Our beloved birds become quickly embedded in our hearths as they provide us with love, companionship, and harmony.
So is not surprising that when they are sick, and on their last days, we want to provide them with as much comfort as possible to ensure we reciprocate the enormous love they give us.
So, if you are wondering how to comfort your dying budgie? There are seven areas that need to be addressed to keep your beloved bird comfortable:
- Keep them calm
- Hold them in a blanket rather than your hands
- Keep them at optimal temperature
- Keep the lights dim
- Keep them fed and hydrated
- Decrease their stress
- Isolate them form other birds
Keep on reading as we addressed each of the above seven steps. We also address questions such as: what are the signs of a dying budgie? and what can you feed your dying budgie with.
How To Comfort A Dying Budgie?
If your budgie is dying these are some things that you can do at home to help keep them comfortable.
Give Them A Calm Environment
Keep the area near their cage quiet and calm to avoid them getting stress.
If the area has high foot traffic, It may be best to move their cage to a different part of the house where there are less people coming in and out.
Playing soothing music, such as classical music, has been shown to keep pets calm. Playing loud rock or metal music can keep your bird stressed.
Another way to keep them calm is to speak to them in a low and soft voice. Any screaming or loud noises will scare them and raise their stress levels.
Hold Them In A Soft Snuggly Blanket
If you plan on holding your bird, they may not want to perch on your hands like they normally do. This may be because they are to sick to balance themselves on your hand and could fall off hurting themselves even more.
The use of a soft snuggly blanket will help keep them calm, as it resembles the soft feather that they would use in the wild to make a nest to keep them comfortable.
Holding them close to you will also help keep them calm and stress free. This keeps them from wanting to try to flap their wings and get away. Holding them close, they will feel secure that you are there to protect them.
Keep Them Warm
Birds who are sick have trouble regulating their body temperature, therefore keeping the room temperature between 70°F to 85°F ( 21°C – 30°C) will help them feel comfortable.
If the room in which you are storing the cage of your beloved budgie is big, and reaching that optimal temperature is hard, you can either partially cover their cage or use a heating light on them.
I recommend using a heating lamp that only emits heat. Those with integrated lights are more expensive and the light may cause unnecessary stress.
Ensure you have a thermometer on the cage, or you run the risk that your bird suffers from heat stroke if they get too hot. A bird that suffers from heat stroke can have permanent brain damage, seizures and even die.
Too much heat can also make the bird use extra energy to cool down. Energy that they should be using to keep themselves alive.
You will notice that your bird is too hot if they are perching with their wings open. This is the easiest way for them to get air under their wings and cool their bodies.
Also keep the cage away from doors and windows as they can cause drafts, making your dying bird cold. Windows may also allow direct sunlight to come through potentially making your bird too hot.
Keep The Lights Dim
Birds are good at hiding when they are unwell. In the wild they will have no option or they will be eaten.
So light will indicate they need to be up and active. Keeping them in an area with low lighting, or the cage cover will make them think it is evening, allowing them to feel calm, quiet and will allow them to sleep more.
Keep Them Fed And Hydrated
Many sick birds do not want to eat. If your budgie will not eat on its own, it would be best to syringe them food and water.
There are commercial foods that you can feed or you can mush up some of their food and slowly syringe feed them.
A sick bird can die after 24 to 48 hours without eating any food.
A Budgie should be drinking 1 teaspoon of water or they will dihydrate.
If your bird shows any of the listed signs below they are likely dihydrated and should need to be taken to the vet straight away:
- Sunken eyes
- Wrinkled skin
- Not eliminating normally
Decrease Their Stress
If your budgie is sick, letting your cat peek into their cage is not the best thing. Think of anything that could possible cause your bird to be stressed and try to avoid those things. Sometimes even children running and playing near the bird’s cage can cause your bird to become stressed. To avoid this, remove the cage form any area used by the children.
