Q: Do you have any tips for a beginner budgie owner? What should I keep in mind?
A: Buy the largest cage you can afford but still one that has narrow bars. Try to source a hand-reared baby budgie from a reputable breeder, rather than buying an adult. Young, tame birds will adjust to their new environment much more quickly and will be happy to interact with you immediately.
Have a look at the naked skin surrounding the nostrils (the cere). Young birds will have a pink cere, adult females a brown cere, and adult males a blue one. Unless you plan to spend a great deal of time interacting with the budgie, it is a good idea to rather buy two, as they are very social creatures.
Along with budgie seed, one can feed pellets, fresh greens and soft food. Budgies can learn to speak amazingly well.
Dr Dorianne Elliott, veterinarian
See the July 2022 edition of Animaltalk magazine for more frequently asked questions and answers from our experts. You can get it from retailers now, or order a digital or printed copy from www.coolmags.co.za.