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A wire birdcage with a removable tray will make a wonderful home for your new budgie. Don't leave your budgie outside of their cage unless you're in the room. Budgies love to fly so the taller and bigger your cage is, the happier your budgie will be. It is best to remove the wire bottom above the cage's tray. This can trap small feet and can be very difficult to clean. Line the try with newspaper and a sprinkle of shell grit. Your cage should be cleaned twice a week as it is better to do frequent small cleans, then irregular large ones. There are a variety of different cage cleaners available.
When Keeping Budgies, here is a rule of thumb: Everything in 3's!
- 3 Wing lengths: A good cage should be three times the Budgies wingspan.
- 3 Bowls: Most cages have two. One bowl for food and another for water, an extra bowl is good for treats!
- 3 Toys: Budgies do get bored quickly, so have a number of different toys for them. Avoid mirrors, particularly with hand-raised budgies and those kept in groups.
- 3 Perches: Have perches of different widths, this will exercise the Budgies feet. Natural perches are beneficial as they are generally more comfortable and allow for further exercise than generic pine perches.
There are numerous brands of budgie food and Pet Magic bag a fully balanced 'Budgie Seed Mix', which is available in numerous sizes. Your budgies will also like to eat charcoal and calcium treats such as cuttle bone.
Fresh water daily is a must, and should be provided in a bowl. To keep the water clean during the day place some mint in the bowl as it will control bacteria in the water if the bird accidentally toilets in it.
Your budgie will love treats but it is important to remember which are the safe options.
SAFE: apple, pear, strawberry, broccoli, cauliflower, cuttlebone, capsicum, carrot, dried fruit, Chinese greens, sprouts, small bits of cheese.
AVOID: avocado, rhubarb, oxalis, potato, cherry, beetroot, cabbage, eggplant, beans, onion, lettuce.
Budgies are social animals, so it is a good idea to get two or more. They are more active and fun to watch when kept in groups. If your budgie has been hand-raised or you want them to talk, then it is fine to keep them alone as long as you provide the company they need to be happy.
Training budgies to talk is easy (but it all depends on the individual bird). Talk to your budgie in a soft manner at night, starting with simple 'ch' sounding words. During the day have your budgie near the TV or radio as this can encourage social interaction. Your budgie is more likely to mimic a feminine voice, so keep this in mind. Both male and female budgies can be trained to talk, but males seem to learn faster.
Hand-raised birds should be handled daily. But keep in mind an uncomfortable budgie will bite if needed. If your budgie looks stressed while being handled immediately stop as stress is a killer for birds.
Budgies should always have a number of toys available in the cage to keep them entertained. Pet Magic stocks a huge range of bird toys, just try to stay away from mirrors to avoid damaged beaks and possessiveness.
Budgies need little grooming and a healthy budgie will groom themself regularly. If your budgie appears un-groomed this is usually a sign of illness and they may need some vitamin or medication supplements.
Clipping wings is a potentially dangerous process so it is best to visit the Vet if you wish to do so. Only ever clip the wings of hand-raised budgies, never aviary bred budgies as it can seem inhumane.
Budgies kept inside may suffer from moulting issues. Budgies moult based on seasonal changes in the environment. In a controlled area (like an air conditioned room) the bird doesn't experience seasonal fluctuations, which can cause moulting irregularities. Moulting tonics are available and should be given every month for inside Budgies.
Budgies are easy to breed and can breed at around 4 months. The male has a blue cere (nostrils above the beak), while females have brown. Budgies require a nesting box to breed, however they don't need nesting material. Place the nest box in the highest corner of the cage. Its best to breed your budgies in spring and autumn, and avoid the extreme seasons of summer and winter. If you don't want your budgies to breed simply remove the box. If breeding Budgies, always have extra sources of calcium for the female budgie. This will help egg formation and prevent "egg bounding" which is potentially fatal.
There are usually 5 eggs in each clutch, which hatch 18 days after the last egg is laid. The eggs usually hatch on consecutive days, so there may be 2 weeks age difference between the oldest and youngest chicks. Both the male and the female share parental duties and care for the chicks. While the parents are rearing, make sure you give them plenty of fruit, vegetables and extra vitamin supplements.
Usually fledging occurs at around 4-5 weeks of age and the babies can go to new homes once they turn 6 weeks old
Health "Prevention is the Best Cure"
Budgies need to be wormed every 3 months. There are many brands to choose from but Pet Magic recommends Aristopet® Complete Bird Wormer. Dosage for budgies is easy as it is a simple dilution in the drinking water. During worming, don't give the budgie any fresh fruits or vegetables.
Budgies need to be treated against mite and lice every 6 weeks. We use and recommend Aristopet® Bird Mite and Lice Spray. Just a small spray on each budgie in the cage at the same time is all that is needed. Make sure to spray the cage, toys and perches, remembering to remove food and water bowls before spraying. Any new perches should be sprayed before being placed in the cage. If a Budgie is not treated regularly they can become infected, which leads to feather plucking.
When introducing a new budgie, worm and lice spray the entire flock. Budgies from Pet Magic have been frequently wormed and lice sprayed.