Budgie-bac™ Probiotic for Budgies

Budgie-bac is a strain of Lactobacillus salivarius isolated from the intestinal tract lining cells of healthy budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus).   Our research shows that Budgie-bac can be recovered from the feces of budgies during treatment as well as for 6 weeks after treatment ended. These results indicate that Budgie-bac survives the environment of the intestinal tract and it colonizes the intestinal tract. In addition, Budgie-bac became the predominant bacteria in the birds’ intestinal tract. Lactobacillus salivarius is a common lactobacillus used in many probiotics. Our Tiel-bac is also a Lactobacillus salivarius. As we continue to research bird probiotics we find that these adherent lactobacilli are at least genus specific. So, for example, the Tiel-bac L. salivarius doesn’t colonize in budgies and the Budgie-bac L. salivarius doesn’t colonize in cockatiels. This finding is consistent with the vast research in poultry that has indicated poultry adherent lactobacilli are also species specific.

Budgies are often infected with a variety of organisms from their parents or their flock of origin. These infections can remain latent (undetected) for years. With stress or exposure to feces (even their own) these diseases can become clinically apparent. Organisms such as Candida, Avian Gastric Yeast, hexamita, giardia, and gram-negative bacteria can all be reduced by having a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Adherent lactobacilli provide protection in the following ways:

  1. 1. Competitive exclusion. The good bacteria takes up all the binding sites in the intestinal lining, leaving no place for the harmful organisms to attach.
  2. 2.Altering the intestinal environment. Lactobacilli create metabolites that acidify the intestinal contents, making the environment hostile to certain bacteria and yeasts. Most of these adherent lactobacilli also produce metabolites that are antibacterial to other bacteria.
  3. 3.Improving immunity of the intestinal tract. Research in poultry shows that adherent lactobacilli can increase the local immune reactions found in the intestinal tract.

Budgie-bac is recommended for use in handfed budgies, parents feeding chicks in the nest or prior to breeding season, budgies that have been treated with antibiotics, pet budgies that have not had exposure to other budgies for a year or more. Birds also lose their normal bacterial flora under stressful conditions, so budgies should be treated with Budgie-bac after any significantly stressful period.

Budgie-bac is easy to administer. It comes freeze-dried in 15 cc vials. When reconstituted it will supply ½ cup of treated drinking water for 10 days, enough to treat a cage or flight of up to 20 adult budgies. It can also be individually dosed in chicks being handfed (up to 20-25 chicks) or in pet budgies. It has no objectionable flavor and is readily accepted in drinking water or by mouth.