Evaluation of a fast, objective tool for assessing body condition of budgerigars
There is currently no suitable system available for the assessment of budgerigar body condition. A tool has been developed that uses an algorithmic decision tree of yes-no answers based on physical examination to objectively guide the assessor to a body condition score.
The aim of this work was to evaluate the guide. Repeatability and reproducibility were measured by four assessors on three sequential days, using 38 budgerigars of mixed sex, age and weight. Data were analysed using a 3-factor anova, with Person and Bird as variable factors and occasion as a fixed factor. The association between body condition score and body fat was measured using three assessors and 63 dead budgerigars, which were chemically analysed for fat content after assessment. Data were statistically analysed to determine correlation using Spearman's Rank Coefficient. Occasion and person had no significant effect on body condition score (p = 0.988 and 0.347 respectively). Body condition score and percentage body fat were highly significantly correlated (R(2) = 0.768): percentage fat increased with increasing body condition score. The guide would appear to be a repeatable measure of body condition in budgerigars, suitable for use during physical examinations.
Title: Evaluation of a fast, objective tool for assessing body condition of budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulates)
Authors: Burton EJ, Newnham R, Bailey SJ, Alexander LG
Source: Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition (2014) volume 98, issue 2