If you just got your first budgie, it can be tricky trying to figure out how to properly take care of it, particularly if you’ve never had a bird before. As such, it can be years before you notice that some of the things you are doing are actually mistakes. Fortunately, we are passionate about preventing this from happening to you.
In today’s post, we are going to talk about 10 common mistakes you could be making with your budgie. These include:
Surprising your budgie
If there’s one thing you should know about budgies, it’s that they don’t like surprises. In fact, they are scared of them. So if you don’t have to change something, don’t. Even a change as minor as wearing a new brightly colored shirt around them can freak them out. Other surprises that can scare budgies include:
- Making random hand movements in their personal space
- Reaching out to pick up your budgie while holding something else in your hand
- Suddenly placing unfamiliar objects in your budgie’s cage. To avoid scaring your budgie, first, place the foreign object outside the cage for a few days so that they can get used to it
- Suddenly changing your budgie’s diet. For best results, you should gradually wean your bird off their current diet as you slowly introduce the new one
Another thing you should keep in mind is that some life experiences make your budgie extra jittery and prone to getting surprised. These include:
- Coming from an abusive home
- Being exposed to predators like cats and dogs in the home
- Experiencing an earthquake or other natural disasters
- So if your budgie has experienced any of the above, you’ll need to be extra patient with them.
Not covering your budgie’s cage
For budgies to sleep well, they need to be in a dark and quiet environment reminiscent of the nest cavities they have in the wild. So if your budgie has erratic sleep patterns, it may be because you don’t cover their cage at night, allowing light and noise to seep in.
Ensure you don’t cover the entire cage though – your budgie still needs to get ample airflow to remain healthy and comfortable
Using synthetic perches
While it can be tempting to use synthetic perches, natural wooden perches are the best for budgies. They look like the perches that budgies use in the wild and are also great for your bird to chew or rub against. What’s more? You can easily make DIY ones at home. In fact, here is a step-by-step guide on how to go about doing so:
- Measure your budgie’s cage and choose a wood length that is a few inches longer. This will ensure that the perch fits through the bars for support
- Get several sticks from budgie-safe trees like beech, birch, elm, manzanita, elm, maple, poplar, mimosa, and spruce. These are non-toxic sturdy hardwood trees that can hold up to budgie pecking and are less likely to harbor parasites/bacteria. Unsafe woods include red alder, azalea, apricot, holly, hemlock, and boxwood
- Use pruning shears to cut the sticks to your desired length, ensuring that each end is straight, flat, and has no protruding splinters. Ensure the diameter of each stick is at least 0.75 inches
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and wash your sticks with warm soapy water and a rag. Ensure the soap you use is non-toxic and that you thoroughly dry your sticks with a towel after washing them
- Oven your sticks for 20 minutes, cool them, and then place them in your budgie’s cage
Not feeding your budgie a balanced diet
If you want your budgie to live a long and healthy life, a balanced diet is a must. Always ensure that they have a good balance of seeds, fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods. Otherwise, these birds are prone to obesity, nutrient deficiencies, and other diet-related diseases.
Housing your budgie in a small cage
Your budgie’s cage should be large enough for them to spread their wings from side to side. That’s why experts recommend your budgie’s cage be at least 18 inches long, 18 inches wide and 12 inches deep. At the end of the day, the bigger the cage the better.
Not getting your budgie toys
Since budgies love playing, one of the greatest injustices you could inflict on them is to deny them toys. So try to figure out which types of toys your budgie likes and get them for him. Remember, different budgies like different toys.
Failing to regularly clean your budgie’s cage
Let’s be honest, budgies can be really messy – they can easily get food, water, and other droppings all over their cages. That’s why it’s important to regularly clean your budgie’s cage – at least once a week. Fortunately, cleaning your budgie’s cage isn’t even complicated – all you need is water and vinegar.
Forgetting to give your budgie a bath
While your budgie shouldn’t bathe every day, you should bathe them from time to time -at least once a week. Fortunately, budgies generally bathe themselves – all you need is to provide them with water.
Placing your budgie’s cage in the sun
While your budgie should get 20 to 30 minutes of sun 2 to 3 times a week, they shouldn’t be left in the sun for periods of over 3 hours. This can easily give your budgie sun sickness or heat strokes. So always be vigilant when letting your budgie get some sun.
Not spending time with your budgie
As anyone who has ever had a budgie can tell you, these birds need a lot of one-on-one time with their owner. So before you get one, ensure that your schedule allows you to spend hours a day with your budgie. Otherwise, they may end up lonely and depressed.
Pay attention to your budgie
Ultimately, the best way to avoid mistakes regarding your budgie is to pay attention to him. This way, you can easily notice when something you’re doing negatively affects them and change accordingly!
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