Budgies are fantastic pets that make great companions. Building a relationship with a budgie means you know their personality and quirks. This also means if you start to notice anything out of the ordinary, you know it’s usually time to be concerned.
If budgie starts moving oddly after eating or drinking, this is usually a sign of sickness or an injury.
So, why is my bird opening and closing his mouth?
A Budgie opening its mouth usually means something is stuck in its throat, usually after preening. In some cases, though, it may indicate a sore throat or mucus buildup, so you’ll need to take your bird to the vet. Birds conceal their sickness from predators, and ticks are huge red flags.
Among the opening and closing of the beak, there are other signs to look for when figuring out if your budgie is sick or not, and often, while looking for other symptoms, you find other odd things your bird does that may point to another reason as to why certain things are happening.
The issue with birds is, that they are so vastly different depending on the type that oftentimes, a “symptom” for one bird, is normal for another.
Why Does My Budgie Keep Opening and Closing its Beak?
Since birds are so different than other animals, they cannot expel heat the same way humans do. They cannot sweat to regulate their body temperature. When your Budgie is opening and closing its beak, this could be because it is panting to regulate its body temperature. Much like a dog, birds pant too, the only difference is how it looks.
Although, in some cases, your budgie could be struggling to get enough oxygen due to a respiratory illness, or just have something stuck in their throat. In either case, a trip to the veterinarian is always a good option just in case it is a sickness.
Parakeet Stretching out its Neck and Opening Its Mouth
You’ll notice that sometimes your parakeet opening and closing beak and stretch its neck, resulting in its mouth opening up. However, if your bird is doing this often and not stretching the entire body, it usually relates to a sickness.
Birds will often make this movement when they are about to regurgitate from sickness or food issues. If your bird is doing this often, you need to take it to the vet so you can help get it under control.
Does My Budgie Need to See a Vet?
Often, it is a misconception that birds do not need to regularly see a vet. However, just like any other animal, they do need to be seen by vets regularly.
You don’t want to only take your bird to the vet when something is wrong, because while the vet will do everything they can to help your bird become healthy again if they are not sure what your bird acts like when it is healthy, it will be hard for them to make the absolute best decisions.
How often Should my Budgie See a Vet?
It is recommended that your bird see a vet trained in the aviary aspect, at least once a year. As your bird grows older, many people start making visits to the vet twice a year due to the increased risk of complications due to age. The last thing you want is your bird to be in pain or sick and you to be unaware of it.
How Will I Know if My Budgie Needs a Sick Visit?
Most of the time, people are not aware their budgie is sick because they choose to hide their sickness. They only hide it to protect themselves from predators. If a predator realized they were weak because of a sickness or injury, the predator would choose to attack them over another bird.
So, you want to look for a few key things if you’re wondering if your budgie is sick. The following is a list of possible symptoms that can be present all at once or only one or two at a time.
No matter the combination, if any of these is present, it is highly recommended that you take your budgie to the vet as soon as possible.
- Sudden loss of feathers
- Odd consistency droppings
- Appetite changes
- Watery eyes or runny nostrils
- Bird panting with mouth open
- Sleeping in excess
- Any signs of injury or limping?
- The sudden burst of anger or attempts to injure the owner.
- Bleeding of any kind
(Source: Spruce Pets, Animals)
Benefits of Regular Vet Visits
While it is expensive to take your Budgie to the vet every year, especially knowing there is probably nothing wrong with it, it is the best idea for the health and wellbeing of your bird. There are so many positives that come from regular visits to the vet.
Screening and Prevention
With regular visits to the vet, your Budgie can be screened for possible diseases, conditions, or injuries. If your bird has any issues, it can be caught earlier than it would have if you waited for signs and symptoms.
However, if there are no issues, you can still learn and preventatively treat possible issues that should show up later. This can save you so much money on the front end rather than dealing with reactive treatments for issues on the back end.
Establishing a Baseline
If your vet only sees your bird when it is sick, it will not be able to predict possible future problems because they don’t know what your bird looks or acts like when it is healthy. Going to the vet regularly allows them to establish a baseline to go off of in case of odd symptoms or tests in the future.
This can also help your vet make a connection with your bird, allowing them to see behavioral changes that could be symptoms some people wouldn’t even notice.
Aging Bird Issues
As your Budgie gets older, as with all animals, there will usually be more problems due to aging. If you regularly take your bird to the vet, these problems can be caught very early and you will be able to help your bird manage whatever pain, or symptoms it might have.
Now, you will feel much better about your bird not being in pain, or knowing that a problem, could be coming so you aren’t surprised when it does happen.
The yearly visits to the vet are a great time for you, as the owner, to ask any and all questions that you may have. Whether it’s related to current sickness, past issues, or just a general Budgie question, knowing you have a visit to the vet every year allows you to know your questions can be answered then.
Finding a Good Avian Vet
When looking for a vet for your Budgie, you definitely need to find a vet that is trained in aviary knowledge. Birds are very different from your normal, everyday animals that vets usually see, therefore, you don’t want to take your bird to a vet that isn’t trained to fix birds.
Thankfully, there is an organization called The Association of Avian Veterinarians that specifically helps people find vets in their area that have been trained to see, diagnose, and treat birds. Their website is full of information on birds, general and specific as well as helping you find the vet you are looking for.
Basic Care that Will Keep Budgies Healthy
Your Budgie’s nutrition comes from mostly seeds, shoots, and other plant matter. While in the wild, they only drink when they happen upon the water, so it is recommended that you make a plan for them to forage for their food and water to keep them occupied and not overfed, or over-watered.
Housing and Environmental Needs
In the wild your Budgie would have flown long distances daily, therefore, the large of an area you can give them to live in, the happier and healthier they will be. With that, you also need to provide multiple opportunities to allow them to forage for food, water and treats to keep them occupied and happy. It is in their nature to search for their food, so they have a lot of energy for that reason.
The more opportunities you give your Budgie to forage for its food, water, and treats, the lower number of toys you will need to provide for it. However, toys are still needed no matter what. When choosing toys, keep in mind that they will try to eat, chew and destroy anything you give them, so it needs to be able to withstand a Budgie beak for quite a while for it to be considered safe.
In the spirit of accident prevention, you also want to make sure there is no chance fo your Budgie’s beak, nails, or feather becoming stuck in the toys you provide. This can cause a major issue as your bird will freak out if stuck, usually causing a bigger injury.
Taking care of a Budgie is not a hard task, especially when one does their research. If your budgie starts opening and closing its mouth regularly, it is probably wise to take it to the vet for a check-up just in case.
While it could be nothing, sickness is nothing to gamble with.