What is wrong?


13 Years
Oct 24, 2009
I have 10 budgies, and 1 is acting sick. He was fluffed up a bit and sleeping a lot.

I put him in a cage on his own with a heat lamp and vitamins plus honey in the water, and moist egg food mixed with vegetables and seed. (he is new and I thought it may be a vitamin deficiency or stress).

After a week he had recovered fully and was lively. I put him back in the aviary.

But now he has got sick again. I kept birds for years and know most of the common diseases, but this has got me confused and I can't find out what the problem is.

He looks fine to the untrained eye, but I know something is wrong. Here are his symptoms...they are all very mild and you have to watch closely to see them.......

He is not lively, preferring to stay on one perch.
He sleeps a lot - but not all the time
He is very slightly fluffed up sometimes
His head points upwards slightly like he is looking at the roof
He keeps preening the feathers around his neck but they look clean. He does this a lot!
He sometimes will stretch out his neck and 'yawn' with beak wide several times in a row.

His poop is OK, he is eating and drinking.
He is not being sick
He is not sneezing
He is breathing properly.

He had got no worse, or better over this week.
The other birds are not picking on him in any way.
It is a mystery to me.

The only thing I can think is that he has something stuck in his crop?

Any ideas greatly received please........
My precious bird has got the exact same thing and I have no clue what to do, I'm so upset, taking her to a vet is not in the list for my parents buy she is so special to me, I rescued her from my friends who weren't taking good care of her and I REALLY don't want to loose her
Please help!!
Fluffed up feathers is generally a sign of illness in pet birds and parrots, but some just sleep that way on occasion. Now if he stays fluffed up and will not sleep on one leg, that's definitely not a good sign. A healthy bird will sleep on one leg. The problem with birds (just like our chickens and ducks and geese) is that as a prey animal, they very often don't show signs of illness until it's nearly too late to do anything to help them.

However, as someone who has rescued parrots in the past, and still has one today, here are a few things you can try to see if he perks up (since a vet isn't in the cards). First, try moving him from a normal cage, to a less drafty option, or something more like a chick brooder so you can keep him warmer. Even putting some temporary siding around his normal cage will work. You just want to be able to keep him from getting a chill. See if you can get him to drink some electrolyte water (can even use a plain, non flavored Gatorade) so help strengthen him a bit. Some take to it some don't. If he doesn't, see if he will take a little (again plain, or Vanilla flavor) Ensure or Pedasure or similar. This will give him both electrolytes and vitamins and calories, if he's not eating or drinking well.

For him looking up, try this to make sure he CAN look down. Find something either shiney or noisey. A small mirror or a bell work good for this. Get his attention and move it around to see his range of motion. (Like when the doctor has you follow a light, you're basically doing the same thing). If he doesn't startle at the noise and look, or seems that he's NOT able to look, then there's a bigger problem. If he can look and follow the object, that's good!

For your thinking on something stuck in his crop, are you able to gently palpate the crop? A healthy crop should feel firm but squishy and NOT hard (unless he's just eaten and it's full). If you can't palpate (feel) his crop, you will need to observe it. You can easily see a over-filled crop on a bird. It is located on the neck slightly to the left side (their left) and will look like a small balloon. If you don't see it protruding it's most likely not impacted. If you DO see it protruding, giving the electrolytes will greatly help because it will give him softer stools and he should be able to pass whatever is impacted.

Also, be sure your budgy has either grit or a cuttle bone because their gizzards work the same as other birds, and the grit is needed to break down foods.

I hope this helps you. Basically, other than a vet trip, all you can really do here is keep him warm, and make sure he's getting enough to eat and drink. If he stops eating and drinking, PM me and I can walk you through the basics of emergency hand (force) feeding.
Ah thank you so much! She has been getting better (SOO HAPPY) I've put her on this treatment called MultiAid for all cage birds and doing the whole course, seems to be working and every two hours I warm up a hot water bottle and bean bag and put it on top of her cage with two thick blankets covering the cage all the time

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