Despite being referred to as “beginner” birds, Budgie Birds are fragile and have many care requirements. Specifically, Budgies need an appropriate cage, a healthy diet, and plenty of enrichment. There are also many safety considerations that should be taken to keep your Budgerigar well.
With their beautiful coloring and clever nature, Budgie Birds or the Budgerigar to be more formal make excellent and fascinating pets.
A pet Budgie is trainable and affectionate, and they can even mimic human speech! Keep reading to learn all about taking care of a Budgie Bird!
What is a Budgie Bird?
A Budgie is a type of parakeet or also called shell parakeets. These small birds originate from Australia and come in a wide variety of bright colors.
Buggies are a very popular choice for bird enthusiasts and are well known for being good pets.
How to Take Care of a Budgie Bird
One of the reasons Budgie Birds are such popular pets is that they are easy to take care of and require very little space.
They can make great apartment pets and if proper care is taken can flourish even with other pets in the household.
Budgie Bird Cage Requirements
Best Size Cage For Your Budgie
At a minimum, a single Budgie should be 18 inches tall by 18 inches wide and 18 inches in depth. Bigger is generally better for these energetic birds.
Wire, rectangular cages are always preferable for Budgies, as they are easily maneuverable for your bird.
It is essential that the spacing between wires are at a maximum of 1/2” apart, as a Budgie can get stuck in spacing any larger.
If a Budgie’s cage has any signs of rust or damage it should not be used.
What Should I Put On the Bottom of the Cage?
Most bird lovers put old newspaper, paper towels, wax paper, or even clean sand on the bottom of their Budgie’s cage.
There are even specially designed cages that have a metal grate on the floor of the cage so the bird’s droppings just fall through to a catch tray that is easy to remove and clean.
Pets shops in your area will carry professionally prepared material to put on the cage floor so go check out what they have to offer.
Just remember you will need to change it daily no matter what you use.
Budgie Bird Cage Location
Cage placement can be surprisingly impactful on your bird’s health and well-being.
Budgies get lonely easily, so it is a good idea to place your Budgie in a central room in the house where you and your family spend time, such as a living room.
Your Budgie’s cage should be placed on a stand or shelf high off the ground to keep it comfortable.
It is best to keep birds away from kitchens and bathrooms, as both of those areas may be more likely to expose them to fumes and other environmental dangers.
Should Your Budgie’s Cage Be in Direct Sunlight?
To have a healthy Budgie bird you need to make sure they have had some direct sunlight on a daily basis. Some bird experts suggest about five minutes a day and no more in direct sun.
Leaving your Budgie in direct sunlight for too long could be hazardous to their health in many ways including getting them too warm.
Budgie Birds do need to be in a regular light pattern though similar to humans. Light during the day and then dark at night so they sleep properly.
The best Budgie birdcage location will be one where your bird can see the outside sunlight but it is not directly on them.
When it is hot in the summer or afternoon pull a shade over the window.
Can I Put My Budgie’s Cage Outside?
While it may be good for your bird to be outside it needs to be limited to a short period of time and caution is given to the safety of the location.
Can I Use a Light For My Budgie’s Cage Instead of Being Near a Window?
Yes, there are many commercially available lights you can use for your Budgie’s cage. Consult with your veterinarian about which lights are suitable for your bird and your home.
Covering your bird’s cage at night is a signal to them that it is time to rest and sleep. Just make sure to choose a proper cover for the cage.
Should I Put a Cover Over My Birds Cage at Night?
Yes, it is a great idea to use a cage cover at night so they have a dark environment to sleep in and also a sense of privacy.
Can My Budgie Bird Suffocate If I Cover Their Cage?
Not if you use a proper cover and make sure to leave plenty of spaces that air flows easily to the cage! Always err on the side of caution and talk to your vet about how to properly cover the cage.
What to Put in Your Budgie’s Cage
Budgies need a variety of perches and toys in their cage to be healthy and happy.
Perches of different widths, shapes, and materials are recommended so your bird’s feet do not wear or get sore in one spot.
Budgies have individual preferences for toys; you may have to try many out before you find one your Budgie likes.
Chewing toys, preening toys, shredding toys, and foraging toys are all often placed in Budgie birdcages.
How to Clean Your Budgie Bird’s Cage
Budgies are messy birds, so it is recommended that the lining of your Budgie’s cage be changed at least every week.
More thorough cleaning of the cage itself and the items within it should be done monthly with a bird-safe disinfectant.
Budgie Bird Diet
What Do You Feed a Budgie Bird?
Despite what many people think, seeds are not a healthy staple for your Budgie’s diet as they are high in fat and low in nutrients.
A seed diet is just inviting your Budgie Bird to get sick or develop liver disease!
