A budgie’s internal temperature is 104-106 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s normal for a budgie’s feet to feel warm to the touch. This means it’s releasing extra heat through its unfeathered legs and feet.
Budgies shouldn’t have additional symptoms when their warm feet are in a normal temperature range. The internal temperature of budgies rises when their immune system detects a virus or infection.
Budgies may get hot feet when stressed because their heart rate increases, generating more heat. Obese budgies have warmer feet, and budgies with heat stroke will feel hot all over.
So, if a budgie is lethargic, has trouble balancing, screams more than usual, or puffs up its feathers for an extended period, this tells you that warm feet are a symptom of another problem.
Why Are My Budgie’s Feet Hot?
Budgies have naturally warm feet. According to Molecular Ecology, budgies have a high body temperature, especially compared to humans.
Most species of bird have an average internal temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit. However, budgies maintain an average temperature of 106 degrees.
This is well above the normal human body temperature, which is 97-99 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, your budgie’s feet will usually seem warm to the touch.
So, it can seem like your budgie is running an extreme fever, but it’s normal.
Budgies have this high internal temperature due to their fast metabolisms and temperature regulation. However, their feet can also become hot for various other reasons.
Budgies are compensating for their fast-paced metabolism. They have a small amount of blood in their small bodies, but it circulates very quickly.
According to the Journal of Thermal Biology, birds have a very efficient temperature regulation system to avoid freezing in lower temperatures.
Budgies use their legs and toes to thermoregulate the rest of their body.
Unlike humans, budgies can’t sweat. A thick plumage of feathers insulates the body. In warmer weather, budgies need to release this additional heat, but their feathers get in the way.
So, their bodies redirect the heated blood to the legs, where the heat can escape through the thin skin found in that body part.
Since the legs lack feathers, they’re exposed to more airflow, reading their overall temperature.
According to Stanford University, this kind of thermoregulation is crucial to why budgies can survive in such varied climates as they do in their native Australia.
According to the National Library of Medicine, budgies often raise their body temperature in response to an infection. The immune system is trying to burn out the intruding virus, bacteria, or parasite.
If your budgie has a fever, its body temperature will rise throughout its body, not just around its feet. Various illnesses can cause hot feet, but the most common in budgies is a kidney infection.
The infection may also be caused by metabolic disorders or a blockage in the digestive system.
When budgies are frightened, their heart rate and body temperature increase. In addition to hot feet, a scared budgie is likely to puff up its feathers to look more intimidating.
If that doesn’t work, the budgie might scream, hide, or go completely silent. If your budgie is stressed out, allow it to rest in a cool, quiet place away from disturbances.
Since budgies are hyperactive birds, they like flying around the cage, climbing on perches, playing with toys, and shredding nearby objects.
These activities increase muscle movement, so the heart beats faster, and the body temperature rises.
As a result, a budgie’s feet will be warmer than usual. It’s no different than a human getting too warm after going jogging. Just let your budgie cool down after playing.
There’s no reason to worry if the budgie’s feet return to a normal temperature.
If your budgie is overweight, it may have warmer feet than normal.
Unlike wild budgies, pet budgies rarely have much flight time. They spend most of their day in cages or within the home. Some even have clipped wings, meaning they can flutter at best.
This exposes pet budgies to weight gain, especially if their diet isn’t regulated or balanced.
According to the American Society for Nutrition, obesity can harm a budgie’s entire body, even the reproductive system of female budgies.
Excessive weight can also lead to the following problems:
- Heart attack
- Fatty liver disease
- Foot inflammation
The immune response leads to a rise in body temperature.
A budgie will release extra heat through its legs, but that may not be enough if it’s badly overheating.
Budgies start to overheat in rooms that exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Also, they can get heatstroke by staying in direct sunlight for long periods, especially if there’s no water available.
A budgie’s body will compensate for high temperatures by directing the extra heat out through its legs and feet, making the feet exceptionally hot.
Are My Budgies Feet Too Hot?
A healthy budgie should be 104-106 degrees Fahrenheit. To a human, this will always seem too warm. So, it can be hard for an owner to tell when your budgie’s feet are abnormally hot.
The best way to tell if a budgie’s feet are too hot is by familiarizing yourself with your budgie’s feet when it’s healthy. Allowing it to perch on your finger or touching its legs occasionally will give you a good baseline. Then, you can tell when the budgie seems far warmer than usual.
Wait until your budgie is relaxed and calm. If it has just finished fluttering, playing, or dancing, its body temperature will be naturally higher than average. If your budgie is consistently excessively warm for several hours, or you notice any unusual symptoms, contact your vet.
Concerning behaviors and signs include the following:
- Puffing up feathers
- Difficulty flying
- Loss of balance
What Can I Do If My Budgie’s Feet Are Too Hot?
If your budgie’s feet are too hot, there are benign and more worrying explanations.
Depending on the cause of warm feet, you should do the following:
- Time to calm down: Your budgie may be feeling exhausted due to frenetic movement.
- Water: If a budgie’s hot, this will regulate its temperature.
- Lower room temperature: A cooler environment will reduce the budgie’s temperature.
- Remove stressors: If your budgie is upset, sick, or overstimulated, moving it to a quiet and safe place will calm it down, bringing down its body temperature.
- Separation: If you suspect the budgie is ill, quarantine it to avoid infecting other birds.
- Diet: If weight gain is the issue, a vet can recommend a specially formulated diet.
If your budgie has warm feet, this is usually healthy and normal. However, if the feet get overly warm, check for behavioral changes and other symptoms, such as a fever.