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Tips for Caring for Your First Pet Budgie (Parakeet)

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 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 you 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 budgies 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.

Source

What made you decide to keep a budgie as a pet?

  • I live in a place where I could not keep a larger pet like a cat or dog.
  • I wanted a pet bird, and opted to start with one that is easier to take care of than many other birds.
  • I liked the fact that they are available in so many different colors.
  • I love animals in general, and wanted to add a bird to the pets I already have.
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Comments 260 comments

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you for a very detailed and informative hub. I have birds in my family - a dusky conure and a moustache parakeet - but I've never owned a budgie. If I ever do get a budgie your article is filled with excellent advice to help me!


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 5 years ago Author

Glad I could help. Budgies really are great birds -- they have a lot of personality for such a tiny creature.


Grant N.Z profile image

Grant N.Z 5 years ago from New Zealand

I have a little Budgie called Billy. He is my best friend. I never knew not to give him a kiss. I do kiss him but luckily don't have a slobbery or wet kiss. Great Hub thanks i really enjoyed it. Regards Grant.


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 5 years ago Author

Yes, kissing a budgie is actually not a good thing, though most people do not know it. I myself had never heard that until I bought my bird several years ago. Mine probably wouldn't like to be kissed anyway -- while he is very friendly, he does not like people's faces close to his for some reason.

Thanks for the feedback!


Dorothy 5 years ago

Thank you for the great info I'm planning to get my first budgie I don't feel so worried now about just having one thank you


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 5 years ago Author

Glad to help you out, Dorothy. I hope you will enjoy your new pet.


Dorothy 4 years ago

Hi there well I got my new little budgie today and it's cage and all it's food toys etc etc it seems very friendly I set up it's cage it's sitting on a perch it hasn't eaten or drank anything yet only been In it's cage for a few hours am I right in thinking it will take it a wee while to settle in. I have put it's seed and water and grit beside it's perch I just want to do the best for the little one need to find a name now omg he/she is a beautiful blue colour any advice would be great sorry for being paranoid lol


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 4 years ago Author

Hello, Dorothy, it sounds like you have everything set up and ready to go. Do not be surprised if you don't see your bird eat or drink in front of you at first. My bird was very shy about doing either in front of me for quite some time (part of it is a trust thing -- the more it trusts you, the more likely it will feel safe putting its head down to eat or drink with you standing there). The easiest way to know whether your bird is eating is to check for seed hulls in the dish and in the bottom of the cage. The water will tend to get little flecks of food and such in it when they dip their beaks into it. Budgies don't drink large amounts of water, so don't be surprised if you do not see the water level go down much between the times you change it. Have fun with your new little friend!


Dorothy 4 years ago

Hi there well my little man has settled in he can be very vocal. I'm really kean for him to be able to come out and fly around he was allowing me to put my hand in his cage and stroke him and he allowed me to put my finger out and he hopped on. Today tho he is very vocal but not kean on my hand being in cage at all so I have let him be as I don't want to upset him what's the best way to gain his trust hope that it's ok to ask your advice many thanks


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 4 years ago Author

Hi Dorothy, budgies will sometimes be like that -- mine doesn't always like my hand in his cage, and I've had him for years. I just put my hand in anyway. Sometimes at first you may just have to put your hand in slowly and sit there without moving. Budgies can have "moods" and don't always want to come out and play, so if he refuses to come to you try again at another time in the day. Trust is normally gained a little bit at a time with persistent, daily interaction. Letting him fly around, by the way, isn't a good idea generally as a budgie can easily injure itself in a number of ways in the average house. If your budgie's wings are not already clipped, I would suggest finding someone, whether it be at the place you bought him or an avian vet (or possibly an experienced bird-keeper), who can clip his wings for you periodically. That way he can always have a safe time out of his cage. He will also more likely be content to sit with you if he knows he cannot fly away.


Melidogs 4 years ago

Thank-you! I'm planning on getting a Budgie as my first pet,(Other than fish) And was a bit shaky on how to take care of it.


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 4 years ago Author

I'm glad I could help you. I hope you enjoy your bird when you get it.


hobbitinspiration profile image

hobbitinspiration 4 years ago from Monmouth, OR

I have two, Bilbo and Frodo. They are happy but not very nice to me. :( I'm working on our relationship but it's hard, I mean I got to go to work don't I?


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 4 years ago Author

You will probably have to work harder at getting them to like you since you have two, especially if you keep them in the same cage. Budgies are flock birds, and if you have a "flock" (two or more), they are quite content with each other's company. I would suggest trying to interact with them individually by taking them out of the cage one at a time. If that doesn't seem to help and you really want to be able to play with them and such, you may have to give them separate living quarters (only if they haven't been in the same cage for a long time -- it might be too upsetting to them to be separated if they have been cagemates for longer than 6-8 months).


hobbitinspiration profile image

hobbitinspiration 4 years ago from Monmouth, OR

Sounds like a plan. Thank you!


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 4 years ago Author

You are welcome. I hope it works for you.


HELP!!!!!! worried mom 4 years ago

@ new bugies, they are not intrested in eating or drinking! I have offered millet which one has nibbled on, seed mix they were eating in the pet store and 3 different water cups and a bowl with a little water in it. They have not been vocal at all, they just huddle next to each other. I have played music, even recoarded bugies singing! no reaction. They were very active in the shop, and I did observe them for some tome before I made my choicees. I talk to them, turn on the TV, I AM AT A LOSS! I do not want to lose the birds!


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 4 years ago Author

To "worried mom":

When you first bring budgies home, they have to acclimate to their new surroundings. This means they often will sit quietly in a corner and not eat or drink much. To put it simply, they are scared. They have been taken out of their familiar environment and been placed in a foreign one. The best thing you can do in this case is put them in a nice, quiet spot and give them some time to adjust. (Also note that they may not eat or drink in front of you at first.) If, after a few days of adjustment, they do not relax some, then you may want to be concerned. But if you just got them within the last day or two, then rest assured that they are behaving quite normally right now and will come out of it in another couple days or so. Hope this eases your mind. Enjoy your birds. :)


Terry 4 years ago

I've had my budgie for about over a month now. She eats seeds and millet from my hand but I can't seem to finger tame her. When I place my finger in front of her she'll just stare at it. If I move it closer she'll fly away


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 4 years ago Author

The process of learning to "step up" can take longer for some budgies than others. You may have to press your finger at the base of her chest multiple times for her to respond by climbing onto your finger. Patience and gentleness are key components of finger-taming. Of course, a favorite treat can add extra motivation! If she likes the millet a lot, you may be able to coax her into stepping up by offering her some as you put your finger to her chest and say "step up". If you do try this, only give her the millet once she does as you ask. That way she will have motivation to comply with your training. (Keep building your bond with her in general, though, since trust is the greatest way to get your bird to learn the things you try to teach her.)


Jamie 4 years ago

I have two birds in a same cage. They wont respond to me, and

I dont know what these adorable budgies think of as a treat. I tried

peaches once, but they ignored it. I really want to teach them how to

step up. but they fly around like crazy, these two birds. Can you help me?


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 4 years ago Author

When you keep more than one budgie in a cage, in most cases they will not be very responsive to finger training. They are flock birds and if they have a buddy (or two or three), then they will just want to socialize with the other birds in the cage with them rather than you. The easiest way to get them to socialize with you is to keep them in separate cages. If that is not an option, however, you could take them out and work with them one at a time (if their wings are clipped -- if not, then have someone who knows what they are doing clip the birds' wings for you first), but know that you would have to be very consistent with this. That means working with each one on a daily basis until they are finger-tamed, and then taking them out several times a week after that to keep them that way. As for treats, you can try dried field greens (such as the kind sold at the local pet store) or millet (on a limited basis). Some budgies will develop a liking to fresh fruits and veggies, but you sometimes have to offer it to them more than once for them to become bold enough to try it. Please check out the link at the bottom of my article ("Foods and Plants Toxic to Birds") that leads to a list of things that are not safe for budgies to eat first before trying anything new, though. Giving them the wrong foods can lead to sickness or death, and I know that no one wants to see that happen to their little feathered friends. Hope these suggestions helps you.


Rylee 4 years ago

I just got a budgie about 2 days ago and I love him I named him macloud because he looks like cloud and he's my little cloud so I made it like name instead of my cloud I got macloud


ashmit 4 years ago

hello friend plz rply....actually since last day my bugdie is looking ill ,lazy,ans she is puffing her feather for a long time....plz hellp me i don't want to lose my budgie plz give ur suggestions any household remedy coz in dis area where i liv there is no avian vet....plzzzzzzzzzzzzz m frm india


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 4 years ago Author

It is hard to say, as there are not a lot of home remedies that I know of for budgies. If your bird has a respiratory irritation (and I say "if" because I cannot say for sure, and I am not a vet), I know putting the bird in a warm place with some steam in the room can help. I have done this with my bird when he has a minor respiratory problem. A bathroom where the shower has been running until the room is steamy is the easiest way to do this. You could also put the bird in a small room with a steaming pot of water set nearby, though I don't know if that would be as effective. I know in some places pet stores will sell avian antibiotics, but you would have to match the bird's symptoms to the correct antibiotic to treat the bird's illness effectively. One of the best things for any sick bird, though, is quiet and rest. I would cover the cage most of the way to encourage the bird to rest. I hope this helps and that your bird is better soon.


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 4 years ago Author

Have fun with your new pet. :)


Minah 4 years ago

Thank you!! Most informative page yet!! (& i've read plenty!!)

I really love my birds.

Patience is really key in bonding with them. A LOT of patience. Ive literally spent hours at their cage with them.

Making sure we do this helps us, as their care takers, get to know them better as well.

They are attracted to extreme gentleness, & definitely recriprocate affectionately once they're ready.

Again, thank you for the wonderful article :)


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 4 years ago Author

Thank-you. I agree, birds bond with their owner(s) best when one approaches them with patience and gentleness. I have found my budgie to be just as affectionate as any of the more "cuddly" pets such as dogs, cats, or rabbits.


Cayleigh 4 years ago

Hey! My name is Cayleih,& I have just got a budgie on Sunday. It's a young male & his name is Buddy. I really need to know how long does it take to tame one?


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 4 years ago Author

The time it will take to tame your budgie can vary since there are a few different factors that must be taken into consideration when working with a bird. Someone who works with their budgie on a daily basis will typically see results more quickly than someone who works with their bird only a few times a week. Be careful not to stress out your bird with too much training time, however; it is better to do short, fifteen minute sessions twice a day than a whole hour at once. Another major factor in training is the bird's personality. Some budgies are more active than others, and may take more time and patience to finger train. There are some budgies that will learn to talk or perform tricks, but others that will not. So, while it may be cool to see videos on the internet of budgies on miniature skateboards, please realize that your budgie may never take to doing things like that. The most important type of training is finger training; once he has that down, he might learn other things. Patience is the key with taming a budgie, and even though it may take a few weeks, it will be worth it when you are able to put your hand in the cage and have your bird come right to you.


Cayleigh 4 years ago

Wow! Thx soooo much 4 replying! I also need 2 know, how can I get him 2 be quite talkative?


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 4 years ago Author

Once you get him to the point of being finger tame, you can then try to teach him how to talk. Your chances of him learning to talk are relatively decent, though whether he will ever say more than a few basic things is up to him and how you train him. First of all, if you want him to talk, make sure you have no mirrors in the cage (otherwise he will just tweet at his reflection). Next, pick one word you want to focus on teaching him; the word "hello" is a good word with which to start. Say the word to him frequently, and in the same tone of voice. (An easy way to reinforce the lesson is to make a recording of yourself saying the word. Place the bird and the recording in a quiet room and let him just listen to the word over and over again.) If the bird has not learned this word within eight months to a year, I would definitely say he will probably not be a talker. If he does, however, you can then move on to teaching him a new word (while still encouraging him to say the old one as well). If your bird is inclined to talk, he will be able to add to his vocabulary more quickly once he has learned a few basic words and small phrases. I hope for your sake he is a talker, because it is fun to hear such a small bird speak.


Cayleigh 4 years ago

Thank you Sooo much! Ur really helping a lot!!! I'm never ever regreting getting my little Bud!!! :D


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Rhosynwen 4 years ago Author

You are welcome. Enjoy your pet. :)


Cayleigh 4 years ago

Hey. I have another question... My budgie doesn't like his toys, or taking food from me. What should I do?! :(


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Rhosynwen 4 years ago Author

Since you just got your budgie a few days ago, he still needs time to get used to his surroundings. It will take him a week or two to truly adjust to his new home.

