How to Take Care of a Budgie
Budgerigars, or budgies for short, are delightful birds that make great pets.
In fact, they are the third most-kept pet after dogs and cats.
This Australian bird costs little to keep, is happy in a home environment and will even
try to copy your words over time.
If you've just brought home your first budgie, you will want to ensure that it stays healthy
Setting Up Its Home Buy a big cage.
Birds need to have some space to play and stretch their wings.
If you care about their well-being, try to find a model which lets the light go through.
Try to buy a cage that is wider than it is tall and with a square top.
Budgies fly horizontally, not vertically like quails.
Fancy-topped cages are simply a waste of space and money.
Do not buy a circular cage, as a budgie cannot stretch its wings and fly properly in one.
Your budgie must be able to spread its wings and fly.
Do not crowd the cage with toys, perches or other budgies.
Test a few cages and look for one that you can clean easily.
Can your hand enter the cage easily?
Remember that budgies poop every ten to fifteen minutes!
You can keep the same cage if you decide to have one more budgie.
Try to buy a bigger model if you have more than two.
Add a bath.
Budgies might poo a lot but they also like to stay clean.
They even like to go under water for fun.
Look at your favorite pet shop for a stable mini-bathtub made out of plastic that you
can hook to the cage.
It must be accessible for the budgie and easy to refill from the outside.
Don’t fill the bath too much.
You don’t want the budgie to spill water on the bottom of the cage every time he goes
in its bathtub.
Budgies will clean themselves if you spray some water onto them, it's not a must for
them to have a bird bath.
Add a few toys and perches of different thicknesses, shapes and textures.
Natural perches are great, especially compared to dowel or plastic perches.
They also look far better.
Make sure that the perch is stable to avoid any injury.
There is a great variety of toys.
Look out for ladders, bells, balls, etc.
They will keep your budgie stimulated.
Check that the wood is safe for the bird, such as eucalyptus.
Dowel perches or plastic perches can cause foot problems due to the lack of foot exercises.
Avoid perches and toys made out of Prunus trees as they might contain cyanogenic glycosides.
Also avoid oak because of it contains tannins.
There are no confirmed bird deaths but it’s always better to be on the safe side.
Try to avoid concrete perches, as they are hard on the bird's feet, but if you must use
them, position them at the lowest point possible.
Don't give the budgie too much toys or perches.
Two or three different toys are perfect for one budgie but you don't want to fill the
cage up with unwanted toys so that the bird feels crowded.
Budgies should always have toys in their cage for 'mental stimulation', no toys can cause
boredom which leads to feather plucking.
Think about the room.
Try to put the bird in a warm room where there is no temperature fluctuation.
A light room will keep your bird stimulated and happy.
Avoid placing the cage in front of a sunny window or next to an open door.
Cold drafts and over-exposure to the sun can kill your bird.
Taking Good Care Of the Budgie Feed your Budgie properly.
Good budgie food mostly consists of seeds and fresh fruits and vegetables.
You can purchase budgie feed from your pet store or grocery store, this will make up
most of your birds diet but you can also supplement it with other types of food like coriander
leaves, greens etc., Try to introduce pellets in the diet as well as a seed-only diet can
lead to obesity.
Never feed your budgie avocado, chocolate, caffeine, or alcohol.
These are toxic to the bird.
Make sure the budgie has enough water to drink in its dispenser.
The bird will know how much to drink.
Change the water daily to prevent bacterial build-up.
Add a cuttle-bone.
This is a good source of natural calcium for budgies.
Mineral blocks can also be bought too.
Some people may use liquid vitamin and mineral supplements, but those will be consumed through
the fresh fruits and vegetables.
Clean out the budgie's cage at least once a week.
This will keep the budgie safe from disease germs.
Clean only with mild dish soap and water and avoid using any cleaning products unless you
are one hundred percent sure that they are safe for birds.
Try misting your bird with a fine spray from a misting bottle to keep the bird cool.
Create the good environment for sleep.
When it's time to sleep, simply throw a light towel or blanket over the cage.
Make sure there is sufficient air ventilation - you don't want to suffocate your new bird!
