Why Is My New Budgie Breathing Fast?

Moving to a new home and new humans is traumatic for a budgie – especially if he has moved from a snug nesting box with parents and siblings to a large empty bird cage on his own and a strange human keeps peering at him!

You may well notice that your budgie is breathing strangely and be asking yourself the question

‘Why is my new budgie breathing fast?’

The answer is that is probably because your budgie has found the move to your home stressful and after a couple of weeks will have settled down into his new life.

What Is Normal Budgie Breathing?

When a budgie is relaxed and happy, his breathing will be hardly noticeable and should be at a rate of 60-70 breaths per minute.

This can change suddenly if your bird gets agitated – such as when he suddenly spots the family dog.

While moving house is a huge event in your budgie’s life and is very unsettling, it is worth remembering that budgies can react to other events such as a relocation of their cage, a new family member or even the room they are in being painted. 

Why Is My Budgie Breathing So Fast? 

It is perfectly normal for a new budgie to be frightened and unsettled for a few weeks if they are in a new place with new people and living in a new cage with new food bowl and surrounded by new sounds.

Not surprisingly, he could be show signs that he is feeling unsettled and one of these is by breathing fast.

Your budgie is unsure of his new surroundings and is watching for predators.

If his cage is in the middle of the room, he will feel extra vulnerable, so best to move it so that it stands next to a wall.

Your budgie will have adopted the defense mechanisms he has from the wild and will be keeping still and quiet so as not to draw attention to himself.

Even though you are his new owner, he will be viewing you with suspicion too! 

Other signs that your bird is agitated and unsettled are puffed up feathers and head swaying.

Your new budgie might not eat or drink in front of you and will wait till you have left the room.

For the first few weeks that your new budgie is with you, it is best to feed him the same seed that he was getting at the breeder’s/pet shop and not to try to take him out of his cage or put your hand inside it. 

Make your budgie feel snug and not so exposed by covering the top, back and sides of his cage with a towel or dark cloth and at night, cover the cage completely as this will make him feel safer and more secure.  

Spend time near your budgie doing something quiet like reading or going online and keep music soft and soothing.

Ensure you and family members do not make loud sudden noises and keep the cage away from curious cats and dogs.

As the days pass, you should see a change in your budgie’s confidence, that his breathing is more relaxed and that he is starting to feed in front of you – if he is feeling happy, he may even begin to chirp.

Is It Normal For Budgies To Pant Heavily 

Your budgie may be breathing very rapidly due to stress.

If you have just started letting him fly around the room it could be a sign that he is finding the exercise tiring as he has been in his cage for several weeks.  

Sometimes, budgies start to pant if they are too hot and are overheating and is often accompanied by wing spreading as your budgie tries to get cool.

If you suspect this you should telephone your avian vet straight away for advice.

Budgie Breathing Problems (What You Should Do)

Unfortunately, sometimes rapid breathing can be a sign of underlying health problems and in young birds this is most likely to be respiratory problems whereas in older budgies it can be a sign of respiratory disease, obesity and/or heart disease.

Watch your budgie closely and see if you can see any of these tell-tale signs too

  • Sneezing.
  • Coughing.
  • Nasal discharge.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Gasping for breath.
  • Open-mouthed breathing
  • Wheezing or gurgling sounds.

If you do see any of these signs as well as rapid breathing, it is essential to get your budgie to your avian vet for a wellness check and advice.

Sometimes, after a few weeks in their new home, a budgie still does not seem to settle and this can be an indication that he is depressed – a check up by your avian vet will help resolve the problem.  

We at birdcageshere.com write about bird health and diet however it should not be taken as medical advice. For advice on your bird you need to seek out an avian vet. The information you find on birdcageshere.com is for educational purposes only. At birdcageshere.com we are not liable for any information that you may find on here. Birdcageshere is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice about your bird.