Some budgerigar care basics
Budgerigar parakeets are wonderful new pets. Follow some simple guidelines for how to care for your budgie, and yours can quickly become a long-time friend.
Budgerigars are social birds, making them friendly and usually easy to tame, especially when younger. Select one that has either been hand-fed or handled regularly. Look for one that is alert, active, and eager to interact. Check your bird for injuries or signs of illness that are listed later in this article. Get your new pet from a private parakeet breeder rather than a pet shop since the breeder will know the bird’s history. Parakeet care is extremely important for you and your budgie.
Bringing your budgie home. How to care for your new budgerigar
(Photo credit:Max Exter/www.flickr.com/photos/mexter)
Your budgerigar’s care should begin before you bring your new pet home. Have your budgie’s accommodations established before you bring it home. Other articles on this site provide details about budgie accommodations as well as budgerigar diet, so those won’t be covered here. When you get your new budgerigar home, you will need to be patient. It will be unfamiliar with its new surroundings and may be nervous for a while.
Cover the parakeet’s cage on three sides with a towel or light blanket to calm it if it becomes overly excited, and you should cover it at night as well. Spend as much time as possible near your budgie’s cage and talk to it in a quiet, calming tone. It’s best not to handle your budgerigar much for the first week or so. Although it may take a few weeks, it will adapt on its own; you will then be able to handle your new pet. When you are able to do so, handle your budgerigar frequently so it becomes hand tamed and will interact with you willingly.
Another part of how to care for a budgie is to protect the health of your new bird. Find a veterinarian who is knowledgeable about birds, and schedule a check-up appointment. The vet can ensure that it is healthy and get a health history started for future reference. Even after the check up, watch for any signs of illness (listed below), and keep the new bird separated from any other birds for four weeks. Take care of your budgie even if you are a busy person. He/she will accommodate faster.
Companionship and entertainment
Budgies are flock creatures, and part of budgerigar care is providing social activities. If you and other family members are home a lot, able to hand tame your bird, and give it lots of interaction time, then your family will become its flock. Parakeets can form strong bonds to their human flock mates. If you will be gone a lot, you should have at least two budgies. Your bond may not have as strong with them, but it is healthier for the birds overall. Without a companion, your budgie may suffer from depression and mental health problems.
Budgerigar parakeets are also inquisitive and active, and you should keep a supply of toys to help stimulate your bird. Basic toys with bells, beads, and rings will be favorites. Swings and chew toys are recommended, but avoid toys with mirrors. Keeping toys outside of the cage and rotating them keeps it clear of clutter. In addition, be sure to allow your budgie plenty of time outside of the cage. Since budgerigars can fly long distances, they need plenty of exercise. But be sure others know when your budgie is out.
Budgerigar parakeet care – Safety and health
You must also provide a safe environment for your new friend as part of how to take care of your budgie. Keep it away from anything that might be toxic or poisonous. Budgerigars shouldn’t be exposed to objects containing heavy metals or items containing paint or glue. Some house plants are poisonous, as are fumes from household cleaners, chemicals, strong fragrances, and even nonstick coatings, such as teflon. Protect your bird from physical hazards that might cause injuries. Cover windows and mirrors, or put decorations on them so your bird sees them. Monitor your parakeet regularly for signs of illness, and call your vet if you notice:
- Irregularities in eating
- Sleepiness, lethargy, anti-social behaviors
- Stains around vent or change in droppings
- Wheezing or sneezing
- Discoloration of feathers above nostrils
- Sitting on cage bottom, weak, unable to perch
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