New toys are just that: new. Budgies are lunch for other critters in the wild, so they must be very cautious lest they be eaten by another animal. They carry that cautious attitude with them even when they are domesticated. Therefore, your bird must make sure that these new items in his cage are not going to take a bite out of him. Also, he probably won't take food from your hand until he is finger trained.


Cayleigh 4 years ago

OK. Thx again! ;P


Nina 3 years ago

Hello!

I need help about my budgie. He is almost 2 years old and is beginning to grow a balf spot on his top chest. The hair is thinning in that spot and you can slightly see the flesh. One of his wing is constantly shaking and I think he is starting to lose hairs around his face! I'm really worried about him as I cannot visit a vet nearby as there are none! help!!


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 3 years ago Author

Hi Nina,

I am not a vet myself, and cannot give a diagnosis for your bird's problem, unfortunately. What I can say (if you have not already done so) is that you need to put him in a quiet place, preferably with some sunshine. A sick, injured, or stressed bird needs lots of quiet and rest. Make sure wherever you put him is a warm, draft-free place. He could have possibly injured his wing (?); thinning feathers can be a sign of illness or stress (illness and stress can cause the bird to pluck his own feathers out). I would make sure his food and water are within easy reach, and that anything like perches or toys are not making it difficult for him to move around. Be sure to feed him a balanced diet (budgie-friendly fresh foods along with the seeds). I wish I could say more, but a lot of budgie issues can only be diagnosed with certainty by a vet. I will pray your little bird gets to feeling better!


David 3 years ago

hi I used to have a flock of birds, 5 of them, but had to give them away, now I have one male, I not sking a ?, just commenting on hope he talks soon, you siad something about how cute it is when a lil bird talks . keep up the great work


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 3 years ago Author

Thank-you. I hope your bird is a talker, because it is fun to hear a bird that small speak.


David 3 years ago

I like this cause i like this cause i like budgies they are so cute and i just love them


kirbee 3 years ago

my parakeet seems crazy, she climbs all over his cage and bites at the cage, is this normal? or do i need to see her t a cage?


Lily 3 years ago

Hi. I have a budgie that's scared of my hand when I try to teach it to step up. I taught it like 5 months ago and he knew how to but now he keeps on running/flying away. Also, my budgie is scared to come outside of its cage. I try to lure it out with spray millet but it still won't come out. My budgie also doesn't know how to take a bath and eat any fruits(veggies too). I mean I tried before but he doesn't do anything. I just wanna be a better bird keeper. Also, yea he has a lot of problems. We cannot bond :(


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 3 years ago Author

kirbee: does your bird act crazy all the time, or just when she is playing? Parakeets can really get into their playtime and do a lot of climbing and hopping around their cage. If it is a constant thing, and she seems agitated, it could also be that where you have her cage sitting is causing her stress. If there is something that makes her nervous, or keeps her from getting sleep at night, or even just keeps her from getting some quiet time during the day, then that may be a cause of her craziness. Of course, like I said, it could just be her style of playing. I guess I would have to know more to say for sure. Hope this helps.


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 3 years ago Author

Lily: sometimes budgies can be ornery about coming out of their cages. I think some of them get to be little "homebodies" and don't want to come out, at least not when you first go to the cage to get them. Mine was like that, and I would have to actually take a short perch, stick it in the cage, get him to step up on that, and then pull the perch out of the cage before he could hop off. He was really silly about it, because he was absolutely fine once he was out of the cage -- he would sit on his play gym, my shoulder, etc. and be as happy as can be. (And he did know how to "step up". I just worked around his nonsense. Note: I would not try the perch approach like I used unless you have a door that swings open; the ones that slide up and down can smack them in the head if you accidentally let the door go. Of course, you could take the top of the cage off if you had to, I guess.) As for taking baths: budgies come from an arid part of the world, and don't bathe as much as some other pet birds do. Mine would take a bath in his water dish when he felt the urge, and I left him to it -- he knew when he needed a bath. That's what your bird may do, so that's another reason to make sure you change the water regularly. Fruits and vegetables are something you may simply have to keep offering in small amounts in a separate bowl until he finally becomes brave enough to try them. If he was not introduced to them as a young bird, he may not take to them easily. His accepting them as food totally relies on persistence in offering them to him.

Bonding takes time. Even when the bird is in his cage, talk to him. When you walk by the cage, tell him "hi". Budgies love interaction, and if he thinks you are ignoring him, he may not respond very well to you. Playtime outside the cage does help as well, though.


Rebecca Furtado profile image

Rebecca Furtado 3 years ago from Anderson, Indiana

I have cockatiels ,but this hub was great for all first time bird owners. Nice work.


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 3 years ago Author

Rebecca F. : thank-you for the feedback!


dreamseeker2 3 years ago

We actually have two budgies (parakeets) in our household. But, they live in separate cages. But, they visit each other during the day...with cages close together. : ) Found your hub insightful and useful as well as interesting. Good advice and tips in owning one. We also have three cats, but they don't usually bother them. Voted your hub up!


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 3 years ago Author

Thanks. : ) I had a cat in the house with my bird for years myself, and I just taught the cat to leave the bird alone when he was in his cage. Of course, I never let him out of the cage when the cat was in the same room; I knew the cat's hunting instincts would take over in that situation!


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KawikaChann 3 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

Nicely done Rhosynwen, we have a budgie and your hub has confirmed a few of the reasons why we have it. Thanks for the tips about the dowels, we try to get a branched perch as soon as we can. Upvoted/awesome/following. Peace. Kawi.


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 3 years ago Author

Thank-you. Budgies are great pets; they have a way of brightening up a room and winning one's affections. I am sure your budgie will love its new perch when you get it. : )


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twofourtyseven 3 years ago from Malasiya

Thank you for sharing. I also wrote few of hubs and lens about pets and bird but I had some funny stuff in that hubs and lenses.


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 3 years ago Author

@ Corn: Your bird may be plucking its feathers because of stress. If you have him in an area that keeps him from getting enough rest, or there is another animal in the house that makes him nervous, he may be reacting to the situation by plucking his feathers. Try moving his cage to a different spot, if possible, and see if that helps. Also, feather plucking could be a sign of a physical issue. Check your bird for mites (tiny specks on the bird's skin), and any other thing about his physical appearance or habits that may indicate illness. If he does have mites, you will need to clean his cage really well, and treat him with a mite spray from the pet store (follow the directions on the bottle exactly).

Finger training your bird is something you have to approach slowly, and on his terms. If he feels forced and unhappy about the training, he probably will not cooperate with you. Finger training requires persistence. Try working with him in short, five-minute sessions at different times rather than one longer session.


Bellybelbel 3 years ago

I really want a pet budgie and I looooovve birds. My dad said maybe and I am trying to learn all that I can so I can convince him to get me one! We do have a dog, but she hates my room and that is where I will keep my budgie(If, my dad is nice enough to get me one). So, the dog isn't a problem. Can you possibly explain to me more about the exercising and interaction because I have school and homework and I'm not always free. :( I also want to have the best experience possible with a budgie so I don't want to buy a budgie and have to give him up.

Also, if I want a colorful, social, fondly bird should I get a female or a male?

Thanks!


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 3 years ago Author

@ Bellybelbel: Budgies like interaction with their owners, but I have found that they are not as needy as some larger birds can be in this respect. If you keep the bird in your room and do your homework in there, the bird probably will just be happy that it is in the same room with you. Actually, if you keep the bird's wings clipped, you could possibly get a little play gym and set it on a desk or table while you do your homework. That way the bird could sit with you and get some of its interaction time that way. Handling the bird is an important aspect of bonding, but you don't have to do that for a long time every day. In fact, some budgies are little homebodies and like hanging out in their cage (mine was that way). Even when you cannot take them out for playtime, budgies love for their owners to just come up to the cage and talk to them. Exercise can be accomplished by simply making sure that the bird has toys to keep it busy while in its cage.

As far as male or female: I do not think the gender of the bird really matters. Both sexes are colorful, and sociability really depends on the personality of the bird. I don't know from where you might purchase a bird, but if they are hand-raised by a breeder they will tend to be more receptive of human attention from the beginning. A pet store bird can vary in this respect, depending upon from where the store gets their birds. I would watch the birds in the cage at the pet store, and try to pick one that is active, but also is playing nicely with its cage-mates. An aggressive bird may not be nice to you either.

I hope this is helpful to you in a making a decision about whether you definitely want to keep a bird.


Bellybelbel 3 years ago

My parents said yes! But, as we are going away a lot this summer, we are getting him/her sometime in August/September.... Thanks a lot!


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 3 years ago Author

@ Bellybelbel: You are welcome. I hope you will enjoy your new pet when you get it. : )


Brendanhh 3 years ago

Sorry I meant to ask "do" they poop a lot around the house and such and is it ok to own one if I already have a dog and cat in the house so long the cage is in a sturdy place???


brendanhh 3 years ago

hi....again just one more question that is bothering me about getting a budgie, Are budgies loud at night or early in the morning


Brendanhh 3 years ago

I wanted to know if budgies poop a lot when they are out of the cage. I need all the information I can get to convince my parents to let me get a budgie


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 3 years ago Author

@ brendanhh: budgies will eliminate whether they are in the cage or out. The best way to deal with budgie poop if you want to let the bird out of the cage is to have a bird play gym (sold at most pet stores) with a wipeable tray on the bottom. As long as your budgie's wings are clipped and you have trained him to stay on the play gym, his poop should stay there as well. If you want to hold him or have him sit on your shoulder, you can consider buying a "bird diaper" (yes, they do make those!), a specially-made shoulder cover, or just a regular towel that has very fine loops to keep the bird from getting his nails stuck in it.

Budgies can chatter at night or in the early morning, even if they are covered; however, some will be less likely to do this than others. A lot of budgie behaviour will depend upon the bird's personality.

Finally, yes, it is all right to keep a budgie in a home with a dog or cat. You are correct; the cage needs to be kept on a sturdy stand in a safe place. You would have to train the other animals to not bother the bird, or keep them away from it if they keep acting in an aggressive manner towards it.


brendanhh 3 years ago

Thanks a ton this information could really help convince my parents to let me get a budgie


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 3 years ago Author

@ brendanhh: you are welcome. If your parents allow you to get a budgie, I know you will enjoy having it. :)


hean 3 years ago

Hey there, I just got myself a cute little budgie a couple of days ago and I had read prior to getting it that in the first week it's very important to talk to it, but now I see that it might not be so good since it's possibly scared and what not. I've actually mostly just been sitting on a chair next to it, reading calmly from a book for tops ½ hour (mostly just 10 minutes intervals), do you think this could affect it in a bad way? I've also made the mistake of moving a finger into the cage to move a couple of its toys around (since they were placed wrong in the first place) 2-3 times by a small bit. I hope this doesn't make it hate me too much :( - I really want to take good care of it. Also as of veggies, would tiny pieces of carrots be good for it too ?


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 3 years ago Author

@ hean: my apologies for not replying sooner. It sounds as if you are doing fine so far. My word of caution was against overexciting the bird during the first few days; it needs calm to adjust to its new surroundings. That said, it is okay to give it a little low-key attention like you have been doing. It is that sort of thing that helps you to gain the bird's trust more quickly. As for putting a hand into the cage to move things, that is understandable. It won't end up hating you for that. :) Tiny carrot pieces are fine. If your bird does not eat it at first, just keep offering a little each day until the bird tries it. Enjoy you pet. :)


Jack 3 years ago

hi there I am probably going to get a budgie at some point in December and I was wondering if it is ok to keep it alone and could you possibly recommend some could budgie cages. Thanxs


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Rhosynwen 3 years ago Author

@ Jack: Yes, it is perfectly all right to keep a budgie by itself. It will be more likely to pay attention to you as its owner if it is alone. Concerning budgie cages: make sure, as I said in the article above, that it is at least 14" l x 11" w x 12" h with bars that are close together (basically the spaces between the bars should be too small for the bird to stick its head through). If you are wondering about particular brands of cages, I've had good experiences with Blue Ribbon brand cages. I would recommend getting a cage with coated bars, as uncoated ones can rust over time. Do try to make sure that the cage you are buying is not coated with a substance that contains lead, however -- that could definitely make your bird ill! I hope you will enjoy your budgie. They are great pets!