Instead, pellets formulated for Budgies are an excellent way to provide your bird with a balanced diet. It is also important that you offer fresh foods on a regular basis.
A rotating selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and grains is suggested for your bird’s health by most pet bird experts.
Leafy greens and fresh vegetables, such as spinach, are suitable for your bird but they should not be an entire meal and only be given as a treat.
Should I Feed My Budgie Bird Spray Millet?
Spray millet, which is basically just seeds left on a natural stalk, could be a Budgies favorite food! So yes, you can feed your Budgie spray millet but just do so in moderation.
Don’t let your Budgie Bird make a whole meal out of spray millet.
Be sure to talk with your avian veterinarian about a proper diet for your bird or if you need help converting your bird from a seed-only diet.
How Often Do You Need to Change Your Budgie’s Food and Water
Budgies should always have, fresh clean water available, as they are very sensitive to any dirtiness.
Your Budgie’s water should be changed out with fresh water at least once a day to protect it from harmful bacteria.
Messy Budgies may need their water bowls cleaned more often. A good rule of thumb is to change your Budgie’s water out and clean the bowl any time it is visibly dirty.
Foods That Are Harmful to Budgie Birds
Though variety may be essential for bird health, there are many foods that could spell trouble for your feathered friends.
Here are several food items NOT to feed your Budgie Bird.
- Fruit seeds and pits
- Dairy products
- Onions and garlic
Does My Budgie Bird Need a Companion?
When Does a Budgie Need a Friend?
Budgies are incredibly social animals, with wild Budgies regularly living in flocks of around 100. Having a “flock,” whether made up of humans, birds, or both, is critical to your bird’s wellbeing.
A socially neglected Budgie will quickly become depressed and may even become ill.
Untamed Budgies should always be around at least one other of their kind.
If your bird is tame or hand-raised, your company alone may be sufficient if you spend enough time with it, but having another feathered friend may still be a good idea.
How to Be Your Budgie’s Friend
A tame Budgie will often crave attention and affection from humans.
Regularly talking with your Budgie, feeding it healthy snacks from your hand, and simply being in the same room is an excellent way to kickstart a friendship.
As your Budgie begins to trust you more, you should pet its head, let it out of its cage, and try to train it. The more time spent around your bird the better!
What Birds Make Good Friends for Budgies?
Although friendship between two birds is never guaranteed regardless of species, it is typically the best option to pair Budgies with other Budgies.
Larger parrots such as amazons or conures can fatally injure Budgies, and Budgies are known to pick on calmer birds such as cockatiels.
It is important to slowly introduce new birds, supervise interactions, and house birds separately.
How to Groom your Budgie Bird
Should I Give My Budgie a Bath?
Budgies spend several hours a day carefully preening their feathers to keep them in tip-top shape, and human intervention in this realm is not generally recommended.
Budgies take baths on their own from time to time, especially while molting.
A bird will often bathe in its water dish, but if the size is not appropriate for your Budgie you should provide it with a shallow dish.
Many birds respond well to misting with warm water and will hold out their wings to “shower.”
Should I Trim My Budgie’s Nails?
Although pumice perches may help keep your bird’s nails from growing as quickly, they will still require occasional nail trims.
A Budgie’s nails can be carefully clipped or filed with gentle towel restraint and practice.
Care must be taken to not cut a Budgie’s quick for risk of pain and bleeding. It is a good idea to have cornstarch on hand to stop any potential bleeding.
With these dangers in mind, you may find it easier to schedule a vet appointment.
How to Make Your Budgie Happy
Budgie Bird Toys
While they may not have the brains of larger parrots, Budgies are still highly intelligent and require plenty of daily enrichment. Bird toys can help!
Just as a dog or cat like to play with toys designed for them Budgie Birds are no different. Your local pet store will have a lot of bird toys to choose from.
Keep in mind that changing up a bird’s surroundings too much may cause stress. However, it is a good idea to change their toys monthly so that they do not get bored of them.
Budgie Bird Socialization Tips
Just like humans, Budgies are easily entertained with company and socialization, so be sure to interact with your Budgie daily.
Let Them Out of Their Cage
Budgies enjoy being out of their cages to explore, play, interact with their flock, and simply stretch their wings.
It’s a good idea to get your bird out for at least a couple of hours daily.
Since Budgies are small, fragile, and highly curious, it is crucial to supervise your Budgie whenever they are out of their cage.
Pet Your Budgie
Wild Budgies regularly preen each other’s feathers. Tame Budgies enjoy being pet but take care to not pet them anywhere but their heads, feet, neck, or beak.
Petting a bird anywhere else may accidentally communicate to your bird that you want to be mates.
This will make your bird hormonal and often leads to problem behaviors such as biting and grumpiness.
