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An important thing to know before buying oneself a pet bird is the
maximum life span of the wanted species. In case of a budgie, one can
expect the birds to become 10 to 12 years old if one
treats them in an ideal way. But normally, budgies do not live that
long. Most of the birds live for only five to ten years, which is a
realistic value for their life pan.
It is not possible to derive the age of a mature budgie from its outer
appearance. A five years old budgie looks exactly the same as a 15
years old bird.
Statistics say that half of the budgies kept in Germany die before they become five years old because of wrong nutrition and keeping conditions. Overweight and the lack of movement make their inner organs become too fatty, which leads to failures of the bird's organs. In the worst case, they stop working without any warning. Most budgies that are overweight suffer from so-called lipoma, a special kind of fatty tumour that grows between skin and muscles.
But it is also possible that even optimally kept budgies die very young. Many of them develop tumours that cannot be stopped from growing. Scientists have not been able so far to resolve why budgies tend to develop tumours so much. In my flock, there were two cases of tumours so far. Pünktchen got a malignant tumour in the abdominal cavity, and therefore she had to be put to sleep by a veterinarian. Vela got a kidney tomour when she was about 14 years old. The veterinary told me she would die within the next few weeks, but he recommended to wait with putting her to sleep, because in his opinion, she would be able to live without pain until a few days before her natural end. When the pain starts, it would be the right time to release her from the torture, he said. I am very glad we decided to let her live, because those "few weeks" we expected her to survive finally became 1,5 years! Vela's tumour encapsulated itself what is highly unusual, so my little budgie lady had really good luck! Up to her death, Vela had no pain caused by this tumour. In fact, she died from grief shortly after she lost her beloved mate Mira.
One of the age high scores in my flock is maintained by Kiki who died on 21/04/2002 (see photo on the right). He became slightly more than 17 years old. But there is also a negative record concerning the age. After half a year of living, the cute little Ceti died. Shortly after he made his way right through my opened window from outside, the first signs of a poisoning started to show up. When he was outside in the German wilderness, he ate something poisonous, which finally killed him a few months later.
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