Tails Blog

Keeping a Budgie for a Pet

Steve Coppell - Saturday, October 09, 2010


The Budgie is  a small bird from the Parrot family. They are native to Australia, where they live in large flocks, traveling to where ever they can find food and water. In the wild, budgies natural colouring is green and yellow but in captivity breeders keep all sorts of colour variations, resulting in more than 100 recognised colour patterns.
Budgies make great little pets because they are easy to care for and can become talanted talkers and mimics. The average lifespan of a budgie is 8 to 10 years, though it is not unusual for some budgies to live to 14 years, and more rarly 20 years old. To ensure your budgie has a long and healthy life, provide a clean cage, daily exercise, a healthy diet including fresh fruit and vegetables offered daily, and plenty of activity and companionship.



The Cage

Budgies are extremely active and need to strech their wings and have space for fluttering around their cage. For this reason, your budgies cage should be long rather than high in order to provide some room for flying. When considering cage size remember to take into account cage accessories e.g. perches, seed and water dishes, toys, swings, and ladders, but do not clutter your budgies environment. To enable your budgie to climb around and get some exercise, ensure the cage has horizontal bars as well as vertical ones. Dont buy a cage with vertical bars only, and make sure it has a plastic removable tray at the bottom of the cage for easy cleaning.



Daily Exercise
Regardless of your budgies cage size, in order for it to remain healthy and happy, it will need regular time out of its cage. Let your budgie out for a fly as often as possible-at least three times a week. Just make sure all your windows and doors are closed, cover all windows and mirrors, and keep other pets out of the room.
Do not keep your budgie locked in its cage day in day out!



A Healthy Diet
High quality budgie seed mix should make up about 70% of your birds diet. These are readily available. Budgies enjoy spray millet and seed treats such as honey bells or sticks. How ever these are fattening and treats should only be offered once a week if your budgie is fairly active, or only once a fortnight if not as pet budgies can easily become overweight. fresh daily drinking water is essential. Also make available cuttlebone, calcium, mineral blocks, and fresh fruit and vegetables.




Companionship
As budgies live in flocks they have a need for social activities. This means that unless you are home most of the time and are able to give your budgie regular time out of its cage to interact with you, you should get another budgie for companionship.



Amusement
Give your budgies plenty of toys but nothing with shiny surfaces as it will see another bird and want to play with it instead of you!

Safe food
Apples (without the pips!)
Apricots
Broccoli
Brussel Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Chickweed
Corn
Peaches
Pears (without the pips!)
Puha
Silverbeet

Prohibitied food
Alcohol
Avocado
Caffiene
Chocolate
Fruit seeds
Plums
Raw Potato
Rhubarb
High fat content foods
High sugar content foods
Iceberg lettuce (small amounts might be ok but the word is it can cause diarrhea)