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Patricia, Parrot Consultant
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 1759
Experience:  Published author, free lance bird behaviorist, adviser to the parrots at Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
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My budgie has small spiky thing growin out of his head

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Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Patricia replied 10 years ago.
Hi George. How old is your Budgie? How long have you had it? Is it a very thin, probably mostly white looking "spike". Have you seen an above average number of shed feathers lately? Is this your first experience having a bird? Please tell me about his dailey diet so I can help you make sure he is not having any nutritional issues. This extra information will help me give you my best advice. Thanks, Patricia
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Patricia's Post: Dear XXXXX,

Thank you for your response regarding our pet budgie,We think he is around 3 to 4 months old and we have had him 6 to 7 weeks I would say he is small and yes it does appear to be shedding rather a lot of feathers latley.
Its is our first budgie and not a lot of experience,His dailey diet is fresh water dailey and top up his seed tray's with trill seeds we also give hime a treat which is a honey ring with seeds on it.

Kind Regards

Expert:  Patricia replied 10 years ago.

Okay George, thanks for the extra information. It's very helpful. I feel real confident that what you are seeing is a pin feather and nothing to be concerned about. Your baby is at the age where he is probably having his first real molt. He probably has a lot more than one of those pin feathers but the ones on his head and neck, he can't reach with his beak, to clean the sheath off the feather quicker. Many times, that's one of the things they really appreaciate us helping them with. If there is more than one bird in a cage they usually help by preening each other. Those pins can be touchy but they are also uncomfortable for them and the sooner that sheath can be stripped off, the more comfortable the bird can be. If your baby is hand tame and enjoys being handled, you can try very gently sliding your fingernail along the pin, moving from the skin, outward. Most birds really enjoy this and will bow their heads, waiting for us to preen them. Another thing that will help is to put some 100% pure aloe juice in his bath water. If you want to do that, be careful what you use. The best thing for folks who have birds is to always keep some aloe plants on hand. Cut off an arm, slit it open and use the gooey center. For sure don't ever use any of the products we use for sunburn or insect bites. Those are "cosmetic" products and can have harmful ingredients. You will see him shed a few feathers from time to time, throughout the year but you can expect a heavy full molt at least once a year, maybe more. If they were still in the wild, it wouldd happen only once and in the spring time. But, since we have brought them inside to live in our climate controlled enviornments, they might molt at any time and more than once. The only time you will ever have to be concerned about it is if you should ever see and bald or bare spots. You also need to make some changes in his diet, the sooner the better. Seeds and seed products should not be more than around 25% of our bird's dailey diet. First off, when you mention "top up" the seed bowl, what you really should be doing is removing the bowl, dumping it every day, washing thoroughly and refill with fresh product. Empty hulls get dropped back in bowls and they can appear to be full when in fact, there may be very little actual food in the bowl. If you will dump the next on into your hand first and inspect it, you might be surprised to see how much of those contents is nothing but hulls. People have starved their birds to death, thinking the bird had a full bowl of food when it fact, it had nothing to eat. He needs a good quality seed mix that has no sunflower seeds and that should be mixed with a good brand of pellets. My personal favorite is the LaFeber with no added colors but there are other good brands as well. He also needs fruits and vegetables, cooked brown rice, cooked pastas, hard boiled or scrambled eggs and green leafy items like Kale, Mustard, Turnip and/or Collard greens and Romaine lettuce. No Ice Berg lettuce and no spinach. Also, there should be a never ending supply of cuttle bone in the cage. That's an important calcium source for all but if by chance you have a female bird, it can literally be life and death, if and when she ever decides to lay any eggs. A diet that is too high in seeds and seed products puts them at risk of fatty tumors and fatty liver disease, (Hepatic Lipidosis). I'm going to give you a lot of links to information about basic care, diet and household safety issues. Read those lists of household toxins very closely because we all have products and items in our homes that are deadly to birds, even though safe for everyone else and other pets. Some of thos items can literally drop your bird dead in it's tracks so I know you will want to get familiar with them right away. Another helpful thing is to go ahead and get your closest proper Avian vet located and put the information with all your other emergency numbers. Most birds end up at the vet because of an emergency and when it happens, you will be very glad you already have one located. I hope all this will be helpful to you but if there are any more questions, just let me know. Patricia

Click here: Hepatic Lipidosis

Click here: PetCareLibrary - Tumors in Parakeets (

Click here: Parakeet Medical and Safety Information

Click here: Parakeet Budgie and Keet FAQs and Info

Click here: Toxic and Safe Plants/Trees for Birds - Household Poisons

Click here: Birdsnways - Safe Plants & Trees for pet birds, pet parrots &exotic birds

Click here: Nutrition

Obesity & Diets (budgies)

Click here: The Basics: Intro to Budgies / Parakeets

Click here: The Budgie and Parakeet Place - Care, Training, Pictures and More


Click here: Find your local Avian Veterinarian

Click here: Avian Veterinarians Recommended by Bird Breeders and Owners

Click here: Avian Vet List

Click here: BirdsnWays - Avian Veterinarians - Vets - Vet Services for Pet Parrots & Exotic Birds

This one looks like an advertisement for Harrison pellets but they are only sold by vets so it's another good list to check. Click here: Harrison's Bird Foods is a family of certified organic pet bird diets that were formulated to make your bird as he