Tips for Caring for Your First Pet Budgie (Parakeet)

Updated on August 9, 2018
Budgies are friendly, lovable pets.
Budgies are friendly, lovable pets. | Source

Cheerful Friend

Budgies, which are more commonly known as parakeets, are excellent starter birds for those who have never owned a pet bird and would like to have a feathered friend. They generally have a cheerful disposition, are not as demanding as many larger birds, and are relatively hardy. As single birds, they make good companions and enjoy interacting with their owners. Anyone who is willing to learn about these bubbly little birds and their care should be able to bring one home and have several years of companionship with their new pet.

A Little Bit About the Bird

Budgerigars, or "budgies" for short, are natives of Australia. Though they are commonly referred to as parakeets, this term can actually apply to a number of parrot species. The two types of domestic budgies are the British budgerigar and the "regular" budgerigar. The British budgie is a much larger bird than its regular cousin. In this article I will be focusing on the regular sort of budgerigar, as this is the variety most commonly available in the United States.

Budgies are petite, hook-billed birds which, in captivity, live mainly on a diet of seeds, fresh fruits, and veggies. They typically will live twelve to fourteen years, if you take good care of them. Budgies are flock birds in the wild, so if you want a budgie that will interact with you, you must keep only one bird to a cage. The object is for the bird to see you as its "flock". If it has other birds sharing its cage, your budgie will bond with them primarily rather than you. Budgies are intelligent little creatures, and can be taught to talk and to do small tricks. Once again, it is necessary to keep the bird by itself in order for it to learn to talk or do tricks.

While wild budgies always have vibrant green body plumage and yellow heads, selective breeding in captivity has produced birds with quite a few variations in feather color and pattern. Most of these birds will be some shade of green or blue with an accent color, though there are budgies that are all-yellow or white.

Budgies can be sexed as adults by looking at their cere, which is the little band at the top of the beak where the nostrils are located. Male budgies will sport a blue or lavender-blue cere, while females' ceres are a dull brown or tan. Juvenile budgies all have pinkish-lavender ceres. It is not possible to sex a budgie on sight when they are a juvenile. If you are keeping a single bird, it does not matter whether you can tell its sex before you buy it, as both sexes can be equally affectionate.

A male budgerigar.
A male budgerigar. | Source

Finding the Right Bird

As a prospective budgie owner, you have two options available as to where you can obtain a bird. The first option would to be to purchase it from a breeder. This can be an excellent choice, as these birds are often hand-raised and very used to human interaction. The drawback here, on the other hand, is that these birds are usually more expensive than those you would find at a pet store. You can find breeders in your area online, in the phone directory, or at a bird show. Make sure you buy from someone who is a reputable breeder, though, to avoid getting a bird that is ill or has physical problems.

Buying your bird from a good pet store is your second option. Pet store budgies, while cheaper than those bought directly from a breeder, are not always particularly friendly at first. This is due to the fact that many of them are raised without much human handling. When they are brought to the pet store, they are put in an aviary with a dozen other budgies and still are not handled. As flock birds they are content with other budgies and do not know what to make of people. In the end, this leaves you with a bird that is normally not ready to just hop on your finger. So when going to a pet store to purchase a budgie, know that you may have to work with it a while to get it to trust you and be finger-trained.

Whether you decide to buy from a breeder or a pet store, there are a few things which you should check before purchasing the bird:

  1. The area where the birds are kept should be clean and dry.
  2. The birds themselves should be free of any sign of illness (vents clean, eyes clear, ceres not crusty, no sign of mites, no labored breathing, no bird sitting very still in the corner by itself with its feathers ruffled up). Even if the bird you like is healthy, do not buy it if there are others in the pen or cage that appear to be ill.
  3. The bird you like should not have physical issues, such as an overgrown or crooked beak.

A naturally-shaped perch is beneficial to your budgie's feet.
A naturally-shaped perch is beneficial to your budgie's feet. | Source
Toys like this can provide hours of fun for your bird.
Toys like this can provide hours of fun for your bird. | Source

Things to Buy for Your Budgie

The most important thing you will buy for your bird is its cage. Since this is where it will spend the bulk of its time, a cage must be large enough for the bird to move about freely; otherwise, the bird will be an unhappy creature. At minimum, the cage should be 14" long x 11" wide x 12" high. Remember, once food dishes, perches, and toys are added, the actual space in which your pet has to move about will be diminished. Please resist the "starter kits" some pet stores offer if the cage they include is smaller than the above dimensions. I know it will seem like a good deal at the time, but it will not be good for your bird in the end. If you can afford an even larger cage, then get it. Your bird will thank you. We as humans go through busy times when we cannot give our pets as much playtime as they want/need, so if the bird has a bigger play-space it will not mind some alone-time quite so much. Whatever size cage you buy, make sure the bars are no more than half an inch apart. This will prevent your budgie from getting its head caught between the bars. Also, try to find one with bars made from heavy wire, as the bars tend to bend easily on cages with thin bars. Finally, a cage with a non-toxic coating on the bars is best as it prevents rust from developing.

Most cages come with one or two dowel-style perches. I recommend removing one of these perches, however, and replacing it with two or three other types of perches. Other types of perches available include natural branch perches and shaped sand perches. The reason for this is your budgie needs a variety of differently-shaped perches on which to sit in order to keep its feet healthy. Straight dowels do not offer the shape variation that is necessary. The shaped, sand-covered perches have the added benefit of helping to keep the bird's claws trimmed (though toenail clipping will still be necessary from time to time).

The other thing that cages come equipped with is food and water dishes. You will also want to buy a separate cup in which you can put treat seed or fresh foods.

Buying a good budgie/parakeet food for your pet is essential. There are seed and pellet varieties on the market for budgies, and both have their pros and cons. In spite of all the choices available, I would suggest that as a first-time owner you stick with the food that the bird was already being fed when you bought it. Sometimes you can convert a bird from seed to pellets or vice versa, but it does not always happen and is better attempted by someone with experience. Your new bird may notice if you try to feed it a different brand of food and not eat it, so when you are starting out it is better to stick with what the bird already knows. You want to make your budgie's transition into your home as stress-free as possible.

Other accoutrements necessary for your bird are a cuttle bone or mineral treat, toys, and a cage skirt. The cuttle bone and mineral treat serve roughly the same purpose, which is to keep your bird's beak trimmed to the proper length. The toys are an important part of a budgie's existence. A bored bird is not a happy bird. If you want your budgie to interact with you, then avoid toys with mirrors, because it will think it has another bird in the cage and prefer the company of the "mirror bird". Some good toys that budgies like are little balls, twirly toys, rings, chew toys, and bells. My budgie loves bells, and almost all of his toys feature bells because of this. Do not be surprised, however, if your bird looks at a new toy as if it is enemy no. 1. The budgie is merely making sure the new addition to its cage is not going to eat it, and will usually warm up to the new plaything within a day or two (or three...). The cage skirt is for your benefit rather than the bird's. Like all types of pet birds, budgies can be a bit messy, so it is easier to keep the mess contained to the cage when there is a skirt on the outside of the cage.

