Looking for avian companion to share your life? A budgerigar (or budgie for short) may be the bird for you. Small, colorful and intelligent, this Australian native is the third most popular pet after dogs and cats. Like all animals though, the budgie has very particular needs that you should consider before making the commitment to keep one.
A budgie is a social bird that needs daily interaction with you or another budgie. If you opt for just one budgie, you’ll need to provide him or her with some attention every day. And if he or she is not yet tamed, you will need to gradually acclimate your avian pal to being handled so you can give him or her some much-needed out-of-cage time.
At night it’s a good idea to use a light sheet or blanket to cover your pal’s cage. This will provide security for your budgie and help to keep Tweety quiet if you want to sleep in the next morning.
Food and water
You need to check your avian pal’s cage every day to ensure that he or she has plenty of food and water. During the long, hot days of an Austin summer, you’ll need to make especially sure that Tweety’s water bowl is fresh and full.
Your Budgie’s seed diet — which you can easily find at your local pet or grocery store should be supplemented with fruits and vegetables. Budgie favorites typically include strawberries, carrot tops and dark leafy greens. Don’t leave fresh foods in Tweety’s cage too long, no more than two hours at most.
Cleaning and maintenance
The liner at the bottom of your budgie’s cage needs changing once a week. The best kinds of liners include newspaper sheets or paper towels. Also, you’ll need to clean the accumulated droppings from Tweety’s perches about once a month. Your budgie’s cage will need a thorough cleaning once a year.
When you do tidy up your bird’s home and accessories, use unscented soap. While you can use a dishwasher to clean food and water dishes, it’s probably best to hand wash wherever possible. Don’t forget to also give your bird’s toys a good scrubbing ever once in while, too.
Like all avians, budgies are sensitive to airborne chemicals and can die very quickly if exposed to them. So it’s a good idea to keep Tweety’s cage away from the kitchen while cooking, as fumes — from an overheated non-stick pot, for example — could harm your budgie. Also be sure to place the cage away from drafts that might come from A/C vents, doors, windows or other sources.
When you take your budgie out of its cage, be sure that any fans have been turned off and that all doors and windows are closed or screened. Even if your budgie has clipped wings, he or she can manage to run into a fan or fly out a window when startled.
The last thing to remember is to ensure that your bird goes the vet for regular checkups. The vets at both South Branch and Wells Branch Pet and Bird Clinics can give Tweety the thorough beak to tail exam he or she needs.