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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 32835
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My budgerigar was about 12 months old. A lively bird, learning

Customer Question

My budgerigar was about 12 months old. A lively bird, learning well, healthy looking and fun to have. Nice colour, blue vest and white back and tail. She was okay last night, but this morning was crouched on bottom of cage. I tried to put her on her perch, but she couldn't grasp it and her legs didn't support her. I put a board across the perches and laid her on it for support and she held her head up with her beak on the cage side. I rang the vet and made an appointment. Queenie tried to acknowledge me by lifting her wing as usual but it was an effort. I turned to get some water for her and when I turned back her beak had come free and her head had dropped onto her beak - and she had died. I hadn't noticed anything untoward the previous days, plenty of voice and she loved her lettuce and celery and visited her medicine block regularly and plenty of water. From a great companion and healthy looking, to dying suddenly like that is a mystery to me. Can you give me a reason for her demise. Robert Neeld.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
My condolences for your loss of Queenie, Robert. Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds. What had Queenie's diet consisted of other than seed, celery and lettuce, please? Seeds should have composed less than 20% of her diet lest she become vitamin A, B12, D3, K deficient as well as calcium deficient. She couldn't absorb calcium from her mineral block unless she were vitamin D3 sufficient. 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.