There are a few items that you can skip buying and use a substitute at home to save money. The first would be a cage cover; they look nice but a clean towel does the trick for putting your bird to bed at night. The second thing to skip is corn cob litter or cage liners to put in the bottom of the cage. Newspaper or paper towels work just as well as the store-bought items (do not use newspaper, though, if your bird's cage does not have a grating in the bottom that separates him from contact with the newsprint). The final item that you most likely will not need to buy is a stand. An end table, nightstand, or some other flat surface where the cage cannot be knocked over is sufficient. The exception to this would be if you have cats in the house (or dogs that like to chase birds); a stand that keeps the cage well out of the reach of a curious feline is best.

An example of a basic cage set-up for a budgie. (Pardon the absence of a mineral treat—I did not have one to use.)
An example of a basic cage set-up for a budgie. (Pardon the absence of a mineral treat—I did not have one to use.) | Source
View of a budgie cage from above. Perches and toys can be arranged in such a way that best suits your bird.
View of a budgie cage from above. Perches and toys can be arranged in such a way that best suits your bird. | Source

Life With Your New Pet

When you bring home your new budgie, set its cage up first, before taking the bird out of the carrier in which you brought it home. The location of the cage within your home is an important thing to decide. The kitchen is generally not a good place, due to the high level of activity in the room and the potential hazard of toxins being released into the air from singed non-stick pans. Many kitchens also have doors leading to the outside in or near them, which can cause drafts. You do not want your bird to sit in a draft, as it is not good for its health. A bedroom, office, or corner of a family living area are the best places to put a bird cage. If you find noise distracting, though, you may not want to put the bird near a home work space. Budgies tend to be chatterboxes, which makes them entertaining; this can become obnoxious, however, if you need quiet! Not all budgies are this way, but quieter birds seem to be the exception. You will not know until you get the bird settled in and used to its surroundings whether it will be noisy or a moderate twitter-bug. Do not always assume that covering the bird will make it quiet until you want to get up in the morning; mine has been known to start his chirping at five a.m. (granted, this is normally because he hears someone up already).

Once you have found spot for the cage, put it together and stick whatever absorbent material you have chosen to use in the bottom. Place the perches next, with consideration as to what configuration will allow the bird to move to move about the cage freely. Make sure to put perches by the food and water cups (I stick the one long dowel-rod perch in front of the dishes in order to leave more play room in the rest of the cage). Know that you can always rearrange the perches if necessary. Add the toys to the cage after this, along with the mineral treat or cuttle bone. Fill the food dish and water dish.

The best way to put your new friend in its home is to take the top off of the cage and gently place the bird inside of it. Only do this if the bird's wings are already clipped, though! If the budgie's wings are not clipped, or the cage top does not come off easily, then put it in the cage through the door. On a cage that has a "guillotine-style" door (one that slides up and down), it is better to first secure the door in the "up" position with a clip or twist-tie so as to avoid accidentally dropping the door on budgie's head. (Make sure you secure the door this way any time you want to move the bird in or out of its cage.) Partially cover the cage, and give the bird a day or two to adjust to its new surroundings. This means do not take it out of its cage, put your hand in its cage, or even talk to it too much (especially in a loud voice) during this time. It will most likely be freaking out at being put in a totally new environment and will need some space. Birds and stress do not go well together, so give your pet the peace and quiet it needs.

After your bird has become accustomed to its new abode, you can begin to interact with it. If the bird is already finger-trained and has its wings clipped, you can easily take it out of the cage and start getting acquainted. If it has its wings clipped but is not finger-trained, teaching the bird to "step up" onto your finger requires just a little bit of time and persistence.

First, put your hand slowly into the cage, approaching the bird from below rather than above (it thinks you are an attacker coming to eat it if your hand swoops down on it). Some birds will not like your hand in the cage at all, so you may have to spend the first day or two just getting it used to your hand being in the cage. Once the bird is comfortable with your hand being near it, take your index finger and place it gently against the bird's front, right above its feet. As you do this, say in a soft voice, "step up". The gentle pressure against its front will usually cause the bird to crawl on your finger. If not, then try again a few more times. The point of saying "step up" is that you want the bird to learn to get onto your finger without having to put pressure on its chest. Budgies can master this trick in a day, but it may take more time than that with your bird. If it does not learn the first day, do not push it, but let it rest and try again the next day. I do not recommend that a first-time bird owner take their budgie out of the cage unless its wings are clipped. It can easily injure itself running into things if it flies away from you. If the store from which you purchased it would not or could not clip its wings, try to find a friend that has experience clipping wings or go to an avian vet. If these options do not exist for you, you can learn to do it yourself, but, please, be very careful and make sure you understand thoroughly what you need to do before attempting it. You can seriously injure your bird if you are not careful.

Once you and your budgie have become friends, your bird will enjoy having playtime with you or simply sitting on your shoulder. Giving your pet some "shoulder-time" while you read or watch TV is a great way to bond. An old towel works as a protection against bird droppings on your clothes; make sure it is a dishcloth sort of towel rather than a bath towel, however, since a budgie's little talons can get stuck in the loops of a bath towel.

One thing you should never do to your bird while interacting with it is kiss it on the beak. Human saliva is toxic to budgies. You should also avoid using aerosols or other types of sprays round the bird; budgie's lungs are delicate and breathing in those sorts of things can be harmful to your pet.

It is best to find a good avian vet as soon as possible after purchasing your budgie. Budgies are relatively hardy for their size, but you should always keep a lookout for signs of illness and contact your vet if you suspect your bird may be ill. Signs of illness include wheezing, labored breathing, runny eyes or cere, a crusty cere, loose droppings, a loss of feathers (with no new growth—molting is normal), abnormal growths on the head, not eating, and sitting very still and quiet in a corner with ruffled feathers. While this is a list of some of the most common signs of sickness, it is not complete. As you get to know your bird, you will notice any abnormalities in its behaviour. This will enable you to act quickly if you think it is unwell. Quick action is necessary as illnesses in these little birds are often fatal if left untreated.

Feeding your bird fruit, veggies, and treats in addition to its regular food is a great idea as it adds variation and extra nutrients to your pet's diet. Make sure you put these items in a separate cup from the regular food, and limit the amount of treat seed and millet you give your bird. Budgies can become overweight, and extra weight is not healthy for the bird. Fresh greens like spinach and arugula, and fruits like apples and oranges (sans the seeds) are all budgie-safe fresh foods that can be given in moderate amounts. If you are not buying organic produce, make sure to thoroughly wash items that cannot be peeled in order to remove pesticide residue. Since not all fruits and veggies are safe for your bird to eat, please check out this list before trying any items other than the ones I have mentioned here. Avoid giving your bird "people food", as most of it is entirely unhealthy for birds and some things can also be toxic. When feeding your bird, give it enough seed in its cup to last a couple of days or so and then re-fill it when it has eaten most of the seed (make sure not to mistake the seed hulls the bird leaves behind as uneaten food). Change the water at least every other day. If your budgie seems to enjoy bathing in its drinking water, try putting a shallow dish in the cage now and then and encourage it to use that instead. Budgies do not need to bathe as much as some birds because they live in an arid climate in the wild.

