What’s A Budgie?
Do budgies make good pets? Most people, at least in the United States, know them as “parakeets.” But their real name is “budgerigar.” The word comes from the aborigines of Australia, the parakeet homeland. The term “budgerigar” is often shortened to “budgie.”
Budgies are very active, playful pets. They are also incredibly intelligent. Some learn to talk, and some budgies have a 100+ word vocabulary! If they were not hand fed or handled as babies, budgies can still usually become finger tame with some diligent training. Their antics and singing will brighten up any room in your home. And budgies who are not finger tame still can become friendly towards you, and even still learn to talk.
Here is some basic budgie information:
- Cage Size – A basic can be 1.5 foot wide x 1.3 foot deep x 1.3 foot tall cage. Remember, budgies are very active and playful, and they need plenty of room to stretch their wings, flap about, and climb around.
- Perches – Make sure the cage is equipped with good quality wooden perches. Buy a couple perches that are differently sized/shaped because this will be good for your budgie’s feet and a varied arrangement will stimulate exercise.
- Seed – Use fresh seed with at least 40% straight canary seed. You can buy this at most pet stores, and it is best if they come in sealed plastic bags.
- Cuttle Bone and Mineral Block – You need to provide your budgie with a cuttle bone and a mineral block. These white powdery blocks provide your budgie with essential nutrients and calcium. A budgie left without these items for a long period of time will become deficient and may develop medical complications.
- Toys – Your budgie needs toys as a bored budgie can suffer both emotionally/behaviorally and even develop health problems. Favorite budgie toys tend to be swings, bells, and lattice balls with bells in them.
What is involved in caring for a pet budgie?
- Daily Care – Your pet budgie needs daily attention if he or she is an only bird. Every night it is a good to use a light sheet or blanket to cover the cage. This will not only provide security for your budgie, but will also help to keep him quiet.
- Food and Water – You need to check your pet budgie’s cage every day to make sure it has plenty of food and water. It is important to supplement your budgie’s seed-only diet with a fruit or veggie to munch on. Budgie favorites include carrot tops, dark leafy greens, and strawberries.
- Cleaning and Maintenance – About once a week you will need to change out the liner in the bottom of the cage, we’re told Pet Gazettes work perfectly!
- Hazards – You want to do everything possible to keep your budgie away from hazards. Place his or her cage away from places where household cleaners and spray products such as hair spray are commonly used.