Are you thinking of getting a budgie as a pet? If so, you’re in for a lot of fun. These little birds are full of personality, and they can be taught to do some amazing tricks.
But before you run out and buy one, there are a few things you need to know. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about keeping budgies as pets.
What Are Budgies and Where Do They Come From?
Budgerigars, more commonly known as budgies, are one of the smallest parrot species kept as pets. Budgies are very easy birds to care for, making great pets for children and adults. Budgies also have a lot of personality, and they can be very entertaining to watch.
Budgies are native to Australia, where they live in huge flocks in open woodlands and grasslands. They were first brought to Europe around 1840 by the English naturalist John Gould.
Budgies were then brought to America in the late 1920s, where they began to gain popularity. Today, budgies are the third most popular pet in the world after cats and dogs.
There are two main types of budgies: The English Budgie and The American Budgie.
The English budgie is also called the Show Budgie or Exhibition Budgie. They are much larger than the American Budgie and usually vocalize less often. English Budgies are bred for their appearance and are often used in bird shows. These budgies are available in many different colors and markings.
The American Budgie or the Australian Budgie is relatively small and closer to the wild budgie. They are very vocal, more challenging to train, and more prone to nipping the fingers, and therefore may not be suitable for those looking for less vocal pets.
Budgies are a type of parakeet, but not all parakeets are budgies. In fact, there are many different types of parakeets. Budgies are the most common type of parakeet, and they are usually the smallest.
Common Names: Budgerigar, Budgie, Shelled Parakeet
Scientific Name: Melopsittacus undulatus
- A budgie can have a total of 3000 feathers that cover its entire body.
- Budgie’s resting breathing rate is high, usually between 65 to 85 breaths per minute.
- Budgie’s heart beats approximately 274 times per minute.
- On average, a budgie lays 4 to 6 eggs in one clutch.
Budgies are relatively short-lived birds in the wild. The average lifespan of a budgie in the wild is 4 to 6 years. In captivity, budgerigars can live for much longer. The average lifespan of a budgie in captivity is 7 to 15 years.
Budgies come in different colors and markings, making them one of the most colorful pet birds. Some common colors include green, blue, yellow, white, and black. Budgies can also have a variety of markings, including stripes, spots, and swirls.
The American budgie has green and yellow colors with black stripes. Their wing and tail feathers are a mix of blue, green, and black.
The English budgie can come in various colors, thanks to the various mutations bred into the bird. There are 32 different color mutations that have been created by selective breeding. They are split into two main subgroups: white-based and yellow-based color variation.
|White-Based Budgie Variations||Yellow-Based Budgie Variations|
|Sky Blue Budgie|
|Light Green Budgie|
Dark Green Budgie
Yellow BudgieLutino Budgie
Size and Weight
The American budgie is much smaller than the English budgie. The American budgie is around 4-5 inches long, whereas the English budgie is 8-10 inches long.
The American budgie also weighs less than the English budgie, with the average weight being 1.058-1.764 ounces (30-50 grams) compared to the English budgie’s average weight of 1.587-2.187 ounces (45-62 grams). A newborn chick can weigh 0.0352-0.071 ounces (1-2 grams).
Budgies are gentle, docile birds that love company. They’re very easy to bond with, especially if you get them at a young age.
Budgie pairs make great companions for each other. But when living in pairs and entertaining one another, they may not be as inclined to mimic speech or bond as well with their owners.
They are good pets for first-time bird owners who want a low-maintenance pet that is still interactive.
Sounds and Vocalization in Budgies
Budgies can learn to mimic a variety of sounds, including human speech. They often speak more clearly and have broader vocabularies than some of the larger parrot species, such as macaws and cockatoos. However, teaching a budgie to talk requires time and patience.
According to Guinness World Records, Puck, a budgerigar from California, USA, owned by Camille Jordan, held the world record for having the largest vocabulary of any known bird. Puck was estimated to know 1728 words!
Budgies are typically considered to be one of the quieter parakeet species, but they can still be quite noisy at times. In general, they will make a lot of noise when they are playing or when they are trying to get your attention.
Exercise and Emotional Needs
Budgies require a lot of stimulation to stay happy and healthy. They are very curious and active species, so it’s important to provide them with plenty of toys to keep them occupied.
Basic toys like those with bells, beads, and rings are always popular, but swings and chew toys are especially recommended. It’s also important to keep the bird’s environment interesting by rotating the toys regularly.
In addition to mental stimulation, budgies also need plenty of exercise. A good way to provide this is to let them out of their cage for a little while each day as long as you take steps to make sure they’re safe.
Budgies should be kept in pairs so that they can have more opportunities for socialization and playtime.
Budgies, like all other birds, need to have a varied diet in order to stay healthy. A diet for budgies should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables (broccoli, carrots, corn, beans, spinach, etc.) and a small amount of birdseed.