If there is a grate in the bottom of the cage, then the absorbent material in the tray should only need to be changed once a week since the bird has no contact with the tray. If there is no grating, then change the material in the tray every couple of days. The whole cage should be wiped down once a month. Every few months it is good to take the cage apart and wash it thoroughly with mild dish soap to remove the gunk that builds up around the edges and in the corners.

Use a cage skirt to keep your budgie's mess inside the cage.
Use a cage skirt to keep your budgie's mess inside the cage. | Source

Wonderful Pets

My budgie has been a wonderful little pet and I will always be glad that I decided to bring him into my life. He is a sweet creature that makes me smile at his antics and happy chatter. If you are looking for a pet that is small, cheerful, affectionate, and relatively easy to keep, then I most heartily recommend that you welcome one of these birds into your home.

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Questions & Answers

  • How long will it be before my budgies eat food after bringing them into their new home?

    They should start eating by the end of the first 24 hours. You will know they have if you see seed hulls left on top of the food in the cup or in the bottom of the cage. If the birds don't start eating before the end of the second day, then you may want to contact the breeder for some guidance. If you got them from a pet store, then consult an avian vet as to what you should do.

  • My budgie is not drinking water. What should I do?

    Budgies typically do not spend much time at their water dish drinking. So, it could be that you just are not seeing your bird drink. If the bird truly is not drinking at all, however, then you would need to take it to an avian vet to determine what the underlying issue is, as not drinking could be indicative of illness.

  • Are parakeets expensive?

    A budgie/parakeet is not an expensive bird unless it is of a show-grade quality. Do keep in mind, however, that setting up a proper cage environment will likely cost more than the bird itself. This is balanced out by the fact that the bird's upkeep costs are relatively low.

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    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      3 weeks ago

      @ Emma Racz: A budgie would be fine by itself for that amount of time every day, as long as it had enough toys to keep it occupied while you are away.

    • profile image

      Emma Racz 

      3 weeks ago

      Hey!

      I would like one budgie but am in school til 1:00 (short days twice every week) or 4:00. That's around six hours of school everyday. I would give my budgie many toys but I am nervous that it might get lonely, though I really don't want two birds right now. She/he will be my first budgie and would dedicate my leftover time to it. If you think another small bird is more suited for my schedule or a way to keep my singular budgie healthy while I am away, please let me know.

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      7 weeks ago

      @ Devanisha: Was there a period of time when you stopped giving him attention or putting your hands in his cage? A lot of times a bird can become frustrated when it feels it is not getting enough attention, and will starting acting out by biting. It also could be stress. Is the bird in a spot where he might not get proper rest or quiet because of too much light and noise? Budgies like a certain amount of activity/talk going on around them since they are flock birds, but too much can have an opposite affect, especially if it is keeping them from getting enough sleep.

      I would keep working with him for a little while yet. The truth is, most other pet bird species can be the same way if they are stressed or don't get enough attention, so getting another bird won't solve the problem if one of these things is the cause of your budgie's behavioral issues.

    • profile image

      Devanisha 

      8 weeks ago

      Hey, I've had my parakeet for maybe 1 or 2 years now and I got him from a pet store when he was a few weeks or months old, I had already done a little bit of research so I could train it as soon as he was comfortable with all the things around him and it actually went really well, I use to put food on my hand and we went on my hand and ate it and after a while I used it without food and he just sat on my hand inside the cage (mind you he's not clipped) but after a few months he started biting me and resisted going anywhere near me or anyone else and a few days later he came close to me but just to bite me, he tried to bite me through the space of the cage too and I'm really thinking that he just genuinely started to hate me and am thinking of selling him to buy another bird that's another breed, the thing is I don't like to give up as my bunny was the same, he hated to be pet (didn't bite me but everyone else that tried to pet him) but a couple of weeks ago he started looking for affection towards me instead of being the grumpy pants he always is and I'm hoping Blue (bird) would do the same eventually, I'm really at lost here, please help? Or advise?

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      8 weeks ago

      @ Jyssica: As much as she resists being touched right now, you should keep trying anyway. The longer you leave her to herself, the harder it will be to get her to accept being handled.

      Here's what you should do:

      Put your hand into the cage slowly and move it next to her. Keep doing this until she is comfortable with your hand being very close to her. After this stage, start stroking her chest softly with your index finger (I will warn you now that you may be bitten several times as you begin to do this). When she finally accepts being touched by you, move on to teaching her to "step up" onto your finger. Once she has learned to do this, you should be able to start taking her out of the cage for playtime. I would advise having her wings clipped at that point if you don't have that done already; it will keep her safe while she is out playing.

    • profile image

      Jyssica 

      2 months ago

      Hello, My budgie I have had for a year now. She does not like to be handled AT ALL. I tried putting my hand in the cage and she would stay in the corner each and every time. I have her in a large cage where she has plenty of room to move and play - in the beginning I had her in a smaller cage and when I moved her into the 25X17X53 She was SO happy! What can I do to make her want to love on me more. I hate that I can never get her out to interact and want her to come out so she has a good quality of life. Help!

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      3 months ago

      @ Aliah: I'm happy to have been of help to you. Enjoy your new pet! :)

    • profile image

      Aliah 

      3 months ago

      @Rhosynwen I bought my first ever budgie today and you're right! She's wonderful! Thank you so much for responding! I wouldn't have experience this kind of happiness without your advice.

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      3 months ago

      @ Animoo: I hope you are having fun with your new bird. He will be fine while you are away as long as he has some toys with which he can occupy himself. He would also enjoy a view out the window if you can set his cage next to it during the day.

      If his wings are clipped, you can take him out while hand training; just make sure you are in an area where there are not any dangers present (other pets, cooking pots on a stove, etc.) in case he flutters off your hand. Keep the "out" time to 15 minutes at a time until he is completely used to you so as not to stress him out.

    • profile image

      Animoo 

      3 months ago

      Hey, so I just bought a budgie, and I looked through the other comments and I’ve got to say, this has been on of the most helpful read for a new budgie owner. Thanks:). I do have several questions too question though, where should I put its cage? I have it on a high shelf right now, and I can put it near the window because of how my room is set up. Another question, when will I be able to take my budgie out of its cage. Is it when I finish hand training it? Or can I take it out even if it’s not hand trained. Lastly, I know I’m some of the other questions you had were whether or not I can leave him alone when I am at school for I am a high school student. Anyway thanks :).

