Basics for Budgies


Hopefully you have purchased a
young Budgie that has been
handfed or handled on a daily basis.
This will enable you to quickly have a
hand-tamed pet. Continue to handle
the Budgie on a regular basis if you
intend for it to remain tame. Allow the
Budgie to become accustomed to its
new home and surroundings for two
or three days before you actually try to
handle it. Talk to it whenever you pass
its cage and as you feed and change
the water. Move slowly around it and
while you are feeding and changing
paper as sudden, fast movements
frighten it. Set a routine for you and
your new pet and keep to it - feeding
times, play time outside the cage,
bedtime , etc . Have patience and
always treat your Budgie with love
and tenderness.
Watch your new bird closely the first
two or three days to ensure that it
begins to eat. This will be the first sign
that it is accepting its new surroundings.
As a temptation, we recommend
using spray millet available at most
reputable feed and seed specialty
companies. They can supply you with
fresh seed mix that they mix themselves,
not the prepackaged brands. It
is usually a combination of many millet
seeds with thistle ·added and gives
the young bird a good start with eating
seed. It is best to add to this seed mix:
sprouts, veggies (thawed frozen and
fresh), fruits, millet spray and various
other goodies. We have had good
results with Super Preen vitamins
added to the "soft food" such as
sprouts, etc. Super Preen is not the
only good vitamin supplement, but
we have had good results with it and it
seems to be the best value for the
money (see section on "Food"). Seed
alone is not enough to keep your Budgie
happy and healthy and to ensure
tl1at it lives a long, happy life. We like
to leave the radio or TV on when we

are gone for any length of time - it
gives the Budgie some company
while you are not at home.
Cage Size
At least 27" x 14" x 19" for a single
Budgie; this allows plenty of room to
exercise and play. The bars should be
1/2" apart; any wider and the Budgie
could get stuck in them or escape.
Cages are never too big- only too
small- the bigger the cage the better!
If your huge cage has wide bar spacing,
use 1/ 2" x 1/ 2" wire mesh to line
the inside of the cage to prevent the
bird from escaping or breaking its
neck. The ideal cages for Budgies
have bars that are horizontal, as they
love to climb around on the sides of
the cage.
Wood is best. Use different diameters
and shapes if possible, to help
prevent foot problems. Toenails
should not touch front to back when
sitting on a perch. Natural tree
branches from unsprayed safe trees
make ideal perches to perch on and to
nibble. Place one perch close to the
feeders and one up high in the cage
for security and sleeping; the perch for
security and sleeping should be to the
back of the cage, but be sure to leave
enough head room and tail room. You
may have room for more than two
perches but do not overcrowd or
place perches where they are over
food and water dishes. This will help
· prevent contamination from the bircl's
feces. We also like to use Comfort
Perches as these can be used two
ways, either horizontal or vertical.
Cage Location
Select a permanent place away from
direct sun, drafts, heater and air conditioning
vents. A bright corner in a
room where there is activity works
best as Budgies. are social birds. But
we recommend against using a kitchen,
as cooking fumes may be harmful
to the bird. Budgies like protection
from behind and above, so corners or
up against a wall is ideal for protecting
his back and up on a table or stand
where little activity goes on above his
bead is best. It has been our experience
that keeping the bird about your
eye level works best. The danger to a
bird will always come from above ;
that is "built into" them. If you place
the cage above your eye level, the bird

will feel that it is "boss," likewise if
you put it at knee level you will be a
threat to it. Do not place the cage on a
TV or the stereo speakers; the vibrations
are nerve wracking to Budgies
and cause them undue stress which
could cause illness. We also prefer to
cover the top part of the cage at night;
we leave the lower half of the cage
uncovered to let in some light, and
always provide a night light in the
event the bird becomes startled in the
da rk . Budgies have poor eyesight in
the dark and, if startled, can injure
themselves flapping around in a clark
cage. Budgies need 8 to 12 hours of
darkness for ample sleep.
Cage Tray
Line the tray with white paper or old
newspapers. If you use newspapers,
use only the pages that are black and
white, as the colored inks can be
toxic. Pine shavings are fine but tend
to be a bit messy as they scatter all
over. Cedar shavings have too strong
an aroma.
For exercise and amusement,
choose toys suited for Budgies; the
better pet stores that specialize in
birds will have employees to assist
you in your selection . Some suggested
toys; ladder, swing, mirror, lattice
balls, wooden toys (to play with and
chew o n), hoops (big enough for the
Budgie to fit in without getting stuck),
cow-bell type bells (do not use the
"jingle bell" type as toes and beaks
can become caught in them), rope
toys (3/ 8" diameter rope or larger). If
you make your own rope toys, use
only untreated rope; hemp or 100%
cotton are good. Do not use twine,
yarn or string as the Budgie can
become caught and tangled in this.
Whatever your choice of rope toys,
always check them often to make sure
that the bird has not gnawed itself a
noose and hung itself
Allow play time outside the cage
daily if possible; this includes some
flying time if your Budgie isn't
clipped. Time outside the cage is
important, especially if your Budgie's
cage is not large enough to allow a lot
of exercise and wing flapping. Supervise
the time your Budgie spends
outside of the cage at all times. Never
leave him unattended when he is out
of the cage for play; accidents happen

quickly and our homes are full of
dangers to an unsupervised, curious