Parakeet Stretching Neck and Swallowing

User Question
Lisa, today I noticed my 2 and 1/2 months parakeet stretching his neck and swallowing and then rubbing his head against the perch several times and tho he might have a hard time breathing? Is this normal...

later he was quite o.k. ...there was a fine feather caught on the perch next to him... at first I panicked, but then found out he was just fine. What could have caused this? Thank you for your great responses...

Lisa's Answer
It's hard to guess from afar what could be ailing a parakeet :) It could be that your parakeet had gotten a seed hull stuck in his throat and was trying to help it go down. You don't have any gravel or grit near the cage, do you? Neither is really good for a bird. Baby birds sometimes do that neck-stretching when they want their moms to feed them, maybe at 2 1/2 months he was feeling a bit baby-ish for some reason.

It could also be that your keet was regurgitating some food, which again has to do with feeding babies or courtship. Maybe he was feeling springy and wanted to practice regurgitating food in case a female parakeet happened into his life soon.

The head-perch-rubbing sounds more like an itchy head, that new feathers are starting to come in and the points of them were itchy. I'm not sure why a keet would rub his head because his throat hurt :)

Parakeets lose their feathers ALL the time, they come out constantly and grow back in. It's like when you brush your hair and there are hairs left on the brush.

In any case, if it happens again and the parakeet seems to be in distress, definitely take him to the vet rather than emailing me :) Your vet will be able to say for sure if anything is wrong!

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