Budgerigars or "budgie birds" are small parakeets that make excellent starter birds for those who are interested in owning their first feathered friend. They are the most common household pet after dogs and cats, due to their easy care and friendly personality. They are very social and enjoy spending time and interacting with their companion, which could be yourself, or another budgie if you take home a pair.
Budgies are a small, hook-billed parakeet native to Australia. They typically very cheerful birds and are not as demanding as larger parrots. They are very hardy with a short list of requirements, popularizing them in the pet trade. Even though they are smaller than other parrots, they are highly intelligent and will make excellent companions if properly trained. Wild budgies will always have a bright green and yellow plumage, captive breeding has produced lots of different color variations.
Budgies should be kept in a wire cage designed for birds. They needs room to play and stretch their wings, so the cage should be at least 16” x 9”x 15” (41cm x 23cm x 38cm), with a squared off top. You should always purchase the largest cage you can afford or have room for. Pisces recommends: Vision Bird Cage for Medium Birds. Add a variety of perches of varying diameters, textures, and materials. This will provide exercise for its foot muscles as well as mental stimulation. Pisces recommends: Living World Multi-color Cotton Perch. It will also be able to choose which perches are most comfortable for various activities such as eating and sleeping. All perches should be wide enough that the bird’s claws do not touch or overlap. The bottom of the cage can be covered with gravel paper designed for birdcages or with corncob bedding. It is not recommended that you use newspaper because the ink can make the bird sick if it decides to shred it.
A proper staple diet will mostly consist of a seed mixture designed specifically for budgies. In addition to the seed diet, fresh fruits & veggies should be offered daily. Make sure you keep the food and water dished clean at all times, and change the water daily. Another cage necessity is a cuttlebone or mineral block. This is a great way for budgie birds to get natural calcium, and trim down their beak. For a treat, all budgies love spray millet, which is highly nutritious and easy digested. Pisces recommends: Higgins Spray Millet.
Never feed your budgie:
- human junk foods
Handling & Training
Budgies are very social and need a companion. Budgies kept individually require more human attention but also may be easier to tame. If you have a young bird it usually doesn't take long for the budgie to bond with its owner. Budgies, despite their size, are excellent at mimicking speech. If you are interested in teaching your budgie to talk, check out our blog on teaching your bird to talk!
Budgies need moisture to soften the sheaths of their quills so that new feathers grow in strait and strong! Use a gentle spray bottle, a birdbath, or a small trickle in your kitchen sink to dampen its feathers. Make sure the bird is kept away from drafts and is allowed to dry completely before roosting at night. Budgies should have access to bathing at least every 2nd day.
Did You Know?
Clipping your budgies flight feathers will help train it to sit on your hand, prevent injuries caused by closed windows & ceiling fans, and prevent escape out of open windows. They may also need their nails trimmed occasionally if the perches are not providing enough wear. Pisces Pet Emporium offers both of these services free of charge! Simply call us and book your appointment! Contact us at 403 274 3314.