How to take Care of a Parakeet | Budgie [Beginner's Guide to Pet Birds]

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Introduction to Budgies When it comes to pet birds, budgerigars have

been popular options for years. These small parrots can be found in just

about any pet store, but they're generally only found in the wild in Australia. Although

it's not unusual to run across budgerigars of many different colors and patterns,

those variations have come about through strategic, carefully

planned breeding through the years. Despite their diminutive size, these birds make fascinating

pets. They have been charming people for years with their playful

personalities, gorgeous coloring, intelligence and sociability. Budgerigars

are affordable pets, and they are easy to care for as well.

People have been breeding budgerigars for decades to develop exciting new color variations

and markings. If you're thinking about adopting one, you can take

your pick from more than 100 different variations.

A Brief History of the Budgies

Budgerigars have ancestors that stretch back for millennia. In fact, these birds first

appeared on earth long before humans. They are native to Australia, and

the first humans who came into contact with them were most likely the

aborigines of that land. The first recorded description of the budgerigar was made in

1805 by an English zoologist and botanist named George Shaw.

The first budgerigar

was brought to Europe by an English ornithologist named John

Gould in 1840, and the first captive breeding began just a decade later during the 1850s.

Although the first recorded color variation wasn’t made until 1870,

a wide variety of variations followed shortly thereafter. The budgerigar’s

popularity as a household pet rose dramatically during the 20th century, and the bird continues

to be a very popular pet to this day.

How to Take Care of a Budgie, Parakeet If you've just brought home your first budgie,

you will want to ensure that it stays healthy and happy.

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. 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

at least once a year for a check-up. If your bird acts weirdly or if you spot

anything unusual, go to the veterinary 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 immediately.

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 meal. 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.

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

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 diseases.

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.

Every budgie owner wants their pet, more commonly

known as a parakeet, to have the best life possible. A healthy

diet is the best route to keeping your budgie happy and alive. A nutritionally balanced

diet will make sure he gets the proper nutrients he needs every day. Improper

feeding can lead to nutritional imbalances and eventually illness and, in

extreme cases, death. Try seeds. One good option to feed budgies

is seeds. However, you shouldn't let your budgie fill up on seeds, as this

can shorten a bird’s lifespan. This is because most seed mixes do not provide sufficient

nutrients your bird needs and can cause cancer, obesity, and other health

problems. Seeds should only make up 1/6 of your budgie's

diet Use fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables

form a very important part of your budgie's diet. Dark green or yellow

vegetables should be offered daily. Try fruits and vegetables such as apples, pumpkin, grapes,

carrot, parsley, broccoli, mango, sweet potato, squash, and

spinach. Feed the fruits and vegetables to your budgie raw, because

cooking takes away vital nutrients. Provide hard boiled eggs and grated cheese.

Although this may sound unusual for a budgie, it adds a great source of

protein for your budgie. It also adds a little variety to his diet, which is always a good

thing. It's not absolutely necessary or required for your budgie to live

a happy life, but it can be good for him. Make sure you limit these special treats,

however. You should never feed him this more than ½ tsp at a time.

Keep it fresh and varied. Your budgie should have many different options to eat every day.

As a general guideline, feed your budgie seeds and pellets every day.

Fruits, vegetables, and soft foods should be fed to him every second

day. Egg or cheese should be feed to him once a week or once every other week.

Use a suitable container. Your budgie needs to be able to access his food whenever he

needs to. A budgie can get very sick if he goes without eating for 24

hours, so he needs to be able to access his food at all times. The container

shouldn't be too deep so the budgie doesn't have to dig too deep to get to the food. It

should also be in a place near his water so he can eat and drink together.

Provide a cuttlebone and a mineral block. Cuttlebones and mineral blocks are necessities

for your budgie. They contain necessary minerals and nutrients that

your bird might not be getting other places. The cuttlebone should be

placed in the cage so the soft side faces the bird so he can scrape off the bone.

Prevent obesity. Your budgie needs ample cage space or room in your house to exercise. You

should also pay attention to your bird's daily feeding habits

to keep him from overeating. This can lead to obesity. An obese bird loses

its streamlined appearance and can become lethargic and suffer health problems.

Balance the food. Budgies have very delicate systems. Any changes to his food should be

done gradually over a long period of time. If you want to change his

seed blends, add a little more of the new blend in each day and take away a

little more of the old blend until he has completely transitioned to the new food.

Get him to eat. Your budgie may not want to eat, which can be due to the presentation

of foods or what you are feeding him. If he won't eat the fresh foods,

chop up the veggies and fruits and put them in an empty feed cup.

Change the water daily. All birds need water all day long in a clean water container. To

keep clean and fresh, replace the water dish every day with a fresh dish.

Clean the dish with vinegar and water only. Never use soap or chemicals

to clean it. The vinegar will help prevent any bacteria from building up in the dish.