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      3 months ago

      @ bgould523: I am sorry to say that raising baby budgies is not my area of expertise, as my experience is only with weaned birds. I hope you have been able to find help elsewhere by now.

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      3 months ago

      @ Aliah: Don't be afraid to get a young budgie. It is best to buy one when it is still a youngster, since budgies at that age tend to adapt to life with their new owner more easily than an older bird would. As long as you take good care of it and handle it gently, it will be just fine. I hope you decide to get one, because budgies are wonderful pets!

    • profile image

      Aliah 

      3 months ago

      Hi. I want to get a bugie but the local pet store here only have 2-4 months old bugie, the issue is that they are still juveniles and still sensitive, I'm afraid that they will die in my hand because I'm just a first time bird owner if ever I'm going to buy it.

    • profile image

      bgould523 

      3 months ago

      We have 4 baby budges/parakeets whose mother has died. The dad doesn't seem to be feeding them, and I have never hand-raised a baby bird before. The babies have feathers and are old enough to stay on their own at night, but are not yet weened. What should I do?!

      Please reply they will die if I don't find help soon!!!

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      3 months ago

      @ Muhammad: putting toys in the cage won't make it harder for the bird to adjust to his new home/owners. He might not play with the toys much at first, but he will get used to them eventually and like the fact that he has them.

    • profile image

      Muhammad 

      3 months ago

      hi I've got a parakeet the owner who had it before said to not put any toys in the cage until he docent get used to you, as they will feel scared. However, I think we should put some in.

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      4 months ago

      @ cjchloe: It sounds as though your budgies are behaving as they normally would with someone they don't know yet. While you should not be aggressive in trying to get them to like you, some gentle interaction each day is a good thing. So, yes, your mother is right: do keep talking to/playing with them for short periods every day. Remember that just as we humans take a little while to get to know and trust someone new, so do pet birds. They will eventually come to love you, but it will take at least 3-4 weeks for that to really start happening. In the meantime, don't be stressed out about how they are responding to you; if you are, they pick up on those emotions and think there is something wrong. Relax and enjoy your new pets each day, and eventually they will be happy to see you every time you walk into the room. :)

    • profile image

      cjchloe 

      4 months ago

      So i just got 2 budgies 3 days ago, I’ve gotten them out mostly each day for about 30 minutes and they are still scared of my hands and they back away from me each time i put my hand near them. Should I stop playing with them for awhile?maybe have them get used to seeing me first? I don’t want them to hate me. I’m not sure what to do. MY mom tells me to interact with them so they get used to me but I’m not sure if I should. Do I give them time? What if in a month they still don’t like me? I’m worried since i didn’t take it slow and start how maybe i should have they won’t like me as much as they could have. What do I do? Thanks!

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      4 months ago

      @ Lj: Parakeets have a "personality" like most other pets do. So, sometimes their loudness is just them expressing themselves. The longer you have them, the easier it will be for you to know whether they are happy, upset, hurt, or just being silly when they start being noisy.

      It does not surprise me that they still aren't sure whether they trust you yet. This is normal, and they will get past this eventually if you keep talking to and playing with them. Don't worry if they don't like their cage being cleaned right now; just do it no matter how much they protest. It is simply part of their new routine that they will have to become used to! Someday they won't think anything of it.

    • profile image

      Lj 

      4 months ago

      My parakeets have been with me for almost a month now and seem to be some times with me I

      Can put my hand in the cage and they will sit still then I’ll do it again the next day and they fly away... I talk to them and play with them but they seem scared again how am I

      Going clean the cage again if I don’t know if they are scared or ok also they are loud does that mean they are angry they confuse me so much at times

    • profile image

      bookpaw 

      4 months ago

      i like my parakeet she is so cute

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      5 months ago

      @ Liz: I'm glad you found my article helpful. Your bird is behaving just as any budgie would in a new environment. You will notice him gradually begin to relax and feel at home. Do keep speaking softly to him, as it is a good way to help him become used to you.

      Being away at school for a few hours won't damage your relationship with him; if anything, it will cause him to be that much more excited to see you each day! A radio on low volume is fine, though not necessary. What he would like even better would be a nice spot near a closed window so he can see outside.

      Enjoy your new friend. :)

    • profile image

      Liz 

      5 months ago

      Hi, just got a budgie three days ago. He's very jumpy, quiet and scared. I keep him close in my room and try to talk to him all the time so he can get used to my voice. Is this a bad choice? Should I not talk to it often? Also, is it okay to leave him alone for a few hours (for school) if I play radio or tv on low volume so he doesn't feel very alone? I'm so scared he's gonna hate me. thank you in advance! This article was great help.

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      5 months ago

      @ JAMIe: Yes, his current behavior is most likely due to him being in a new cage. Just give him a couple days to adjust and he should be fine. If he won't come down to eat and drink, then try to find a way to put his dishes closer to him temporarily until he feels at home.

    • profile image

      JAMIe 

      5 months ago

      Hi put my budgie in to a new bigger cage but he’s staying at the top is this cuz it’s new to him again thx

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      5 months ago

      @ Jessie: If you give your birds attention both as individuals as well as together, they should still like to interact with you. Their attachment to you won't be on the same level as a lone bird's would be, but it will be better than not being buddies with them at all.

    • profile image

      Jessie 

      5 months ago

      so I want to tame my budgie (its 9 weeks old), but i am going to get 2 of them because i go to school and i do a sport for a long time after school everyday except the weekends. Will it still love me alot and sit on my shoulder?

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      7 months ago

      @Aamir: The budgie should always have a fresh supply of seed added to its cup every 2-3 days (the size of the cup will determine how often you refill it). Pet budgies are better off eating when they feel the need to rather than having mealtimes as we humans do, since free-feeding mimics how they eat in the wild. In between putting new servings of seed in the cup, make sure to softly blow away the seed hulls that collect on top so the bird can more easily get to the food underneath. Watch the seed level to determine how often you need to refill the cup.

      The fruit can be given along with the seed; just put it in a separate dish. Your budgie will eat what he wants of the fruit (depending on how much he likes it). Always give the fruit in small amounts to avoid excessive waste, as whatever is left after about 8 hours will need to be thrown away.

    • profile image

      Aamir 

      7 months ago

      Hi! I was just wondering about how much food to give to a budgie while I am away for school. Also I was wondering how much seed to give the budgie per day, and lastly: when giving the budgie fruit, do you skip the seed and if I dont skip the seed how much of each option should I give per day. Thankyou!

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      8 months ago

      @ Mauricio: The only situation in which you would not keep a parakeet in a cage would be (a) you have a specially-built aviary inside or outside at your home in which to contain the bird, or (b) you have an entire room in your home kept as a dedicated space for the bird. What I mean by a "dedicated space" is a room with perches, toys, and food and water set up, little to no furniture, no carpet, bird-safe lighting, covered outlets, etc. It would basically be a room turned over completely to the bird. Other than these two types of bird-friendly habitats, the average room in a house is not safe for a bird just to wander freely in all the time. Parakeets are very curious by nature, and there are too many things into which they could get themselves and be harmed. Supervised playtime outside the cage is a good thing for a pet parakeet, but ultimately the bird needs a safe spot to call home when you aren't able to actively watch it.

