Beeps 'N' Peeps

Budgies, or Parakeets as they’re known in the U.S., are one of the most popular pet birds around the world. Originally hailing from Australia, these little parrots come in a wide variety of colors, but the typical color of a wild budgie is the standard green and yellow. In the wild, budgies have been documented gathering in flocks that can number in the thousands. Wild budgies are constantly on the lookout for food and water. In the wild, budgies are known to forage for seeds and feed on grains growing on farmlands. A wild breeding pair will search out a hole in a tree to make their nest. In my personal experience, I have seen male and female budgies form strong bonds with their partners. You may hear about two types of budgies when doing research, the English and the American. The English budgies are often considered to be show birds. They are quite a bit larger than the average budgie. The American budgie is the type you will see in your local pet store. Tamed budgies can often be taught how to talk, but this is usually more of a male trait. These birds pack a lot of a lot of personality in their tiny bodies.

My budgies are given a mixture of fruits and vegetables nearly every day of the week along side their diet of seeds and pellets. For my birds, I’ve noticed that they really love broccoli, carrots and apples. I try to make sure that at least two of these are in the mixture I make for them. They are coming to grow fond of sprouts and soaked seeds. I usually try to give them a millet spray once every couple weeks, but I’ll sometimes give them an extra one after a cage cleaning. Their water is also changed every single day. Sometimes, I’ll even add in a few drops of apple cider vinegar to their water.

I offer my birds the best cages I can afford and rotate their toys every couple of weeks. Because of the high cost of bird toys in the stores, I’ve started buying simple things from craft stores so I can build my own toys. I have turned one room into a bird safe area for them to fly around. The room is full of various perches, swings, a large terra cotta plate which is used as a bath, and toys. A couple of things that aren’t mentioned as much as they should be are what types of perches to use. The dowel perches that come with a cage are fine to use, but they shouldn’t be the only perches in the cage. There should be different perches of various sizes. The natural perches sold in pets stores are really great. Also, the sandpaper perch covers sold in stores should never be used. They cause more harm than good. The minimum cage size suggested for a single budgie is 18” X 18” X 18”. Even with this size cage, it is necessary to allow a budgie out of the cage for at least an hour a day. When not breeding, my birds are exposed to a small amount of artificial lighting. I use a full spectrum bulb for their lighting. Long exposure to full spectrum lighting can cause females to start getting into a breeding mode. I have found this to cause lots of problems, such as increased aggression and digging in food dishes.

I do a simple cage cleaning every other week, and give the cages a good scrub down once a month. To do my thorough once a month clean, I use a mixture of hot water and white vinegar. I use this mixture to not only scrub the cage, but the branches as well. The bird room is vacuumed every single day and mopped once a week. Once a month I’ll even get down and scrub the floor by hand.

My budgie babies are weaned onto similar diets as the adult budgies. I do not pull babies out to handfeed, but rather start handling them at about ten days old. I try to get the babies used to humans, but not totally tamed. I believe that the person buying a baby should finish the taming process in order to build an even stronger bond between them and the bird.