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 3 years ago Author

@ Jack: if you are away that many hours, you may want to consider getting two or three budgies (in one big cage). Budgies are flock birds and need socialization. While it is possible to keep a budgie happy enough for so many lonely hours with a large collection of very entertaining toys (rotated periodically to keep the bird's interest), it is not a preferred way of living for this species of bird.


Jack 3 years ago

thanks for the reply I thin. Am going to get two are the much harder to tame? And could you give me some tips on taming them and son general care. Thanxs


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 3 years ago Author

@Jack: Two may be a bit harder to tame, but a lot of it will depend upon from where you bought them. If you get hand-raised birds that are used to being handled (though they may cost a bit more), then taming them is not so much of an issue. Once they would be used to you as their new owner, keeping them tame would simply be a matter of playing with them outside of the cage a few times a week. Taming birds that were not hand-raised is a matter of patience; it might take you longer with two, but it's not impossible. As far as general care, anything I said in the article would apply to two birds as much as one. You will want to make sure one isn't being possessive of the food cups, however. (An extra food cup would solve that problem should it arise.) An additional note: try to get two males or two females. If you get a male and a female, you will end up having to deal with nesting issues.


Morgan 2 years ago

Hey, so I got my parakeet in December and he's been fine, but he keeps climbing around his cage like crazy, making noises, and it seems like he's trying to pull the cage doors up. Should I be worried?


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ Morgan: Unless the bird shows some sign of illness (including, but not limited to: a runny cere, not eating/drinking, feather picking, difficulty breathing, and listlessness), I would have to say he's just a very active individual. Some budgies are like that, while others are very laid-back. Perhaps he is in need of some extra toys (if the cage size permits). If you can't put any more toys in the cage, a way to keep toys interesting for him is to buy several and rotate them every couple of weeks. That way they keep his interest, because once he becomes bored with toy #1 and 2, you can switch them out for toy #3 and 4 (and so on). He may also be simply trying to get your attention -- budgies love attention!


Emma 2 years ago

I want to encourage my parakeet to eat his vegetables and fruits to put some variety in his diet, but am struggling. My parakeet seems to at least tolerate lettuce and celery because he was nibbling at it from my hand today. Unfortunately, he wouldn't touch it when I cut it up, put it in a dish, and left it in his cage. He ignores the cuttle bone too. Do you have any suggestions that might get him to warm up to an assortment of veggies?


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ Emma: You basically have to just exercise patience when it comes to getting your bird to become accustomed to new foods. Let him explore the world of fruits and vegetables from the safety of your hand for now since he seems to not be afraid to try them out when you are holding him. Once he has decided he really likes something, try putting it in his cage again. If he eats it there at that point, then you can just give it to him that way from then on. If not, then keep giving it to him from your hand. It would not be a bad thing for him to eat his veggies that way, in any case -- at least he would be getting them, and you would be bonding with him at the same time. As for the cuttle bone, he will only nibble on it here and there as he feels the need to do so; I would not expect him to be nibbling at it on a daily basis. Hope this helps! :)


Laura 2 years ago

Hello! I was wondering if you could help me with my budgie? I am a first time owner and I just got the bird a week ago. I suspect that she's female because she seems rather disinterested in everything and does not sing. If she makes any noise at all it's either an "I'm annoyed" squawk or a loud, single chirp most often in succession. She does this when I leave, when I am in the room with her or when I come back in. There are many times when she makes no noise at all. Is this normal for female budgies? I have tried to research budgie noises but I don't think I've come across anything like this.


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@Laura: I would not say budgies "sing" like we think of a bird in the backyard (or canary) singing. The noises you are describing are typical budgie vocalizations, whether the bird be male or female. The squawking is often used to protest the bird's perceived lack of attention from you, though it can also just mean it's excited. Mine would often start squawking loudly when he was playing with his toys. Prolonged periods of quiet should be of no concern (they do nap during the day), unless the bird is behaving as if it is ill or in pain. A budgie of either sex can be taught to talk and/or whistle if one begins a consistent practice regimen with them when they are young. Some have no inclination to do this, however, so if your bird does not ever go beyond chirps and squawks, that is okay.

The only way to tell a male from a female is to look at the bird's cere, which is the little band above the beak where the nostrils are located. If your bird is still young, its cere will be pinkish-lavender. If it is mature, its cere will have either turned a bluish hue (males) or a brownish hue (female).

Have fun with your new pet!


Jared 2 years ago

I loved this article. It explained everything I wanted to know. Thank you!


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ Jared: You are welcome! Thank-you for the feedback. :)


mary 2 years ago

My new neighbors have 3 parakeets in a cage that they put outside all day! For the last two days it has been in the 30's??? I don't know any thing about these birds, is this ok ?


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ Mary: Well, typically I'd say that such temperatures are a bit too cold for a domesticated bird of this type to be outside. Budgies live in the Australian outback in the wild, and I do not believe it consistently gets that cold in the parts of the outback where they live (in other words, they are not naturally cold-weather birds). However, it is possible your neighbors have had the birds outside in the cold before and the birds have become acclimated to it. (In essence, I do not want to jump to conclusions. If the birds are chattering and playing their cage, I would assume they are okay.)


thumpertom 2 years ago

we have 2 parakeets.We have a cuttlebone in cage.One of the birds has an extremely long beek.Not exactly sure what to do about it.Will it fall off naturally or will we need to cut it??


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ thumpertom: If your bird's beak is overgrown, then you need to address the issue as soon as possible since this will prevent the bird from eating properly and cause malnutrition. I would strongly advise that you take your bird to an avian veterinarian or someone who has many years of experience in trimming bird beaks (this is often a person who either raises hook-billed birds for a living or the owner of a pet shop that specializes in these types of birds). Make sure that whoever you take the bird to can really trim its beak, not just "think they can do it". An improperly trimmed beak can cause the bird just as much harm as it experiences with an overgrown beak. (Note: talons that are too long are also bad for your birds' health. If the talons need trimming as well, I would suggest having the person who is trimming the bird's beak go ahead and take care of that for you.)


gibbo 2 years ago

just got a budgie it escaped out of his cage and took us 2 hours to get him back in help we daren't open the cage door as he trys to get out each time


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ gibbo: Are his wings clipped? If not, I would recommend finding someone who can do that for you if you want to take him out of his cage. A bird that is not finger-trained will immediately take off if its wings are not clipped. Also, once his wings are clipped, try taking him in small room (with all windows and doors shut, as well as toilet lids down if it's a bathroom -- and no ceiling fans running!) where he will be easier to catch if he tries to run away. That way finger-training will be less stressful on both you and him.


Wilhelmina94 2 years ago

Hi, I am currently handraising 2 baby budgies, due to their parents flying away. However I have decided I would like to keep one and teach it to talk, but I really like them both, would it be cruel if I was to put one down with my other budgies? And it didn't see

Humans much anymore?


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ Wilhelmina94: As long as your other budgies are accepting of the young bird, I believe it would be perfectly happy amongst its own kind. As I am sure you know, they are flock birds, so living in a community with other budgies comes naturally to them. Teaching one of them to talk is much more plausible if you keep it alone, in any case. I would just not let it bond too much with its sibling since you will be separating them -- otherwise the one you keep apart might become sad.


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Doris Glass 2 years ago

Got a young budgie Friday and while he has started eating haven't really noticed him drinking, he chirps and moves around ok but noticed this morning he seems to have fecal matter around bottom he has since cleared it but is it something to be concerned about


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ Doris Glass: He sounds okay at this point; I would keep an eye on him to be sure, though, until you are certain he has settled in and is happy. Lethargy, heavy breathing, not eating, not vocalizing, and a continually messy vent would be signs of illness. The fact that he readily cleaned himself tells me he is probably feeling all right.

Do not be alarmed if you rarely catch sight of your bird drinking as long as he seems to be okay otherwise -- budgies do drink, but they don't spend their day at the water dish. I think I had my bird a full year, maybe even two, before I ever actually saw him take a drink (he was silly that way, never wanting people to watch him drink!). Have fun with your new bird!


Doris Glass profile image

Doris Glass 2 years ago

Thx u had one yrs ago but couldn't remember the vent being dirty on him and he lived 13 yrs went blind before he died. So was just uncertain about this, u have helped a lot so thx again. :-)


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ Doris Glass: You are welcome!


Jay Burdd 2 years ago

I got a young budgie a few days ago and she's not moving around much and almost never vocalizes. Should I be concerned


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ Jay Burdd: I hope your bird is feeling better by now. Being suddenly placed in a new environment can be very unsettling for a young bird. If she's also not eating, I would definitely say you should be concerned. If she is eating, however, and does not exhibit signs of illness (ruffled feathers, labored breathing, runny cere, off-color droppings, etc.), then she may not like where her caged has been placed. Birds need calm and quiet when adjusting to a new home. If she does not seem to be ill and continues to hide out in one corner, try moving her cage to a different spot. In case of actual illness, though, please do take her to an avian vet.


Jay Burrd 2 years ago

Thank You!! I think she was just having a hard time adjusting and now she's feeling better and is very active since I moved her cage. Ur Great

Jay Burrd


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ Jay Burrd: Glad to hear your bird is feeling well and is now liking her new home. Enjoy your pet!


Shauna 2 years ago

When my budgie trusts me enough to hang out on my shoulder, I plan to use towels. My concern is when it poops, does the towel need to be thrown out each time? Or is handwashing (with gloves) an option?


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ Shauna: A towel will definitely save your clothes from droppings while you enjoy time with your bird! I will advise that you do not use a terry towel (such as a bathroom hand towel), since your budgie's little talons can become tangled in the loops; use a dish/tea towel with a plain surface instead. You will not need to throw out the towel as washing is definitely an option. Whether you handwash it or throw it in the washing machine (simply rinse it out before adding it to the wash), try to use a laundry detergent that is not full of dyes and perfumes. Heavy perfumes are not good for your budgie in general.

Have fun bonding with your budgie! :)


Doris Glass profile image

Doris Glass 2 years ago

Well my budgie has definitely settled in now, he barges us if we dont say hello to him as soon as we come in the living room now. Lol. Have even seen him at his water, and playing in his cage. The kids think he is playing peekaboo at times as he goes to bottom of cage and peeks, tweets over the bars and ducks down again. But how often should I give him fresh fruit/veg?


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ Doris Glass: Sounds like you have one cute little fellow on your hands, and he quite obviously loves his family. :) Fresh fruits and vegetables can be given daily in an amount that he will consume within a couple hours (so as to avoid spoilage). If you miss a day here and there, it's okay, but the more he gets fresh foods, the more he will want them -- which is a good thing. Don't be discouraged, either, if he rejects some fruits or veggies; just feed him the things you find he likes best (rotating what you give him from day to day will keep him interested).


Doris Glass profile image

Doris Glass 2 years ago

Ok thx have tried him with apple and grape, he loved the apple actually managed to get some out through bars but he loved the apple. And yes he is a character but totally loveable, thx for the great advice :-)


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ Doris Glass: You're welcome. :)


Sky and ham 2 years ago

I have 2 budgies they where in the same cage for a week but come from the same batch of budgies like as baby's but I have out them in a cage each now and I don't think they are happy about it .. Ham has been trying dig his way out lol so have they bonded already ? And should I keep them in different rooms too ?? Coz when I try anything all the want is each other .. And not me ... I am at a lost as I don't want them to be unhappy ... Distressed new budgie owner


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ Sky and ham: If they grew up together, then they probably have bonded by now. Having them in separate cages yet in the same room is most likely very confusing for them. Putting them in different rooms will not help either if they can still hear one another. They may simply be better off together in the same cage. They will, of course, prefer each other's company over yours, but it does not mean you cannot finger tame them (if they are not so already). You must simply take them out one at a time and work with the bird that is out in a room away from his buddy. In time they may accept you as a member of their "flock" and will be happy to be with you as well as one another.


doris glass 2 years ago

Just trying to pass on a tip if that's ok my budgie would not eat grape until I used thread to hang it from his cage. I cut it in half then thread it with a sterile needle and thread, tied it on to top bars so it was dangling just above head height now he loves it I think he thinks its fun he chirps madly then starts eating it.. I take it out after 1 hour. Thx for a great site so informative and helpful x


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ doris glass: Thanks for the tip!


a, widdows57@btinternet.com 2 years ago

I have two budgie when I fiirst got these they couldn't fly . Evenentuly one started to fly which was good news. The other bird did not it tried. I noticed the other day it hurt it claws one one leg I assume it is broken it climb the cage wirh one leg and using his beak.it seem to be not in pain but keep falling to the bottom of the cage , I bought a samller cage hoping it do it good but still it climb to the top of the cage. Also to stop it partner from picking on him iput the bird together every day and cage next to each other during the day, I am I doing the right thing. They still wont climb on to my finger since the bird injure him self he not been to bad let me hold him and somtime peck .


