Budgie Health Problems

Once you are familiar with your budgies’ everyday behaviour, it will be easy to spot when something is amiss. You do not have to be an expert in diagnosing specific disease in budgies, as long as you can spot when the bird is acting out of character.

Budgie Health Check

If you keep lots of budgies in an aviary, it will be harder to spot individual problems, so always be on the lookout. Like many animals, budgies are frustratingly good at hiding illness until it’s far advanced. This makes sense in the wild, where an ill-looking creature will soon be spotted and picked off by a predator.

Once you’ve identified an ill bird, a trip to the vet should always be your priority, and you should never delay in the hope of saving money on vet’s bills. Think of it in terms of the costs of a family trip to the cinema or restaurant – surely not a high price to pay for saving your pet’s life!

The vet you use should be an expert in birds. If they ever try to tell you that small birds such as budgerigars cannot be treated, choose another vet. The assertion is untrue, but in past decades was often offered as cold comfort by vet surgeries more used to treating cats and dogs.

budgies in cages
Health problems may spread in crowded cages

Examining a Budgie

There are a number of ailments that can afflict budgies. The rule of thumb is to keep an eye on your birds, and talk to a vet as soon as you spot any problem, from a broken wing to a dose of mild lethargy.

You can also gently examine budgies yourself, to check problems such as wounds and lice. A finger-trained budgie will be easy enough to coax onto your hand. Once there, grip him gently as described in Holding a Budgie, above. Make your examination as swift as possible to avoid making the budgie too anxious.

Customer Images


Jane, 26 August 2019

I'm going to briefly step on my soapbox & leave a comment for the sake off all the budgies & other birds in people's care. I cannot stress how important it is to find an avian (bird), veterinarian to take your birds- for at least a yearly check up. Besides diagnosing and treating a bird when they're ill, a good avian doctor will enlighten you to practical things you can do in to make life for you and your budgie & other birds healthier & happier. I had a budgie that was a chronic egg layer. At the time, I had all female budgies and was clueless about the sun's powerful egg triggering effect on birds. I also had no idea how much calcium was being depleted from my poor bird. Thankfully my avian vet caught this on a check up & gave her a hormone injection to stop egg production; but he also prescribed to ME that I put BLACK OUT ON ALL THE WINDOWS in the rooms that birds were in. I also had to get BLACK OUT COVERS FOR THEIR CAGES. It was so simple: I WAS TO CONTROL THE DAYLIGHT. 14 hours may seem like a long time for a bird to be in black out, but I assure you that she fared quite well; not only did she stop laying eggs, but she became happier bird & got along well with the others. As she grew older I was able to reduce the amount of black out to 12 hours. The other birds all did fine with this. No eggs, No calcium loss, no hormonal behavior; just happy budgies. She had one hormone injection and never needed another.

Susan, 4 August 2019

My parakeet is constantly making a sound like he is mad or fussing. He had never done this before. He seems to be breathing ok and eating fine. But this sound is very unusual. I had been watching two little yorkies but they never bothered him. But it seemed to start when they came. They have now left. I just want to make sure he is not sick. Thank you for your advice.

Lamb, 31 July 2019

I am perplexed about Timothy ( our Budgie) he has been gaining new feathers for around six weeks or more. I understand that this process lasts approximately two weeks. He is on his own, he is around five months old, he eats well, spends all day out of his cage. He had a bad day a day ago & has recovered well. He feeds as well as he always has. We could do with some guidance on his new feathers coming through. PLEASE.

Leo, 22 July 2019

My budgie is often pecking at her claws - why?

Frances, 3 March 2019

Found this section very helpful as my 7 month old budgie was very poorly. He sat with both feet on the perch and was very fluffed up and quiet. I dosed him with beaphur anti-parasite spot on for small birds and a herbal lice powder and after a week or so he started to perk up and hasn't looked back. I don't know what was wrong with him but his crop felt spongy as if full of fluid. He is a lovely little character and full of the joys of spring.

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