I woke up this morning and one of my budgies was dead. She was less than a year old. I have no idea what killed her and now I'm worried about the other one. He seems sad and sleeps a lot like he's depressed all day. He seems more afraid of me today than he was before she died. I'm worried about his mental health. How soon should I buy a new bird to keep him company?
Type of Animal: Budgie
Age: Less than 1 year
Name of Bird: Sequoia
Hello, I'm Dr. Bob.I'm sorry to read of your bird's death.Was she exposed to any strange birds, or new bird additions to your home?
No, nothing new. Nothing unusual at all.
Okay, thank you.Experts have determined that 90 - 95% of pet bird illnesses are diet related. What were you feeding her?
She was on a seed diet. I feed them Health Diet Parakeet budgie seed mix. White proso millet, canary grass seed, oat groats, red proso millet and veg. oil are what listed on the bag. As well as golden millet as a treat. Yesterday, when I turned my back she got into my oatmeal I was going to have for breakfast. I got her out of it but not before she had a few bites. Would that have killed her?
Unfortunately, yes that may have been what caused her death. Was the oatmeal hot?
Not it was dry and I hadn't added water to it yet.
Okay, thank you.It is still possible and possibly even likely that this is what caused her death. If it had been hot it would certainly have been the cause, but dry oatmeal swells greatly when it is moistened, and she may have choked on it.As for the diet, While this information comes too late to help your poor little girl, perhaps it will help in the future with you other and future birds. Compare what your birds were eating to the diet recommended by professional aviary keepers: 70% high quality pelleted parakeet or budgie food, such as those made by Harrison's, Lafeber, or other reputable manufacturers, 20% dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, Swiss chard, cilantro, collard, turnip or beet greens, cooked sweet potato, squash, or pumpkin, carrots with the tops attached, dried chili pepper, yellow, green and red fresh peppers, and only 10% or less, seeds and nut foods. Lettuce is practically all water and is of no food value in the diet, and shouldn't be fed to birds. Fruit is okay as an occasional treat, but also contains 90% water and fills the bird up with out providing many nutrients by weight. Grit is no longer considered necessary to the healthy upkeep of pet birds, and can actually be the cause of fatal impactions of the digestive system. Most pet birds' diets consist of far too many seeds and nuts, which are out of balance in calcium and phosphorus, too high in fat, and low in iodine and this imbalance eventually catches up with them. Sunflower seeds are especially high in fat content. Beside all this, pet bird food is usually not shelf dated, and is often more than a year old when purchased. Most, or all, of the perishable nutrients are gone by the time the birds actually eat it. Seeds and nuts tend to go rancid in time, and birds will usually refuse to eat the rancid foods when this occurs, picking the rancid seeds out of a mix. Vitamin deficiencies can result from rancid seed. Check your bird food package to see if there is a "Best by" date printed on the label. You can tell a lot about the manufacturer by whether or not they date their product. Proper nutrients in balance with one another help prevent respiratory, nerve, skin, feather and organ problems, as well as behavior problems like self mutilation, excessive vocalization, aggression and excessive egg laying in females.The reason for this is that diets high in seed and nut foods tend to cause the liver to become sick as fat tissue replaces healthy liver tissue.The bird's resistance to infection is severely lowered when their nutritional state is not optimal.I hope this information is not something you already knew, but I think you deserve a thorough answer as to what may have happened to your pet.If you decide to get a new companion for Sequoia, place the new bird in quarantine for four weeks, to avoid bringing a possibly contagious disease into your home. The isolation will also allow any infectious disease Sequoia may be carrying to manifest. A product called "Rescue Remedy" is a mild sedative, and may help get Sequoia through the grieving period easier. you can buy Rescue Remedy at health food stores. a drop of two in his drinking water will help take the edge off his anxiety over her loss.If you should have any further questions, please let me know.Kindest regards,Dr. Bob
35 years in general practice, including avian.