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ a, widdows57@btinternet.com: I would take the injured bird to a vet to make sure he is okay. If going to the vet is not an option available to you, however, then at least try to get the bird to be still as much as possible until he heals. One way to do this is as follows:- take a medium-sized box and put plenty of air holes in it (near the top of the box and too small for him to fit his head through), then line the bottom with paper. Put the bird in the box with his food and water dishes and keep the lid closed if he can fly. Make sure to change the paper in the bottom once it gets dirty. The point is to keep him in there a few days so his leg heals. If he keeps climbing and falling on the leg in the cage, it will not get a chance to heal. I would say again, however, it is best to take the bird to a vet if he is injured.


christina 2 years ago

We got a parakeet today and my sons have been petting him and talking to him like crazy. The bird has been so gentle with them. Finally my 6 year old got the courage to try getting him on his finger. And he did it!!! My kids are big time animal lovers, they were thrilled tonight. So adorable!


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ christina: I am glad to hear your bird likes his new family. Budgies really are great pets, and are the best type of bird (in my opinion) to get to teach children about bird-keeping. Have fun with him!


BrianM 2 years ago

Hello, just got my first budgie today and was really happy. He seem very shy and shaken a little. It's okay for budgie to be shaking a little? Do budgie like noise or more quiet? Also what kind of perch should I get? I got the starter kit, it came with 3 wooden perch, 2 food dish and 1 water dish. I heard that wooden perch not good for feet. It's okay to feed them fresh fruits and veggies without the seeds? Thanks, sorry for a lot question. Just really nervous and want the best for him. Name him Brian. :)


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ BrianM: The bird may be nervous for a few days; that is why I recommended in my article to keep the bird in a quiet spot and not bother him much initially. Some budgies are more outgoing than others, so how long it takes your bird to acclimate depends on his "personality". Once the budgie is used to his new surroundings and owner(s), he will tolerate normal household noises and activity quite well.

I suggest you replace at least one of the dowel rod perches with a perch that is made out of (or shaped in the form of) a natural branch. Such perches are available online or at a pet store.

I do not recommend removing seed from your budgie's diet. Budgies consume seed in the wild and thus seeds should form a portion of a domesticated budgie's diet. A good seed blend formulated specifically for budgies is best; do limit the feeding of plain millet stalks and treat seed to every now and then to avoid obesity and nutritional deficiency, however. Make sure whatever fresh fruits/veggies you give him are safe for his consumption as some things we eat are toxic to budgies (see the link at the end of my article for a good list of what to feed and what not to feed him).

Enjoy your new pet! :)


BrianM 2 years ago

Thanks you so much. :)


Syn 2 years ago

We've had our first budgie for about a week. He's about 5 months old, was hand fed from birth and has basically taken over our home! I named him Free. We absolutely love him! I have a question about excessive tweeting. While he's always seemed to tweet happily, he became extremely noisy today, to the point we were afraid something was wrong. Is this normal because we talk to him constantly? Could it have been the thunderstorm? (First we've had since bringing him home.) Or should we be concerned?


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ Syn: Unless your bird is showing signs of physical pain, not eating or drinking, etc., then I would say he is fine. I have noticed that some budgies become very animated when they hear the sound of rain or running water. It seems to me your little guy simply enjoys the sound of a good rainstorm. :) Have fun with your pet.


Deepak Eapen 2 years ago

Very comprehensive and informative hub. I have kept budgies, lovebirds and cockatiels for years but finally discovered that budgies are the best for me - less noisy, highly intelligent, cute and their ability to talk (yes cockatiels also are talkers but males are highly noisy at times). Many people in India don't even know that there are toys for birds, and they make fun of me when i buy toys for my birds. And many underestimate the importance of toys for budgies, and are ignorant of the fact that they provide mental and physical stimulation for them. Thanks for putting up this hub.


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ Deepak Eapen: Thank-you for your kind words. Yes, toys are very important for a budgie's well-being (as they are for almost every other pet bird's). I love watching a budgie play with his favorite toy because he becomes so excited and animated while doing so.


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Fiorenza 2 years ago from UK

I had a budgie for many years so this brought back happy memories. I had a slightly different cage cleaning routine than here though; I had special budgie sand sheets that went down in the bottom of the cage to help wear down claws and put lines of special bird sand that contained little flakes of cuttle fish down on it to encourage foraging. I used to throw out this sand every day to remove droppings, and replace it with fresh, and then replace the sand sheets themselves at least once a week. The sheets had to be special ones for birds so that the glue used to attach the sand wasn't harmful.


Rachel 2 years ago

Your blog has helped me so much. Our budgie passed away 2 weeks ago (6 years old). We have been given a new one (3 months old) and all your tips are so worthwhile :) Thanks you so much :)


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Rachel Gilmer 2 years ago

Thanks for your hub, we had a beautiful violet budgie who passed away 2 weeks ago...he was 6 years old. We have been given a green male (3 months old) today. We have taken onboard all you tips and helpful hints. This budgie is from an aviary and so his wings have not been clipped. Today I have just let him adjust to his new cage and covered him up at 7pm (we are in NZ). Our dog (a westie ) has shown signs of jealousy and barked at him everytime he chirruped, which she never did with with Cheeky Chops, maybe because I have moved the cage into the lounge away from drafts .....? Is a visit to the vet a wise idea? (budgie...not dog!?) Any other ideas help would be great :) Thanks Rachel


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ Fiorenza: Budgies have a way of ever remaining in a person's affections due to their charming personalities. :)

I know some people do use sand sheets, which is fine; my main thought with using paper towels or newspapers is the money-saving aspect. I figure what a person decides to use does not matter as long as it's safe for the bird.


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ Rachel Gilmer: I am sorry about your first bird; it is always sad to lose a pet. As for your new little friend: if he seems healthy and happy with his new home, there is no need to take him to the vet right now (unless you want to clip his wings and do not feel qualified to do so yourself). Having a vet already chosen in case you do need one is always a good idea, though.

The dog most likely just needs to adjust to the presence of a new bird; I do not think the location of the cage itself is the problem. This budgie's voice sounds different to her ears, so she knows there is a newcomer in the house. Give her a week or two and she probably will like him, or at least be used to him enough not to bark when he chatters.

Enjoy your bird! :)


mel lentz 2 years ago

My 2 parakeets have been very active...one was about 3 yrs old and the other was about 7 mo. Old....tonite both birds were found dead on bottom of the cage.....I am so upset....they didn't seem sick....and chirpped all the time......what could have happened.


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ mel lentz: First off, I am very sorry to hear that you lost your birds -- it is always a hard thing when pets die! There are a couple of things I can think of initially that could be the cause of this, but without observing the birds and knowing more about the situation, these are only guesses.

Breathing in toxic fumes, such as those from some types of chemicals or aerosol sprays, can cause asphyxiation in birds. Also, if a budgie eats something that is toxic to him, it can cause sudden death. One of these things could be the cause, but again, I can only guess as I do not know the full circumstances (and even then I'm not a vet, so I could not say with absolute certainty.) I hope you can discover the cause.


dorisglass 2 years ago

Budgie has had looser than his norm droppings today, breathing ok tweeting and moving about, middle bit is white as norm (urine bit) but rest very loose sort of sludgy (hard to describe) been advised to give him Johnston's veterinary avol mixture in his water for 4 days, he isn't puffing up or anything but yesterday he had some melon told them that but am still concerned about his health. Is this something need to b worried about or should I give it the full 4 days, by the way it was the budgie breeder who gave me advice


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ dorisglass: I would listen to the budgie breeder; if this person has been raising birds for a while, he/she has most likely encountered a wide range of issues with budgies and knows how to handle them. While it could have merely been the melon (has the bird had this type of melon before?), one does not want to risk not treating a potential illness since a budgie's health can deteriorate quickly if it is ill. Just keep watching your bird to make sure he does not develop any other signs of illness. I would avoid giving him fresh foods and feed him only seed for a few days, too, until his droppings return to normal. If they do not after treating him with the avol mixture for the recommended four days, you may want to consider taking him to see a vet. I do hope that will not be necessary, however, and that he will be well by tomorrow!


doris glass 2 years ago

He seems a bit better today, poop not as loose but definitely not his normal self, bit quieter so going to keep an eye on him. The 4 days r up on Tuesday so will see what happens Wednesday will let you know what happens... Thx for advice it never happened before with other budgie so got a bit concerned xx


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ doris glass: You are welcome. I understand your concern for your bird, as any good pet owner wants their pet to be healthy and happy. Please do keep me posted; I will be hoping to hear a good report on Wednesday. :)


dorisglass 2 years ago

Well good news he seems to be alot better today, woke us up tweeting at top of voice this morning,(live in 3 storey house and 2 of the kids are at top and heard him lol) I washed down his cage using watered down vinegar as advised by breeder, poop seems to be normal again, so feeling happier going to keep close eye on him just in case as advised by breeder, also covering cage on 3 sides using towel at night but leaving front uncovered so he can still be part of what's going on or go to sleep if that's what he wants...


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ dorisglass: Lol, I guess the wake-up call was his way of telling you "I'm all better now!" I am glad to hear he is back to normal. :)


Ami 2 years ago

Hello i got a budgie today i named him rio he is very quit made a few sounds but just sat on his birch tilting his head side to side we have put him in our bedroom as it quite and shut the curtains


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Rhosynwen 2 years ago Author

@ Ami: It sounds as if he is simply adjusting to his new home; he has to look everything over and make sure he is in a safe place. Give him a few days and he should be happy and chirping. I would start opening the curtains today or tomorrow and let him take in some sunshine during the day. Enjoy your new pet!


Shandana 24 months ago

Hi there, first of all thank you very much for this useful and informative article. I actually had a question regarding my budgie so thought to ask you if you can help me out, I bought a new budgie about 2 days ago and its very inactive and most of time very sleepy though he is quiet healthy by appearance, yesterday he was shaking his head and releasing some white kinda mucus from his mouth so I am worried....please help me..or is he alright ??? may be its new environment??? IDK....


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Rhosynwen 24 months ago Author

@ Shandana: You are welcome. I hope your bird has stopped spitting up this white mucus by now -- if not, I would take him to a vet, for it sounds as if he may need medical attention. There can be different reasons for something like this happening, and you need a vet to determine what the cause is so proper treatment can be administered.


Michelle G 23 months ago

Budgie sits alone at bottom of aviary. The "flock" of 10 would pick on him daily. I wanted to make the bird's life happier so I suggested another bird for him (female). For 4 hours the newest bird socialized with solo bird (although solo bird seemed afraid of new bird).

New bird has flown up into the rafters with the "flock". Solo bird is AGAIN alone at the bottom of aviary.

I want to help this bird so I think a separate cage for the solo and new birds to be housed in would be a good idea.

Any thoughts?

I can't stand to see this little guy alone. He could die from loneliness, couldn't he?


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Rhosynwen 23 months ago Author

@ Michelle G: It sounds as if your loner could either be unwell or weaker/smaller than the other birds -- hence the picking at him by the others. Given the circumstances, he would most likely be happier on his own. Many people keep lone budgies, and a lone bird can be quite content on its own as long as it has some toys to entertain it (as well as some daily attention from you). I would keep an eye on him, however, even once he is in his own cage, just in case he is having a physical issue that makes him behave as he does. If his disposition does not change when he is alone, you may want to take him to a veterinarian for a check-up.


Zoe 23 months ago

It's great but also put news paper on the bottom of your cage because the budgie can break its legs.


