Like most birds, budgies sleep while being perched.
But a budgie lying down can either mean him trying to be extra cozy or going through extreme sickness.
Since all budgies are unique, therefore, the precise reason for lying down may vary.
In this article we’re going to discuss the following
- Is it normal for budgies to lay down
- Should you be worried if you find your budgie lying down
- How to tell if your bird is sick
- How do you know if your budgie is dying
- How to comfort a budgie in their final moments
These topics may be sensitive but it’s important to know the signs so you can help your budgie
The article discusses symptoms to look out for but please be aware I am not an avian vet, these are done through research
You should contact your avian vet asap and get their advice and opinion
Is It Normal For Budgies (Parakeet) To Lay Down?
A Budgie lying down is generally not normal, especially if he has never shown such tendencies before.
On average, a budgie can live for 5-10 years.
For budgies older than 5 years, lying down is typically a sign of sickness, aging, or in worst cases – death.
However, some baby budgies may lie down on their stomachs. (Probably because they cannot completely control their feet).
But, if the reclining bird is a new pet, then probably he fears his new environment.
Should I Be Worried If My Budgie Is Lying Down?
Yes, it’s high time to call a vet and any delay may be fatal for your bird.
Often new bird breeders complain, “But my budgie was fine a while ago?”
Sadly, it may not be the case.
Since birds in the wild are prone to predators if they show any weakness.
Therefore, most birds have adapted to hide their sickness.
This counterproductive trait in bird pets, will not let you find out if they are sick until it’s too late.
Chances are your bird is lying down because he is too tired to even move now.
Regular visits to an avian expert will reduce the chances of chronic illness.
However, as a bird breeder, you must know how to detect a sick bird.
Otherwise, an infection may spread to your whole bird family.
How Do I Tell if My Bird is Sick?
Only a vet can properly diagnose the disease and prescribe medicine. However, you can observe your bird for the following symptoms:
1. Cere and Breathing Issues:
Birds are quite susceptible to lung infections.
So, carefully inspect its nasal region for:
- Any scaley or mucus-like materials
- Variation in breathing rate
- Abnormal flapping
- Temperature fluctuations
If you see mucus, it is a sign of viral infection so immediately quarantine your bird. Also, ensure none of your other birds has flu.
Like reptiles, birds cannot regulate their temperatures.
- If your bird is breathing through the mouth and his heart rate is high, he may be too warm. In this case, move him to a cool place.
- If he is breathing slowly or flapping abnormally, then mayhaps he is cold. In this case, he is desperately trying to preserve heat.
To keep your bird warm, I suggest you put a cardboard box on a heating pad and keep your bird inside.
Of course, ensure the supply of clean water and food.
2. Changes to the Feathers:
Any changes to a bird’s feathers may indication sickness, such as:
- Irregular or absence of molding and preening?
- Abnormal growth within feathers
If the wings have turned paler than usual, then your bird may be experiencing some liver issues.
Though bird breeders may prescribe home remedies like excessive use of cod liver oil, I discourage these.
Cause maybe your bird is just dehydrated and home-remedy may trigger some nutritional imbalance.
If your bird is showing irregularities in molding, flapping, or preening, then he is probably injured.
So, don’t hold him any more than you have to.
If the feathers are not growing properly, or if there is a lump, then there may be an ingrown feather.
It must be surgically removed by a professional.
Otherwise, it may cause damage to your bird’s organs.
Take your birdie to the vet ASAP
3. Changes in Eyes
Although squinting can indicate a mild infection, yet other changes to the eyes may imply a fatal illness.
Carefully inspect your bird’s eyes for dried mucus, cloudiness, or fibers.
The fibers and cloudiness are typically related to fungal infections.
But again, only a vet can properly diagnose symptoms.
4. Variations in Droppings
Normally, a bird’s droppings include clear urine, white excretes, and colored pellets.
However, the color of pellets may vary with the pigmentation of the bird’s food.
Similarly, the looseness of pellets is associated with liquid content in food intake.
So, take a note of:
- Changes to the color and volume of urine
- Moisture in droppings
- Presence of blood or undigested food
Yellowish or greenish urine indicates poor liver health.
Diarrhea and undigested food point to bacterial infection.
In this case, you would need a proper prescription to administer any antibiotic.
The blood in droppings is a sign of internal injury, so I advise you to rush to your vet.
5. Changes in Activity
Has your bird been limping lately?
Now, a baby bird might limp because he cannot control his movements.
However, budgies are extremely prone to metastatic tumors, especially around kidneys.
If your bird is limping, or off-balance without any injuries then he may have a tumor.
These tumors exert extra pressure on nerve endings, causing paralysis.
Maybe your bird is lying down because its legs are not moving at all.
6. Other Issues:
- Excessive vomiting or regurgitating.
- Mites in respiratory tracts
- Variance in speech
Again, all these signs just indicate sickness.
But only your bird vet can guide you further.
But does lying down mean dying?
How Do I know If My Budgie Is Dying?
There is no definite way of telling when a bird will die.
But, if a budgie is old with eyes turning cloudy or white, then his time is nearing.
Also, an extremely sick budgie is unlikely to survive.
Here are a few signs that a dying budgie might show:
- Excessive sleeping and low activity
- Low to no talking
- Lying down in the corners of the cage
- Refusing to eat even favorite treats
- Blood clots, excessive mucous or fungal growth
- Inability to preen, or maintain feathers
Dying Without Any Signs?
Though, most budgies die of old age or sickness, but remember that new breeder said his bird was fine a few hours ago?
Maybe he was right.
It’s because birds are quite sensitive to air pollution and toxins.
It is precisely why miners used to have canaries with them.
If air became too toxic, a canary would die, and all miners would leave the mines immediately.
Maybe your bird was alright and it died because he was exposed to some toxin.
Common toxins include Teflon fumes, aerosols like perfumes, and air fresheners.
However, the exact cause of death can only be determined by a necroscopy.
I highly recommend post-mortem analysis as it will ensure that none of your birds might die the same fates.
If you are going for a necroscopy, put your bird in a plastic bag and refrigerate until you can take it to the vet.
But, if you know your bird is dying,
I’m sure you would want to comfort your bird and make sure they are okay
How Do You Comfort a Dying Budgie?
I know this is a hard time for both you and your bird. S
o, a vet may offer to peacefully put your bird down.
However, if that’s not possible for you then you can comfort the bird by holding him in a blanket.
Don’t use bare hands as it may cause unnecessary stress to your budgie.
Show him other birds outside the window, that ought to cheer him up a little.
Talk to him softly and offer him his favorite treats, but don’t force-feed him.
Also, dim the lights.
Related article – Can budgies die of boredom?
The lying down of a budgie is abnormal behavior and requires your utmost attention.
I strongly recommend taking your budgie to the vet
Hopefully, your budgie will survive.
However, if the time of your budgie is ending, then I hope you find the courage to let him go.
Just make sure you know the cause of his death, so none of your other bird family members suffer the same way.