Whether you are new to bird ownership, or an experienced avian pet parent, budgies can be ideal small pets. These delightful little birds are easy to care for but big on character. Here is a guide on how to care for your budgie from our Clearlake vets.
Do Budgies Make Good Pets?
Budgies (or budgerigars) are small Australian birds that make delightful pets that are easy and inexpensive to care for. These little birds are lovable and affectionate, and some can even learn to say a few words. Budgies can be excellent 'starter birds' for people who love birds and are looking to bring one as a pet, into their life.
Can A Budgie Be Kept Alone?
Budgies are playful and active. If you have plenty of time to devote to your feathered friend then you can keep a single budgie. If however, you aren't sure how much time you will be able to spend interacting and bonding with your budgie, it may be best to purchase a pair to keep together.
That said, if you have more than a single budgie, they are less likely to learn to mimic speech and may not be as easy to handle.
It's a good idea to look for budgies that have been hand-fed as babies and handled frequently by humans. This will help to ensure that your pet budgie isn't too fearful or nervous of you.
Are Budgies Easy To Take Care Of?
Budgies are birds that are very easy to care for. Here are a few tips on how to care for your budgie:
- Buy the largest suitable cage that will fit into your home and your budget. Be sure that the cage provides enough room for your budgie to extend its wings and flap without touching the sides.
- Provide a variety of perches for your budgie to move around and change position. Include one concrete perch to help keep your budgie's nails trimmed. Do not place a perch directly over food or water as this could lead to contamination.
- Place the cage in an area where they will feel like part of the family. The cage should ideally be located in a spot with plenty of natural light but out of direct sunlight or drafts.
- Clean your budgie's cage at least once a week and be sure to scrub the bottom tray, food and water bowls, and toys with hot soapy water (then rinse well).
- Whether you own a single budgie or a couple, entertainment is essential for birds. Budgies are intelligent and active little creatures that need to keep their minds active.
- Be sure to provide your budgie with a selection of bird-specific toys that won't catch their beaks or nails. Look for budgie-specific mirrors, swings, and chew toys to avoid potentially toxic materials or choking hazards. A good rule of thumb when it comes to choosing toys is that if you wouldn't want a child to chew on it, don't give it to your pet budgie.
- Allow your budgie to enjoy supervised time outside of the cage. Restrict their access to a single (supervised) room and be sure that there are no hot elements or open windows that could cause your budgie harm. Bird-specific play gyms are available from reputable pet stores that can help to keep your budgie occupied while enjoying time outside of the cage, and happy.
- 75% of your feathered friend's diet should be a specially formulated pellet food for small parrots, the remaining 25% should consist of a variety of fresh foods including leafy greens, fruits, and sprouted greens. Contact your avian vet for more information on what to feed your budgie.
- Your budgie should always have access to clean fresh water. Change your pet's water daily.
- Before purchasing a budgie it is essential to locate a vet in your area that has training in the treatment of avian patients. If your budgie becomes ill, knowing where you can find help quickly is important.
- Your feathered companion should see an avian veterinarian every 6 - 12 months for a checkup including a fecal exam, blood work, and a wing or nail trim if required.
- health issues that are common in budgies include parasites, obesity, chronic egg laying, overgrown nails and beaks, and egg binding. See your vet as soon as possible if you have any concerns about your budgie's health.