Birds have always held a special place in my heart, particularly the lively, charming budgies.
In this guide, I share some of the vital steps and topics about budgie care that can make your bond with your pet stronger and healthier.
Budgie Care Guide involves understanding your budgie’s needs in terms of diet, habitat, social interaction, and health. This includes providing a balanced diet with variety, setting up a spacious and engaging cage, ensuring enough sleep and playtime, regular health checks, and close observation of behavior and droppings for early disease detection.
Of course, you will take care of your budgerigar on a daily basis, but even if you are not there, the equipment, food, containers you choose are included in the care of your budgerigar.
That’s why “budgie care” is in question both when choosing equipment and choosing consumables.
Before Buying A Budgie: Budgie Care Begins Before Purchasing
A decision to own a budgie should not be taken lightly.
It is not just about buying a beautiful bird; it involves responsibilities that can span up to a decade.
Budgies have unique needs that must be met to ensure they lead a healthy, happy life.
Potential owners should consider factors such as the budgie’s habitat, dietary needs, and companionship requirements.
Firstly, understand the commitment.
Budgies can live up to 10 to 15 years with proper care.
As potential owners, you must be ready to commit to caring for these lively creatures for their entire lifespan.
This involves daily care tasks, a stimulating environment, regular health check-ups, and emotional engagement.
Secondly, remember that budgies, like all pet birds, are not just decorative pieces.
They are social, intelligent creatures that crave interaction and mental stimulation.
A bored or lonely budgie can develop destructive habits and become depressed.
Hence, if you are often away from home or cannot dedicate a part of your day to interact with your pet, a budgie may not be the right choice.
Budgie Cage: Setting Up Its Home
The cage size is a critical aspect of budgie care that is sometimes underestimated.
If you think of the cage as a budgie’s house, you can quickly understand why size matters.
It’s their space for playing, eating, sleeping, and most importantly, flying.
Budgies are active, lively birds who need room to exercise their wings and hop around.
A small cage restricts their movements, leading to boredom, frustration, and even health problems over time.
In contrast, a large, spacious cage can help simulate a more natural environment, fostering physical health and mental well-being.
The absolute minimum cage size for a budgie is 18x18x18 inches (45x45x45 cm), but larger is always better.
This size is the bare minimum for one budgie, and you should increase the cage size if you plan to house more than one budgie.
A general rule is to add 50% more space per additional bird.
However, cage size is not just about the length and breadth; height matters too.
Budgies are horizontal fliers, not vertical climbers like some other birds.
Therefore, a long, wide cage is more beneficial than a tall, narrow one.
Remember, the cage’s size must accommodate perches, toys, food and water dishes, and still leave ample room for your budgie to move freely.
Here is a chart showing budgie numbers and recommended cage size.
|Number of Budgies
|Cage Size (inches)
|Cage Size (cm)
Budgie Cage Position At Home
The position of a budgie’s cage within your home is a vital part of its well-being and has an immediate impact on its overall health and happiness.
Budgies are social creatures, and as such, they should be housed where they can observe and be part of your family’s activities.
But this also needs to be balanced with their need for a safe, calm, and quiet place for resting and sleeping.
One important thing to note is that budgies are prey animals in the wild, which means they have a natural instinct to be on high alert for potential threats.
A cage placed in the middle of a room can make a budgie feel exposed and anxious as they have nowhere to retreat to for safety.
Ideally, the cage should be placed against a wall to give them a sense of security and boundary.
Consider placing the cage in a room where your family spends most of their time, such as the living room or family room.
This allows your budgie to feel part of the group and prevents them from feeling isolated or ignored.
However, avoid placing the cage in the kitchen due to potential exposure to cooking fumes, hot surfaces, and sharp objects.
Natural light is also beneficial for budgies, so placing the cage near a window can be good, but make sure there is a shaded area in the cage where the bird can retreat if it becomes too warm.
Furthermore, make sure that the cage isn’t in direct sunlight, which can dangerously overheat your budgie.
It’s also crucial to avoid placing the cage near drafts or sudden changes in temperature.
Therefore, avoid locations near air vents, heaters, or doors that lead outside.
Sound is another factor to consider.
Budgies need a quiet environment for their rest and sleep times.
They should be away from loud noises like television, loud music, or household appliances that can stress them.
As a veterinary worker, I observed that even minor changes in a pet’s environment can affect their well-being.
Remember, your home is now your budgie’s habitat.
Placing their cage in an optimal location will help ensure they feel secure, stimulated, and a part of your family.
Perches are an indispensable part of a budgie’s cage setup.
They provide essential surfaces for your budgie to stand, rest, play, and navigate their home.
But it’s not just about installing any perch; the type, size, and placement of perches all contribute to the health and happiness of your feathered friend.
There’s a wide variety of perches available, from wooden dowels that often come with bird cages, to natural branch perches, rope perches, and even perches designed for beak and nail trimming.
Each type has its advantages.
