Recommended Child’s Age: 7+

Lifespan of Pet: Up to 15 yrs.

Required Care: Easy

Pet Interaction: Highly Social

Costs: Low

 

About Budgies

Budgies, or Budgerigars are a type of parrot and are one of the most popular pets in the world. These beautifully colored birds come in many different colors and can live up to 15 years with proper care. Not only are they inexpensive, but they are also easy to care for. They have a good temperament and are very social and intelligent. Male budgies are generally more talkative and often known to learn to “talk” or mimic words, they are also typically more social than female budgies. However, the noise level of budgies is low compared to many other birds. They make great pets for children around seven years of age or older.

One Budgie or Two?
They are very curious, social pets who require companionship to feel comfortable and secure, therefore they will be active participants in the family. If there is any chance the bird may not get enough attention, two budgies are ideal as they will play with and keep each other company. Keep in mind that budgies, much like people, will form relationships with each other that include moments of jealousy, friendship, nurturing, and arguing. Additionally, unless your looking to mate the birds, you’ll want to get a same sex pair. As they quickly become familiar with you they will be open to being scratched on the head, and flying around the room under supervision. As with most pets, budgies each have their own sense of character and personality.

Budgies With Other Pets
Budgies are okay with some smaller pets like rabbits and guinea pigs if monitored carefully, but are not typically suited for houses with big pets like cats and dogs or rodents like hamsters or mice.

Environment and Exercise
For housing the budgie will need a sturdy roomy cage and with plenty budgie toys, perches, a hiding spot, a grinding stone, things to chew on, food and fresh water. These cages should be cleaned daily or every other day and located in the corner of a central family area out of direct sunlight. The budgie also needs plenty of quality exercise which can be provided with a space where they can be allowed to free fly regularly. Keep in mind while they are curious they are small, and must be kept in a safe environment, ensure doors and windows are closed and there are plenty of places to perch. Returning the bird to the cage after free flight can be made easier if the cage is in the same room, the door is wide open and a treat is placed inside. Never try to cup the bird in your hands, but instead allow them to perch on the side of your finger. If you do not want to allow the budgie to fly, be sure to get its flight feathers painlessly clipped by your vet regularly and supply the bird with plenty of opportunities to move and climb around for exercise.

As your budgies become more familiar with you they will enjoy sitting on your shoulder or on top of your head. They can be trained with simple voice commands, and love to play games such as climbing your fingers, flying from one person to the next, ringing a bell, searching for food, and even peek-a-boo. Always keep in mind that while typically social budgies should never be forced into uncomfortable situations and should be given time alone when they appear uncomfortable or  not in the mood to play.

Bringing a Budgie Home
When purchasing a budgie from a pet store, younger budgies will most easily adapt to new surrounds. Make sure the birds have been kept in a large clean area that allows them to fly around. Some budgies can also be purchased from pet shelters. If you have a chance purchase a plastic carrying container to take it home in more comfortably and to keep for vet trips. It is important to take your budgie to a small pets vet soon after purchase to ensure they have a clean bill of health, and then for a check up every year or so to ensure a long healthy life. Once home, set the carrier in the prepared cage and open the door to the carrier, then give the bird a few hours of alone time to become acquainted with their new home.

Be sure kids only interact with the bird under supervision until they learn the appropriate ways to treat their new pet. They should talk to the bird in a lower and softer voice, limit sudden movements, and approach the cage indirectly until the bird has a chance to get used to them. Letting kids provide treats when the budgie is receptive to them will help them bond. As the bird becomes familiar with the family they will accept a hand as a perch and begin to work there way out of the cage.

Treats
As reward, the budgies like fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, cucumbers, carrots and broccoli. Just remember to remove the excess after a couple hours so the food doesn’t go bad in the cage.

Cleaning
Your budgie will take care of its own hygiene for the most part. Cleaning its feathers, beak and claws. Occasional baths are a treat, but some budgies will prefer to rummage around in a bowl of wet leafy greens like organic lettuce