Jamille 22 months ago

This is a great hub on budgies. I have read so many sites till now but yours has wonderful information. So I'm a middle school student and in two months, it's my birthday. I had always wanted a bird as a pet so I have requested my parents to get me budgie as a gift and I know they'll make fantastic pets! But I want to save money by getting from a pet shop. But I have heard that they can't be hand tamed easily. Will it take extra hard work than a breeder's budgie even if I devote my maximum time to them? I'm using them because I also have a little brother and according to my parent's decision, we'll get two budgies. I know this will make me to hand tame them more harder. You suggest to train them one by one by taking out one of them out of the cage. But what if none of them will want to come out of the cage. Also I have read that female budgies are territorial and bite if a finger is rested in front of them. Is that really true? If true, then how can I differenciate between male and female if they are too young as their genders can't be distinguished without help from a vet who will hard to find in my area. I want a young one as they are easier to train, according to a couple of websites. Also, are those toys in pics made of plastic? And is plastic safe for them?

I wish you'll answer my questions soon as I'm very curious for my future family members and I'm ready to give them lots of love and care.

AGAIN, you did a great job with this hub. Well done!


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Rhosynwen 22 months ago Author

@ Jamille: Thank-you.

I think you have made a good choice of bird to start out with as budgies are much less demanding than many other species of birds. Pet shop budgies are not necessarily unfriendly; mine was from a pet shop and he was a sweetie. One way to test whether a pet shop budgie will be more accepting of training is to attempt to interact with it in the store. (This is harder to do if the birds are kept in a cage, by the way.) Try to notice which birds run/fly away as you slowly come up to the cage or pen and speak softly to them. Birds that stay close by are going to be less shy. An even better sign is if they edge over closer to you. If the birds are in a pen and the store allows it, place your hand very gradually into the pen and hold it there. Again, the birds that stay nearby, or even approach your hand within a few minutes, are the ones from which you want to pick your pet.

The average pet store has no way to tell whether a young bird is male or female. Until the birds' ceres change color, there is no sure way to know by merely looking at them. If you plan on getting two birds, you may want to keep them in separate cages if you do not know their sex when you buy them. Otherwise you may end up with a male and female together, which normally equals baby birds (and a situation I do not recommend for first-time bird-keepers). Getting a bird that is old enough to show its gender by its cere does not necessarily mean it cannot be trained, by the way -- nor are all females grumpy. Much of this depends on the individual bird's personality. A friend of mine got a pet shop budgie who was old enough to show that he was a male, and she had no trouble training him. I cannot guarantee that training will be simple, of course, because each bird responds to training differently. The key will be patience and persistence (without wearing the bird out, though).

Plastic bird toys pose no danger to the bird until they become worn out or broken. Just keep an eye on your bird's toys for signs of wear and replace them as needed.

I hope this answers your questions. Have fun finding your new pets!


max 21 months ago

hi I've had my budgies( blue and joey) for about two years but recently blue died but joey was so sad so we bought a new one (barney) and he's been acting like the dominant male like biting joey and not sharing the treats so now we have to but 2 treats in so we tried putting then in separate cages but they were both crying so yer I don't know what to do


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Rhosynwen 21 months ago Author

@ max: It sounds as if Barney is trying to be the boss, even though (I assume) he is younger. The only thing I can suggest doing is finding ways to show Barney that Joey is actually the boss. I do not know if you have a way for them to have some playtime together outside the cage, but if you do, that may be a good way to start. Give Joey preference when you do by getting him out of the cage first, then letting him go back to the cage first as well. This gives Barney the signal that he is second. The time outside the cage gives them time to interact on neutral ground (think of the cage as territory). You may have to leave treats for out-of-the-cage playtime as well for now. Also scold Barney if he tries to bite Joey. I cannot guarantee that Barney will change his behavior, but give him time. If they were crying over being separated Barney may like Joey more than he seems to given his other behavior. (If he does keep biting, though, you may just have to keep them separated.)


Cathy 20 months ago

We got a male budgie (not sure of age but definitely past the first molt) from a local pet store 4 days ago. The little guy only moves to eat. Other than that, he sits on a perch with closed eyes. No tweeting. He seems lost and lonely. The only time he shows any activity is when I play budgie sounds on the computer. He will tweet and look interested for awhile and then resumes his quiet stance. Do have any advice for me? I talk to him alot but he's not interested. Should I just give him more time???? Thanks for any help you can provide.


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Rhosynwen 20 months ago Author

@ Cathy: Yes, it sounds like he just needs more time to adjust to his new world. As long as he is eating, his droppings appear normal, and he has no labored breathing, I would not be concerned. Since budgies are flock birds, a budgie will go through a period of feeling lonely when it is first taken away from its cage mates at the pet store. Once your bird bonds with you and considers you to be his new "flock", he should perk up and be happy in his new home. So, keep talking to him until he learns to love the sound of your voice (then he'll be demanding your attention!). :)


Kirsty 20 months ago

Hi there, got a budgie in the spur of the moment on Sunday, he is cute as. I'm confident he is settling in well. he just glared at me in this sideways stare for a day and wouldn't move but now eating and chirping every now and then. I wanted some advice on clipping his wings, I feel it's cruel since flying is a natural instinct for a bird, but when changing is bathing pool today he dive bombed out the door and flew around like a mad man for two minutes until he tried to land on a vase and fell in. It was spectacular and hilarious but obviously I don't want him to get hurt, we now use the sliding doors to change things but don't want to confine him to his cage forever or clip his wings, do you consider it necessary?


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Rhosynwen 20 months ago Author

@ Kirsty: Congratulations on your new pet! It sounds like he adjusting well to his new home.

Flying is, of course, natural for a bird, but in the average household there are plenty of places a budgie could injure or even drown himself if he is permitted to fly around. So, if you want to let your budgie out of his cage and do not have an aviary for him to fly in, then yes, you most definitely need to have his wings clipped. I would consider the out-of-the-cage playtime and interaction between a budgie and his owner(s) to be of far greater importance to the bird's well-being than him being able to fly unhampered -- which is not something you want him to do in the house anyway. (Clipping the flight wings greatly diminishes the lift they are able to get when flapping their wings; a budgie with clipped wings can still flutter short distances, especially in a downward direction.) Clipped wings also void the likelihood of your bird accidentally escaping out an open door or window and flying into the sunset. Now that I have said all this in favor of wing-clipping, I will emphasize, as I did in my article, that one really needs to know what one is doing before attempting to clip a bird's wings. If you know someone who knows how or can take him to an avian vet to have it done, this is the better route. On the other hand, someone with experience could show you how to do it properly, and then you could do it on your own from that point forward (with a supply of styptic powder on hand in the rare case of bleeding). I would never recommend, however, someone just reading directions in a book or article and having a go at it -- this is something that needs to be learned from a person who knows what he or she is doing. In any case, I hope this answers your question as to whether wing-clipping is something a budgie owner ought to do. Enjoy your little friend! :)


Kirsty 20 months ago

Thanks for your quick response! I probably will take him to get clipped at the vet, for at least until he is happy to socialise with us. This may sound silly but do they not naturally need the kind of exercise that flying brings? Does it make a noticeable difference to his appearance when you clip them? Today we have managed to briefly stroke him before he moved away, and he has started to play with his bell, so happy with how well he is settling


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Rhosynwen 20 months ago Author

@ Kirsty: Any bird kept in captivity (with the exception of those living in a large aviary) will never get the same amount of exercise as their wild counterparts. Playtime, both in the cage and out on a play gym, does help them get a healthy amount of activity in their lives. This is why toys are very important for a pet bird. As far as clipping altering a budgie's appearance: no, it does not really do much other than make their wings appear a little shorter. Those long flight feathers that you can see going down his back from his wings are what will be clipped.

The fact that he already is letting you pet him, however briefly, is a good sign of him accepting you. I agree on waiting for a vet visit for now; it is better to allow him to become well-adjusted to his new world before putting him through all that.


Cathy 20 months ago

Thank you so much for your quick response - your advice was really helpful. We have now had Spirit for 10 days. He is chirping a bit more and will let me touch him on the belly. He has even perched on my finger. However, he is still not playing with any toys. He is eating and he seems healthy. I will continue to talk to him and softly touch him. Thanks again for your help!!!


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Rhosynwen 20 months ago Author

@ Cathy: You are welcome. I am glad to hear he is starting to warm up to you; he will only become happier from this point on if he is a typical sort of budgie. The toys will be played with once he figures out that they are not monsters trying to eat him (he most likely will act this way every time you introduce a new toy to the cage, by the way).


Aman 19 months ago

My bud is getting lazy and not making any sound. Just sitting in the corner. Please suggest me the correct way what to do in such condition. I m really scared


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Rhosynwen 19 months ago Author

@ Aman: I'm sorry I did not get to your question sooner. I can give you a couple of suggestions if your bird is still acting this way, but as I am not a veterinarian and cannot see your bird, I can't tell you specifically what is wrong with him.

My first suggestion is simply to take him to a vet, if you can. If that is not possible, put him in a warm, draft-free place where it is quiet. There are broad-spectrum antibiotics for birds available at most pet stores, and an antibiotic might help him if he has something that can be treated with such medication. Again, however, it is hard for me to say much, since there are a number of things that could be wrong with him, and not all of those things can be treated at home.

I hope and pray your bird will be feeling better soon!


joan 18 months ago

Ive just got a baby budgie he just keeps running backwards and forwards on the floor is this natural


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Rhosynwen 18 months ago Author

@ joan: It sounds as if he is nervous and not quite sure of what to make of his surroundings. If he keeps it up, try moving his cage to a new spot, as where you have it placed may be making him extra-unsettled (too much noise, activity, etc.). He should calm down within a day or two. As long as he is eating and drinking, and not having labored breathing or extremely loose stools, I would not be too concerned. It can take budgies anywhere between two days to nearly a week to start feeling relaxed in their new environment. If he does show signs of illness (not eating, troubled breathing, loose stools, runny cere, etc.), then I definitely would advise you to take him to an avian vet. I hope, however, that this is not the case. Enjoy your new little friend!


Dogia50 16 months ago

Hello, I need very good advice because I grabbed my budgie. I know it sounds mean and very bad and I feel very guilty. I want to get it's trust back, but I'm afraid I will just scare it even more. If anyone has VERY GOOD ADVICE, please give it to me.


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Rhosynwen 16 months ago Author

@ Dogia50: It is possible to regain your bird's trust after frightening it, though it most likely will take some time. How long depends on the budgie's personality and how much of a bond it already had with you. The closer the bond, the more quickly it will forget your error, as its affections for you will win out. In any case, start by speaking softly and offering a treat or favorite food by hand (in other words, put your hand in the cage with the treat, rather than simply dumping it in a cup). When the bird is comfortable eating out of your hand (and that may take a few tries), you can try to get it to step up onto your finger. Once it is readily doing that, then take it out of the cage again and give it playtime or a ride on your shoulder. This all will, again, take time and lots of gentleness, but you should re-win its trust if you are persistent.


Sakshi 16 months ago

Hi....I had a pair of budgies...of which one passed away last week. I have had them for 2 years. Issue that I faced is taming them. I am trying fr last 2 yrs to train them but failed every time. Since now am left with only 1 budgie, I want to tame it. As I have grabbed them (gently) many times, what should I do to gain ma birdie's trust? How shall I start ? Thanks in advance!! :)


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Rhosynwen 16 months ago Author

@ Sakshi: I am sorry to hear that one of your birds died. You may still be able to tame the other one, especially since it will be lonely without its friend. (This is most likely why you could not tame them very well, by the way. Two or more budgies prefer each others' company over that of a human. A budgie that is kept by itself is naturally interested in you because it has no other birds with which it can socialize.) I would not grab the bird unless absolutely necessary; most birds do not enjoy being grabbed. Instead, you must gain its trust by slowly putting your hand up to it from below (from below is important -- you do not want the bird to think of your hand as a predator swooping in to eat it). Once the bird is comfortable with your hand just being there next to it in the cage, then practice teaching it to "step up" onto your finger. This may take some time and patience. When it finally is willing to "step up" without too much coaxing, you can try putting it on your shoulder or on a perch outside the cage. Make sure its wings are clipped if you are going to take it out of the cage, however. In all of this training, speak very gently to the bird. You have to form a bond with it, and while bonding takes some work, it is worth the effort. I hope this helps!


ChrisP 16 months ago

Hi...I've had my 2 parakeets for almost 9yrs..2005 is the earliest picture I can confirm this..early June 2014 one died...it is now aug 9 2015..this here birdie has recently been so active for hours on end on a bigger birdie toy that had been in the cage home for at least a year....what do you think of this??


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Rhosynwen 16 months ago Author

@ ChrisP: Your remaining bird is probably just lonely and bored after having losing his budgie friend of so many years. You may want to try to spend some extra time with your bird to help him get over his missing the other bird.