    • profile image

      Mauricio 

      8 months ago

      Does a parakeet HAVE to have a cage or can it just be free in a room

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      10 months ago

      @ Kate Pytel: As long as you give your bird some quality time most days of the week, he will be fine while you are at school. Just make sure he has enough toys to keep him occupied throughout the day. An outside view through a closed window is also nice.

    • profile image

      Kate Pytel 

      10 months ago

      I've been wanting a pet budgie for a while, and have set up a deal with my parents to get all A's and B's. Normally, as a 15 year old girl, I'd rush and ask if I could get it right away. But I made a deal and I'm sticking to that deal. Anyways I want to get a single boy, but I'm worried because I'm a high school student. I'll be away from school, but afterwards I'm willing to give my entire night to play and cuddle my budgie. Will this be okay? I'm so worried about it being lonely but it's not like I'll be able to take it to school.

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      10 months ago

      @ Todd: While it is not entirely impossible that the new cage had mites hiding in it, I am relatively certain that the source of the mites is the great outdoors. No matter how much pet birds may like sitting next to an open window, there is always a risk of mites getting inside and onto the cage (and then your birds). Since mites are so tiny, a window screen is not an effective barrier against them. The fact that wild birds were coming by heightened your risk. Regardless of the source, your concern now is getting rid of the mites. First, treat the birds with a mite spray (available at most pet stores). Make sure to spray under their wings, and keep it away from their faces. Put them in a clean box lined with paper towels and some food and water to keep them comfy while you clean their cage. Clean the cage and everything in it with mild dish soap and water, rinse, then spray the cage down with a solution of half bleach and half water. If there are any toys that can't be cleaned with soap and water, then toss them and get some new ones once the mites are gone. Allow the cage to sit for a few minutes with the bleach before rinsing thoroughly. Dry it well, then place your birds back inside. If the spray recommends treatment for more than one day, then apply it to the birds again the next day. It also wouldn't hurt to spray some on the cage around the bottom grate. If your birds show no improvement after 2-3 days, then I would recommend taking them to an avian vet to rule out anything more serious. I hope a bit of mite spray and cleaning will take care of your problem, though.

    • profile image

      Todd 

      10 months ago

      We have three parakeets... recently we have noticed that they are scratching more and even occasionally rubbing their necks on the cage. We clean the cage often. We upgraded their cage - We got a pre-assembled cage from a pet store. Could the birds have gotten mites from that cage? I heard it is hard for home birds to get mites and I can't figure out how they would have gotten them. One bird has a red patch on her stomach. Our birdcage is located by a sliding glass door that we leave open (Screen attached) and outside birds often come by to chat with our bird.. Could they have gotten it that way? Thank you for your help.

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      11 months ago

      @ Millie: Yes, budgies are fine if left alone during the day. Just make sure your bird has plenty of food, water, and toys to occupy it while you are gone. Also, be sure to give your bird some focused attention (at least twenty minutes a day) once you are home.

    • profile image

      Millie 

      11 months ago

      Can you leave them alone for 8 hours? I will be at school!

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      11 months ago

      @ Diane Nodwell: I am sorry about your brother. As for his bird, what did you actually see to indicate the budgie may have mites? I ask because there are different types of mites, which means there are different sorts of treatments for each kind. Also, there are other conditions that may mimic some of the symptoms of a mite infestation.

    • profile image

      Diane Nodwell 

      11 months ago

      my brother died a couple of days after purchasing his budgie so I took it home with me but I know very little about birds he us a male but I think he may have mites and I sprayed him once last night now I don't know what to do

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      12 months ago

      @ Rahul: Is the bird's wings trimmed? If so, that's why he cannot fly properly. His flight feathers will eventually grow back, however. If his wings aren't trimmed, though, and he has a physical problem, can you take him back to the breeder?

      If taking him back isn't an option, I would say that if he truly has a physical problem, the best route would be to see if the others get along with him. If they do (as in not picking on him and letting him eat/drink), then he'll be fine with them. If not, then you should put him in a separate cage.

    • profile image

      Rahul 

      12 months ago

      Hi,

      I got a new pair of budgie, but the breeder gave me adult female & a male who can't even fly properly !!

      Moreover, I have 4 more pairs of budgies In a cage.

      So, what should I do ?

      Is it safe to keep the male with others ?

      Please reply

      Thanks

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      12 months ago

      @ RibMountainMom: You are welcome. I'm glad I could help you out! Your question is quite valid, by the way. I have always thought it good to give the bird a little ventilation, especially if you are using a towel. Whether you use a towel or a thinner fabric depends on where the bird will be sleeping. If the bird is kept in a main area where people may stay up later or get up earlier than it, you may want to opt for a towel to help lessen the amount of sound and light coming into the cage. If it will be sleeping in a spot that will allow it a full night's rest (such as your daughter's bedroom), then a thinner cover would be fine.

    • profile image

      RibMountainMom 

      12 months ago

      Thank you for sharing your knowledge on all things parakeet! We are considering getting a budgie as my eight-year-old daughter's first pet. This may seem like an odd question, but when you cover the cage at night, do you cover it completely? I'm wondering if one side needs to remain open or vented for oxygen. Also, do you recommend a towel or thinner cotton fabric?

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      13 months ago

      @ Kris.E: It is normal for the bird to be uncertain of its new surroundings, especially when those surroundings include other birds. Give her a few days to adjust, and she should be fine. She probably is eating and drinking, just not when you are looking. As long as the other two aren't keeping her from the food and water, she will come down and help herself when she feels like it. You can keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn't become too stressed (constant heavy breathing is a good indicator of stress), but I wouldn't worry. I would also recommend not putting your hand near her while she adjusts over the next couple of days. Let her get used to her new home, and then start to befriend her. Enjoy your newest addition!

    • profile image

      Kris.E 

      13 months ago

      Hey so I got a new parakeet yesterday and now they are three. My other parakeet is VERY friendly and peaceful.

      My new parakeet and kind of like scared. I didn't see him eat or drink since last night

      I'm afraid something might happen. It's a female parakeet. What should I do in this case to help her get comfortable? I tried to hand feed her millets but it didn't work. She is scared of my hand. Thank You.

      Kris.E

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      13 months ago

      @ Prashant: I am glad you found my article to be helpful. Did you mean some of your birds are losing their feathers? If they are losing only a few feathers that are then being replaced with new ones, then they are probably just molting. If it is a lot of feathers that aren't growing back very well (or not at all), then it could be something such as stress or illness.

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      14 months ago

      @ Bob Rat: They won't necessarily try to breed if they have no nesting box, but I can give you no guarantees on that. So, you may want to go with two of the same sex just to make absolutely sure that doesn't happen.

