You are probably here because you searched up “my budgie is puffed up and sleepy”. You are probably a bit worried about her puffy feathers – But I’m going to explain to you why this is happening and put your mind at ease!
95% of the time, when your budgie is puffed up and sleepy-looking, it simply means they are about to fall asleep. Parakeets puff up their feathers as a way to insulate and keep warm as well as before they are about to fall asleep.
In fact, all parakeet / budgies and almost all other birds will do the same thing.
It could also be a normal sign she is cold, and you should consider checking the heat and increasing the temperature if needed.
This is in no way a sign of a sick bird, however, sick birds will also puff up their feathers, but it’s accompanied by some other signs you should watch out for.
The 6 symptoms of a sick bird are
- Aggression or Passiveness out of character
- Weight Loss
- Excessive sleeping and lethargy
- Constantly lethargic
- Quick or shallow breathing
- Wet droppings
- Vent feather stains
- Wet feathers around the beak and eyes
- Constipation or straining
- No droppings at all
- Physical trauma, damage, or bleeding (broken wing, leg, bloody feathers, etc)
- Cloudy eyes
- Eye discharge
- Tail bobbing when breathing
- spending a lot of time sitting on the floor
This list is not exhaustive and you can view 50 more symptoms here.
So if your budgie is puffed up and sleepy but doesn’t have any of the above symptoms, then you can be confident it is just a budgie sleeping.
However if your budgie does have one or more of the above symptoms, consider having her checked out at your avian vet.
A veterinarian could easily determine if your budgie is healthy, or if she has any sort of sickness.
Other reasons a budgie will puff up
It is not uncommon for budgies to puff their chest out and make noise to attract another bird or after waking up from a nap.
A budgie will spend a lot of time snuggling and preening other budgies if they’re friends or bonded.
Budgies will also immediately puff up or stretch out their wings when they are excited. This is usually accompanied by extra activity such as jumping on the perch or flapping her wings.
Should you pick up or handle a fluffed-up budgie?
It depends. If she is sleeping it is best not to wake her.
Sometimes fluffing up can also be a sign she doesn’t want to be touched right now. If you put your hand out and she jumps on like usual, then it should be ok, otherwise, you probably shouldn’t disturb her.
However, if your budgie has fluffed up as the result of something positive like responding to your voice or seeing another budgie – You should try and “reward” her by letting her know you appreciate this behavior.
This could be by giving her a treat, like her favorite seeds, some green, or any other food or treat that has health in mind. Avoid fat or salt or treats that are high in sugar and calories.
Another great way to reward a budgie is with “praise”. If you have done something to make your bird happy (like placing her perch where she likes it, giving her fresh greens, or playing with her) then praise them verbally. Say something like “Good girl!”. They really respond well to this positive feedback!
The bottom line is: – if you see your budgie puffing up but she doesn’t seem sick, don’t worry about it too much, take care of the other birds’ needs, and she will come out of it on her own after sleeping for a short while! But if she seems off or has other symptoms along with fluffing up… get her to the vet!
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