Are you concerned that your budgie is overweight? How can you tell and what can you do about it before it gets worse? In this article, we’ll discuss the signs and symptoms of obesity in budgies.
How Do I Know If My Budgie Is Overweight? If your budgie’s chest is rounded and hard or you can feel fat moving under the skin, then there’s an obesity issue. You should be able to feel the keel or breast bones slightly.
30-50 grams is the average weight, but some American parakeets tend to be lighter than English budgies. Let’s look at more underlying issues.
Why Do My Budgies Look Fat?
Pet budgies obviously do not get as much exercise, flight time and activity as they do in the wild. The store bought seeds and millet tend to be higher in carbohydrates and fat. We also tend to feed our budgies foods and juices that spike up their calorie content.
It’s best to provide more activity through engaging toys, more flight time in and around the home or healthier meals based mostly on enriched pellets for budgies instead of seeds and human food.
Reasons Why Budgies Gain Excess Weight:
- Less active than in the wild
- Not enough exercise
- Too many seeds
- Too much millet
- Too much human food
- Not enough pellets
Can Budgies Get Overweight?
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a budgie is overweight. Their bodies are covered in feathers making it hard to see the breast bone or keel. Are they more rounded or are their feathers growing out?
Budgies can definitely get overweight in a sedentary lifestyle that merely consists of flying to one perch from another and eating seeds or millet all day long.
How To Find Out If Your Budgie Is Overweight:
- Check the keel bone
- Feel if his of her body is more rounded
- Weigh your budgie
How Much Should A Budgie Weigh?
An American budgie or parakeet tends to be slightly smaller or lighter.
Average Weight of American Parakeets:
- 30-40 grams
If you have weighed your parakeet on a scale and see a number over 40 grams, it’s best to intervene or make slight changes to their diet and activity.
Average Weight of English Budgies:
- 50-60 grams
If your English budgie is over 60 grams, it’s time to call a personal trainer. Just kidding. If you can’t feel the keel or breast bone, your budgie is obese and this could lead to a shorter lifespan.
How Much Does A Budgie Eat Per Day?
A budgie’s diet should consist of 80% pellets designed for them. Add 2 tablespoons of pellets in their dish per day. Seeds are optional, but low in nutrition. Fruits and vegetables are healthy treats in small portions throughout the week.
Although it’s fun to slip your budgie a few scraps of your food, remember that we ingest more salty, fatty and sugary foods without us even knowing or tracking the amounts in most cases. Stick to pellets in controlled doses if your budgie is showing signs of being overweight.
How Can I Make My Budgie More Active and Playful?
The following tips help to encourage a leaner and more active budgie in your home:
- Add a play gym
- More perches
- Add a swing
- More toys
- Play fetch
- Flying lessons
- Separate the food and water dishes
1. Play Gym
It’s incredible how detailed and varied some of these play gym for budgies are becoming. There is a huge market for this and current trends more healthier lives encourage it. Keep checking your loca pet store for more play gym ideas
Budgies could spend their day flying from one perch to another. You can make your own perches too. It’s great to give them perches at different heights, looks and feels. Your budgie will thank you for them.
3. A Swing
It takes a little time getting used to it or maybe your budgie is just a natural. Place a swing in the cage and enjoy your budgie’s playtime that indirectly boosts their metabolisms to burn more energy instead of storing it as fat.
4. Toys Toys Toys
The options are endless. When you notice that your budgie is bored of a toy, remove it and place a new one. Don’t throw out the old toys. Rotate them back in later when they’ve forgotten all about them or missed them.
Budgies like to play with you. One activity is throwing a toy in the cage to one side and watch your budgie retrieve it. This is a common game that should be included in the exercise sessions for a few minutes per day for an overweight budgie.
6. Flying Lessons
We want our budgies to fly, but we are concerned that they may not return. Build routines and rapport for your budgie to trust you and love their cage as their home once the flight time has ended.
7. Separate the Dishes
This is the easiest thing you can do. Place the food dish on one side of the cage and the water dish on the other. See your budgie go from one end to drink to the other side to eat. This ends up burning calories instead of standing in one place and consuming them.
What Happens If My Budgie Is Overweight?
An overweight budgie will show signs of deterioration that none of us wish to see. Nevertheless, it’s our job to notice the warning signs and step in to avoid them from getting worse. Look out for:
- Distended abdomen
- Breathing difficulty
- Seizures and/or tremors
- Beak softening
- Odd-looking feather growth
- Lesions on the beak or feathers
- Discharge from eyes, nose, or mouth
- Swollen, watery, or crusty eyes
Fatty liver disease, hepatic lipidosis and tumors are common in overweight budgies over time and with increased age. It’s best to avoid any of this from happening by adding in more time for activity and making sure they get the proper diet they deserve.
We hope your budgie is lively, active and healthy. We wish the same for you as well. Thanks for stopping by at BudgieRealm.com and come back soon for another article about our favourite birds!