Buying Pet Budgies

Did you know that the budgerigar is the the most domesticated bird in the world?

No wonder then that the budgerigar makes a fantastic pet for both the young and old.  Many top budgie breeders started off by having a pet budgie when they were younger.  The amount of colours and varieties available means it is possible to find a quite unique bird to become your pet.  We have put together a few pointers to help you get the most from your new pet budgie.

Where to buy?

  • Always try and seek out a local budgerigar breeder if possible Ė they should have a better selection of well looked after birds for you to choose from.
  • A second option would be to buy from a local pet shop who deals direct with the local breeders.
  • Try to avoid buying from a large out of town pet supplier.  Our experience has been that the birds offered for sale in these stores tend to be of a lower quality and often show signs of basic diseases.
  • Always take your bird home in a carry box, not in a cage.

What to buy?

  • Young birds always make better pets as they are still developing and will adjust to their new environment more easily.
  • Donít try and buy a budgie that is too young.  Between 8 weeks and 3 months is ideal.
  • Which sex? Ė Most people choose a cock bird because they are told that hen birds donít talk.  This is not true, however hens can peck much harder than cocks hence making them more difficult to hand train and more patience is required.
  • Colour may be important to you, but also look for a bird with character.  Spend some time looking at the birds on offer and one will hopefully show signs that he wants to be your pet.
  • Always check that the bird has a ring on its leg.  This ring should be closed rung and show the year that the bird was born and a unique code number that identifies the breeder (our unique code is CDJ1).
  • If you choose to have two pet budgies they will hopefully be very happy together, however it is very unlikely (if not impossible) that you will ever get them to talk.  Also be aware that two cock birds are likely to get on together better than two hen birds and if you have one of each they are likely to want to try and breed at some point.

What to Pay?

  • Dood quality young pet budgies should be readily available from breeders for around £20 to £25

What you will need

Essentials:

Cage 

Cage Cover

Water Pot

Seed Pot

Grit

Perches

Bird Sand/Sand Sheets

Good Practice:

Mineral Block

Cuttlefish

Millet Spray

Tonic Seed

Personal Choice:

Toys

Mirror (it is unlikely that you will get your budgie to talk to you if there is a mirror in the cage)


What not to do

  • Never use aerosols of any kind in the vicinity of your budgie
  • Avoid placing your budgie where it may be exposed to fumes of any kind
  • Be aware of any indoor plants you may have that could be poisonous to your budgie if let out of its cage
  • If you have other pets, please be aware that your pet budgerigar is likely to be the lowest on the food chain!
  • If you plan to let your budgie fly around the house, obviously ensure that all doors and windows are always closed.

To buy a Pet Budgie we advise you taking a look at the following web page http://www.budgerigarsociety.com/pet_budgerigar_breeders.asp

There are many registered breeders and people that we know listed on there, so hopefully you will find someone close to your home

Caring for your Budgerigar

Budgerigars are friendly, cheerful companions for all age groups, and are particularly suitable for flats and other situations where a larger pet may not be practicable.  Keeping any type of bird requires a great deal of patience.  People are usually divided on the rights and wrongs of keeping birds in cages, but cared for properly, captive bred birds have a much longer life span and a great deal less stress than their wild counterparts.  No one likes to see a bird in a cage that looks too small and imagine that they never get to spread their wings and fly.  Birds are highly intelligent animals and, just the same as any other pet, need handling, exercise, contact, play, stimulation and a proper diet.

Housing - Cages

It is quite often easy to think that caged birds do not have big enough cages.  Unfortunately this is sometimes the case, but you also have to remember that by nature birds do tend to like enclosed spaces to call home: cliff overhangs, small caves and roof spaces.  So long as they have regular flying time out of their cage, a smaller cage will make them feel safe and secure.  Toys, swings, ladders, seed sticks and mineral supplements, such as cuttle fish, will all help to keep your bird busy and alleviate boredom whilst in their cage.

However, where room permits, a roomy cage is advisable, preferably one with horizontal bars.  This will allow your budgie to exercise his natural ability to climb around the cage.  The budgie should be housed in an environment free from draughts and kept at an even temperature.  Do not position the cage in front of a window or where the budgie can be interfered with.  Sandsheets or cage bird sand should be placed in the bottom of the cage and replaced regularly.

Before introducing your budgie to his new home, fill the water and feed pots and sprinkle a little extra seed on the floor to ensure that he has enough to eat until he finds the seed pot.  Gently open one end of the carry box and let your budgie walk into his new home.  If he does not settle readily give him some extra protection by draping a cloth around three sides and the top of the cage, gradually removing it as he settles down.  Leave him to adjust quietly.  You should cover up the cage at night only if the room temperature is likely to fall.

Feeding

To be happy and healthy, display their plumage at its best and delight us with their lively singing, birds need a diet to suit their specific requirements.  It is also a very important means of stimulation, as birds like to play with food.

A good quality budgie mixture should be available from your pet shop.  Check the seed dish daily, removing empty husks and refilling if necessary.  Millet sprays may be given as a treat, but do not overfeed (they can be fattening!).  Honey bells and seed bars may also be provided periodically.  Grit helps digestion and should always be available.  Cuttlefish is a good source of calcium.  A mineral block will provide essential minerals and trace elements.  Fresh thoroughly washed green food may be given, such as lettuce, chick weed and dandelion.

Toys

Your budgie will appreciate special toys to play with.  These should be introduced gradually, starting with a ladder, then adding other toys later.  Donít forget that a mirror may prevent your budgie from talking.  Do not over crowd the cage.

General Care

Properly cared for your budgie will live a long and happy life.

Feathers

You can use a suitable fine mist water sprayer to ensure that the feathers are kept fit and clean.  Some budgies enjoy a bath, but not all.

Colds

Draughts  cause colds.  The bird will be listless, with feathers fluffed up and apparently wheezing.  Keep him warm.  Do not bath.  Treat with remedies from your pet shop or consult your vet.

Diarrhoea

This is commonly caused by an excess of green food, mouldy or contaminated food.  Treat with remedies from your pet shop or consult your vet.

Mites

Usually red mite, this is a parasite which feeds on the birdís blood, causing itching and loss of weight.  It is easy to destroy them by using a suitable spray.

Beaks and Toenails

Should these become overgrown, you will need to get expert help from the vet or the breeder where you purchased your budgie.

Cleaning

The cage, perches and food and water pots must be cleaned regularly.