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Caring for a Budgerigar

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: November 8, 2016
Caring for a Budgerigar

The common or shell parakeet, also known as Australian budgerigar, has become a very familiar pet all around the world. In fact, the budgie is the world's most popular domestic bird.

Budgerigars are as intelligent as some large parrots and they can be domesticated without a problem. They are able to learn to perch on your hand, play with certain objects, and repeat words or imitate actions. Budgies love company and they are happy animals overall.

If you have this fantastic bird, or are planning to adopt one, don't hesitate to stay at AnimalWised and read all about caring for a budgerigar.

You may also be interested in: Differences between Male and Female Budgerigars

Creating an habitat for a budgerigar

Choosing the best cage for your budgie is very important because it will spend most of the day inside it. Parakeets need a cage at least 50 centimeters (20 inches) wide, bearing in mind they fly horizontally, so we recommend a wider cage rather than a tall and thin one. Of course. the cage should be bigger if you're thinking of getting another bird. It is recommended to have more than one budgie; however, having two females is not a good idea. Learn why in our article on the differences between male and female budgerigars.

You can use branches of fruit trees, available in lots of shops, as perches. These are fantastic for them because they can exercise their feet on different sized branches.

Always provide a feeder for your budgerigar inside the cage if possible, as well as an adequate water feeder; both feeders must always be kept fresh and clean. At the bottom of the cage you must also add a special type of lining with calcium deposits to properly stimulate the bird.

Cage accessories for a budgie should match the size of its cage. In other words, don't put in a thousand toys and perches if the animal will have no space to move. If you want a very ornate cage, think carefully before buying a large one. Include a swing, ropes or ladders.

The location of the budgie's cage, as is the case with other birds, should always be in a place free from smoke, direct sunlight, drafts or excessive noise. Look for a calm, cool and harmonious place so your pet will feel happy and at ease. You can also keep your budgerigar outside, keeping in mind that they must have shade, with no exposure to excessive heat or excessive cold, and be protected from the rain.

Caring for a Budgerigar - Creating an habitat for a budgerigar

What is the best diet for a budgerigar?

The basic diet of a budgerigar is mainly canary seed and millet. You can find ready-made mixes in the supermarket; as we mentioned, the budgie is a very common pet bird.

It is also essential to add a cuttlefish bone or a piece of calcium, and from experience, we recommend the former. Learn all about its nutritional properties here.

For extra food, you can offer lettuce leaves, which they love. Furthermore, you can try to give them small pieces of fruit such as pear, apple and watermelon. Vegetables are also an option, as parakeets love chard, peas, corn and carrots.

You can also offer your budgie alfalfa, adored by most birds, but restrict its intake as it can be quite calorific.

Caring for a Budgerigar - What is the best diet for a budgerigar?

Maintaining the cage's hygiene

It is essential that the cage and all the items within it are regularly cleaned. The accumulation of excrement and rotten food can cause a variety of diseases for your pet.

Check the budgie from time to time to make sure it doesn't have parasites (with special attention to the wings). You can get rid of insects with insecticide available in pet stores, don't worry, it doesn't hurt.

Although budgerigars are very clean animals, you must provide something extra to prevent disease. In shops you can find small swimming pools for birds to soak in, something they love to do, especially in summer. If you can't find one, you can use a small plastic container that your bird can easily access and fill it with water. You can also use a spray bottle.

If you see any sign of disease it is important to go to the vet.

Caring for a Budgerigar - Maintaining the cage's hygiene

If you want to read similar articles to Caring for a Budgerigar, we recommend you visit our What you need to know category.

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