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Ask S. August Abbott, CAS Your Own Question
S. August Abbott, CAS
S. August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 11108
Experience:  Work w/Avian Vet; published bird care nutrition& behavior articles; consults, research
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S. August Abbott, CAS is online now

Baby budgie is 6 weeks old just learning to fly. Tilting

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Baby budgie is 6 weeks old just learning to fly. Tilting head all the back and opening and closing beak rapidly
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Can you tell me a little more about the budgie's situation? How long has this been a concern?
Customer: 1 week
JA: What environment do you keep the budgie in? Are there other pets or animals around?
Customer: just other budgies
JA: What's the budgie's name?
Customer: Kiki
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Kiki?
Customer: other than this seems healthy I observed her eating solid food with the other budgies this morning

I'm August Abbott Cert.Avian Specialist; bird behavior specialist and owner BrokenBirds.org.

- We experts are not employees of Just Answer, but work independently here. We are not aware of when you posted your question - so if there has been a delay I’m truly sorry, but this is the first I’ve seen this.

- Please ignore offers for premium/phone svc. They are not generated by me and I am not set up to participate in these options. Stand by while I type up (thank you)

If he's doing this whenever you approach it's likely just a feeding (as in: feed me!) response hoping a parent gives him a regurgitated meal.  Some birds, like some people, don't mature according to schedule.  Everyone is unique; an individual.

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If it isn't a feeding trigger then it could be something as simple as "crop adjusting" -  if he's stretching his neck out as he's opening and closing his beak it's his way of pushing food in the crop down into the next stage of digestion.

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Finally - if neither of these things then we're looking at an infection - which are not uncommon.  The thing is, treatment for one kind of infection can make another infection worse so just guessing isn't suggested (at all!)

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At this age it would be a perfect time to establish a vet - you don't want to have to wait for an emergency to have one in place.

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Though specialized avian vets are ideal, any vet who sees a majority of birds or at least 1/3 of their practice consisting of birds is a good choice.

- Any pet store in your area that sells birds should have recommendations.

- Any vet in your area should be able to refer you to another vet who sees birds. -

https://birdline.co.uk/welfare/avian-vets/

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https://www.aav.org/search/custom.asp?id=1803

- International

https://www.aav.org/search/custom.asp?id=1803

Animal Rescue Resource: --

https://www.animalrescuers.co.uk/html/wild-birds.html

- Keep me in the loop on this ok? I'll stand by you all the way to your birds good health!

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Ok thank you
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
File attached (QQV1LSV)
Perfect video!   OK, so this is not a typical 'baby feeding' stance so we can let that be eliminated.  What it could be is a condition called torticollis - 

‭ It’s often thought that a twisted neck (also called Wry neck; Star Gazing and a host of other terms) is an infection, either viral or bacterial. Torticollis (Latin for ‘twisted neck’) may be congenital (born that way), the result of an injury or as mentioned, because of an infection either system wide or inner ear.

Toxicity (such as zinc or other heavy metal) could be behind it and something as seemingly simple as a yeast infection could also be happening. It has a few other possible causes as well, usually associated with nutritional problems or more complicated systemic disease. In some birds too MUCH calcium may contribute to this condition, as well as too little. Lack of the sunshine vitamin (D) may also be the problem.

Since a twisted neck doesn’t point to any one of the potential causes in and of itself, a vet visit is an absolute must in order to figure it out. ‭-

‭This condition occurs in humans, cats, dogs and other animals as well, so fortunately there is a lot of solid information out there about how to treat it once the real underlying cause is found.

‭- ‭What we’d LIKE to find is an infection because this would be relatively simple to treat with the proper antibiotic, antifungal, sulfa drug or combination of one or two. Again though, I can’t stress enough that this needs to be diagnosed first. Treating something that’s not there can lower a bird’s immune system when they need it the most (antibiotics are notorious for this) and can give a bird a resistance to the drug so when they actually DO need it, it won’t work. You wouldn’t believe the headaches and expense associated with this.  ‭

- Waiting for ‘self correction when it’s an infection only gives the infection more time to spread and possibly become life threatening. Plus, as it looks, this condition isn’t a pleasant thing to live with and is at least uncomfortable if not painful depending on the underlying problem.

- In the meantime, you might want to lower the perch so she doesn't have far to fall - the poor dear has no idea what's going on and since these are now known to be self-aware birds (just like we humans, apes, elephants and dolphins) though she's not showing it, she's scared; confused and even worried.

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I have a bird in sanctuary here who began showing the same exact symptoms years ago.  Multiple testings for different causations finally determined that for whatever reason, this is how he liked to hold his head.  He still does it to this day, but eats well and interacts fine - it's just that when he's at rest, his head/neck seem terribly distorted.

- Please keep me in the loop ok? I'll be here to support you through this once she gets diagnosed (I wish it were possible to do labs online) and prescribed the appropriate drug protocol. - You got this - and I'm here with you ok?

S. August Abbott, CAS and other Bird Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you very much