Weighing your budgie regularly is a quick, easy, stress-free, and non-invasive way to monitor your budgie’s health status at home. When performed properly, there are a couple key health insights you can glean from a simple weigh-in routine.
Why should I weigh my budgie?
Changes in a budgie’s weight can indicate health conditions that may not be visible to the naked eye.
Birds are experts at hiding illnesses. Although this may help wild budgies avoid looking weak to predators, hidden ailments can prove dangerous in our home aviaries. Even with careful obseration, it’s not always possible to tell when a budgie is sick from looks alone.
This is where weighing comes in handy. A bird that is feeling under the weather may experience decreased appetite and subsequent weight loss. If you are weighing your budgie regularly, this weight loss should be a red flag alerting you to contact your avian vet.
A budgie’s weight can also give you insight into their reproductive status. A budgie coming into breeding mode will gain weight in their reproductive tract, along with exhibiting other courting, nesting, and mating behaviors.
Let’s use flock member FitC as an example. She usually weighs 34-35g in the fall and winter, but in the spring and summer breeding season, she weighs 37g. If she’s actively forming an egg, her weight will rapidly increase up to 39-40g. And if she hits 40-41g, we can reliably predict that she will lay an egg within 12-24 hours.
How do I weigh my budgie?
A combination of consistency and positive reinforcement is crucial for developing a weigh-in routine.
Ideally, you should weigh your budgie at a similar time every day (e.g., in the morning before breakfast). This will help reduce minor fluctuations due to food and water weight.
Additionally, with consistent, positive reinforcement, you can teach your budgie to step onto the scale as a trick. This will ensure the weighing process is as quick and stress-free as possible. If you’re new to weighing your budgie, these scales are a great starting point.