Too much handling can also cause stress. Signs to look for to tell if your bird is stress are:
- Feather picking
- Fluffed feathers
- Not eating
- Heavily breathing
Small birds are prey animals, meaning many other animals want to eat them, and will not show that they are sick until sometimes it is too late to help them. If your bird seems like it is trying to die, it is best to try to keep them calm and warm to try to help them recover. If your bird is extremely sick, seeing your vet may be the best as they can start your bird on medication to help them improve or if they are very sick they can euthanize your bird to help them pass peacefully and not have to suffer any longer.
Isolate Them From Any Other Bird
Isolating your precious feathery friend could help keep them more comfortable if they do not like the other birds. Also isolating them from other birds would keep your other birds from getting sick and you having more sick and dying birds.
What Are The Signs Of A Budgie Dying?
If your budgie is dying you may notice some of these signs:
- The bird is sitting on the bottom of their cage,
- open mouth breathing,
- heavily breathing,
- vomiting, or
- head drooping.
Any of the signs below indicate your budgie is very sick. Failure to see the vet may lead to death:
- Decrease or increase in appetite
- Increase in urination
- Increased drinking
- Unkept feathers or wrinkled skin
- Green or yellow discharge from the eyes or nostrils
- Sneezing or wheezing
If you notice any of the above signs, it would be best for your budgie to see your vet right away. Usually with birds they do not show signs of illness until sometimes it is too late.
Birds are a prey animal and at the first sign that something is just a little bit off you should worry that your budgie is sick. With early treatment, your budgie may be able to make a full recovery.
What Can I Feed My Sick Budgie?
If your budgie is sick and not eating, you can syringe feed them at home. Your budgie will need supportive care for them to recover.
You can even force feed them if you feel comfortable doing this. Most people leave gavage feedings for their vet to do and do not attempt at home, as syringe fed can kill your bird if not done correctly.
If you are determine to feed your bird, foods such as those mention below will provide all the nutrients your beloved feathery friend needs.
- Fresh fruits
You can even try to offer them easy to digest human foods like mashed bananas, applesauce or soft vegetables like peas. You can even offer infant rice cereal or baby food.
If your budgie does not like any of the human food that you are offering you can ground up their pellets and mix with some fruit juice to try to get them to eat.
How Do You Treat A Sick Budgie At Home?
If your budgie is sick you can try at home treatment. This would include:
- Keeping them warm,
- Keeping them hydrated,
- Offering them food and syringe feeding if needed,
- Provide supplements to help keep them healthy
- Decreasing any stress
- Isolate them from any other bird
- Contact your vet if your budgie is not improving
Many times it is best to start by seeing your vet for medication. Once you are back home, you can start treating them for their illness.
Adequate nutrition, water, warmth and care from you, may help your budgie recover from their illness.
How Long Can A Sick Budgie Live?
Sick budgies can live between 1 to 3 days depending on their illness.
If your budgie seems sick, they should see your vet. They can start your budgie on medication and other treatments to help them recover. Some birds can recover from their illness and go on to live a long and happy life.
Whether your budgie is sick or dying, it is always best to help keep them calm, warm and fed to keep them comfortable.
Other Related Questions
Can Budgies Die From Cold?
Yes your budgie can die from a cold. This is the layman’s term from an upper respiratory infection.
Upper respiratory infections can lead to pneumonia or severe issues with breathing.
If not treated adequately, pneumonia or any other severe breathing issue can quickly cause your budgie to die. Therefore if you suspect your budgie has a cold take them to the vet immediately for treatment.
Signs that indicate your bird has a cold are:
- Head tucked under wing
- Crouched bird to help keep feet warm
- Fluffed feathers
If your budgie does have a cold, you can help them by cleaning the discharge from their nose and start them on antibiotics from your vet.
If your budgie is sick and/or dying, keeping them comfortable during this time will help them pass peacefully.
Usually there are a few things that you can do to try to help your budgie recover. If your budgie is very sick, it may be best to make the hard decision to put them to sleep so that they do not suffer from their disease.