If your budgie is kept in a clean, dry home and fed well, he should remain healthy throughout his life. However, if he does become ill, things can deteriorate rapidly. Once you know your budgie well, you'll soon notice if his health starts to deteriorate.
Make sure you maintain a good balanced diet, keep plenty of toys in the cage, clean water bottles and food bowls daily, keep his nails clipped, and ensure he has regular exercise outside of his cage.
Signs of an unhealthy budgie:
- Lack of energy or change in demeanour
- Loss of appetite
- Drinking more or less than usual
- Loss of feathers
- Overgrown beak
- Watery eye or nostrils
- Fluffy feathers
- Change in breathing pattern.
If you notice anything different to the normal pattern in any aspect of his health, these may be signs that something isn't right with your budgie. Any change in appearance, such as lumps, loss of feathers (outside of malting season) a crusty cere (above the beak), irregular breathing, discharge around the eye or even a change in their demeanour can tell you that your budgie isn't well.
A common condition in budgies is Scaly Beak or Scaly Face — which is contagious and requires treatment immediately by a vet. Signs include crustiness of the beak, face, cere and sometimes the legs and feet. Do regular checks to make sure there are no signs of this on your budgie. Seek advice if you ever become concerned about your budgie's health.
Claws will need to be trimmed every now and again, which isn't a pleasant process for the budgie so this should be done by a vet. Perches with a slightly rougher texture can help keep the claws trim.
Another very important thing to be aware of is that budgies have very sensitive respiratory systems so you must not expose your budgie to any fumes from aerosols such as air fresheners, cleaners, hair spray, deodorant, perfumes, and never expose them to cigarette smoke, open fires and candles. These fumes are extremely bad for their health and could result in death.
Zinc poisoning is common in birds as they tend to chew most things, including their wire cages which can be coated in zinc. This process is called galvanisation and is a treatment used on steel or iron to prevent rust. It is your duty to safeguard your budgie and do your research about zinc poisoning and ways to spot it. Zinc poisoning can cause problems with the liver, kidneys and pancreas, and could even cause death.