      As for the cat, unless you have a screened-in porch, you cannot prevent it from getting to the birds. Your best option to keep them safe is to place their cage in the house. (You also will have to battle bird mites if you place the cage outside.)

    • profile image

      Bob Rat 

      14 months ago

      I am looking at getting two budgies soon. If one was male and one female would they try to breed even if there was no nesting box. I don't want them to breed.

      Also sometimes a neighbor's cat comes into our yard. I will be keeping them outside. What should I do about that?

    • profile image

      Stevenmccarthy96@gmail.com 

      14 months ago

      I just love my little "angel" never ending fun !! My little buddy now over 2 years. were together all the time

      makes me laugh and smile everyday!!

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      15 months ago

      @ Erik Eastling: Your initial expense will depend, in large part, on where you live and from where you obtain your budgie and supplies. In U.S. dollars it will probably be somewhere in the range of $85--$110 (this would include one bird, a proper-sized cage, food, treat cup, branch-style perch, mineral treat, some basic toys, and a cage skirt--anything else is optional and can be added later). Of course, you can reduce your costs if you find a budgie that needs to be re-homed, or have a friend who has previously-used cage that is still in good shape.

    • profile image

      Erik Eastling 

      15 months ago

      Hoow expensive are budgiess initially?

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      15 months ago

      @ Renay: I wouldn't use random tree branches as you don't know what might be toxic to your budgies--budgies will chew on things! Also, there might be bird mites on anything you collect from your yard. That said, I would still recommend getting perches either made from safe tree branches, or those that are shaped like branches. These are much better than the plain dowel rods that come with the average cage. As for food, adding vitamins and minerals depends on whether the seed blend you are feeding already has these things added to it or not. I would ask the store or breeder from which you are getting the birds what brand of seed they are feeding. It may be better to at least start with that, for that is what the birds will be used to eating. (I have no experience with Trill to know its quality. I have used Vitakraft; Hagen and Kaytee also are good quality.) You should definitely supplement the birds' diet with fresh foods. Check the link under the "Life With Your New Pet" section to go to a web page that lists unsafe foods and plants to make sure you don't offer the bird anything toxic to it.

      I hope this helps answer your questions. Enjoy your new pets!

    • profile image

      Renay 

      15 months ago

      Hi I'm getting my first budgies tomorrow but I am totally confused by the endless results I found about how to look after your first Budgie and one person says use branches from a tree but the next site says don't do it. Feed them this no don't let them eat it. I knew about not using crap perches come with cage but can you please tell me definitely what to use and the best food. I've bought a packet of trill Budgie seed. Oh do I need to add recommend vitamins, oil, and in what form. Ie, powder and what one is the best. Thankyou and sorry for the questions

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      16 months ago

      @ Zahid Hasan: I am glad you found this article to be helpful. I would keep the budgies contained to one room if you let them out of the cage; that way you will always know where they are. Since budgies are very curious by nature, they could easily wander into trouble if allowed to wander freely. Unless you place the cage in a low spot where they can hop back into it, you will have to put them back in the cage yourself. A budgie with clipped wings cannot get enough lift to fly upwards. If you do notice over time that they seem to be able to fly up and for more than a few feet, that will be a good clue that their flight feathers are in need of a trim.

    • profile image

      Zahid Hasan 

      16 months ago

      I just got two parakeets and they are great so far. The first day they were quiet and now they are very chatty. I didn't know if I was supposed to let them out of the cage but since they are clipped, I am guessing it is fine inside the house. Will they come flying back to the cage afterward or how does it work? Lots of great tips provided here. Thank you.

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      16 months ago

      @ Joyce: Budgies really don't mind noise overall, as long as it isn't too loud or for too many hours. If it isn't difficult to move your bird's cage, you could possibly just place it in a quieter spot during the afternoon for a couple hours so he can have a rest. He will also need to be covered and have quiet at night; inadequate amounts of sleep can stress out your bird. So, if you stay up late, you may want to move his cage away from the TV by 8 or 9 p.m.

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      16 months ago

      @ Sup: Glad I could help you. Unfortunately, my advice here in the comments is limited to bird-keeping. Convincing your parents is up to you. :)

    • profile image

      Joyce 

      16 months ago

      I have only had my budgie for a couple of days and it is in a cage in the kitchen but would like to move it as the room is small. If I moved it to the living room close to the tv, which is on most of the day, would that be ok or would it be upsetting to the bird. My apt. is small so space is limited. You help would be greatly appreciated.

    • profile image

      Sup 

      16 months ago

      All of this information was very helpful! But, do any of you know how to convince parents to let you have a bird?

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      16 months ago

      @ carol townsend: Thank-you!

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      16 months ago

      @ Chelsea Meyer: You are welcome! If you ever have a question regarding your birds, please ask. Enjoy your little feathered friends. :)

    • profile image

      Chelsea Meyer 

      16 months ago

      Thank you so much, your article is very helpful and has helped me with my 2 budgies that were given to me after my husband passed. They are sure a treat to have in my life and now I know how to properly take care of them and to keep them healthy.

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      17 months ago

      @ Person: Yes, most budgies will forgive you for scaring them, though they may view you a bit warily until they realize you are not going scare them again. Give them a few days to calm, and then try slowly putting your hand in the cage. If they instantly panic, back away and give them another day or two. You talking to them softly by the side of the cage several times a day will go a long way in helping them learn to trust you.

      Yes, you ought to get their wings clipped if you plan on taking them out of the cage. If you aren't going to take them out, though, I wouldn't bother with it. As for where to get their wings clipped: most breeders can do that, as well as veterinarians who see pet birds. Some pet stores that specialize in pet birds also normally have someone who knows how to do that; whether they offer that as a service will depend on the shop, however.

    • profile image

      Person 

      17 months ago

      So, Hi! My family and I got 2 Budgies and they are very shy. We just got them today and Im wondering, since we knew nothing about Budgies an how to approach them until today, what happens if I accidentally scared them? Will they forgive me and learn to trust me or will it take longer? I just looked up how to approach them and did not know I had to let them get used to their environment and dived right in and ended up scaring them which made them flutter about in the cage.. Also, is getting their wings clipped a good idea? If so, where could we get them clipped and by who?

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      17 months ago

      @ Josephine: Unfortunately, budgies are just chatterboxes and will chirp a lot during the day, especially if you have more than one. You may want to find them a different place in the house so you don't hear them so much. Also, if you have the TV on frequently, they will chirp in response to the sounds coming from it. I hope you can find a solution that works for both you and them, as they are such great pets!

    • profile image

      Josephine 

      17 months ago

      Hi

      My neighbour gave away her 4 budgies with a Hugh cage to me. It's been 2 days now in my house , they crip a lot during the day and as soon as we go near the cage they stop crippling. Their cage is kept near the tv. Please help how to make them not to crip so much giving a headache. I love them and want to care for them.

