Native to Australia, budgies are very popular pets, and with good cause. They are active, playful, and quite affordable. And with time, they can even mimic your speech. But while taking care of them is mostly straightforward, it can be tricky for beginners, leading to problems down the line. So if you have one of these birds, it’s important to be aware of common mistakes you should avoid.
Fortunately, that is where we come in – we have rounded up 5 mistakes that beginners usually make when taking care of their budgies. Avoiding these will at least give your budgie a solid shot at thriving. So here is the rundown:
Not spending enough time with a budgie (Huge Mistakes)
Truth be told, budgies are very social birds. When in the wild, they spend a lot of time with fellow budgies for both survival and companionship. Staying in their flock helps them evade predators and locate food sources. Also, it provides everyday emotional support. So if you’re planning to spend a few minutes with your budgie at the end of each day, that’s just not going to cut it.
These birds need hours of your time every day to be healthy and happy, and that is not even counting the time you’ll need to spend feeding them, cleaning out their cages, and taking them to the vet. Whether you decide to watch TV with your budgie or play with them, just ensure you spend enough time with them.
Additionally, remember to take your budgie outside their cage from time to time and never leave them home alone for more than a day. Although it is harder to find a budgie pet sitter or boarding facility than a dog/cat one, it is necessary when you’re going to be away for a while. This is the only way to ensure that they are well taken care of when you are gone.
Not keeping the budgie cage clean and supplying fresh food and water
Although they are small birds, budgies can be quite messy. They can get seeds all over their cages and surroundings. What’s worse is that they poop every few minutes, and since this is part of how they keep healthy, you shouldn’t train them out of it. All this is a recipe for a dirty cage, especially when you add bath time to the mix.
That’s why it is important to clean your budgie’s cage at least once a week. If your bird is tamed, you can let him fly free while you do the cleaning. Ensure that the cage’s bottom trays, toys, and any bowls are washed with warm water and soap. As for wooden accessories, you can wipe them with a damp cloth.
Remember to clean the bars of the cage too – they tend to harbor a lot of bacteria. If you’re worried about disease, consider disinfecting as well – you can use a pet-friendly disinfectant or a mixture of water and vinegar. As you clean your budgie’s cage, remember to replenish their daily food and water and check for any health concerns.
For instance, you could check whether the bird’s droppings are a healthy color and consistency. Also, you can check whether they have eaten as much as they usually do and if there are more regurgitated seeds in the cage than usual.
Serving treats as daily food
While you should ensure that your budgie has food in their cage every day, you shouldn’t give them treats as daily food. Their favorite treats should be reserved only for training periods. For their daily food, go with seeds, pellets, and maybe some vegetables. Also, never give your budgie a treat as soon as they wake up.
Since these birds usually wake up with an appetite, the morning is the best time for them to bulk up on wholesome healthy food. Just ensure you get rid of any leftovers in the morning, wash their bowls, and fill them with fresh food and water. Unlike dogs, most birds prefer their food fresh, and even sometimes aesthetically pleasing. Also, depending on the quality of your tap water, they may even prefer bottled water.
When it comes to treats, select them according to what your bird loves best. If you notice they eat a lot of fruit when offered, that could be a great treat to use in the next training session.
Getting them a small cage (Mistakes you need to avoid)
Budgies are playful birds that need enough space to fly around and live happily. So one of the worst things you can do is trap your budgie in a tiny cage. The cage size for a single budgie should be at least 18 inches long by 18 inches wide by 12 inches deep. For two budgies, it should be 39 inches long by 32 inches wide by 20 inches deep. And since these birds love to move from side to side, a wide rectangular shape is perfect for them.
A great way to tell that your bird is comfortable is by checking whether he can fully stretch out his wings without hitting any bars, toys, or food. This way, he can do everything that he needs to do comfortably. Another thing to keep in mind when getting a cage for your budgie is that the bars should be horizontal and not more than 0.5 inches apart.
This will ensure that your bird’s head doesn’t get stuck in between them. Also, ensure that you have enough perches in your budgie’s cage – some arranged like ladders and others near the toys. Since you are going to need a good number of perches to keep your budgie occupied, this is yet another reason to get a big cage.
Keeping a single bird
As we’ve said before, budgies can get lonely easily and often prefer constant companionship. That’s why it’s preferable to have at least two of them. This way, even when you are busy with work, they are not alone. Some of the signs that your budgie is lonely and needs a companion are:
- He begins to pluck his feathers
- His appetite has reduced
- There is a change in his vocalization
- He has become irritable
- His droppings look different
If you do decide to get your budgie a companion, you should get one of the same genders, unless you are open to the idea of having baby budgies too. And while it can be hard to tell the difference between a female and male budgie, the pet store seller can easily tell you definitively. Ultimately, as long as you can afford it and have enough space, getting a second budgie can make your older one happier, healthier, and more active.
Caring for a budgie takes time and money
Many budgie owners won’t tell you this, but keeping this tiny bird is an expensive endeavor. There are a lot of hidden costs behind the $20 upfront one. Not only will you have to pay for a big cage, perches, toys, and food, but you may have to get a play stand down the line. And let’s not even get started on how sickly these birds are – they can cost you a lot in veterinary fees. So if you’re not ready to invest your money, time, energy, and love into these cuties, they are not the best pet option for you!