Caring for your budgie

Looking for a feathery friend who is friendly and relatively easy to care for? The budgie might just be an option for you.

Shopping list

Before your budgie gets home, everything he is going to need has to be in place. These are some examples:

  • First of all, you will need a cage. This is the one area in which you should invest in the best that you can get, as this is where your budgie will spend most of his time. He needs enough room to stretch his wings and to live out his playful nature! He is an active bird and will enjoy some space to jump around in. You will also have to make sure that the bars of the cage are close enough together that the bird won’t be able to get his head stuck between them.
  • If your chosen cage does not come with a few perches, you will need to add some. Place them at different levels in the cage, providing your budgie with the option to jump around and get some exercise. Also check whether your cage comes with food and water bowls – if not, you need to purchase these as well.
  • Even budgies need mental stimulation! Provide your bird with toys to keep him busy. Always check that the toys are safe and that there is no chance that your budgie’s head or foot can get stuck in them. A nice trick, which works with dogs as well, is to rotate your budgie’s toys. This keeps the toys interesting for longer.
  • Have some food ready for your budgie. They can eat anything from seeds to rice and fruit – no avocado though! This can be poisonous for them.

Cover your budgie’s cage with a towel at the same time every evening and remove it again at the same time every morning, as these colourful birds enjoy routine.

A budgie in your home

Budgies are social creatures, and if you are not going to spend a lot of time with your budgie, it’s best to get him a friend. Remember that a male and female might breed if conditions in their cage are suitable! Two males will generally get along better than two females.

The budgie can be tamed, and even taught to speak. They are not big talkers like the African grey, for example, but it is possible!

To tame your budgie, it is important that you practise patience – and a younger bird will be more likely to get used to handling. Start off by simply getting your budgie used to being stroked while he is still inside the cage. Use a blunt stick for this (it might get bitten in the beginning!), replacing it with your hand as soon as the budgie seems comfortable. This might take some time, but don’t lose hope!

Always be careful and gentle when picking up your budgie. Use your palm to cover his wings and back, gently holding him when you pick him up to prevent him from getting stressed – you will get bitten! Always pick him up this way; don’t try to catch him while he is in flight.

9 budgie facts

  1. Budgies have a third eyelid, but you won’t be able to see it easily. The purpose of this eyelid is to keep the eye moist and clean.
  2. Their little hearts beat incredibly fast – over 300 times per minute!
  3. Budgies originally started out green and yellow, which is still a well-known colour variation. The first blue budgie was only seen in 1878.
  4. Budgies have monocular vision, which means they can use both eyes separately.
  5. For a small bird, the budgie has a lot of feathers – an adult can have between 2,000 and 3,000!
  6. Worried about your budgie grinding his beak? Don’t. This actually shows that he is happy and content.
  7. Budgies can turn their heads up to 180 degrees, due to having more vertebrae in their necks than humans.
  8. Their small bodies can’t afford to lose a lot of blood before it becomes dangerous – between 10 to 12 drops can cause trouble.
  9. Budgies do not have a bladder, and they pass urine and faeces at the same time, through the same opening.

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