Give Your Budgie Foraging Options
Wild parrots spend as much as 75% of their day foraging. Although it may be convenient for your bird to just eat out of its dish, foraging opportunities are highly enriching.
Foraging may be done with specialized toys or treats hidden throughout the cage. Even some foods provide natural foraging opportunities, such as hiding treats in broccoli.
How to Keep Your Budgie Bird Safe
Avoid Airborne Toxins
There’s a reason canaries were historically used to detect noxious gasses in mines. Birds have highly sensitive lungs and even minute amounts of poisons can prove deadly.
Particular dangers for your Budgie Bird to look out for include:
- Fumes from non-toxic cookware
- Cleaning products
- Natural gas
- Cigarette smoke
- Aerosol products
Keep Your Budgie Away From Other Animals
As prey animals, Budgies are particularly appealing to our predatory pets.
The saliva of a cat contains toxic bacteria that will easily kill your bird even if your feline doesn’t attempt to hunt your bird.
No matter how good-tempered your dog or cat may be, it isn’t worth letting your Budgie near them.
Bird-proof Your Budgie’s Environment
Even if you don’t expect to be letting your Budgie out of its cage immediately, it’s still a good idea to make your house safe since it’s possible for birds to escape their enclosures on occasion.
Bird-proofing your home includes these steps:
- Closing any open windows
- Turning off ceiling fans
- Closing doors
- Covering electrical wires
- Covering or adding decals to any windows or transparent glass
What if My Budgie Bird Gets Sick?
As with all living creatures, Budgie Birds can get sick too. Keep an eye on them and pay attention if something seems unusual in their behavior.
How to Tell if Your Budgie Bird is Sick
As prey animals, Budgies try not to show signs of sickness for as long as they can. By the time they begin to exhibit any symptoms a vet visit is already in order.
Signs of sickness include:
- Changes in drinking and eating
- Excessive tiredness
- Tail bobbing
- Abnormal breathing
- Discharge from eyes and nose
- Abnormal poop
If anything about your Budgie seems “off,” you should call a veterinarian immediately.
Budgie Bird’s health problems may be hard for you to recognize so don’t take any chances. If you think something is not right you are probably correct.
How to Take Your Bird to the Vet
Bringing your bird to the vet can be a stressful experience for everyone involved.
Generally speaking, the best way to reduce stress for your bird is to keep it quiet, dark, and still. While this may not be easy on a car trip, covering your bird and carefully securing it can help.
When bringing your bird to the vet, be sure to put it in a small enclosure without excess toys and perches. If possible, give your bird a small dishcloth to increase its comfort.
What is Parrot Fever?
Parrot fever or Psittacosis is a flu-like disease that humans can get and can be carried on Parrots or Budgies.
Can I Catch Parrot Fever From My Budgie Bird?
Yes, you can get Parrot Fever from your Budgie Bird. If your bird is infected with the parasite it could transmit it to you when you hold them, kiss them, or if they bite you.
It is also possible to become infected by breathing in the small particles from a bird’s droppings.
If you have concerns or questions contact your doctor and veterinarian immediately.
Related Budgie Bird Questions
What is a Budgie Birds Life Span?
Budgie Birds can live to be 10 to 15 years old or more. Unfortunately, most Budgie birds don’t make it that long due to accidents or illness due to improper care.
Can Budgie Birds Talk?
Yes! Many Budgies are able to mimic human speech incredibly well.
Male Budgies and hand-raised Budgies are more likely to talk, but there is no guarantee your Budgie will be talkative.
Do Budgies Like to Be Held?
Budgies are very social birds, so many Budgies love to be held and pet. Whether or not your Budgie is comfortable being held depends on if it is tame and its individual temperament.
Do Budgie Birds Bite?
Although they aren’t known for being aggressive, Budgies can and will bite if they feel threatened. Although bites may hurt and break the skin, they are unlikely to leave any lasting damage.
Are Budgies Loud?
Budgies are quiet compared to larger birds but still make quite a bit of noise during the day.
Are Older Budgie Birds Harder to Take Care of Than Younger Birds?
There is an advantage to young birds compared to older birds due to the fact that you can train them. Old birds will be set in their ways so it could be easier to care for a younger Budgie bird.
Also, remember that older birds will tend to suffer more health issues, which could greatly increase the amount of care they need daily.
While young Budgies may have more energy and cause a racket, they tend to be easier birds to deal with.
Baby Budgies that are raised around humans from the start will be the easiest to care for in later years.
Are Budgie Birds Parrots?
As stated above, Budgies are Parakeets which are a type of small Parrot.
There are many reasons Budgies are the most common and popular pet birds in the world! The pint-sized parrots are affordable, sweet, and easy to care for if you know what you’re doing.
As long as you give your Budgie a suitable environment, a healthy diet, and plenty of love, it is sure to be an amazing family pet for many years.