Newest Review: ... in family activities will provide your bird with plenty of stimuli. Food and Drink Budgies need a balanced diet or bird food, which you ... more
Keeping A Budgie
Member Name: MollyWH
Advantages: great little chirpy birds
Disadvantages: can't take them for walkies like a dog ! !
Budgies are colourful and friendly little birds. They can be kept alone or in groups. Personally I have 4 budgies and they are all in one cage together. I feel that as I am not at home all day, everyday, it is nice for the budgies to have some company and they can often be seen grooming each other. For someone who is at home a lot, keeping a budgie alone would be excellent as you can tame it, and even teach it to talk.
Do budgies make good pets?
Budgies are generally very social, gentle and affectionate in nature. These loving companions interact well with most members of the family. Budgies are inquisitive, active, free spirits who enjoy flying, playing and chewing!! Non-toxic pet-safe toys (which can be bought as most pet shops for between £1 - £5) should be provided for your budgie's entertainment. Although their voice is not as clear as some of the larger parrots, budgies have the ability to learn to talk. Talking or mimicking requires some effort and training from the owner though. Males seem to talk better than females although both are capable. One lovely trait of a budgie is its cheerful whistling and chatter, my own budgies sometime drown out the sound of the TV in the evenings. Budgies can be finger trained and some even being stroked.
Cost of a Budgie
I got all my budgies froma friend who bred them so mine were free. However, you would look to pay anything from £5 (from a private breeder) and up to £30 from a pet shop
Choosing a Budgie
When selecting a Budgie, try to choose a young bird as it may be easier to tame and train. Older birds may be slightly more difficult to tame so if you intend on interacting with your bird on a daily basis, I would buy the bird at a young age. Hand reared babies often make better pets since they have been completely socialized with humans from birth. Young birds are easier to tame and adapt very well to new environments. Your new bird should be exposed early to different events (males and female voices, sounds of traffic, the TV etc.) to help make your Budgie a calm, well adjusted pet. You should choose a budgie that is alert, lively and not too nervous. After buying your Budgie, you should really take it to your vet so they are able to have a look at it and make sure everything is as it should be.
How long to Budgies live?
Budgie's can live to about 8 years of age although I had a budgie when I was younger that lived until he was 11.
A simple rule is - get the biggest cage you can afford. The minimum cage size for 1 bird is 30 cm x 30 cm x 60, most available cages are too small. The cage should be large enough to allow the birds to fly between perches. It is better for the cage to be longer than it is higher to allow flying.
Place the perches as far apart as possible to allow flying between them, and use the branches of native trees so that the bird's feet are exercised as it grips perches of differing thickness. I often cut apple tree branches from my parents apple trees as this is perfectly safe for the budgies to chew and it very good and keeping the birds beak nice and short. Toys are essential to keep your bird amused, although ensure you buy toys designed for budgies from a pet shop. You can use newspaper or sandpaper on the floor of the cage to allow easy cleaning. I personally use newspaper and clean them out twice a week. I just removed the top sheet of paper with all the dropping and food on it and leave the remaining paper. They are very easy to clean out but it is very important to make sure you clean them out at least once a week as leaving a cage to get too dirty can lead to disease.
Wide rather than deep dishes allow better access to feed and water, and ensure that all food items can be reached
The cage needs to be kept in natural light but away from direct sunlight. Keep your bird out of draughts and away from cooking fumes or the fumes or perfume, cleaning products. Birds can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, but sudden changes can be deadly. Windy areas should be avoided, although mild breezes will often be welcome, especially during warm weather. Fresh air and unfiltered sunshine are important, and if necessary you may have to put your bird (and the cage) outside for an hour or so each day during the summer. Placing the cage where your bird can see and participate in family activities will provide your bird with plenty of stimuli.
Food and Drink
Budgies need a balanced diet or bird food, which you will need to blow the husks from on a daily basis. This is done easily by passing the seeds from one container to another and gently blowing on them when you do so. This blows away all the useless husks that the birds cannot eat. Budgies also need regular treats such as fresh lettuce, apple, cucumber, carrots and dandelion leaves. You can also get Budgie treats from most pet stores, these come in lots of different varieties and include items such as honey sticks, bells etc. These are only 70p odd each so very reasonably priced for a little treat.
