. As a result, they will have difficulties maintaining an efficient metabolic rate. Your budgie will not be able to get all of the nutrients that it needs from seeds alone.
Foods that have been highly processed lack important vitamins and minerals. In addition to consuming too much food, a bird may end up becoming malnourished if its body is unable to process all the nutrients it ingests.
The American Avian Pathology Society warns that budgies can become ill if they are given too much vitamin A, Vitamin D3, and calcium. As a result of this overload of vitamins, the digestive tract is having a difficult time extracting as many nutrients as it should from the food, resulting in nutritional deficiency and weight loss.
Dominate Other Birds
If you find an underweight budgie in your flock, it could mean that one of the more domineering members of the flock has picked on him. A budgie is usually quite a happy animal, but in overcrowded cages, they can suffer from social conflicts as well.
One defensive budgie might be looking to establish himself as the leader of the flock by picking on another. It’s possible that this will develop into a resource guarding behavior, depending on the setup of the cage.
The dominant bird will make sure no other bird eats or drinks during the reign of the dominant bird. This budgie will use its vocalizations and aggressive actions in order to keep the other birds away. To keep its food and water all to itself, it may bite to keep it.
Understandably, injuries to the beak, mouth, or throat may cause difficulty or discomfort when eating. In extreme cases, the budgie may become unable to eat. As a result, the budgie will lose weight. The animal may be restricted to only eating certain types of food, as well, so everything else is avoided.
The growth of the beak of a budgie might even be abnormal if there are nutritional deficiencies, trauma, or liver problems. The budgie might even have trouble eating as a result of this deficiency. There is a tendency for beaks to grow in almost any direction, causing jaw misalignment as a consequence.
Naturalists believe that budgies with abnormal beaks can sometimes still behave normally despite their abnormal beaks. However, in the long run, they may gain problems eating more frequently in the future. Therefore, if you see any abnormal growth in your budgie’s beak, make sure to closely examine it.
Budgies can become malnourished when their diet allows them to pick and choose what to eat. It might be beneficial to combine several different grains into their diet. The grains may appear healthy to your bird, but it may pick out parts of the grains that it prefers. Even though you are feeding it well, its selective behavior is harming it.
As the parasites ingest nutrients from the host, they can survive. With an increase in the number of parasites in a host, the parasites ingest far more nutrients than was originally the case.
There is a probability that as this process progresses, the host will eventually fall victim to health complications and even die. Birds do not have the same number of parasites that cause digestive tract infections as cats and dogs do.
In part, this is due to parasites spreading through feces and infecting new hosts as a result. Budgies are not accustomed to interacting with their waste. It is important to remember, however, that budgies can still contract parasites, so they should be wormed regularly.
In the body, the kidneys have the function of filtering out waste products so that they can be excreted. A parrot’s weight will begin to fall as soon as they stop functioning as effectively as it once did.
Parrots, especially budgies, are prone to developing kidney disease, which causes them to suffer from kidney failure. Even though there is no cure for kidney disease, the symptoms can usually be lessened to some extent.
The parrot’s dietary needs must be met by changing the budgie’s diet, such as reducing the parrot’s protein intake, supplementing it, providing symptomatic therapy, or forcing it to eat.
Macaw Wasting Syndrome
In the early 1970s, the first case of macaw wasting syndrome (also called proventricular dilation syndrome) was reported. According to its name, this caused Macaws to gradually waste away as a result of its effects.
According to research, this disease affects more than 50 different species of birds. PDD is a disease that infects both the nervous system as well as the digestive tract as the infection is done through the proventriculus.
PDD is a disease that infects both these systems simultaneously. During this process, the food passes from the stomach into the gizzard where it is digested. This means that PDD impedes the proventriculus from properly digesting food.
Furthermore, the digestive system of the gizzard is also impacted. All meals are made to become empty calories when these organs are rendered incapable of digesting food in a normal manner.
From that food, the budgie won’t be receiving vitamins, minerals, fiber, or other nutrients in and of themselves. Regardless of how high-quality it is, it doesn’t translate to the budgie getting nutrients.
This can lead to a budgie beginning to deteriorate rapidly, hence what is known as PDD. It is possible to treat PDD, but it is difficult. Consult with a vet as soon as possible if you suspect your pet has the disease.
How do I know if my budgie is losing weight?
To determine if your bird is losing weight, you should weigh it over days or weeks so that you can keep a record of its weight over time. You can then check whether your bird has been losing weight or not.
To do this, you can use a digital kitchen scale that you can get from any good retailer. Getting a feel for the muscle tissue on either side of the keel bone is another way to recognize an underweight budgie.
This can be achieved by locating the bone protruding from the middle of the budgie’s chest (budgie keel bone) and running your fingers down the chest from the keel bone to its base.
When you feel the keel bone and the muscles that line it, you should be able to convince yourself that the bird is still in good condition. The keel bone will be about as prominent in birds that are in poor condition, and their chest will have little muscle covering it.
If you have a fat budgie, you may only feel the groove where the keel should be present.
How to make a Budgie Gain Weight
- Make sure you provide a healthy diet full of nutrients
- Add sunflower seeds to your diet as they are packed with fats and proteins
- Make sure you deworm your pet according to your veterinarian’s instructions.
- Make sure that the cage environment is suitable for the animals
- Maintain the health of Budgies by preventing diseases from spreading
- Ensure that budgies are regularly examined by a veterinarian so that any diseases can be eradicated.
Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.