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Could My Budgie Have Worms?


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I'm wondering if my Allen has worms or something. He's acting normal except he's been eating over twice the amount of seed he normally does in a day. It started sometime ths past winter; at first I thought he was just eating more because it was cold, but that's not it; its warm now and I think he's eating even more. His poos are normal and he is maintaining the same weight. As I said, he seems completely normal except for eating so much (and not gaining weight).

 

Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks

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It does seem strange that he would eat more and not gain weight. Do you measure his food? How can you tell if he is eating more, or just eating less food, but more often?

 

I don't think there is any way for him to catch worms without being exposed to worms from other birds. I don't think it could come from contaminated food, but maybe I am wrong. You did say you have put him outside in the past, but this started during the winter. Unless you think he may have gotten exposed a long time ago, and then the worms gradually grew until they finally got noticeable?

 

But if his poops look normal, then I would not lean towards worms. (It wouldn't hurt to give him a preventative dose of ivermectin. Tractor Supply carries it fairly cheap, although buying a whole 250mL bottle for just one use, I don't know about that.)

 

Have you changed seed brands recently?

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He used to eat about a tablespoon of seed per day, plus some lettuce/other veggies and some other 'treats' (bread/cereal/cooked rice/etc). Now he is eating about 2 tablspoons seed a day; I don't think he is eating anymore of the other things, but I haven't been giving him anymore than usual so I can't be sure. Actually, I did switch seed brands, it would be probably a few months ago, he just finished the bag of the new seed brand. I got the new brand because it had fewer "extras" in it that he never ate anyway. He pretty much just eats the millet out of his seed mix, and ignores the other seeds (sometimes he likes the flaxseeds). Now that you mention it, I wonder if the new food has anything to do with his eating more... but I can't see how there could be that much of a difference in the seed mixes; they pretty much have the same main ingredients (both brands I've fed him, the old one and the new one, had some pellets mixed in, but he never eats them).

 

I also have my doubts about it being worms; I don't know a ton about them, but it does seem odd that his poop would be normal (and from what I can tell, it doesn't look like there are actually any worms in the poop). And he is acting perfectly normal (except eating more, of course) and seems healthy. But I can't think what else might cause him to eat so much more.

 

He hasn't been in direct contact with any birds. I have taken him outside in a cage last summer, but I was watching him the whole time and no birds got near him (and I haven't had him outside yet this spring). But I do have chickens and feed wild birds, so I guess I could have somehow contaminated him if I didn't wash my hands well (I'm not sure if that's actually possible, though).

 

Thanks for the info, Finnie. I worry about my precious little birdie, lol.

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I agree, I don't think you would be contaminating him with worms just from your hands. It would be more likely if he had access to be able to pick food off the ground where wild birds and/or chickens had been,

 

It may very likely be the change in seed mix. It's definitely smart to change brands if you find that you are throwing away a lot of uneaten food. If you end up throwing away half the bag (the contents he wont' touch), then you are basically doubling your cost. It sounds like your'e pretty vigilant, too, about what he eats and what he leaves behind. But maybe there is a chance that with the new food, he is actually leaving more behind, and therefore going through it twice as fast. Or, maybe the types of seeds he likes out of the new mix provide less nutrients, so he has to eat more of them to equal the same energy.

 

I have had other people who liked to mix their own bird seed. They bought specific seeds on line, or at feed stores and health food stores (if they could find the kind of seed they wanted there), If you were able to figure out about 3-5 kinds of seeds that you know he will eat, and just feed those, you might find that there is less waste. If so, then the cost of ordering special seeds just might even out compared to the wastage of throwing away unused "extra" ingredients.

 

At least that might be a do-able option for one bird. I'm sure that would be way too expensive for me to try to feed a whole flock that way.

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