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Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 28543
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have two budgies one I got from a petshop a couple of

Resolved Question:

I have two budgies one I got from a petshop a couple of years ago. He had pin feathers on his head and has done ever since, they have never gone away! I brought him to a vet who put him on sunshine factor. It didn't do anything. They are offered veggies everyday but only really eat spinach. They both have free flight in a room in my house and I put a cage in the window which they sit at most days, all day but due to crap irish weather they don't get out in the non existent sunshine very much. Is there any food I can give or supplements to help with this problem.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site.

Yes, because nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds and are likely to underlie his delayed molt, seeds should compose less than 20% of hisdiet. A diet of mainly seed and nuts has excessive fat, carbohydrates, and phosphorus; marginal protein; adequate vitamin E, and are deficient in amino acids, calcium, available phosphorus, sodium, manganese, zinc, iron, vitamins A, D3 (necessary for efficient absorption of calcium), K, and B12, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, choline, and available niacin. Ideally, a balanced pelleted diet such as can be found here: or here: should be fed as well as hard boiled egg yolk, pancakes and cornbread, the tops of fresh greens, dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, fresh fruits such as apples, pears, melon, kiwi, and berries, vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, beets, asparagus, cabbage, sweet potato, and squash, and even tiny pieces of meat.

You're going to have a difficult time transitioning him to a proper diet and so please take a look at how that might be done: (Disclaimer: I have no vested interest in Harrison's.)

A delayed molt can also be addressed by establishing normal diurnal rhythms by ensuring birds get at least 12-14 hours of "sleep time" in a darkened, quiet environment. Simply covering a cage in a busy family area is insufficient. Nutritional problems must also be corrected. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.