Standard dowel perches are durable and easy to clean, but they lack variety in diameter and texture, which is essential for foot health.
Perches of the same diameter and texture can lead to pressure sores and lack of foot exercise.
Natural branch perches, made from non-toxic, untreated trees, offer a range of diameters and textures that exercise your budgie’s feet as they move around.
They also provide a more natural and comfortable grip compared to dowel perches.
Rope perches are soft and bendable, allowing for some creativity in placement.
They’re great for budgies to climb and explore, but owners should be careful to trim or replace them if they become frayed to prevent ingestion of the fibers.
Calcium or mineral perches double up as a beak and nail trimming tool while providing a perching spot.
However, these should not be the only type of perch in the cage as they can be hard on budgies’ feet.
A variety of perches in different sizes, textures, and types is best for your budgie’s foot health and mental stimulation.
Arrange them in a way that encourages movement around the cage, but avoid placing perches above food or water dishes to prevent contamination from droppings.
Swings are an excellent addition to a budgie’s cage.
They serve multiple purposes, from providing entertainment and exercise to offering a comfortable spot for your budgie to rest.
They can easily become a favorite spot for your budgie to perch.
When installing a swing in your budgie’s cage, consider the placement carefully.
It should be hung high enough that your budgie’s tail doesn’t touch the cage floor when they’re on it, but also low enough that they can easily hop on and off without struggle.
Additionally, make sure the swing doesn’t obstruct the flight path in the cage, and there’s enough space around it for your budgie to navigate easily.
Food And Water Dishes
The selection and placement of food and water dishes in your budgie’s cage are as crucial as choosing what goes into them.
These dishes are a fundamental part of your budgie’s daily life and need to be considered carefully.
First, consider the material of the dishes.
Stainless steel or high-quality, heavy-duty plastic dishes are generally a good choice.
They’re durable, easy to clean, and resistant to chewing.
Avoid dishes made from cheap plastic or materials that can easily break or chip, as these can pose a risk of injury or ingestion.
The dishes should be appropriately sized for your budgie.
They should be deep enough to hold the food or water, but not so deep that your budgie struggles to reach inside.
Ideally, the dishes should be shallow and wide, allowing easy access while minimizing the risk of your budgie accidentally falling in.
Position the dishes in the cage strategically.
They should be placed at a height where your budgie can comfortably reach them, typically around the level of the lower perches.
However, be sure not to place them under perches to avoid contamination from droppings.
Also, keep them away from toys and busy areas of the cage to prevent spillage and mess.
Regular cleaning of these dishes is vital.
Food dishes should be cleaned daily to remove any leftover food and prevent bacteria growth.
Water dishes should also be cleaned daily, and the water should be replaced with fresh, clean water.
A bathing dish is an important accessory in a budgie’s cage as it provides a space for your budgie to clean and refresh themselves.
This dish should be shallow, with a maximum depth equal to your budgie’s leg length to prevent accidental drowning.
Its width should allow the bird to comfortably spread its wings.
Ceramic or plastic dishes are a good choice due to their durability and ease of cleaning.
Position the dish at a low level in the cage, preferably on the cage floor, and fill it with fresh, room-temperature water, replacing it frequently to maintain hygiene.
I’ve seen how regular baths not only contribute to a budgie’s hygiene but also enhance their overall well-being and happiness.
Ladders are a wonderful enrichment tool for your budgie, encouraging both physical activity and cognitive engagement.
Made typically from wood or plastic, they provide a path for budgies to explore different areas of the cage, promoting exploration and exercise.
Ladders offer a climbing challenge, improving their leg strength and agility, while also stimulating problem-solving as your budgie navigates their environment.
Bedding in a budgie’s cage serves the crucial role of maintaining cleanliness and comfort, effectively absorbing droppings, food particles, and feathers.
Popular options include paper-based products like newspaper and cage liners, or natural materials such as wood shavings and corn cob bedding.
Each has benefits: paper products are economical, hygienic, and safe, while wood shavings and corn cob bedding can provide additional interest for the budgie and help control odors.
However, it’s essential to avoid cedar or pine shavings due to their harmful oils and to change any bedding regularly to prevent bacterial growth and maintain hygiene.
A cage cover is an essential item for your budgie’s comfort and well-being, providing a sense of security and aiding in establishing a consistent sleep routine.
Ideally, the cover should be lightweight yet dense enough to block out light, ensuring your budgie gets uninterrupted sleep.
Breathable materials like cotton or linen are a great choice as they allow air circulation while maintaining darkness.
The cover should fit the cage well, covering all sides but leaving some space at the bottom for air flow.
Establishing a routine of covering the cage at the same time each night can signal to your budgie that it’s bedtime, helping to regulate their sleep cycle.
A nest box is a crucial accessory in your budgie’s cage if you’re considering breeding.
It serves as a secure and private space where your budgie can lay and incubate her eggs.
The nest box should be made of a sturdy material like wood and have adequate ventilation.