Supersonic20602 14 months ago

Um hi Rhosynwen everytime when i tried to hand feed my parakeet Flash he just looked at my hand and kept on chirping at his reflction on his mirror he ate out of my hand yesterday and even tried millet what do i do?


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Rhosynwen 14 months ago Author

@ Supersonic20602: It sounds like he is more interested in the "other bird" in the mirror than eating from your hand (he doesn't realize that he is just looking at his reflection, so he thinks there is another bird in the cage). You will need to remove distractions such as toys and mirrors for him to be able to focus on hand feeding. Of course, if he isn't hungry, he will not eat, even if you do have his full attention. Just try again later if that seems to be the case.


Marci 13 months ago

Do you know why my budgie would have a curved piece coming up out of his cere? It's growing right off the cere but curving up towards his head. Perfectly healthy in every other way. Thanks!


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Rhosynwen 13 months ago Author

@ Marci: I could not say for certain without actually seeing your bird. It sounds as if it could be some sort of disease or genetic mutation that is causing his beak area to grow improperly. I would take him to an avian vet if you can, for he most likely will need to have this piece removed before it does cause him problems. The vet would also be able to detect any possible underlying problems; budgies are masters at masking physical issues and it would be best to make sure he is okay.


Tim 13 months ago

Hi - very helpful thank you! We have two budgies - can you tell me why the yellow one makes insane amounts of noise whenever the blue one is eating? There is no aggression and he stops the moment Bluey stops eating...!


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Rhosynwen 13 months ago Author

@ Tim: You are welcome. I really could not say for sure why your yellow budgie becomes so vocal while the other one is eating. It could be acting kind of like a kid who does not want his/her sibling to touch something; the kid yells and makes a fuss, but never actually becomes physically aggressive towards the sibling. Or your yellow budgie could just be wanting the blue one's attention. Every bird has its own little quirks, so as long as it does not attack the other bird, I wouldn't worry about it. You can try telling it "shhh, no" in a gentle but firm tone if you find the bird's habit annoying; it might stop eventually if you reprimand it consistently.


Mickji profile image

Mickji 10 months ago from between Italy and Switzerland, travelling around the world thanks to a little special object

I wish I had known before about the naturally-shaped perch and the cage's skirt...

I happened to buy a wood cage at first, because the bird was so tiny it couldn't make a big mess.... Well, finding your bird flying in the living room at 5AM surely makes your day starts weird. It was able to cut a little piece of a wooden bar, so it stays in position, but if it press its head the bar moves and it could go out.... It took several days of bird-spying to be able to catch it trying to escape.

I was lucky with the mirrors, because it had some, but because very friendly quickly. So it always stayed on my shoulder and even ate my toast jumping out behind my ear during dinner many times. I think mirrors change the result from budgie to budgie, and our playtime is also very important too.

Really thank you for your Hub, I loved it and I'll keep it in mind for my new budgie purchase. I'm a bit scared because I want it to stay on my shoulder like the lovebird did. But I'm not a kid anymore, so I must find a job and I fear it will fly away


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Rhosynwen 10 months ago Author

@Mickji: I am glad you found my Hub to be helpful. Yes, it is true that some birds will love you even if they have a mirror in the cage. I just say it is better not to as a general rule, because one does not know how a new bird will act with a mirror present.


Mickji profile image

Mickji 10 months ago from between Italy and Switzerland, travelling around the world thanks to a little special object

Sorry, I must have misunderstood then. It is true that the reaction of the bird to the mirror is unknown, because we had a bird that soon after saw it, it became angry and destroyed it. A very fierce reaction, but when te mirror has completely broken it calm down and became a very calm bird.

I wish you'll make soon other Hubs about birds, with tricks to train them and care. I cannot wait to read it!


Mickji profile image

Mickji 9 months ago from between Italy and Switzerland, travelling around the world thanks to a little special object

Hi, I wanted to ask you if you ever had an unfriendly parakeet, because I've bought a white one and it's not friendly at all. Is it like lovebirds that colours change the attitude of the animal? For example white birds tends to be lazy, sleepy, not playful, not happy, not friendly, never sing nor eat much and fear water? Because this is the description of this parakeet bird.....


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Rhosynwen 9 months ago Author

@ Mickji: Yes, some parakeets can be less friendly than others. I have never heard of color affecting a parakeet's disposition, however. How long have you had this bird? If it is less than three months, it could be that it has not adjusted fully to its new home yet. If you have had it longer, maybe there is something in its environment that is making it unhappy.

Some birds just take longer to bond with their owners, so I would not give up on it yet. Also, it may never be super-friendly. I have noticed that parakeets are like many other domesticated animals in that they have different personalities, with some being more sociable with humans than others. Your bird may always be happiest in its cage. As I said, though, if the bird is new, give it some more time to adjust.


Kristi 9 months ago

I have to budgies that my boyfriend got me saturday. The female will let you pet her but the male wont yet. Ive been working with them a few minutes a few times a day. The female will let you touch her but the male wont yet and they are in the same cage. How am i supose to bond with them individually if i cant get them out of the cage?


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Rhosynwen 9 months ago Author

@ Kristi: Patience is the key when working with budgies. While it sounds as if the female will warm up to you first, the male isn't necessarily unfriendly. He probably is just more cautious than the other one is. Give them some time to adjust; the birds need to learn that they can trust you. This may mean they won't come out of the cage for a week or two. Yet it is better to bond slowly than rush the process and never really gain their affection. I promise it will be worth it if you let the birds adjust to life with you at their own pace. Enjoy your pets!


Kristi 9 months ago

Thanks for the advice. Ill make sure they are healthy and happy. Should i get their wings clipped?


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 9 months ago Author

@ Kristi: I'm sorry to just now be getting back to you. You are welcome for the help. I personally think it is better to have your birds' wings clipped if you want to take them out of the cage. They are prone to fly into things if they decide to suddenly take off from your hand or shoulder; a typical house is full of objects that can harm a bird if it hits them (such as a ceiling fan).


Mickji profile image

Mickji 9 months ago from between Italy and Switzerland, travelling around the world thanks to a little special object

Even the bird cage itself can be dangerous, I bought a bigger one and the budgie tried to escape from my hand and hit the perch. Then it was walking with the wing put high for a while, now it seems to be ok .... but I got scared a lot.

I noticed that they are less friendly if they are two or more. At first I could touch the budgie but now he screech and bite me every time I try. It's not that he feel pain because I tried everywhere, even the tail.


basil 9 months ago

i am a boy of age 12 my pair of parakeets has two babies bugies i dont know when to take them out of the nest train their age is about 1 and a half week ,please help.


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Rhosynwen 9 months ago Author

@ Mickji: Budgies are resilient creatures, but they are also delicate and can injure themselves easily, as you have found out. I am glad to hear your bird is all right.

Yes, budgies, tend to prefer their own kind if given the choice; that is why I recommend keeping only one if you want it to bond well with you. Your bird is also probably still remembering his injury; while you were not the one who actually hurt him, he does recall your hand being the cage at the time, so you have become guilty by association. Try to win his affection again by putting treat seed in your hand and offering it to him. It may take several tries, but he should eventually get over his fear and let you touch him again.


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Rhosynwen 9 months ago Author

@ basil: I am not a bird breeder, so I am going to recommend you visit this webpage to find answers to your questions about baby budgies: http://budgieplace.com/breeding.html . That page contains a lot of information, and I hope you will find some help there. (Though I will say that your baby birds are definitely too young to train right now.)


Mickji profile image

Mickji 9 months ago from between Italy and Switzerland, travelling around the world thanks to a little special object

This is so sad... I don't want to hurt it nor everyone else

I will try with the seeds, I really thank you for all your help and tips in this period @Rhosynwen

Baby birds are put out of the nest by their parents, it takes one month more or less. When they are 2 or 3 months old you can train them @basil

It's the same for lovebird, I remember a lot of lovebirds flying in the house when I was young, and an exited daddy-bird tweeting at them... He was all happy instead mom went crazy trying to catch them all to put them in the cage again.


Mars 8 months ago

My new budgie is 3 months old (he hatched on dec 27) His name is Chill, I brought him home 5 days ago but he has been in a cage with his sister since hatching. He was very playful when he was with his sister and now they are both very quiet and don't play. I am worried that he won't bond with me because he is too sad about leaving his sister. He is finally eating again but he isn't very noisy or playful yet. he will sit on my hand but he shakes and is very jumpy. what do you suggest? should I adopt his sister as well? I want him to become cuddly and playful like my last little buddy.

I got My last budgie(my new ones brother) when he was 6 weeks old and I had him for a month, he was extremely friendly and cuddly and playful. he would sleep in the neck of my hoodies all cuddled up against me, but unfortunately he passed away after only being with me a month because he was epileptic and had a seizure when I wasn't home and I couldn't save him.


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 8 months ago Author

@ Mars: Your new little friend just needs time to adjust. Don't rush the process of him bonding with you, or it may never happen. He had already bonded with his sister, so he is naturally sad now that he is away from her. Yet, that does not mean he will never get over it. As I said, give him time. This may mean leaving him in his cage for a few days and only interacting with him by speaking softly to him. I would wait until he is more comfortable with his new surrounding before taking him out again. When he starts chattering and playing, then try letting him sit on your finger. He will be your friend for as long as he lives if you give him room to adjust. Enjoy your pet!


Desiree 7 months ago

Hi, my family has had this budgie for almost a year. We already had 2 prior but 1 died, so we bought it to replace it so our old bird could have a companion. But since day 1 it was aggressive & loud & harassed our older bird. Few months later our old bird died. So we bought another one, & it bullied that 1, too. No matter how many times we have fed & gave them water, that 1 bird constantly freaks out & flies all over the place. We have had it over a year & never had any issues with our past birds, even our newest 1 is perfectly calm. But that 1 bird is a nightmare, it scratched me just the other day as I was trying replace their fallen water cup. I don't understand that bird at all.


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Rhosynwen 7 months ago Author

@ Desiree: Without knowing your bird's history or observing it in person, I can only give you some guesses as to why it is so aggressive. Some of it is probably just personality; every budgie is a little bit different from all the rest, just as every cat or dog is different from even their own litter-mates. It seems that this particular bird happens to be the bossy, territorial sort. There is also the possibility that it was mishandled when it was young; this would cause it to become upset whenever human hands come near it. My opinion is you ought to separate the two birds, and either put the aggressive one in its own cage, or find it a home with someone who has experience with budgies and can work with it to tame it better. If you opt to keep it in its own cage (and I would for the sake of the other bird), then definitely try to gain its trust with some one-on-one time. Getting it to a place where it views you as a friend rather than a foe might take a while, but it will be worth it in the end. :)


Nancy 7 months ago

I have had my parakeet, Archie, for 9 years with no problems. Lately he has decided he wants to be covered up for most of the day. He will screech loudly until I cover his cage and then will screech loudly until I uncover him. Any ideas why he is doing this? He does stay quiet all night and only exhibits this behavior during the daytime. Annoying, as well as worrisome.


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Rhosynwen 7 months ago Author

@ Nancy: I am sorry to say I have never heard of a budgie not wanting to be uncovered during the daytime. (Perhaps he has developed a sensitivity to light? This is the only thing I could guess.) Your best route to a solid answer would be to take him to an avian vet, as there may be an underlying physical issue behind his behaviour.


Nancy 7 months ago

Thank you for getting back to me. I will take him to a vet to see if he is having any physical issues. I do think that you might have hit on something regarding light sensitivity as he seems more comfortable when I used the blinds to dim the amount of light in the room where he resides today. Again, thank you for you response. After 9 years together I worry, just don't want to lose him. Again, thank you Rhosynwen.


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Rhosynwen 7 months ago Author

@ Nancy: You are welcome. I hope you can figure out what the cause of your little guy's discomfort is. I understand being concerned--pets are special to their owners, and rightfully so.


Nancy 7 months ago

Just a note. I took my little Archie to the doctor today and she echoed your thought of light sensitivity and also wondered since I am no longer working and spending more time with him, maybe he just needs a break from me. Guess I'll have to get a hobby and see if that helps him. I have always worked from home, but in another room from his cage, so the change may be affecting him. Guess we know who rules the roost. Again, thank you for your help.


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Rhosynwen 7 months ago Author

@ Nancy: Glad to hear that your bird does not have a serious illness. Yes, budgies do like to rule the roost!


