Budgerigar, or Parakeet, Melopsitta undulatus. You know, that "most popular pet bird in
the world", found in every pet shop. It was originally from the drier areas of
Australia, where they travel in enormous flocks.
type budgie parrot is about 7" long, mainly green with a yellow face and a
black scalloping pattern on the back. Many, many mutations and color forms have
been devoloped, as well as a new "breed", the English budgie (the "old" budgie
is known as "American").
is the popular show bird. It's quite a bit larger
(the ideal being 8" or 9" long), with a larger, wider head and more pushed-in
Budgie health and span
You can tell if a budgie is healthy by looking
at his tail. It is firm when he is well and droops when he is ill. Budgies are liable to stress, and can suffer a
heart attack if a cat so much jumps up at the cage.
They are also prone to draughts - when a budgie
is ill, the best thing to do is keep it warm.
Earlier this year the letters page of The Times
carried a debate about the fate of Eileen Wilson's bird, Peter, said to have died from lung cancer caused by
passive smoking. His owner smoked 80 cigarettes a day, but at least one vet disputed the
Few years ago, hair experts warned that
budgies can make you go bald; they can pick up a fungus which they pass on to their owners, causing ringworm of the
How long does a budgie parrot lives?
Not long-lived for parrots, a budgie can still live as long
as a dog. Overbreeding, for color and type, has significantly lowered the
expected lifespan, however. While it's possible a budgie can live as long as 12
years, the average is more around 5 or 6.
budgies tend to have somewhat shorter lifespans, being that
much more overbred than Americans.
Budgies for sale:
Budgie parrot price:
Budgies can usually be bought for under $20 each; sometimes as little as $7 or
$10. English budgies are more; around $30 and on up for show-quality birds.
Hand-feds, which are hard to find, are also somewhat more.
Budgie: Most budgies are bought at pet stores. This is fine, although a breeder would perhaps be
better. The ideal budgie would be hand-fed, well-handled, and tame; however these are hard to find! The next-best
is a young budgie, just barely weaned; about 6 or 7 weeks old.
These young budgies have barred forehead,
whereas adults have clear yellow or white foreheads by the time they are about 3 months old. Babies also have black
eyes, whereas adults will have eyes ringed with yellow by the time they're about 6 months. Buy a budgie that seems
active, playful, and bright-eyed. They should be in clean cages, with clean food and water, and should *not* be
One or two budgies breeding?
Two budgies can be tamed, however they will
never be as attached to you as a single budgie. A single budgie will be more affectionate, however they require
lots of time everyday to spend with their person.
Male or female budgie parrot breeding?
Both male and female budgies make wonderful
pets. If you want a budgie that may learn to talk, stick with males. People often say females are more prone to
nipping, however I find nipping is an individual, rather than sex-linked, trait. Females make great pets,
Budgie parrot breeding -
It's really a shame the way the vast majority
of budgies are cared for; kept in small cages, fed and all-seed diet, occasionally finger-tamed but not always, and
even when they are they're rarely taken out of their cage. When kept like this, budgies really aren't very good
pets, and rarely live beyond a few years when they have to be replaced. The truth is, when kept with the same care
as bigger parrots, budgies make just as good pets. Once tame (really tame, not just finger-tame), budgies are
cuddly, often talkitive, interesting little birds. It's really a shame so few budgies ever reach their
Budgies should be kept in large cages, with a
varied diet (based on pellets), and should be very well tamed if they're kept without a friend; a single budgies
should be allowed out to socialize with his people, everyday, for at least a couple hours. Otherwise they get quite
Budgie cage & supplies:
Budgies are active, playful little birds and do
best in as large a cage as you can afford. Most commercial budgie cages are much too small, and the larger ones
tend to be fairly expensive. I would say the mimimum for a single bird or perhaps a pair if they got *lots* of time
out, would be about 18" x 18" 12". Stock it with lots of toys; most budgies are very playful birds! Perches should
ideally be natural branches; throw out those dowel perches and the sandpaper coverings! They can cause foot
problems. If you really must have dowel perches, buy ones in a variety of diameters.
Budgie parot feeding:
Most budgies are weaned to a seed-only diet,
which is certainly not good for them. Start by adding other foods like fruits, veggies, etc., and then try them on
pellets. Keep that diet varied!
Budgie parrot grooming:
You really should clip those wings! Especially
with budgies, many people don't; any many budgies end up escaped, injured, or dead because of it. So clip those
wings! Also keep the nails a reasonable length; budgie nails are usually fairly easy to clip, because most budgies
have light-colored nails that you can see the "quick" through. Budgies usually enjoy baths; however, some prefer
them given in different ways, and some prefer them more often then others. Try different methods (a "bath" type, or
a "shower" with a spray bottle, or the sometimes very successful wet lettuce leaves, which the bird can roll around
in, as well as eat!).
Budgies are quiet birds. If you're used to a
very quiet household, or perhaps the even quieter noises of canaries or finches, they can seem somewhat loud,
however they're next to silent when compared with larger parrots (even cockatiels and
Budgie parrot talking
Though it may seem surprising, budgies are
actually among the top talkers; certainly so among the small birds. The males, especially, are pretty good talkers.
Teaching them their first few words can be difficult, however once the first words are learned many budgies quickly
learn more. Their voices tend to be "small" (of course), and somewhat difficult to understand, however on the other
hand, I've heard budgies that could speak very clearly.
Budgies kept in pairs rarely learn to talk.
Single budgies do it best, cock budgies can be trained more easily than hens, and any bird that has not spoken
during its first nine months is unlikely to do so. They learn faster from a single teacher. They can recognise
individual voices talking to them, but will imitate anything: kettle whistles, other birds or telephones. Fifty
words is a fair maximum. 'The limit is the patience of the teacher, not the bird,' says Teaching them their name
and address has become popular.
Budgie parrot behavior
Budgies are active, playful little birds. A
very tame budgie is also cuddly, loving to have it's head scratched. More than anything else, they're very "happy"
little birds, always busy doing something. Tame budgies love being out of the cage and doing things with you. As a
budgie owner, please remember that although they're small, inexpensive, and "common", they are still parrots, and
truly should require the same commitment that the more "exotic" species do. When they have that commitment from
you, and you work with them everyday, they have the potential to
Budgie parrot breeders:
People suitable as Budgie owners: Almost anyone
can own a budgie with no problems. They're inexpensive, fun to keep, and easy to tame. Just make sure you buy a big
enough cage (many cages marketed as "parakeet cages" are much to small), and if you don't have much time to spend
with your bird (at least two hours a day), consider buying two, as, like all parrots, they get lonely easily, and
they'll be quite entertaining.
Also, after your budgie is tame and you clip
his wings, let him come out of his cage and climb around, preferably on a small playground or stand, about once a
day or so. An active budgie that has places to pent that un-ending energy is a happy budgie.