      Josephine

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      17 months ago

      @ Lena: There is no guarantee that your budgie Jojo will even get along with a new bird, so you may want to consider the possibility of keeping them in separate cages and just allowing them to interact occasionally on a play gym. Jojo and the new bird could end up liking each other very much, however; If that happens, then the new bird would bond with him primarily instead of you. (This is not to say that if you tame it first it will suddenly stop liking you once you put it with Jojo. It will just prefer Jojo's company because they are both birds.) In the end you have to decide who you want your new pet to be best friends with: you or your other bird.

    • profile image

      Lena 

      17 months ago

      I have one male budgie, Jojo, who recently lost his mate Luna :( I'm looking at getting a new budgie as he has never been without a mate. However, I would really love this new budgie to be a good friend to me as well, eg very tame. I have two cages, a big one (which Jojo is currently in) and a smaller one. Before I introduce the new budgie to Jojo, should I tame it? If I then put it in with Jojo, will it stop wanting to be my friend?

      thanks for the great article! -Lena

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      19 months ago

      @ Tina.Mills: It sounds as if you may have to have his flight feathers trimmed if you want to be able to finger tame him. If he has had the freedom to fly around up to this point, then he will probably not be willing to be tamed unless you take away his ability to escape from you.

    • profile image

      Tina. Mills 

      19 months ago

      I've had my parakee for six months and he is wild chats in mirror Flys crazy through house but won't let me nearbhim

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      19 months ago

      @ rodolan: You could try running wire that is the same gauge as the type used on the cage in between the current bars, but this would be a large amount of work. That is the only way you could modify it; otherwise I would just suggest trying to return it. (If you do attempt to add wire, just make sure there are no sharp edges left from cutting it and that it does not have a coating that would harm the bird if it chewed on it. It needs to be a heavy gauge like what is used on a cage so that the bird cannot bend it.)

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      19 months ago

      @ Parakeet lover: Your bird is most likely a male. Young budgies have a bluish-lavender cere which changes to the appropriate color for their sex as they mature. Not knowing how old your bird is, my guess is simply based on your description. If the cere stays blue, you will know for certain. If it turns brown or tan, you have a female. Both sexes make good pets, however, so you will have a wonderful little friend regardless of what it turns out to be.

    • profile image

      rodolan 

      19 months ago

      Planning to purchase a parakeet. In ignorance, purchased a cage for cockatiels. Then learned the bar spacing is not right. Not sure I can return it. Is there any way to modify it?

    • profile image

      Parakeet lover 

      19 months ago

      I just got a budgie and I don't know what gender it is,it has a white,blue cere can someone help me?!

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      19 months ago

      @ Dennis Colley: The bird is still adjusting to you and his new environment. Once he has adjusted (takes normally around 2-3 weeks), he will not be so quiet or back away from you. You can start trying to finger tame him at the end of this week; just make sure you are in a room where there is nothing he could injure himself on, especially if his wings are not clipped. Finger taming is typically a slow process, but will be successful if you are patient and interact with him daily. Enjoy your pet. :)

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      20 months ago

      @ Person who needs help: Without knowing the exact circumstances of the day he suddenly became shy, I cannot say what caused your bird to become this way again. I can tell you, though, that the best thing to do is to just be patient and keep working with him. Bonding takes time, and you are still early into the process. Allow him room to breathe and don't push him too much with finger training, etc. You will want to be consistent with training (at least once a day, preferably around the same time), but you shouldn't rush him. He will come back around to liking you--he just need your affection in the meantime! :)

    • profile image

      Person who needs help 

      20 months ago

      Hello, I have gotten a budgie about 2 weeks ago. We had a very good relationship and I was extremely happy that my budgie had gotten used to me so fast! By day 4 he was extremely friendly, I could pet him and hand feed him, he was not finger trained though. But all the sudden he got really shy in only 2 days it was like when I bought him all over again! And there was no reason for it! So please give me help on why is this? Thank you (: sencerily person who needs help!

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      20 months ago

      @ Christina A: Standing on one foot is normal; he is just resting his feet.

      I am so glad to hear that your little friend has learned to love his new home and owner. Keep up the good work, it sounds as if you are taking good care of him. :)

    • profile image

      Christina A 

      20 months ago

      Hi there. Would you please explain why a budgie will stand on one foot? Thank you so much. Perky has turned out to be a very wonderful companion for me. Although he hasn't played with his beautiful play gym yet. He just recently started biting on one toy that has yarn. He recently changed and now he is looking into the mirror and pecking at it once in a while. I saw him bathing in his drinking water. He sings beautifully, when the television is on or Pandora radio, and loves to listen to children singing, the sounds of nature like ocean and birds., and he loves cartoons.

      I leave the cage open all day & only till dusk, then I cover him & put him in my bedroom so that he would sleep comfortably without all the light and sounds from the television. So far he can only get about 2 feet off the ground, but when he gets his flying wings I'm going to have them clipped, I believe that will make him a better companion, and I wont have to worry about him getting hurt., I love him too much to see that happen to him. He has the freedom to go in and out of his home as he pleases all day long. Plus he wants to be close to me, and nibbles on my shoe. He is happy and so am I!!!

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      21 months ago

      @ RosyKat: Budgies are just as friendly and easy to care for as doves. It is true, doves are quieter, but otherwise I would say they really hold no advantage over budgies as a good first pet bird. Quiet honestly, budgies are a lot more entertaining to watch! If you want to be sure the budgie you get is easy to train, simply get one from a breeder who hand-raises the chicks. A young budgie who has been handled by humans since it was tiny is less likely to shy away from its new owners (once it has become acclimated, that is).

    • profile image

      RosyKat 

      21 months ago

      Hello!

      I've been considering getting a bird for about a year now and recently decided on a Budgie. However, my family insists I get a dove instead as they feel they're easier to take care of, more friendly, and quieter. I was wondering which one you think would be a better choice for a new bird owner?

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      21 months ago

      @ Daisy: A bell toy that can be attached to the side of the cage near his perch would be a good start, since most budgies love bells. The toys shown in the pictures in the article would both be the sort of thing that would be easy for him to get to. Just think in terms of toys that can be placed on or near a perch he can reach, and you should find plenty of things. Also, if he likes to sit in the bottom of the cage, the little plastic lattice balls with bells inside would be a fun toy to stick down there.

    • profile image

      Daisy 

      21 months ago

      We just brought a rescued budgie home. He had been passed by several times because he had a broken wing. He seems very sweet but can not fly due to a previous injury and needs a smaller than normal cage. Can you give any advice on what kinds of toys would work better for a bird that has a hard time getting around in the cage.

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      21 months ago

      @ Heather: There really isn't anything you can do about that as long as her wings are not clipped. Budgies like to explore, so while she may really like you, she also wants to see all the interesting things in the room that she can't get to when she's in her cage. Even a budgie with clipped wings is likely to attempt to wander away from you when it's out; it's just easier to catch than a bird whose wings aren't clipped. That is why it's important to be in a room where there is nothing on which a budgie could easily injure itself if it got away from you (such as a running ceiling fan or a stove top where someone is cooking).