Alexis D. 7 months ago

I just got a new budgie today after having a cockateil for 12 years. The poor thing is so scared. Since its from a pet shop, would having sounds from other budgies help it settle in?


Nick 7 months ago

Hello,

I just put a deposit on a hand-fed English budgie from a breeder. I’m not getting it until August since I’ll be done with school then and I’ll have more time to spend with it. However, I will be moving in October. I am concerned, though, will the move be too scary for the budgie, since it will only be just getting used to being in my old residence by the time I move? I will have had the budgie for about 6 or 7 weeks by the time I move. I don’t want to scare it too much. Given the option, would you recommend waiting until I move in October to get the budgie?

Thanks so much for the info. This article is the BEST resource for new owners. (And I’ve looked at tons of sites on budgies!)


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Rhosynwen 7 months ago Author

@ Alexis D.: Quiet is actually a bird's best friend when the bird is trying to adjust to a new place. While your bird might like the sound of other budgies, only hearing and never seeing this supposed flock nearby might just confuse it. Put your new little friend's cage in a peaceful corner of your house and let it get used to its new surroundings. Most budgies will start losing their fear by the end of the first week, though some may take up to two weeks. Enjoy your pet. :)


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Rhosynwen 7 months ago Author

@ Nick: Thank-you. I am glad you found my article to be helpful.

As for when to bring home your pet: the car trip is probably the most stressful part of moving for a bird. So, whether you get it in August or October, it will still have to make that trip. (I would recommend putting the bird in a small carrying box such as the type pet stores use to send birds home in when you transport it. The darkness keeps the bird calm, and there is nothing it can injure itself on. If you have to make a long trip, however, the bird will need food and water; in that case, a small cage without high perches--and covered up while in the car--would be best.) If you decide to get it in August, don't make any changes to its cage interior or food a couple weeks before or after the move. The cage is the bird's primary "home", and keeping that home the same while you move will help the bird maintain a sense of normalcy.

I hope you enjoy your pet once you get it. Budgies are wonderful companions!


Willow theanimalwhisperer 6 months ago

Hey ummm how could I persuade my parents to let me get a budgie? I've read your informational peice and I've read others and yours was the best. I would really like a budgie and my parents say I am very responsible and mature. I've already done a research project on them and I totaled up the cost of getting one I have my own money around 600$ in fact


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Rhosynwen 6 months ago Author

@ Willow theanimalwhisperer: I am glad you found my article to be helpful. :)

As far as convincing your parents goes, well, I cannot say much except perhaps you ought to let them read about what good pets budgies make, and how budgies are far lower-maintenance than most larger pets (such as cats, dogs, ferrets, or rabbits).


Mickji profile image

Mickji 6 months ago from between Italy and Switzerland, travelling around the world thanks to a little special object

@Rhosynwen It's been 3 months that I have my budgie and it's still not friendly, even if I put seeds in my hands. It jump away every time it sees my hand. I've tried to add another bird, but they are both scared.... I really have no idea how to solve this problem....


Willow theanimalwhisperer 6 months ago

Thanks for the info


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 6 months ago Author

@ Mickji: Do you ever take them out of the cage? My budgie used to not like my hand in his cage very much, but once he got out, he was fine. If he was being stubborn and not stepping up on my finger while still in the cage, I would take the top off of the cage, then have him step on an extra perch I had. After that he would sit on my shoulder, his play gym, etc. Sometimes budgies can be a bit bratty in their home territory (their cage). If your birds' wings are clipped, I would try getting them out and letting them sit on your lap or shoulder (with a cloth or towel, of course!). Do this with them one at a time, however, or they'll just ignore you. Bonding can't just be through the cage bars; they need time outside the cage with their human.


Sophie 6 months ago

I just got a new budgie yesterday and I'm pretty sure it's a male, as its cere is somewhat a sort of lavender blue. I know it has had its first molt because the bars come up to the crown of the head, but I do not know how old it is.What worries me is that it clicks its beak all the time, and it was previously in a cage with at least six other budgies, it now has a cage all to itself. It's barely eating, sits still on one perch and sometimes vocalises, but does not show any visible signs of illness. Please help me!


Mickji profile image

Mickji 6 months ago from between Italy and Switzerland, travelling around the world thanks to a little special object

Yes I take them out of the cage everyday. I also try to take them with me while walking.They mostly hide in the hat. At home they always have the door of the cage open. But they always jump away and run from my hands. If I only keep one, it scream and call the other as if it has to say farewell...


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Rhosynwen 6 months ago Author

@Mickji: Well, as I said on another reply, your birds may never be the type that love to interact with you. Some of them are like that, just as some budgies learn to talk and others don't. I would simply enjoy them as they are for now. Who knows, maybe one day one or both of them will surprise you by crawling onto your hand.


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Rhosynwen 6 months ago Author

@ Sophie: Don't fret, your bird is acting just as most any other budgie would in a new environment. He has to make sure everything is okay in this strange new place before he lets down his guard and settles in. If he is still nervous and not eating much after a week, then you may need to be concerned. (I will note that he may not eat in front of you for a while. The surest way to know whether he is eating or not is to check his seed dish for seed hulls. If there are hulls, then he's eating, even if you didn't see him.) It will take him a good two or three weeks to really become comfortable with both you and his cage. Just keep talking softly to him to let him know you are his friend. Enjoy your pet. :)


Iftakhar Shawon profile image

Iftakhar Shawon 6 months ago

I had 2 young Budgerigar. Yesterday I've collect another 2 pair Budge from my friends. those 02 pair r adult. I've 3 cage but I've putted them 2 cage 3:3.... the reason is my previous Budge is very much playful & eat well, so that new budge will play & habituate with new food & place.

my Question is, is this right way... actually what i want?

or..... should i put them in 3 cage with their pair?

or put them all in one cage for one month?

Regards


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 6 months ago Author

@ Iftakhar Shawon: I guess it depends on how these new budgies were housed by your friends. If all four of them were in the same cage together, I would keep it that way. If they were put in two cages as pairs, I would leave them that way. I would not, however, split up the ones that are used to being with each other. So, in my opinion, your options are to either use three cages, or put them all in one cage (only do this if the four from your friends were originally all together). If you mix your young budgies with the older ones, just watch them to make sure none of the older birds peck at them and such. Sometimes older birds will try to dominate younger ones, and you do not want any of them to get hurt.


Ana 6 months ago

Hi! This is very helpful, THANK YOU! Finally a really good website on budgies. I live in Australia and I've had budgies before. One was mine and my sis had two, though she is the one who let them fly away. My sisters budgies flew away but mine got sick after about a year or so. There weren't any avian vets though so sadly, she passed. But I'm hoping to get a male this time, try teach it to speak coz I have SO much spare time. Here's the (part info part question) thing, all the conditions outside are perfect. I'd really like to have a small aviary, maybe on my backyard balcony, just for the one budgie. It'll be a part time thing probably every day once it's used to the house. I'll have some Eucalyptus or gum branches and enough room to fly. But I have to convince my mum. Any tips? The shops around here have cheap aviaries and we have all the materials to build our own anyway, but she still won't agree. Idc what it looks like, just that it's good for the budgie. If you can, please give me some tips on how to convince my parents.

Thx

-Ana


Loulou 6 months ago

What is the best age to get a baby? A breeder I know has told me 7 weeks.

Also we have 2 dogs - any chance they will get along?

Love your info. Thank you!! Best I have found.


The Penguin Girl 5 months ago

I'm interested in having a pet budgie and wanted my parents know that I will care for my pet when I get one. Im getting one soon and wanted to know how to properly care for it and keep it safe. Your article prooved everything I need to know and I already feel connected to my future pet even though I dont have one yet!


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Rhosynwen 5 months ago Author

@ Ana: I am glad you found the information in my article to be helpful. Unfortunately, I don't dispense advice on convincing parents to do something. :) I can say that if you cannot have an outdoor aviary, your budgie will still be happy to be with you in the house. Unless you get a bird that was raised in an outdoor aviary, he won't know the difference.


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 5 months ago Author

@ Loulou: I'm happy to have been a help to you. I am not a breeder, so I would go with whatever the breeder you know told you. As for the dogs, it really depends on whether they have been around pet birds before. If they have not, there's a good chance that they will just view the bird as something to chase. I would not risk letting the bird out of the cage in the same room where the dogs are in that case.


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Rhosynwen 5 months ago Author

@ The Penguin Girl: I am glad you found this article to be helpful. I hope you enjoy your bird when you get it. :)


Claire 4 months ago

Hi, I'm Claire I am the one that takes the most care of my parakeets in my family. Just last year my first parakeet passed away. She had a companion late in life and since she passed away my other bird has not acted the same. These differences range from the timidness he shows when I have him out playing to the skittishness he displays while I may be just walking around his cage. Do you know how I can fix that? Oh and while I'm writing, I have another question. Following my other bird passing away I recently bought a much younger bird and the other bird (mentioned previously) he has never taken to the new bird. I feel as if I'm getting no where with finger training. Seeing how I had to start over with the whole trust factor with both birds. Hope you can provide some insight on my issues.


Sophie 4 months ago

I have another question about my budgie, the same one noted in the question 2 months ago. I often see him worrying and scratching at his right foot around his ankle and between his toes. My sister says she saw little plaques of white and pink skin and something that looks like tiny blisters, but I'm hesitating on going to see a vet just yet. I keep his cage impeccably clean though it's hard to clean the perches because he has favorite "comfort perches" that he doesn't leave for nothing. Other than that, there is no visible problem. Any guesses at the cause of this?


Beka 4 months ago

I have two budgies so cute they sing all day in the sun and when I put them on the floor they just don't move they only eat and climb a bit and when I put my hand in the cage they move quietly and when I approach my hand they fly like crazy but one of them once ate from my hand. I'm so worried coz I want to separate them so I can make them be more comfortable with me but I don't know how to .i just bought them like 4 days ago , pleases help


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 4 months ago Author

@ Claire: I'm sorry I am just now getting back to you. While every budgie possess a slightly different temperament, I can safely say that no budgie is fond of change. When a budgie loses its cagemate, it can be sad for quite some time, and resent any newcomers you try to introduce. Time and patience are the only things that can help a budgie adjust to changes.

Finger training is a process, and some birds simply take longer to learn than others (especially if the bird is older). I would suggest concentrating on finger training the new one for now, and let the other bird just get used to his new buddy. Once your older bird is comfortable with the new bird, I believe he will be more receptive to interacting with you (I think he is, in essence, a bit overwhelmed with all the changes of the past few months).


Rhosynwen profile image

Rhosynwen 4 months ago Author

@ Sophie: While it could be a an allergic reaction to either something you are cleaning the cage with or something (such as lotion or perfume) on your hands when you handle him, I cannot guarantee that this is merely the problem. The fact that it is on only one foot makes me wonder. Personally, I would take him to the vet if he is still having this problem. (A note about the possible allergic reaction: always be careful to handle the bird without anything such as lotion on your hands. What doesn't bother people can irritate a bird's feet. Also, if you are not already doing this, make sure to clean his cage with a mild dish soap that has no dyes or perfumes in it.)


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Rhosynwen 4 months ago Author

@ Beka: Since you have only had the birds a few days, they are still trying to figure out if they can trust you. Though budgies tend to bond better with their people when kept alone, I would not separate them just yet. It may be that they will both enjoy playing with you when they are out, and you will not have to keep them in different cages. Give them at least two, and maybe three weeks, to adjust to life with you before making that decision. It normally takes a while for birds to bond with you and to be fully finger-trained anyway (unless they were raised by hand). Go slowly and gently with your training, and in time you will have two buddies for life!