This is also helpful when it’s noisy.
The blanket will block most sounds.
If your budgie is frighten by the dark, add a little night-light.
Don’t let your bird panic.
It might fly around the cage and injury itself.
Check the towel to make sure your budgies cannot get their claws caught.
Don’t forget to monitor its health.
Take the budgie to the veterinary surgeon at least once a year for a check-up.
If your bird acts weirdly or if you spot anything unusual, go to the veterinary surgeon as quickly
as you can.
Look out for abnormal breathing, discharge from the eyes or the beak, mucus on the feather,
abnormal behavior and a loss of weight.
If any of these symptoms occurs, call the veterinary surgeon immediately.
Settling In Make sure that the budgie is comfortable on
arriving at its new home.
Give it some time to get used to its new surroundings - about three or four days at least.
Never rush your budgie.
It will adapt on its own.
Stay close to the cage.
Talk to it sweetly and quietly as you wait for it to adjust but do not try to handle
It will get used to you in the course of a few days or weeks.
Avoid loud noises and screams.
Your budgie is likely to be stressed by this new environment.
Name your budgie.
Say it often, especially when you feed it, so that it get used to its new name.
Introduce your household progressively.
Your budgie might be overwhelmed if there are too many people around.
Bring your family members once at a time and make them repeat its name.
Let your household feed the bird to gain its trust.
Be careful if you have another pet, especially a cat.
Cats are natural predators and they are likely to find your budgie suitable for their next
Check that your children treat the bird with respect.
Little children can get overexcited when they have a new pet.
Always make sure to be in the room when they look at the bird.
Don’t let them hit the cage or try to grab the budgie.
Seek to win the budgie's trust.
Put your hand in the cage after a few days.
Just place it there and don’t move it for some time.
Repeat this for some days, to allow your budgie to get used to you.
When the budgie seems okay with your hand, place your finger inside the cage.
Then push it slightly against your budgie’s chest.
This will encourage it to climb on your finger.
Do this for some days.
Feed your budgie from your finger.
Dip your finger in water and put some millet grains on it.
The water will make the millet grains to stick on your finger.
Place your finger near the budgie’s mouth and it will eat them if it's grown used to
After doing this a few times, hold the budgie gently in your hand.
Do this briefly at first, then extend the time.
Don't handle the budgie too much during its first two to three weeks.
Eventually as it becomes used to its new environment, start interacting with it more and more and
eventually it will know you are a friend and not a predator.
If you rush things, the budgie may start being a little anxious and afraid.
This will cause it to fail to bond with you.
Always treat your budgie with love and kindness.
Remember that the bird is fragile given the strength of a human hand and therefore requires
that you handle it with care.
Always remember to teach people new to birds how to handle and properly play with this
delicate little creature.
Never kiss your budgie, human saliva is toxic to budgies and they might carry easily transmittable
Keeping Your Budgie Stimulated Weights the pros and cons of a mirror.
Adding a mirror in the cage of your budgie can keep the bird entertained for hours.
They love to look and talk at their reflection but be aware that there are debates about
potential psychological damages.
Instead of a mirror, consider a second bird.
Budgies love company and will probably welcome a new friend.
A mirror will most certainly with male, often also with female budgies lead to crop infections
as parakeets regurgitate to feed their mates.
A mirror (the feeding bird itself) will not provide the needed feedback that has to come
from a real mate.
If you decide to install a mirror, make sure that it’s fixed to the cage and doesn’t
present a risk to your bird.
Talk and play to the budgie often.
Your bird will love the interaction and the games and is likely to become very chatty.
Move your finger in front of it–– if it is shaking its head in the same direction,
it means that it loves to play and is very active.
Let the budgie fly in a room.
Once the bird is at ease with you and its environment, you can let it fly in a room
with all of the windows and doors closed.
To call it back, switch off all the lights and the curtain of one window open, but remember
the window must be closed.
The budgie will be attracted towards the light.
Hold it gently and put it back inside the cage.
Make sure that the bird is safe.
Put the cat away and look out for potential escape routes.