Are You Concerned Your Budgie Is Overweight? 5 Sure Signs

You feed your budgie to get too fat, and you cut its lifespan tremendously. Yet, no one wants to be the reason their precious pet died. So, how can you tell if your budgie is overweight? 

You can tell if your budgie is overweight by feeling the budgie’s keel bone area. If the breast muscle is protruded or rounded, your bird is overweight. Another way to do this is to weigh the bird using scales. 

Are you concerned about your budgie’s weight? This article will help tell whether your budgie is overweight and how to return it to a healthy weight. Keep reading. 

How Can You Tell If Your Budgie Is Overweight? 5 Sure Ways

According to experts, obesity or overweight issues are commonplace in older birds—especially when feeding on seed-based diets

The end game is your budgie catching diseases like atherosclerosis and hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease).

The following are the sure ways to tell if your budgie is overweight:

1. Extended Muscle Breast

Blue budgie bird

One of the most common and surest ways to tell if your budgie is overweight is by checking the configuration of its chest. Generally, when you feel that area, the keel bone and the breast muscle feels protruded or rounded. 

And in most cases, if you search and feel the keel bone, you may take time to find it. That should tell you that your bird is overweight

Typically, you should feel the keel bone straight off – it’s usually in the middle of the chest, running out long, thin, and flat from the chest to the belly. 

Here are quick steps to use the keel bone technique:

  • Hold your budgie and touch its chest to locate the keel bone. 
  • The typical configuration should be a keel bone that’s easy to feel with an even muscle distribution on either side. 
  • If the muscles are more prominent than the keel bone, the bird is obese. 
  • That doesn’t mean the bone should be overly noticeable, in which case your budgie would be underweight.

Of the many methods you’ll explore, feel the keel bone is one of the best ways to determine the weight status of your bird. 

Find Out: The Difference Between Budgie and Parakeet

2. Too Much Fat Deposit Under the Skin

You can look for subcutaneous fat deposits under your budgie’s skin. And the best way to determine this is by parting the neck feathers to find the non-feathered area and observe the jugular vein.

This vein is easily visible and accessible on the right side of the neck. In obese birds, you may not see the jugular vein because there’s a thick fat deposit under the skin. Usually, the fat appears as a yellow tint under the skin. 

3. Shortness of Breath

Yellow and green colored budgie bird

If your budgie carries extra weight, you’ll notice him struggling to breathe after a simple light exercise. Even worse, breathing problems may occur when it has done nothing.

A bird running out of breath with each second of exercise will not be happy. Hence it won’t risk playing or moving around. 

Eventually, this leads to exercise intolerance. It may start disliking flying around when left free to exercise. 

Sometimes the bird pauses after a few moments of moving or playing. 

Also Read: How Often Do Budgies Molt? Here Is What to Do

4. Chronic Egg Laying and Egg Binding

Check out if your budgie is laying way too many eggs than usual. The likelihood of being too fat is highly probable. 

Many studies intimate that chronic egg layers are affected mainly by high-fat diets that usually make them obese. This is a problem in nearly all pet birds, like budgerigars, lovebirds, and cockatiels. 

Also, egg binding or dystocia is common in obese pet hens

5. More Than Usual Weight

Weighing your budgie is a simple method of knowing its weight status. It’s essential to weigh your bird from time to time. 

Indeed, you don’t want to miss out on anything unusual that could affect your bird negatively. And too much weight is one such thing. 

Excessive weight is a telltale sign of a bird closing into being overweight. By weighing the bird, you’ll know its current weight and whether it’s safe. 

If you can’t do that yourself, ensure you take your budgie for a periodic physical examination at the vet. The vet would keep track of your bird’s weight and advise you accordingly. 

How Much Should a Budgie Weigh?

On average, a budgie should weight around 25-60 grams. Remember that the weight will vary from one budgie to another. 

For instance, most American budgies may weigh 25-39+ grams, with an average of 35 grams. The average weight for an English budgie is about 45 grams and ranges between 42-60+ grams. 

You must know your budgies’ weight. Also, you need to know the typical average weight of healthy budgies to help gauge whether yours is okay. 

The average weights for the common budgies are indicated in the table below.

Type of Budgie Average Weight (Grams)Average Weight (Ounces)
English Budgie40-65 g1.4-2.29 oz.
American Budgie25-40 g0.88-1.41 oz.
Australian Wild Budgie25-35 g0.88-1.23 oz. 
Lutino Budgie25-40 g0.88-1.41 oz.
Albino Budgie25-40 g0.88-1.41 oz.
Average weights for the common budgies

The weight of your budgie will vary depending on several factors, such as:

  • The age of the budgie 
  • Sex 
  • Diet. 

A young budgie would weigh less compared to an adult. Newborns of about one to two days weigh between 1-2 grams. A 30-day-old budgie can weigh anything from 40-50 grams. 

Mature male budgies are usually larger and have more weight than their female counterparts. As for the diet, pelleted foods for budgies provided on schedule make your budgie add more weight than seeds that budgies pick while in the wild. 

How to Weigh a Budgie Accurately

Two budgies on a tree branch

Here are practical tips on how to weigh your budgie accurately: 

  1. Familiarize the budgie with the weighing scale. It is essential because your bird needs to know its environment and be able to explore it. With that in mind, simply place that scale around the budgie so it’s used to seeing and even interacting with it. 
  2. Hold your budgie gently. Place it on top of the scale surface. If you notice discomfort or anxiety, provide treats to keep it calm and still. 
  3. Once the budgie is settled, take the displayed readings. 
  4. Weigh your budgie regularly. You want to catch any weight issues before they get out of hand. 

Weighing a budgie is stress-free, but only for experienced budgie owners. If you’re new to bird pets, it may be challenging initially until you make it a routine. 

Your budgie may feel uncomfortable stepping on the gram or specialized bird scales. In that case, you want to be creative to get it on the scale. Ensure your bird is comfortable when standing for weight measurement. 

That said, some budgies may keep sliding out of your hands, and even if you’re experienced in handling them, the process may still prove tedious. In that case, ensure you lure the bird using treats until it steps on the scale. It’s all about training; the bird will adapt to the procedure. 

How to Help an Overweight Budgie

It’s not only dangerous to have your budgie add too much weight. It’s also sickening because the poor bird becomes practically limited to watching its environment instead of exploring it. 

The critical suspects to overweight problems in budgies are poor diet and lack of exercise. But, here are the ways to help an overweight budgie: 

Ensure Regular Exercise for Your Budgie

The cage can be increased to allow spacious surroundings to increase movement within the cage. Encourage your budgie to do more of the out-of-cage activities. 

Let it fly in the yard and perch on shrubs in the garden under your watch. Introduce new toys in the cage and rotate them to allow for variety. 

Switch From Seed to Pellet Diet 

Budgies love seed diets—you’d probably love seeing them eat as much as they want. However, seeds have a high-fat content that quickly makes your feathered friend grow fat too fast. 

If you will help the bird return to its normal weight, introduce a pelleted diet, even if it means doing it gradually. Reduce the number of treats you provide when motivating the bird. 

You don’t want to kill your bird because of a poor diet. It’s vital to remain cautious of the food your offer the budgie.

Final Thoughts

Maintaining a healthy weight for your budgie is essential for its overall well-being. 

That said, how can you tell if your budgie is overweight? Simply inspect the bird for extended muscle breast.

If your feathered friend is overweight, ensure to incorporate regular exercise as a daily routine. Moreover, ensure its diet incorporates more pelleted food.

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