You can recognise a budgie in moult not only by the fact that it loses feathers, but also by the feather pods, which look somewhat like quills without feathers.
If you take a closer look at the commercially available products for moulting aid, you will quickly realise that you can safely save the money for this.
Even though most products do not necessarily harm the budgies, they are often rather unhealthy (e.g. bakery by-products) or can easily be replaced by more natural things.
Here are some examples:
- Cereals (83.5%) & Nuts
- Bakery products (e.g. bread, cakes, pasta or dough scraps)
- Oils and fats
As can be easily seen, this is simple grain feed that has been enriched with energy- or calorie-rich ingredients, and the bakery products, which are not more precisely defined, can be considered rather unhealthy. Otherwise, only some minerals were added.
Thus, this product can be easily replaced with the increased administration of foxtail millet (calories) and vegetables (minerals).
- Lime, phosphate, magnesite
- Oyster Shells & Corals
In terms of ingredients, there is hardly any difference from mineral stones and bird grit, except for the saltwhich is generally considered rather harmful for budgies.
If you give your birds anyway a good mineral stone and a better Birdgrit this product makes no sense.
- Dextrose (= glucose)
- Lactose (= milk sugar)
As you can easily see, they consist only of different types of sugar dissolved in water and enriched with vitamins. It is not clear why the moult drops contain lactose, as this cannot be utilised by birds.
So, to replace this product, it is enough to have some suitable fruit, such as a piece of apple, which provides the necessary energy (calories) with the fructose, as well as a lot of vitamins and minerals.
- Dextrose (= glucose)
- Calcium carbonate
- Sepiolite ( = hydrous magnesium silicate)
- Vitamins & Trace Elements
The main ingredient is Dextrose with some calcium. The whole was still enriched with silicic acid, vitamins and trace elements. What benefit the addition of meerschaum (sepiolit) is supposed to have is not really comprehensible.
Useful aids for molting
Even though the molt is a natural process and not a disease, it is still quite exhausting for the budgie and they therefore have an increased need for energy and nutrients during the molt.
In addition to the usual vitamins and minerals, silicic acid (cf. hair & nails in humans) is required for plumage formation.
Thus a meaningful assistance with the Mauser would be to offer the budgerigars apart from a high-quality budgerigar fodder on the one hand increased piston millet for the energy need and on the other hand much vegetable, green fodder (e.g. wild herbs) and also fruit.
Here are some particularly suitable foods:
- Cucumber (especially silicic acid)
- Carrot, broccoli and fennel (important minerals)
- Field horsetail , plantain and bird’s knotweed (esp. silica).
- Chickweed and dandelion (minerals & vitamins)
- semi ripe or ripe millet (silica & energy)
- Golliwoog (Minerals & Vitamins)
- Sprouted food (rich in vitamins)
In case of problems during moulting or just as a precautionary measure, a suitable feed additive can also be administered.
- Korvimin – ZVT+Reptil
- Primus Vital (sugar-free)
Make moulting help yourself
Instead of spending money on more or less useful commercial products, you can easily make a moulting aid yourself in the form of a nibbling snack.
All that is needed is a suitable grain feed that provides the extra energy needed and some (dried) wild herbs that contain silica for feather growth and some other minerals.
Suitable wild herbs
- Field horsetail (silicic acid, potassium and flavonoids)
- Ribwort (silicic acid, vitamin C, flavonoids)
- Chickweed (vitamin A & C, iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicic acid)
- Bird’s knotweed (silica, flavonoids)
The corresponding recipe can be found at Budgie snacks .
Additional sources of information
- Die Mauser bei Wellensittichen (Pizpon.de)
- Die Mauser beim Wellensittich (Welli.net)
- Futter während der Mauser (BirdsOnline.de)