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S. August Abbott, CAS
S. August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 9523
Experience:  Work w/Avian Vet; published bird care nutrition& behavior articles; consults, research
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I had budgies for over 60 years. However the last 3 have all

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I had budgies for over 60 years. However the last 3 have all died recently, I only have one at a time. one died in October after 2 years. I cleaned and sprayed the cage and bought another 2 days later, he died after 6weeks and the last one died last night after 4 weeks! I clean and feed them well but all died the same. Fell of perch, breathing heavily and screamed out in pain at point of death. Within 5 minutes of falling. I have taken the lovely cage to the tip this morning as it must be holding a disease? please advise me I feel so sad and guilty. From Helen
JA: I'll do all I can to help. The noise must be worrying. I'll connect you to the Veterinarian. What is the budgie's name?
Customer: Wallace
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Wallace?
Customer: He seemed so healthly and I bought him from a different shop, so its my fault somehow!
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Am I still connected?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Can you call me on 0121(###) ###-####please as I'm not computer savvy. Would really like to know what I have done wrong.

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Ofcourse I will wait for as long as it takes, I just so need an answer, after 60 odd years of owing birds I will feel lost without one. Although I have no intention of having another until I know what the problem is. Many thanks Helen

I am August Abbott, cert. avian specialist and owner of a sanctuary for previously abused and now permanent disabled large macaws.

Tell me more about where in the home these birds are kept.

Have you recently had carpets cleaned? Or gotten new ones or any new flooring, new furniture?

Used the self-cleaning feature on your oven?

Are your cooking utensils Teflon coated?

I know that after 60 years you know what's what with birds, but I have to ask these most obvious questions anyway. You are my eyes

Tell me about the cage. Do you use mite protectors or any other cage add ons?

Do you spray the cage for mites/pests?

What kind of diet do you provide? Be specific, describe the food, not the brand.

We'll work this out together - and you're doing just fine on this. I too am really not computer savvy - we'll muddle through

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for getting back to me. I only ever have one bird at a time and the cage is thoroughly cleaned each time. The bird is housed in the living room away from the back door or radiator. I know I have owned birds for 60 odd years but I realise I am no expert and have just enjoyed their presence for all this time. I must admit I have never sprayed with mite protector and its only the last 4 months I have lost 3 birds, 18 months, 6 weeks and the last one only 4 weeks. All died exactly the same way, fell to the bottom of the cage, lost balance, screamed and died almost instantly. I have disposed of the cage because do you think some disease was held there? I cleaned the carpet a while ago but no different to usual. I have fed them all on bird seed and millet sprays and they all had 2 water dishes. Grit and sand on the bottom of the cage.. Could an air freshener at the other side of the room have any bearing maybe to strong? Thank you so much for taking on my case, I am so distressed by what has happened to them, my guilt is huge.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thats not a problem,I would still like a reply if possible, online is fine. How do I pay my £16?

I'm sorry, but I"m not equipped to offer premium services. The offers you may see are from the site, not me.

I'm composing your answer right now

The thing about having birds x 60 years or so is that today's modern chemicals weren't around in the past.

Yes, any plug in, room spray or even carpet freshener is dangerous to birds. Even many scented candles. Self cleaning ovens are killers too and toaster ovens.

These birds were too young to succumb to dietary issues unless they ingested a toxin.

Here's the thing about today's bird seed diet: Many makers spray 'nutrients' onto the seeds so they can claim on the package "nutritionally complete" or whatever. Lie, lie, lie.

Seeds are like feeding a toddler nothing but ice cream and french fries while keeping them in their bedroom for life.

Initially it all looks good, the kid is growing and seeming to thrive, right up until the diabetes, heart attack, kidney and liver failure, tumors, you name it.

Birds are the same. Most on all seed diets have a shorter lifespan and nearly all will succumb to liver disease (Hepatic Lipidosis)

Next, few people know that grit and/or sand is absolutely unnecessary for hookbilled birds (like budgies) - and cause impactions and malabsorption resulting in malnutrition.

Finally, yes, the carpet cleaning could also be behind it. Chemicals used in today's cleaning products are different from years ago and I always insist that people move the birds to a very remote location in the house where the door can be shut and preferably a window open, even just a little.

After the carpet cleaning, open windows and wait 48 hours before bringing birds back in the room.

Or just avoid cleaning with commercial products and stick to formulas with natural ingredients like baking soda, borax, vinegar that you make yourself.

Please do not feel guilty. You didn't do anything on purpose and how on earth should you know what you don't know?

I'm about to post a diet hand out sheet to start out right with your next birds, so again, hang in there for me ok ?

It’s generally recommended that most of today’s companion birds have a predominantly pelleted diet. Pellets have been continually updated since being introduced to the market years ago and today’s formulas are better than ever.
Supplementing this diet with fresh foods every day is ideal and many owners find they can re-introduce seeds - in limited amounts (perhaps once or twice a week) without the bird refusing the pellets overall.
Whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, fruits and legumes. Include the colors orange, yellow , green, plus reds too! Think sweet potatoes/yams, squash, melons, oranges, peas, chard, beets and others.
Brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat couscous and natural, whole grain pastas are great choices.
Limit fats, especially the kind from animals. Good fats are most plant fats like soy, olive and canola oils. No fried anything
Another thing you can try is all natural, human baby food. Stick to the orange colors.
They can be mixed with tiny pasta or rice, whole grain bread or toast - remember, be more creative than the bird is stubborn.
As odd as it sounds, birds don’t need much, if any vitamin C. It is a water soluble vitamin which means it passes out of the body after the body takes what it needs and C is available in a wide variety of both fresh and processed foods given to birds.
Vitamin A/Beta Carotene, on the other hand, is frequently found to be deficient in birds. This is a fat soluble vitamin (when in the form of vitamin A) which means it gets stored in the fat cells of the body, so it’s possible to overdose on it. With our companion birds though, too little is the situation most often encountered.
The symptoms a bird will show when deficient are increased allergic reactions, respiratory/sinus infections, reproductive problems, skin and feather disorders, even cysts and tumors, as well as various intestinal complications.
Vitamin A is most ideally received from natural foods like sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, squash and other dark colored vegetables. If your bird doesn’t care for fresh vegetables, a ½ teaspoon of natural baby food (human baby food) of any of these vegetables. Again, it must be all natural and nothing but the vegetable with water sufficient for processing.


Even though this is put out by a cockatiel site, it’s applicable to all hook bills from budgies/parakeets to conures, greys and macaws.

cites feeding both seed and pellets, but only after weaning the bird from a mostly seed diet.

--- Let'sTalkBirds

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you so much for your time and advice. You have been most kind!

I understand, first hand, what you are going through and believe me, 'guilt' is a useless emotion. It accomplishes nothing, only drags you down and effects way too many other areas of your life.

It's a tragedy that you've suffered such a loss, twice! You really didn't do it though. Not on purpose. Not with full knowledge of what might happen.

We'll get through this together ok?

Please don't forget to rate so this question can come off the 'open board'. We can continue even then if you need to

S. August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 9523
Experience: Work w/Avian Vet; published bird care nutrition& behavior articles; consults, research
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