A cuttlefish bone should be available to provide calcium.
What you need to know before considering buying a Budgie.
Budgies need a constant supply of fresh water. I change my budgies water everyday but every other day would also be ok.
Budgies will also need grit in their cage. This is to help aid digestion and is vital for them. This is very cheap at pet shops and can be bought for about £1 a bag and this normally lasts about 6 months. You can get a small feeder and attach it to the side of the cage, fill it with grit and the budgies will help themselves.
Budgies are intelligent, active creatures, and should be allowed to exercise out of their cage at least once daily. This exercise obviously needs to be done under supervision, and in the safety of the home with all windows shut and items like mirrors covered as the birds could fly into mirror and injure itself.
The normal wild colouration is green with black bars on the wings, back and head. Older females have a tan or beige cere (the fleshy part around the nostrils) and the males have a bluish cere, but this is unreliable in some colour variations and young birds of both sexes have pink ceres so it is often difficult to sex budgies from a young age. Young budgies have bar markings on the forehead that recede with age. Through selective breeding a huge variety of colours and patterns are available, such as violet, blue, yellow, pied, albino, and more.
Taming your budgie
Pairs of birds make good company for each other, but usually will not bond as well with their owners or mimic speech as well. A single bird is fine, as long as you spend a significant amount of time interacting with the budgie on a daily basis
You have to allow your Budgie some time to get used to you and its new surroundings. You will have to spend time getting your bird to trust you before you can tame him. Taming sessions should be short (10 minutes or less) and done several times a day. Each time you achieve one step, repeat it several times until your pet is comfortable with it. When your bird is comfortable with you being near his cage and responds to you by getting close to the side of the cage you are near, it is time to introduce him to your hand. Offer him a small piece of millet or a broken sunflower seed but do not try to touch him if he moves away from your hand. Hold your hand in the cage doing nothing, just to get him used to your hand. He will start to realize that your hand will not hurt him, but this may take a day or two. At first your Budgie may be very worried about your hand being in the cage and will fly around in a panic but it will soon get used to the presence of your hand. When your Budgie stops trying to get away from your hand, you can slowly move closer until one day he allows you to gently stroke his breast. Continue to quietly talk to him when you are doing this. When he seems comfortable with your hand touching him, you can gently press against the abdomen and push up a bit. There is a good chance that he may put one foot onto your finger. If this does not frighten him, you can give another slight push and he may put his other foot up and be standing on your hand. He will probably jump off immediately - but remain calm and try again if he is not frightened.
A Budgie will usually test a branch (or a finger) before stepping up by grabbing with his beak. This is not a bite, does not hurt and is very normal. Be ready for this to happen, and don't pull away if he does test your finger before stepping up.
Do not rush to take him out of the cage when he first steps onto your finger. Your Budgie is still getting to know you and although he is now comfortable with you while in his cage, he may become frightened when you take him out of the cage.
Before you take him out of the cage on your finger, you must be certain that he can not be injured in the room. If you have other pets, remove them and close the door. Close the curtains over the windows so your bird does not crash into the glass. It is also a good idea to cover any mirrors and they can fly into them and injure themselves.
After he has been stepping up regularly, you can move your hand towards the cage door to take him out. Your bird might panic when he is outside the cage and begin to fly wildly around the room. If your bird flies, he may not know how to land properly and you may have to go and pick him up by having him step up on your finger. Do not chase him to try to get him to stop flying. Just wait patiently until he lands and slowly go to pick him up, talking quietly to him.
Repeating all the above actions on a daily basis will pretty much guarantee you a tame Budgie.
Costs of keeping a Budgie
The cost of keeping a Budgie is relatively cheap. However, it can be expensive when first getting a budgie as you obviously need to provide a cage etc. Luckily my cage only cost me £10 at a boot fair but they can cost anything from £40 upwards. Food for budgies is very cheap, I buy budgie millet seed and it costs about 60p for a bag which lasts a month. Obviously you will need perches but these normally come with the cage or can be easily obtained from any fruit trees.
All in all the budgie is a brilliant pet for people of all ages. They are great for companionship and will liven up any household. They are easy to care for as long as you follow the basic guidelines.
That said, budgies can also get ill, like all other animals so you always need to have money put aside for any unexpected vet bills.
Summary: Keeping A Budgie
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