    • profile image

      Heather 

      21 months ago

      my parakeet likes to sit on my finger and her wings are not clipped,but she likes me but fly's away. what can i do so she does not fly away any more?

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      21 months ago

      @ Christina A: You are welcome. I would try one new toy at a time. Also, keep a couple of extra toys and rotate them with what is already in the cage. That way he will never become bored with his toys.

    • profile image

      Christina A 

      21 months ago

      I thank you so much for helping me and many other pet owners. I believe I am good to go now. Oh, should I limit the amount of toys so he could get used to one at a time, or just let it be.??? Thank you

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      21 months ago

      @ Christina A: You are correct; you just have to wait for him to warm up to his new toys. :) Budgies, being the prey of many things in the wild, have a built-in "Will this thing eat me?" response to anything new. Give him some time, and he will like it. As for staying on your finger, persistence is key. Do realize, however, that budgies are inquisitive, so he won't stay on your finger if he sees something he thinks he needs to investigate.

    • profile image

      Christina A 

      21 months ago

      I bought a wonderful play gym by Funtime Birdy, and Perky loves to sit on the top of the birch, but he wont play with any of the toys. I leave the door open with a ladder for him to go from the cage to the play gym and now he is just sitting on the ladder looking out of the cage. My question is Rhosynwen, will he eventually play with his toys? Or is there something I need to do, probably just wait. Also, he trusts me a lot, but he wont stay on my finger. Thank you so much for all the wonderful feedback!!!

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      21 months ago

      @ alaskagirl: Well, it sounds as if you are all set, then. If you do get a budgie, I hope you have years of fun with it. They are such great companions!

    • profile image

      alaskagirl 

      21 months ago

      Yea the bottom of the cage does come out. My dad will probably have stronger wire than the cage itself, he is a handy man. Thanks for the advice I will keep the cage away from my window or never open it. There is not much real need for it open any season anyway.

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      22 months ago

      @ alaskagirl: The budgie should be okay with a room in the 50-60 degree range; however, you need to make sure its cage does not sit in a draft (that would be worse than if the room is just chilly). Covering the cage at night will help it to not become too cold. As for the rabbit cage, I would say that it is not an ideal sort of thing to use. Unless your father has wire that is as strong as that which is already on the cage, you would have the risk of the bird being able to bend the extra wires and still get its head caught. Budgies are very curious, and they will sometime chew on their cage. Also, the type of wire typically used in the bottom of a rabbit cage would be the sort that a budgie could get its feet caught in. So you would have to remove the bottom wire altogether if there is any present.

      Pet store budgies can be just as friendly and trainable as a breeder-raised budgie, so that isn't a big deal. I would try to pick one that is still young (the cere will be lavender); the younger ones are usually easier to train.

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      22 months ago

      @ Christina A: Budgies will climb all over the sides of their cage, normally just to get from one point to another. Since your bird is still settling into his new environment, he is also probably doing this to explore every nook and cranny of his cage. Budgies are very inquisitive by nature, and it sounds as if that is all yours is up to--being a budgie!

    • profile image

      alaskagirl 

      22 months ago

      hi, I was also wondering if we could use an old rabbit cage instead of a budgie cage. I checked the dimensions they fit, but the gap the wire is 1 in. My dad can add more wire in between so it would only be 1/2 in. oh and we would buy a budgie from our local pet store because there are no breeders anywhere near our town. lol we live rural

    • profile image

      alaskagirl 

      22 months ago

      This article was very helpful, but I live in alaska and sometimes my room gets cold like mid 50s f. I want a budgie for my birthday and my parents are thinking about it. They will cave, my mom is very soft hearted. So will it be ok if the budgie is in a room that cold?

      Alaskagirl

    • profile image

      Christina A 

      22 months ago

      Yes it does, thank you. Something new just happened, I just got home and found Perky on the side of the cage, what does that mean?

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      22 months ago

      @ Christina A: You are welcome. I am glad to be able to help you!

      As for your questions:

      1. When Perky is content in his new home, you will know by the fact that he will play and twitter (and eventually chirp very loudly!) throughout the day. This is a good signal that he is ready to be handled and brought out of the cage.

      2. The easiest way to get him out of and back into the cage is to take the top piece off; the top is normally separate from the sides on most cages. That way you can pick him up off the perch, and place him back on it when your done, without trying to take him through the little door in the front. The goal is, of course, to cause him to enjoy his time with you outside the cage so much that he is eager to come out through the door when you place your hand inside the cage. If your cage does not have a separate top, you will have to work with going through the doorway. Teaching him to "step up" on your finger is helpful no matter how you have to take him out of the cage, by the way, as it helps avoid having to grab him unless it is absolutely necessary. The "step up" command can be taught to the bird without taking him out of his cage.

      3. Initially, Perky will have to be put back in his cage by you. There may come a time when he will be glad to "go home" of his own accord (provided that you leave the cage door open), but that probably won't happen right away. If you have to pick him up to get him back into his cage, gently hold him in your hand with his head between your first finger and your middle finger (curl these fingers downward). This provides you with a secure grip on him without the chance of you accidentally squeezing his neck/chest too hard.

      I hope this answers your questions. :)

    • profile image

      Christina A 

      22 months ago

      Rhosynwen: I thank you so much for all the wonderful information, comments, and the quick response to my question. The pet store where I adopted Perky my budgie said they will clip his /her feathers when it is time to do so. They have been clipped.

      1. How will I know if it is time to allow Perky to come out of the cage?

      For I don't want to stress him nor myself trying to get him back into the cage!!!

      2. What is the easiest way to get him to go into the cage?

      3. Will Perky go back into his home on his own???

      Thank you so much, and keep up the good work you are doing for all of us.

      God bless you and all that you are doing.

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      22 months ago

      @ Christina A: I would say once all their flight feathers have fully grown in. I cannot tell you exactly what week that happens, however, as I do not raise baby budgies. However, if you have never clipped a budgie's (parakeet's) wings before, please have someone such as an avian vet or bird breeder show you how. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to learn from someone who really knows what they are doing. If you accidentally clip what is known as a "blood feather", you could cause your bird to bleed out. An experienced person can show you how to identify such feathers so you will not make this fatal error.

    • Rhosynwen profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhosynwen 

      22 months ago

      @ Wendy: Persistently telling him "no" and putting your hand between your face and him when he does it would be the first step. Take him off your shoulder if he keeps trying after you tell him no. If he likes being on your shoulder, this will come across as discipline. If he tries again once you put him back on your shoulder, then simply place him back in his cage for a "time out". A few times of losing his privilege of being out should cure him of this. If that fails, though, you can try putting something he is allowed to chew on, such as a toy, between his beak and your face when he tries to bite. Being a young bird, he has to learn what is acceptable to bite/chew on, and what is not.

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