Budgies are the most popular type of pet bird in the world and are ideal pets for all age groups from the young to the old. They are friendly, cheerful, active, intelligent and playful pets that can provide hours of pleasure and entertainment. And, once you have one budgie you may decide a second would be twice the enjoyment.
Caring for your budgie requires some basic necessities – cage, dishes for seed, gravel and water, perches, toys, and a cuttlebone or mineral block as well as cleaning and feeding tools. Cleaning and feeding your pet budgie should be a daily routine to keep your feathered friend happy and healthy.
You will want to buy a budgie that is young (about three months old) and one that has been hand fed or handled so the bird is easier for you to finger train. Therefore, the best place to buy a budgie is from a breeder; failing that, a reputable pet store is an alternative.
It is hard to say for sure how to choose the best bird, one you believe is trainable so you may have to rely on your gut feeling. Generally, though, you will want to choose a budgie that seems to have a good personality and interacts with the other birds rather than sitting by off to one side. At the same time, that “lonely” budgie may be looking for a friend and may be easier to train than the sociable one. And male budgies, rather than the females, are believed to be the ones that can be taught to speak.
Wherever you buy your budgie make sure you bring it home in a proper carry box rather than in the cage. You don’t want your new pet to be flitting around in the cage while you are driving home, causing stress for both the bird and yourself.
If you want more than one bird, you may want to buy one at a time and hand train it before you get a second one. Before you introduce the new bird to the first, keep them separate until you have hand trained the second. Budgies are social birds and will interact with the other birds instead of bonding with you.
The type and size of cage you choose for your budgie are the most important considerations for the welfare of your pet. Budgies are very active and require enough room in their cage to fly about so they can exercise and stretch their wings. You may eventually finger train your budgie and let him out of the cage for an additional workout but the cage is your budgie’s primary workout area.
With that in mind, choose a cage that is at least 1.5 feet to 2 feet wide by 1.3 feet to 2 feet deep and 2 to 3 feet tall. This size cage would accommodate one or two budgies comfortably within the birds feeling cramped. Make sure the bars of the cage are no more than half an inch apart to prevent your budgie from getting stuck between the bars.
You will be cleaning the cage often so you will want a cage that has a sliding tray in the bottom of the cage or a cage that has a top that lifts off the bottom to facilitate cleaning. To make your life a little easier, you should also consider a cage skirt to catch seeds and feathers that get scattered beyond the confines of the cage.
The best perches for your budgie’s home are wooden ones and place them at different heights in the cage so your budgie can hop or fly hop from one to the other. You could even buy a natural tree branch from your local pet supply store; several types of trees and plants are toxic to birds so one from the pet store is best.
Buy a high-quality seed for your budgie and buy it from the pet supply store. The seed should have a high content of canary seed and avoid seeing that has artificial colored ingredients – coloring is not necessary.
You should provide your budgie with some gravel, which helps the bird digest the seed, as well as a cuttlebone or mineral block which provide calcium and essential nutrients to keep your budgie healthy. Putting toys like swings, bells and ladders in the cage will keep your budgie active and stimulated while you are not around.
You are now ready for hours of entertainment with your new companion whether you are six years old or 60. And once you have hand trained your budgie, give him plenty of flying time outside of the cage so he can stretch and flap his wings; he may even come and sit beside you while you are watching TV. Of course, make sure all doors leading outside and windows are closed so your pet does not fly into the wild blue yonder.