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My Parakeets Keep Dying

BabyBirdMa

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First, Gus died suddenly over night and now, Heisenbird has terminal Cancer which is apparently common?! What do I do? How do I protect my birds? Why does this keep happening to me?
 

Sparkles99

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I’m sorry about this!

Is Heisenbird an exotic array of mutations? Some of our members have noticed that as the quest for rare mutations took off the average budgie lifespan nosedived.

It makes me concerned for some of mine.
 

Mizzely

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I'm sorry :(

The truth is none of us can guarantee our birds are safe. We can only love them, do our best to provide an enriching, safe, and healthy environment, provide vet care and nutritious food... And the rest is sadly completely out of our control.
 

April

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I’m sorry about this!

Is Heisenbird an exotic array of mutations? Some of our members have noticed that as the quest for rare mutations took off the average budgie lifespan nosedived.

It makes me concerned for some of mine.
That's so true. When I was talking to my vet many years ago when I'd first discovered the Turquoise Green Cheek mutation and wanted to get one she warned me that I shouldn't because of all the breeding and genetic changes that had to happen to make a green bird now be blue and the likely myriad of health problems that would surely cause and that's always resonated with me over the years as I see more and more mutations.
 

Kassiani

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I’m sorry to hear about your sweet budgie! I hope it is a very slow growing tumor.

The current budgie population in the pet trade in the United States is far removed from their wild ancestors. These tiny, spunky creatures are so selectively bred for quantity and color that the healthy, broad gene pool is compromised. As my vet told me, budgies are now little tumor factories. It’s sad for them and for those of us who love these little birds!
 

Sparkles99

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Yes, I’d like to know the founding population of various mutations, April. What your vet said makes sense!

For example, how many unrelated budgies had a spontaneous dark factor mutation? It’s dominant, so all the dark factors could technically be traced back to a single bird. It matters not that there are a lot of them now; what matters is the number of founders.

For recessive pieds, were the birds all from the same clutch? If so, then all those birds could technically be traced back to a sibling group.

Looking at the yellow face mutations, there are so many, because the mutations have spontaneously cropped up in a variety of places geographically, but while they all made yellow faces, they weren’t the same mutation, so don’t count for genetic diversity.

And are there any wild coloured budgies left without mutations in their ancestry restricting the gene pool?

I love budgies, but I’d love them all the same if they weren’t exotic coloured. And I think maybe this quest for colour is hurting budgies.
 

Peachfaced

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That's so true. When I was talking to my vet many years ago when I'd first discovered the Turquoise Green Cheek mutation and wanted to get one she warned me that I shouldn't because of all the breeding and genetic changes that had to happen to make a green bird now be blue and the likely myriad of health problems that would surely cause and that's always resonated with me over the years as I see more and more mutations.
That’s always in the back of my mind with Rupert, especially not knowing his medical history for his years prior to being rescued. Every time I say his name each morning, my heart catches just a little, hoping I don’t hear silence in response. (Not that he’s been unwell at all, it’s just one of my irrational fears.)
 

April

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That’s always in the back of my mind with Rupert, especially not knowing his medical history for his years prior to being rescued. Every time I say his name each morning, my heart catches just a little, hoping I don’t hear silence in response. (Not that he’s been unwell at all, it’s just one of my irrational fears.)
Aww :hug8: I absolutely understand that line of thinking though. It's just so hard to not have their full history.
 

AussieBird

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Something that drives me insane :(
People have "ruined" Budgies, and who knows if there's anyway to fix them. If I didn't care so much for the petshop birds and rehome budgies, I think I would change to only owning Bush budgies. From what I gather they've been genetically messed with far less then Aussie/English budgies, and I believe you can find pure wild type lines.
 

~Drini~

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+1 for pure wild-type lines. It's like pressing the reset button on captive budgie populations :wacky: I would pay good money for that.

Genetic diversity and health should be the main priority of any parrot breeder, imo. I am afraid more species will eventually fall victim to the same fate as budgies.
 

WillowQ

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Understood, but you simply asked if there were any wild type budgies with few mutations.

“And are there any wild coloured budgies left without mutations in their ancestry restricting the gene pool?”
 

Sparkles99

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I meant in the pet population, but maybe the bush budgies Aussiebird referred to would fit the bill too. I’ve never heard of them outside Australia.
 

AussieBird

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Bush budgies aren't wild budgies. I think the most likely backstory to them is they came from private "collections" or zoo birds. It is indeed highly illegal to take native birds from the wild.
 

Sparkles99

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Are they not wild coloured?
 

WillowQ

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There may be wild type budgie flocks in bird parks around the world, or in zoos. The problem is getting access to the birds.
 

AussieBird

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Are they not wild coloured?
The more I try to find out the more confusing it gets :shrug:
I think from what I am gathering by definition "Bush budgies" are wild type, and most breeders keep them that way. But "Miniature budgies" are, I believe, coloured budgies in Bush or wild size.

It seems it'd probably be worthwhile to contact someone more knowledgeable. I am thinking probably someone apart of the AHBA.
 
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