The size should be large enough to comfortably accommodate your budgie and her potential chicks, but small enough to give a sense of security.
It’s recommended to have a small opening or door for you to check on the budgie and her eggs without disturbing her too much.
Place it high in the cage, as budgies naturally prefer to nest in elevated locations.
Budgie Diet: Food, Seed, Pellets, Water, Treats, Supplements
Seeds are an integral part of a budgie’s diet.
However, they should not be the only thing they eat, as seeds alone can’t provide all the nutrients a budgie needs.
Pellets are an excellent addition to a budgie’s diet.
They are specifically formulated to provide a balance of nutrients that a budgie needs.
Fresh and clean water is a necessity.
Budgies need it for drinking and bathing.
Treats are an excellent way to provide enrichment to your budgie, but should only make up a small part of their diet.
Depending on their diet, budgies may need nutritional supplements, especially calcium and Vitamin D3.
Create Variety In Diet
Variety in a budgie’s diet is vital for ensuring they receive a range of nutrients necessary for their health and well-being.
While seeds and pellets form the core of their diet, incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables can provide essential vitamins and minerals.
Items like apples, oranges, broccoli, and leafy greens are excellent additions, but they should be introduced gradually to allow your budgie to acclimate to new tastes.
Treats can also add diversity, but should be given sparingly to prevent weight gain.
Offering a diverse diet not only enhances your budgie’s health, but also introduces new textures and tastes, stimulating their senses.
As an experienced veterinary worker, I can attest to the positive impact of dietary variety on a budgie’s health and life quality.
Avoid Foods Harmful To Budgie Health
While it’s crucial to provide a varied diet for your budgie, it’s equally important to avoid foods that can be harmful.
Foods like avocados, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol are toxic to budgies and can cause severe health issues.
Additionally, avoid feeding your budgie high-fat or high-sodium foods, as these can lead to obesity and related health problems.
Fruit seeds such as those found in apples and pears contain cyanide and are harmful as well.
Certain fruits with high acidity, like citrus, should be given sparingly.
Caring For Your Budgie’s Beak And Feathers
Beak Trim/grinding Stone (Cuttlebone and mineral blocks)
A budgie’s beak continuously grows.
Providing a beak trim or grinding stone helps keep their beak in check.
Regular preening and grooming are essential for feather health.
Bathing Your Budgie
Regular baths help keep a budgie’s feathers clean and free from dirt and dust.
Make Sure It Gets Enough Sleep Daily
Budgies need at least 10 to 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
Ensuring your budgie gets enough sleep daily is essential for their overall health and well-being.
Like humans, budgies need a period of rest and recuperation.
Typically, budgies require around 10-12 hours of sleep each night.
Without enough sleep, they can become irritable, show changes in behavior, and even experience a weakened immune system.
To promote good sleep, establish a consistent bedtime routine, cover their cage to provide a dark, quiet environment, and keep their cage in a space free from nighttime disturbances.
Toys are essential for budgies to express their natural behaviors and keep them mentally stimulated.
Budgie Caring During The Breeding Seasons
Budgies have specific care requirements during their breeding seasons that owners must understand and cater to.
Observe Your Budgie’s Body And Droppings For Potential Diseases
One of the key aspects of budgie care is vigilant observation of their body and droppings (budgie poop), as changes can indicate potential health issues.
Look for any physical changes in your budgie such as loss of feathers, changes in eye clarity, or abnormalities in their beak or legs.
Monitor their behavior as well, noting any changes in eating, preening, or social habits.
Equally crucial is observing their droppings, which should be firm and dark with white urates.
Changes in color, consistency, or frequency can signify digestive issues or other health concerns.
Regular observation can help detect diseases early, enabling prompt veterinary intervention.
Playing With Your Budgie: Make Your Budgie Feel That It’s Not Alone
Budgies are social birds that thrive on interaction.
Spending time with your budgie helps them feel loved and not alone.
How Do I Take Care Of My Budgie On A Daily Basis?
Daily care includes providing fresh food and water, cleaning the cage, and spending time with your budgie.
How Should We Treat The Budgie?
Can I Hold My Budgie In My Hand?
Budgies can be held, but it requires trust and should be done gently and with care.
Do Not Make Sudden Loud Noises And Do Not Place The Cage Near Items That Make Loud Noises.
Loud noises can stress budgies.
It’s crucial to maintain a calm and peaceful environment for them.
When And Under What Circumstances Should I Take My Budgie To The Vet?
Regular vet check-ups are essential.
Additionally, if your budgie shows signs of illness, it’s crucial to consult a vet immediately.
Veterinary Care For Budgies: What Care Is Given For My Budgie At The Vet?
Regular health check-ups can help detect potential issues early and keep your budgie in good health.
Some owners choose to clip their budgie’s wings to prevent them from flying away.
It should be done professionally and carefully.
Grooming services can include beak and nail trimming and feather care.