Sprouted seeds are an excellent way to add variety to your bird’s diet, but you should avoid avocados, chocolate, sugar, and salt. A cuttlebone can provide them with calcium. It is important to provide fresh water for budgies as well and to change it regularly.
When feeding budgies, it is important to chop up the fruits and vegetables into small pieces so that they can easily be eaten.
Budgies also enjoy seeds, so it is a good idea to give them a small amount of birdseed each day. Be sure not to give your budgies too much birdseed, as it can lead to weight gain.
How Much Space Does Budige Need?
Budgies need a lot of space to play and move around in. A cage, with a minimum size of 20 inches by 12 inches by 18 inches, is necessary for budgies, but the bigger, the better. Spacing for cage bars should be half an inch or less. Horizontal cage bars are the best for climbing and exercise.
Place at least a couple of perches inside the cage at different levels with enough space in between for your bird to move comfortably.
It’s also important to offer a variety of perch sizes, shapes, and textures to keep your bird’s feet healthy. In addition to the perches, your cage should also have a nest for sleeping, food and water dishes, various toys, and things to chew on.
Common Budgie Health Issues
Just like other parrots, budgies are susceptible to some health issues. However, they also have medical problems that are specific to their species. Some of the common health problems budgies experience include:
Goiter is a common health issue in budgies, and it is an enlargement of the thyroid gland. Symptoms of goiter include a swollen neck, difficulty breathing, and difficulty swallowing.
It is commonly caused by a deficiency of iodine or by feeding the budgies only seeds. Feeding your budgie a diet that is rich in iodine can help prevent the development of goiter.
Psittacosis (parrot fever)
Psittacosis is a disease that is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia psittaci, and it can infect birds of all types, including budgies. Symptoms of psittacosis include lethargy, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and weight loss.
Psittacosis is often fatal in budgies, and it is important to get the budgie to a vet as soon as possible.
Scaly face and Scaly legs (Knemidocoptiasis)
Scaly face or scaly legs is a condition that is caused by mites. The mites burrow into the skin of the budgie. Some signs that your budgie may have a scaly face or scaly legs include a crusty coating or film on the cere or angle of the mouth, overgrowth, deformity of the beak, and thickening of the skin covering the legs.
Treatment for scaly faces and scaly legs usually involves applying a topical ointment to the affected areas.
Costs of Keeping Budgies as Pets
The cost of keeping a budgie as a pet can vary depending on several factors. The size of the cage, the type of food, medical emergencies, and the amount of time and effort you’re willing to put into their care all play a role in how much you’ll spend on your budgie.
One-time costs for pet budgies include:
Buying A Budgie: The average price range for a budgie is $10-$35. Local pet stores are typically the easiest places to find them. Another option would be to buy from a reliable breeder, which may even lower the cost.
Cage: A small cage for a budgie can cost as little as $50, while a larger one could cost $200 or more. If you want to save some money, look for used cages online or at garage sales.
Cage Accessories: Some basics, such as perches and food bowls, are relatively inexpensive, but other items, like toys, can be more costly. It’s a good idea to budget $30-$75 for supplies to get started.
Your new budgie is home, and the initial investment is made. Now you only have to worry about the monthly and annual costs of keeping your pet healthy.
Food and Treats: The cost of food and treats for a budgie can vary, but expect to spend around $15-$25 per month.
Veterinary Costs: Budgies typically don’t require annual vet checkups, but you may need to take them in for occasional sick visits. Expect to pay $35-$50 per visit, depending on the severity of the issue.
Additional Supplies: Be prepared to spend an extra $5 each month on unexpected costs, such as replacing toys or bowls.
|Budgie Ownership Costs|
|Budgie Cost||$10 – $35|
|Cage||$50 – $200|
|Cage Accessories||$30 – $75|
|Initial Vet Visit||$35 – $50|
|Food and Treats (Monthly)||$10 – $20|
|Additional Supplies (Monthly)||$5|
|Veterinary Checkup (Annual)||$35 – $50|
It’s tough to predict the precise amount you’ll spend on your budgie, but these estimates will help you understand the associated costs.
Summary – Things To Consider Before Getting a Pet Budgie
- Budgies are adorable and make great pets. They are relatively low-maintenance and easy to care for
- Budgies are social creatures and require a lot of social interaction.
- They also have specific dietary requirements and need a clean and safe environment.
- The cost of keeping a budgie can vary depending on the cage, food, and medical emergencies.
Birds Similar to Budgies That You Might Want To Consider
If you’re looking for a friendly, social pet bird – the budgie might not be your only option. Other small parrots to consider are:
- Pacific parrotlet
- Indian ringneck parakeet
- Black-capped conure
Our collection of names for pet birds is sure to have the perfect name for your new feathered friend!