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Thinking of Getting a Budgie?
Member Name: Mask_and_Mirror
Advantages: Intelligent, friendly, cheap to keep, learns to talk
Disadvantages: Needs lots of attention, can be delicate
I have had my budgie, Carrot, for over two years now. Up until then, I had never had a pet bird before, but knew they were friendly having met those owned by relatives. I'll write the rest of this review in terms of the pros and cons of budgerigar owning.
Budgerigars need a LOT of attention to be happy. If you plan on having only a single bird, you should be mindful of this. If you have more than one, they can keep one another occupied, but take care when choosing genders. Females are most likely to fight, so best to stick to male/female or male/male.
Buderigars will poo wheresoever they please. This is really only a nuisance to the houseproud, as their droppings are generally quite dry and brush off easily.
They will often have a favourite person; Carrot's is my father, and when he's around he basically ignores everyone else. I'm not sure why this is, perhaps he spends most time with him, and animals often prefer male voices because they are deeper.
Budgies, like all birds, are delicate and when they become ill it can be difficult or impossible to treat them. They need a fair bit of space to remain healthy too, so be prepared either to invest in a large aviary or to allow the budgie out of its cage often. Carrot never has his cage door shut while there are people in the house (take care of things the bird might damage or that might harm the bird though- Carrot does like to pull the wallpaper off, and he once got tangled in a curtain string, which has now been removed).
Budgerigars are very intelligent and friendly creatures! They vary in personality but as long as you spend plenty of time with them, you will develop a warm and cheerful relationship with them. If they remain healthy, they will live for 7-10 years and possibly more, so they are wonderful companions.
Budgerigars (particularly males) can learn to talk. They will need intensive training if there are specific things you want them to say well, but they often pick things up by themselves. Carrot says "Carrot's a good boy", "Pretty boy!", "Seeds", "I'm gonna get you!", "Whatcha doing?", "Weirdo" and several other phrases, and also imitates noises such as the telephone ringing, the door creaking and laughter.
Budgies are quite cheap to look after, requiring, apart from the initial expense, budgie seeds (I use Trill), a box of which is inexpensive and lasts quite a long time.
Summary: An intelligent, economical pet that rewards time and patience.