Britain's budgies are fat, lazy and greedy

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The Independent Online

Who's a pretty big boy then? Increasing numbers of budgerigars are becoming fat to the point of obesity, scientists say, because of high-energy diets, lack of exercise and their refusal to fly.

Researchers at the universities of Gröningen and Bernfilmed large numbers of the caged birds and found that they were so lazy that they walked to their food rather than flying.

The further away the food, the fewer trips the birds made, but they ate more each trip, keeping their intake the same. They do have an excuse; budgies are genetically hardwired to preserve energy in the wild, and flying uses 11-20 times more energy than sitting still.

Much of the problem lies in pet lovers' tendency to overfeed their birds. They remain remarkably popular as pets, with more than 200,000 hatched in the UK each year.

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