Budgerigars, aka budgies are one of the most popular companions with their striking colour, bringing vibrancy and character into your family. Create the perfect home for your new pet budgie with this helpful guide.
Budgie fact file
Life span – Up to 10 years
Size – Up to 18cm
Diet – Birdseed, pellets, leafy green veggies & fresh fruit
Home – 31cm x 46cm x 46cm cage
Care and maintenance
Budgies can memorise hundreds of words and learn various tricks. They can live for up to 10 years and are known for being talkative pets. As bringing a budgie home is a serious commitment, here are some key things you need to think about before buying one:
- Do you have appropriate housing for your budgie?
- Can you provide a safe environment for them?
- Can you provide daily supervised time outside of the cage for your budgie?
- Are you aware that birds can be vocal and have you checked this is acceptable to your family and neighbours?
A healthy budgie should have clean and smooth feathers, an alert and upright posture, clear and regular breathing and no discharge around their beak, eyes, or ears. If you’re a first-time budgie parent, you may only want to start with one new bird. Though, budgies are highly social and will show a great response if they have a partner. If budgies fly solo for long periods of time they can become lonely and depressed. Having a companion will keep them happy – and a happy bird means a healthy bird.
You will need to choose an adequately sized cage for your budgie depending on how much space you have available and the number of birds you want to put together. Your budgie’s cage or aviary should give them room to spread their wings – they love to stretch out. Because of this, we recommend a rectangular cage.
Your pet will need paper at the base of their cage. This will let you monitor the number, size, colour and consistency of the droppings. If you are planning to breed your birds, you can find nesting material that your budgie will love at your local Petbarn. Budgies like to be clean so make sure to check for and clean out faeces or droppings in your cage weekly. You should also change the paper at the base of the cage daily and clean perches weekly.
Put a bowl in their cage so that your budgie can bathe when they please. Budgies are active and inquisitive birds, so they need a variety of toys to hold their attention and fend off boredom. Your budgie’s home should include lots of perches, swings and interactive elements to stimulate their senses. Budgies also love mirrored surfaces and shreddable toys.
Place the cage at or below eye level, away from excessive sunlight and away from anything that is quite aromatic, like those smells found in the kitchen. Birds have a very efficient respiratory system. They absorb anything in the air really well and easily suffer toxic side effects from things like aerosols, cigarette smoke, essential oils, etc.
Pellets make a good base diet for budgies, so make sure that you refresh the pellet bowl daily. Leafy greens provide essential vitamins and minerals and can be given to them every other day. Your budgie should have fruits only once a week and treats are best given only once monthly. In addition, providing your budgie with a piece of cuttlefish is great for their beak and will also boost their calcium levels.
Never feed your budgie chocolate, lettuce, avocado, rhubarb, alcohol, fruit seeds or caffeine as they can make your pet very sick. If your budgie hasn’t eaten the fruit or vegetables in 24 hours, make sure you remove it and replace with fresh food.
Provide a water dish for your bird so they have access to drinking water at all times. Wash the water bowl out in soapy water or put it through the dishwasher. They may like to bathe in water dishes, so it’s important to check that their water bowl is full and fresh often. Don’t place your budgie’s water bowl underneath their perch as they can contaminate it.
Visit your local Petbarn to find the right find items for your budgie’s perfect menu.
The best way to transport your budgie is in a small, covered cage, pet carrier or even a small box. The size should not be stifling, but just big enough for your pet to be comfortable. Leave any sharp objects or unsecure items at home to prevent your budgie being injured. One or two securely fixed bars is enough for them to enjoy the ride.
Secure the cage with a safety belt. For long journeys, you may need to shield the cage from direct sunlight and make water stops to keep your pet hydrated and comfortable.
Budgies will groom themselves regularly. If your budgie is in good health, you’ll notice them cleaning their feathers, scratching their beak on various surfaces around the cage and even having a bath.
You’ll still need to clip your budgie’s nails every now and then. Their feathers may need to be clipped too; this can be very dangerous if done incorrectly. For professional guidance, refer to your local Greencross Vets.
Budgie healthcare is all about prevention. They are prone to contracting parasites, like worms or lice, and can have respiratory issues and digestive problems. However, if they are individual pets, then there are fewer chances for them to get worms or lice. Respiratory diseases can be avoided by feeding them right and keeping them in a clean area.
To avoid any health issues, you need to check your pet bird for worms or lice and seek treatment if they have any parasites. Unless there are other birds coming and going all the time there is little risk of contracting worms.
It’s important to keep a close eye on your budgie’s health. Check them often for signs such as fluffed up feathers, closed eyes, lethargy, hunched posture, drooping tail or wings, discharge around the eyes, nose or beak, sneezing and coughing, diarrhoea and irregular breathing.
If you notice any of these signs, or anything else peculiar about your budgie’s appearance or behaviour, refer to your local Greencross Vets for treatment and advice.
Pet safety tips
It’s okay to let your budgie out of their cage every now and then. It may be appropriate to clip their wings if your bird hasn’t been hand tamed so they don’t get hurt flying into windows or furniture.
When letting your pet out of their enclosure, it’s important to keep an eye on them. The best solution is to keep any possible hazards out of the way and monitor them carefully.
Tip: Birds have sensitive respiratory systems. Scented candles, air fresheners and perfumes can harm them.
Petbarn has all the bird supplies you need for your new pet budgie online and in-store.