Arun 3 months ago

Hello... I am a first time bird owner and have 4 budgies 2 yellow and 2 blue. Bought them 5 days ago since my 5 year old was enamoured with them. Moreover wanted them to have adequate company. Have a cage which is approx 2' x 1 1/2' x 2' since the shopkeeper said it would be adequate for them. Tried giving them some fly time in the bathroom which is quite spacious. However they wouldn't come out of their cage at first. Committed the mistake of pulling them out of their cage since they were fluttering around like crazy. Once out, they wouldn't go back in. Had a tough time recovering them back and depositing them back in their cage. Noticed that they often flew and collided with the bathroom mirror while trying to evade my hands. In the process got bit a couple of times by them too. Am afraid that my rough handling may have injured them too. Although there are no signs of injury yet their body seemed to be too tender. Am afraid to give them flying time since I wouldn't like to hurt them. Do not wish to clip their wings since I don't think it is natural for them. Am at wits end on giving them a bath in the future. Am located at a remote area in India and do not have access to a bird vet here. Would just like the birds to be happy chirping naturally and my son to be happy taking care of them. Am contemplating releasing them out so as to lead their lives in a natural habitat. But have second thoughts that at least I can take care of them . Please advise


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Rhosynwen 3 months ago Author

@ Arun: You basically have a choice to either clip their wings (at least partially) so you can let them out to play without them getting hurt, or keep their wings natural and buy a much larger cage. I personally would not keep four budgies in a cage that size unless I intended to allow them time to play outside their cage every day. You must also give them time to adjust to their new home with you; it takes most pet birds two or three weeks to truly settle into their new environment. Do not worry about bathing them, either. They will be perfectly happy to bathe themselves in a shallow dish of water placed in their cage now and then (budgies do not need to bathe as often as some other types of birds).

As for letting them loose outside: I would not do that. They are domesticated, and while there is a small chance they would make it on their own, it is more likely they would just be eaten by something or not find enough food. Give them some time to earn your trust, and they will be happy to come out of their cage without hesitating (and will also go back without a fight). Enjoy your new pets!


Sonia 3 months ago

Hi, a brilliant hub of information. I got my 2 daughters a budgie each for one of their birthdays. They were 10weeks old approx and we got them a week ago, cloud is easier to handle & confident, yet sky will perch on your finger in the cage. I've let them out once & it was both scary & hilarious, kept bumping in to things or running away. Anyway, Cloud seems to be always grooming & puffing his feathers up, I was reading other comments & wondered is this cause for concern or not, he does it regularly through the day more than sky.. Also the petshop guy told me to pick them up after they've settled in to get used to being handled, they eventually let me catch them but peck a little whilst being held, they don't seem especially anxious just mildly fussed they can't open their wings, is this okay or not as my sister said never hold them that way, they don't like it, I was also told if you have a male & female they don't breed unless there is a nesting box, is that correct? Kind regards xx


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Rhosynwen 3 months ago Author

@ Sonia: I am glad you found the article helpful. It sounds as though your birds are rather tame already. I would keep working on the finger training with them. Just keep it slow and gentle, and in short sessions (10-15 min.), until they are completely comfortable with being handled. Your sister is correct; budgies would much rather sit on your finger or shoulder than be held in your hand. So, to make training and bonding more pleasant for them (and your fingers), stay with teaching them to "step up" on your finger. When you do let them out, try to do so in a small room where they are less likely to injure themselves on something if they get away from you.

It does not sound as if Cloud has any sort of serious issue. As long he is eating and drinking properly, has regular-looking droppings, and no breathing problems (some of the signs of budgie illness), I would say he is probably all right. If he is preening a lot, there's a chance his skin is dry. To give him a bath, put lukewarm water in a shallow dish, and place the dish in the bottom of the cage. The birds will bathe themselves on their own--if they feel like doing so, that is. Don't worry about it if they are not in the mood; just try again another day. Also, make sure they are not in a draft while they dry after a bath. (I would add that perhaps Cloud could also be responding to the presence of a draft going by the cage periodically. I would check to make sure that is not the case. If it is, you may need to move the cage.)

As for nesting: I never got into the breeding end of things with budgies, so while I think that not having a nest box is all you would need to do to keep them from breeding, I cannot tell you for certain (sorry). Since your budgies will not mature for at least another 3-6 months, there is a chance you will not have to worry yourself over the birds trying to breed, as they could both end up being of the same sex.

Have fun with your pets!


Ahmet Karatas 3 months ago

Hey, i had a few questions. 1. What is the youngest age i can breed my budgies. 2. Is it okay if my budgies son breeds with my budgies daughter? 3. I have cockatiels near my living room, can I put my 2 budgies (in the same cage) near them or should I put them somewhere that the cockatiels can't see but can hear. 4. If my new budgies aren't tamed, how long should I wait to bathe it. 5. I got a spray to keep insects away from my cockatiel, how do I use it and how often? 6. Do green budgies breed with blue budgies? 7. Is it okay to get branches from the park and place it in the cage as a perch, if yes, do I need to wash it? Sorry about the load, I just needed a few answers before I purchased my new budgies


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Rhosynwen 3 months ago Author

@ Ahmet Karatas: I will try to answer your questions as best as I can.

Q. #1 and 2: I have never bred budgies, so my knowledge on that subject is limited. Thus, I cannot say much on these two questions, other than that your budgies will have to be a few months old for them to breed, as they do not reach maturity until 6-9 months of age.

Q. #3: It is fine if the cockatiels' cage and budgies' cage are in the same room. You may want to give your budgies a few days to become used to their new home before putting them near the other birds, however. (This is also to ensure that the new birds are not carrying any illness that might infect your cockatiels.)

Q. #4: Budgies are normally fine with giving themselves a bath. All you need to do is give them a shallow dish of water once in a while. If they need to bathe, they will. Don't worry if they are not in the mood to do so (they do not need this as often as a cockatiel does). Just make sure they are not in a draft when bathing and drying.

Q. #5: Without knowing exactly what you bought, I could not say. Just follow the directions on the bottle and keep it out of the birds' eyes/face.

Q. #6: Yes, all colors of budgies can breed with one another.

Q. #7: I would not suggest you get branches from a park, only because some plants can be toxic to birds if they chew on them. You do not always know what kind of branch you are picking up, and whether it would negatively affect your bird. Plus, you could potentially introduce mites into your birds' cages.

I hope you this helps. Enjoy your new birds!


Ella Mohler 2 months ago

Its very cool that to find an article 5 years old and you still comment on it! Quite rare. Im getting a budgie once my room is being done painted. I was wondering should i wait more then 2 days or more to get a budgie once painting is done & dried. Would the paint fumes be a danger to the budgie? If so how long do I have to wait?


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Rhosynwen 2 months ago Author

@ Ella Mohler: I would definitely wait at least a week to get a budgie if you have just had the room painted. If oil-based paint was used at all (such as on the door frame or window casing), I would wait 10 days. Paint fumes are definitely not good for a budgie, and oil-based paint gives off heavier fumes than latex-based paint does.


Jojo-kila 2 months ago

Hi Rhosynwen, we got a pair(Jojo and Kila) of Budgies last week. Few things we have done unknowingly - brought the bird to home in their new cage without covering, 3/4th day tried to feed both with hands in the cage, noticed they were suffering with diarrhea and took them to the Vet and they are still on antibiotics, changed the cage to a more safer and bigger one and moved them to this cage the same day. After all this few observations we have made - Jojo doesn't like my hand in the cage and flies away, Kila is the female and tried to avoid sitting on hand but with little effort she steps-up and quickly goes to nearest perch or swing. have left both birds outside in the first week thinking they will get adjusted to new environment and were just flying around and few times hitting the wall with wings. At the moment they are on Seed diet and they do not touch millet even left in the cage. Hope we have not done too many thing too soon and made birds un-tamable. All though Jojo is playfull chirps occasionally when no one is around and tries to bite the cage wires but Kila is sitting in one place and not that playfull and most times will be perching on one leg, this worries me. can you help?


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Rhosynwen 2 months ago Author

@ Jojo-kila: I think your birds are probably rather overwhelmed at this point. I would give them about a week to themselves to settle in before attempting to finger train them or take them out of the cage. So, other than occasionally speaking softly to them as you pass by or taking care of their cage and food, just leave them to themselves. Unless they show signs of illness, which would need to be addressed, they will be much happier with their new home once they have some time to adjust. After giving them this time, you can start putting your hand in their cage again, but go about things slowly. If you do not rush the bonding process, they will most likely reward you with affectionate trust in the end. Enjoy your pets. :)


Jojo-kila 2 months ago

Thank you for the response, will do as advised and observe. Also, Kila has developed Tail Bobing which is very slight and she sneezes/cough atleast once in a day and after drinking water. we have an appointment with the Vet for the follow-up and preventive feather mites treatment. Will discuss with vet on this too and see what the vet says. Thanks for your help mate.


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Rhosynwen 2 months ago Author

@ Jojo-kila: You are welcome!


Nelly 2 months ago

My parakeet was flying through the house and got stuck on a sticky mouse pad. Immediately me and my sister put him in a shoe box and poured vegetable oil on the paper so that he can get unstuck. There wasn't much feathers on the pad, but there was oil on him still. Is it bad for the oil to be on his feathers? I tried to get rid of it by using warm water but not much came off. My bird is usually very playful yet feisty, but ever since that happened he stays in the corner of the cage next to his little mirror. His feathers also seem to be bonded together possibly from the oil (I can see his flesh) he always look wet at this point

What should i do? Is he ok? Should I wait a few days and see what happens? He isn't interacting with the other bird much as normal.


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Rhosynwen 2 months ago Author

@ Nelly: Your bird is probably rather scared after the whole incident you have described. I would watch him closely to make sure he does not show signs of illness after undergoing so much stress. If he does show signs of illness, or remains upset even after a week, you may want to take him to an avian vet to make sure he is okay (assuming you have one near you, that is).

As for the oil, I can offer a suggestion with a disclaimer: you can try using some unscented, dye-free dish soap diluted with warm water (meaning mostly water with a bit of soap) to remove the oil from his feathers. Only put it on the area where the oil is, keep it away from his face, and rinse the spot very well with warm water. Allow him to dry out in a warm place so he doesn't get a chill. This should at least help remove the vegetable oil. Now, the disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian, so you can try cleaning him like this at your own risk. It shouldn't hurt him if you use the type of soap I have described, and make sure that none is left on his feathers so he won't ingest it. Again, though, I am not a vet, and make no guarantees on the effectiveness of this or even the complete safety of it.

I hope your bird will be okay. :)


Nelly 2 months ago

Will do! Thank you so much for your help! I really appreciate it!


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Rhosynwen 2 months ago Author

@ Nelly: You are welcome!


Summer 7 weeks ago

Hi, thank you for this articile. It had plenty of helpful infomation.

I have always wanted to get a pet but my parents wouldn't agree to a dog but they said mabey to a budgie. So I was wondering if you had any useful tips on how to train a budgie to do tricks or a website I could go to to find out how. Also do you know of good budgie breeders and wing clipers in Dubbo, Mudgee Gulgon, Gerrie or Coolamon?

Thanks agian ☺


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Rhosynwen 7 weeks ago Author

@ Summer: I am glad you found the article to be helpful. I am sorry to say that I do not know of any budgie breeders in Australia, as I am here in the United States. As for training, I know there are a few people on Youtube that have posted short videos about training budgies to do different tricks. You can check those out for a start. I will say that if you do get a budgie, you need to bond with it and have at least taught it to sit calmly on your hand before attempting to teach it tricks.


max 7 weeks ago

i really like your article


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Rhosynwen 7 weeks ago Author

@ max: thank-you


Wendy 6 weeks ago

I have a young budgie, probably 3 mths old. He is happy, chirpy and loves to come out of his cage. He walks on me wanting to chew everything, but he bites me on the facel any suggestions please


Christina A 6 weeks ago

At what age can you start clipping a parakeets wings safely???


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Rhosynwen 6 weeks ago Author

@ 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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Rhosynwen 6 weeks ago Author

@ 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.


Christina A 6 weeks 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.


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Rhosynwen 6 weeks ago Author

@ 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. :)


Christina A 6 weeks 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?


alaskagirl 5 weeks 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


alaskagirl 5 weeks 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


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Rhosynwen 5 weeks ago Author

@ 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!


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Rhosynwen 5 weeks ago Author

@ 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.


alaskagirl 5 weeks 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.


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Rhosynwen 5 weeks ago Author

@ 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!


Christina A 5 weeks 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!!!


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Rhosynwen 5 weeks ago Author

@ 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.


Christina A 5 weeks 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


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Rhosynwen 4 weeks ago Author

@ 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.


Heather 4 weeks 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?


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Rhosynwen 4 weeks ago Author

@ 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).


Daisy 3 weeks 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.


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Rhosynwen 3 weeks ago Author

@ 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.


RosyKat 2 weeks 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?


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Rhosynwen 2 weeks ago Author

@ 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).


Christina A 10 days 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 image

Rhosynwen 8 days ago Author

@ 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. :)

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