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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23797
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My female budgie has stopped chirping and she's been

Customer Question

My female budgie has stopped chirping and she's been struggling to fly. Her flying wings are gone. She cang get much height when she does fly she loses hright and falls to the floor. Her cere is crusty shes had this problem since ivevhad her.. She's constantly ruffling and shaking her feathers and my other 3 (2 males 1 female) keep fussing her. She's getting annoyed and pecking them away mostly cause they fuss too much over her all the time. She's always ripping carrots apart she loves to chework stuff. She's the only one that does this. Diet is sweetcorn carrot celery cucumber seeds parsley and spinach. Any advise would be appreciative as my vets just say they don't know much about budgies!
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Also when I got her I was told she was "a duff" which is why I bought her. Her owner was insensitive about her having a cross over toe and her cere is misformed? Like it's eroding??? My vet said the same thing. She's just a bit odd looking. But now she's not looking well at all. She is still preening she still is being active and involved with the others she's is quiet though and I noticed a cut/graze on her foot the other day which could have been a flying/falling injury. Her head feathers have come out but are starting to grow back. She's eating fine but I've not given them any fresh food for 2 days as I'm wondering if it's diet related so just seed for now I thought best?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

Lindsay, I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site.

Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds. Seeds should compose less than 20% of Lucy's diet. A diet of mainly seed and nuts has excessive fat, carbohydrates, and phosphorus; marginal protein; adequate vitamin E, and are deficient in amino acids, calcium, available phosphorus, sodium, manganese, zinc, iron, vitamins A, D3 (necessary for efficient absorption of calcium), K, and B12, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, choline, and available niacin. Ideally, a balanced pelleted diet such as can be found here: or here: should be fed as well as hard boiled egg yolk, pancakes and cornbread, the tops of fresh greens, dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, fresh fruits such as apples, pears, melon, kiwi, and berries, vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, beets, asparagus, cabbage, sweet potato, and squash, and even tiny pieces of meat.

I'm not sure what a "duff" implies. Please clarify. Mites are not a common cause of feather problems in budgies and if your others aren't affected, mites are even less likely. I suspect that when she's eats a better balanced diet, she'll be able to replace her feathers more efficiently. A crusty cere might indicate benign cere hypertrophy, cnemidocoptic mange, or hypovitaminosis A. A water soluble vitamin product such as Oasis brand should be considered at least until she's eating properly. Can you upload a photo(s) of her face to our conversation? You can use the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (if you can see that icon) or you can use an external app such as

I can be more accurate if I can see what you're seeing.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

I regret that my state board of veterinary examiners doesn't allow me to speak to customers by phone in this venue but other experts in this category may be able to assist you in this regard. Please let me know if you'd like another expert to do so and I'll opt out of this conversation. Please stay in the conversation if you wish.

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