Although budgies are among the smallest pet parrots, they’re frequent eaters. Assuming that a budgie isn’t unwell, eats the right foods, and gets sufficient exercise, it should stay within a healthy weight range.
Adult budgies should weigh 30-50 grams. An overweight budgie’s chest will feel firm and look rounded (concave). In contrast, an underweight budgie will have a keel bone that sticks out.
There’s always the risk of not feeding a budgie the right diet, leading to underfeeding or overfeeding.
What is the Average Weight of a Budgie?
Adult budgies should weigh up to 50 grams, but the weight of captive and wild budgies varies considerably.
Captive Budgie Weight
According to The Neotropical Ornithological Society, captive birds weigh more than wild birds. Though the increase in mass varied, this increase was greater than that of wild fledglings.
Captive budgies get less variety in their diets and won’t have to do anything to obtain food. They also get less exercise than their wild counterparts.
On average, you’ll find that pet budgies weigh 30-50 grams. This, of course, depends on their diet and how often you allow them to exercise outside of their cage.
Wild Budgie Weight
Wild budgies are far leaner because they have to expend more energy flying around all day searching for food and water.
Their parents will also stop feeding their fledglings at the final stages of their growth. This can result in weight loss in fledglings that don’t venture out to find food for themselves.
Additionally, wild budgies that need to thermoregulate (maintain a warm body temperature) expend more energy. Because captive budgies are often kept in climate-controlled homes or labs, they don’t have to think about regulating their body temperatures, so they expend less energy.
The average weight of a wild budgie is usually 30-40 grams.
Average Weight of Different Budgie Types
There are two different types of budgies:
- American parakeets (Australian budgies or wild budgies)
- English budgies (show budgies)
American budgies are much smaller than English budgies. The American budgie (or American parakeet) is around 4-5 inches long, whereas the English budgie is 8-10 inches long.
|American Parakeet||1.1 to 1.8 ounces||30 to 50 grams|
|English Budgie||1.6 to 2.2 ounces||45 to 62 grams|
The average pet budgie weight is small, but English budgies can be up to twice the size of American budgies. If you have an English budgie, that’s why it’s so much bigger than other budgies.
How Much Does a Baby Budgie Weigh?
Baby budgies are much smaller than an average adult budgie, so you can expect them to weigh less. A baby budgie’s weight varies based on its age and stage of development.
For instance, a newborn chick can weigh 1-2 grams, but it’ll soon gain weight.
The Journal of Nutrition found that the average baby budgie’s weight nearly quadruples in just days. Within a month of hatching, a budgie should be broadly within the 30-50 gram weight range.
Some smaller budgie species may weigh less, so don’t be alarmed if your budgie is under these ranges.
|Baby Budgie Age||Average Weight|
|Newborn (1 to 2 days old)||1 to 2 grams|
|6 days old||8 to 15 grams|
|10 days old||17 to 25 grams|
|14 days old||28 to 36 grams|
|30 days old||43 to 51 grams|
Budgie parents will often feed smaller offspring more food as they perceive them as younger and in more need of food than their larger siblings.
Alternatively, begging behavior can occur amongst siblings and cause the parents to allocate food based on the intensity of the fledglings’ actions.
Is My Budgie Fat?
It’s hard for new owners to tell if a budgie has gained weight. Normally, you’ll need to feel your budgie’s chest to determine if it’s overweight or obese.
You can gently hold a budgie in one hand and feel its chest with the other. Your budgie may not appreciate being handled in this way, but it’s important to know if it’s fat or not.
According to the UK Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, the most effective way to do this is to wrap your budgie in a towel to ensure it does not flap around and hurt itself.
You should also cradle the back of its neck with your thumb and forefinger. Be careful not to startle the budgie, especially if you know it doesn’t like being handled.
Once it’s situated, feel its keel, which is a bony ridge just over the breast. The breast muscle should feel round. You can feel the breast bones slightly when applying light pressure.
You’ll know that your budgie is fat if you can’t feel the breast bone easily, if at all. An overweight budgie will have visible fat where the breast bone ends.
Why is My Budgie Skinny?
You can tell if your budgie is skinny by using the same method.
Rather than struggling to find the breast bone, you should easily feel a sharp bone and almost no fat. The keel will stick out prominently since the rest of the body is much thinner in comparison.
If you find that your budgie is underweight, your first instinct might be to feed it more food. In reality, you need to discuss the matter with a veterinarian in case it has a health problem.
This sudden weight loss may be caused by a serious illness, such as:
- Beak and feather disease
- Psittacosis (bird fever)
- Respiratory infections
- Yeast infections
As a precaution, isolate the sick budgie from the others and disinfect the cage.
Weight loss shouldn’t always be supplemented by feeding your budgie extra food. Your budgie might not even digest this extra food properly if it has a serious health condition.
An American budgie should normally weigh 30-50 grams, while an English budgie should weigh 45-62 grams. Some variance is normal as no two budgies are the same. However, if your budgie has a prominent or hidden keel bone, this indicates that it’s overweight or underweight.