- Pets and Animals
Ten Reasons Budgies Make Great Pets
Budgies are great company and easy to tame. Taming should however begin from a young age (you can remove a budgie from its mother at about six weeks of age). They are friendly, inquisitive and love to interact with their owners especially if they are kept as a single bird rather than a pair. However, if you do decide to keep only one budgie then you must be sure you give your budgie lots of attention and companionship or it will become lonely and may exhibit self-destructive behaviours such as excessive feather preening leading to sore bald patches.
Budgies are relatively inexpensive to keep compared to other pets. After the initial outlay for the cage and accessories you will find that your budgie has only a few needs such as food, water, sandpaper, cuttlefish and grit (although there is some controversy as to whether budgies actually require grit).
Budgies are very intelligent and with lots of time, patience and repetition can even be taught how to talk. Some owners teach their budgies to repeat their address or phone number so that they can be reunited if lost. You might even be able to teach your budgie simple commands such as ‘home’ when you want it to return to its cage.
Budgies have a comparatively long lifespan of 8 to 10 years (much better than the average for pets such as hamsters, gerbils, rats and mice) and there are even examples of budgies living up to the age of 20. According to the Guinness World Book of Records the longest living budgie lived to the ripe old age of 29 years 2 months. His name was Charlie and he lived in London, England.
Just like humans, budgies are diurnal and enjoy being awake during the day and sleeping at night. However, in the summer months it is advisable not to keep your budgie near a window or other source of daylight as they will wake as soon as the sun rises and can be very lively first thing in the morning especially if they can hear other birds outside. You might therefore want to consider buying a cover for your budgie’s cage that you can remove once you get up in the morning.
When kept in a cage, budgies make only a minimal amount of mess. They only require their cages cleaning out thoroughly once a week and feather moulting means that you may have to hoover/sweep up around the cage every couple of days. You should however clean out the bowls of water and seed and replenish them each day. You should also occasionally clean your budgie’s cage monthly with a pet-safe disinfectant.
There are a variety of colours to choose from with variations of green, yellow, blue and white. A rare variety of budgie is the ‘rainbow’ that combines green, yellow and blue together. You could also look out for the crested or tufted budgie distinctive as a result of tufted feathering on the top of its head.
It will not normally be difficult to find someone willing to look after your budgie whilst you are away as they are so easy to look after. Make sure that you provide the carer with enough food for the time you are away, sand sheets, toys, a list of care instructions and the name and phone number of your vet if you have one. Your friend may not want to give your budgie back afterwards though – they are very easy to become attached to!
Budgies love to play with toys and it can be very enjoyable watching them play with small balls, bells etc. They also enjoy having a mirror in their cage and will often talk to the mirror for hours. However, if you want to teach your budgie to talk then it is best not to have a mirror in the cage as this will act as another companion to the budgie and will be a distraction.
Budgies do not need to be taken outside for exercise although they do enjoy being allowed outside the cage to fly. You must make sure that the environment is safe and that there are no open windows or doors before you allow this though. You could take your budgie outside in its cage occasionally as it will enjoy the sunshine (although you should not expose your budgie to excessive heat) and your budgie may even enjoy a light shower of rain (a budgie’s feathers are waterproof).
Just a note...
You should never buy any pet without giving it a great deal of thought and finding out as much information as you can beforehand. Check out https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-of-your-pet/the-keys-to-better-care/budgerigars for further information.