english pounds: Untrained £17 each. Trained:£25 - £50 each
Availability: Readily Available
Species/genus: Melopsittacus undulatus
Common Name(s): Budgie, Budgerigar (an Aborigine phrase that means "good to eat"), Parakeet, Keet, American Parakeet, English Parakeet
Adult Size: 6 inches.
Life Span: 15 - 20 years
BATHS: Budgies like to take baths everyday. Provide a pan of water about 6 to 8 inches in diameter, with a water depth no deeper than 1 inch. It should not be a swimming pool or your bird might drown. An unused plant saucer will do fine. Keep the pan clean because the bird will drink from it as well. The cage will get messy after a bath, so be prepared to do some cleaning.
typical bird bath, although a dish will do.
SLEEP: A budgie needs 12 - 14 hours of sleep. Keep the bird in a quiet place away from TVs or radios. If necessary, cover the cage with a cloth to relax the budgie, and to keep out cold drafts. Leave the cage partially covered so that the budgie can see out. Make sure the cloth does not have a strong smell of detergent since it may cause the bird to have difficulty breathing. Cover the cage around the same time every night so that your budgie can develop a routine sleeping time.
typical sleeping pose. also one leg tucked up in the feathers and head under wing are both normal sleeping poses. This bird is resting.
EXCERSISE. Budgies need exercise everyday, especially if they live in small cages. They need to stretch their wings and fly around. Budgies that live in small cages should be allowed out of the cage for some exercise. Before you let your budgie out, you must make certain the room is clear of hazards such as poisonus plants, windows,mirrors and other animals(cats,dogs). You probably don't want your budgie to take an outdoor excursion, he may never come back, so make sure all doors, windows and other escape routes are closed. Make sure ceiling fans, or any other fans are turned off (I am sure you don't need an explanation why). Open flames are very dangerous, You must also be wary of drinking glasses or any containers with liquid. You certainly don't way your budgie to drink something poisonous or take swimming
Budgie excersising his wings.
CAGE SIZE: The general rule is that bigger is better. Your budgies must have enough room to fly around for exercise. The length of the cage is more important than the height. The guideline suggested for minimum cage size is as follows:
20"x12"x18" for 1 budgerigar
40"x20"x32" for a Pair of budgerigars
The space between the bars is also quite important. If they are too wide, you can guess what will happen, the bird will get out. The budgie may also get his head or body stuck if it tries to squeeze through the bars. To prevent this from happening, make sure that the spaces between the bars are no wider than ½ inch. Some budgie enthusiasts also recommend that you get a cage with horizontal bars and to avoid those with only vertical bars. This is especially so when the cage is small, since the budgie will do more walking & climbing than flying. The horizontal bars help the budgie to get a better grip when climbing on the cage.some people would rather house their budgies in aquarium, but i'd advise against this, as budgies see reflections which may cause them to become distraught, just as a mirror would make budgies more agressive.
ideal sized cage.
FEEDING: Vegetarian. Make sure your budgie has clean food and water throughout the day. Change water twice daily, morning and evening. Budgies can be offered a variety of foods. Special care must be taken to ensure that your budgies get a well balanced diet, as nutritional deficiencies are a common cause of illness and death. Although seeds are a budgie's basic diet, if fed only on seeds, they will develop an iodine deficiency, making them susceptible to goitre (swelling of the thyroid gland).
What can I feed my Budgie?
Budgie mix can be purchased at the pet shop and is a staple diet containing a mixture of millet, oat groat and canary seeds. The diet should also include a daily offering of fruits and vegetables. Who likes to eat the same thing all the time anyway? Don't be surpise if your budgie doesn't eat the fruits or vegetables at first. It make take months, but keep trying. Thoroughly clean any fruits and vegetables you feed to your bird. You can offer your budgies apples, grapes, guava, mango, orange, pomegranate, watermelon, blanched or grated carrots and green leafy vegetables such as lettuce and spinach.
However, do not feed them cabbage, as cabbage will make your budgie sick. Some other foods to avoid are chocolate, avocado, beans, croton, eggplant, raw peanuts, apple seeds, raw potatoes and asparagus. It's important for budgies to have calcium in their diet. Budgie owners provide their bird with calcium by placing a piece of cuttlebone (the bone of the cuttlefish) in their cages.
Differentiation in young budgies is harder to the untrained eye, as the cere in both sexes will be a purplish colour. The adult colour starts to show after 3 to 4 months of age.
Note: In some budgie colour variations, such as albinos and lutinos, the colour of the cere can't be used to determine the sex, since in both sexes it is pinkish. However, female budgies are said to be more aggressive and have a harder bite, or as Bajans might say, a harder bird pick.
Determining Age: There are 3 areas you can examine to determine the age of your budgie; the head, eyes and legs:
Head - If your budgies has stripes (barring) on its head down to its cere, this usually means it under 4 months old. This is not the case for albinos and lutinos budgies since they don't have stripes.
Eyes - Budgies under 4 months of age usually have completely black eyes. The exception is yet again for albinos and lutinos whose eyes will always remain black. After 4 moths of age, budgies usually develop a light grey or white iris.
Legs - If you are lucky, your budgie may come with a band around one of its legs indicating the year it was born. If you budgie doesn't have strips on its head or black eyes, this is the only way you will be able to tell how old it is.
Notice the cere is blue. this shows the bird is male.
Budgies are easy to breed. For obvious reasons, the first thing you need is a male and female. Now we've gotten that out of the way, the next thing you need is a nesting box. An external nesting box can be attached to the bird's cage. The bottom of the box must have a concave bottom for the budgie to lay its eggs on. Since budgies don't build nest, the concave bottom serves to stop the eggs from rolling around. Without the proper housing, the budgies may not breed at all. In the wild, budgies nest in holes in trees. 5 to 6 eggs are laid in a clutch. Eggs hatch in 18-21 days. Budgies reach sexual maturity in approximately 9 months