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Much loved bird - even Jeff Capes loved them!
Member Name: rhianjo
Advantages: Friendly, chirpy, colourful little friends
Disadvantages: Messy, no good if you don't like noise
I had 2 budgies when I was growing up and the first thing I did when I got my own place was buy a budgie. At one time I had 3 but once the last one died I couldn't bear to get another to replace him so have a cockatiel. Budgies are quite small and come in a variety of colours, males have a blue cere and females a brown cere (the bit above the beak).
You can buy them in most pet shops and garden centres - I always end up buying the poorly looking ones to give them a good home - one I had was so starved he looked awful and he never really recovered properly. They don't cost a lot £10-£20 and you need minimal equipment for them (please be sure you buy a big enough cage a few more pounds spent will be a much better life). It is worth having a close look at the bird before you take it home, if they have a crusty face or any discharge from their cere they are likely to need urgent medical treatment from a vet. Also have a good look at the other birds its sharing a cage with especially in pet shop chains quite often many of them will show signs of illness, which means yours might develop it after you take it home.
I had a large bird cage with an outdoor perch on the top so they could be out during the day if they wished. And they love to look out the window! In my experience the more they are out and the more exercise they get the better their temprement is. Once they have learnt the layout of the room they will happily fly around and avoid any furniture you have.
Like many people I fed budgie seed (Trill about £1.50 but lasts a long time) with fresh fruit and veg (not really that successful they always preferred seed) and a constant supply of fresh water. Millet as a treat is always greeted with enthusiasm!
Budgie's are noisy and I have never managed to get one to sing any tune or talk. They are trainable though, especially to hand tame with some patience. If you are nervous with a new bird teach them 'up' using a pen rather than your finger that way you won't constantly pull away if they bite scaring them. My last budgie Rolf would ride on a remote control car he loved it if you didn't make it move he used to fly to the controller to see what was wrong and back to the car.
They are an excellent bird to be around children because when they bite they don't break fingers. But they can get frightened easily.
Don't underestimate the mess especially the seed husks and when you bath them they splash water everywhere.
The shortest a budgie has lived is 3 years (he was ill when I got him), the longest is 10 years. They are wonderfully friendly birds I highly recommend them.
Summary: Wonderful little bird, easily trainable and with friendly nature