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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24440
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My budgies tail fathers are turning fr to a brownish tint,

Customer Question

My budgies tail fathers are turning fr white to a brownish tint
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the budgie's name and age?
Customer: Chico and he is less than 1 year old
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Chico?
Customer: nothing else I could observe
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Veterinary
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
r u still there?
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Chico the budgies normally white tail feathers are turning to a
brownish tint. He is eating OK, I have given him Avipro, in the event of a vitamin deficiency, but that has not helped
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

Yes, give me a moment to type up a response for you.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

The first thing to do is make sure that you're not seeing simple soilage and that cleansing his feathers will suffice to make them white once again. If that isn't the case...

Feather color in birds is the result of a combination of feather structure, melanin and carotenoid pigments. Nutrition will affect both the feather structure and the amount and type of carotenoids in the feather. Malnutrition can therefore produce adverse effects - fading and dulling, abnormal colors and color changes.

Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds. What has Chico's diet consisted of, please? Seeds should compose less than 20% of his 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: www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com or here: www.lafeber.com/pet-birds 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.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
His daily feed Hagen Budgie Seed - Original blend. Vitamin and mineral enriched. I also provide Avipro in his water. I provide occasionally spinach, dandelion, parsley, He does not like mist foods, such as apples , pears etc. I also make available on a sprig of Millet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 months ago.

You're feeding better than most caretakers but there's likely to still be a nutritional deficiency resulting in that color change. Budgies can be very difficult to transition over to a balanced diet. Here's one manner in which it might be done: http://www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com/using-our-foods/small-bird-conversion/

Avipro is a prebiotic and vitamin supplement. The value of a prebiotic in birds is unknown. The vitamins and minerals in seed mixtures are poorly assimilated by birds. Most are lost when the seed is hulled. Millet is just more seed which we try to minimize in a budgie's diet. Please continue our conversation if you wish.