Known as ‘Parakeet’ in the USA.
Wild type 7in (18cm) and slim; exhibition type larger and heavier.
For everything you need for a Budgie please click here.
Exhibition type birds about seven years, wild type double or even longer.
Status in wild:
common but nomadic.
Interior of Australia
Young Budgies can be obtained at pet shops but unfortunately the problem is that many stores will sell adult birds as companions although they are suitable only for an aviary. The buyer is partly to blame for not learning how to recognise a young bird.
The best plan is to contact a breeder and ask him or her to notify you when a six-week-old male is available. Young birds are extremely easy to tame. They do not need to be hand-reared.
Recognising a Young Bird
If buying from a pet store it is advisable to chose a ‘normal’ colour (blue or green). It is easy to distinguish a young bird which is green, blue, grey or yellow (not lutino, which is pure yellow with red eyes, or albino) because until the first moult the barring on the head extends to the cere (the fleshy area above the beak).
In lutinos, albinos and some pieds, the head is devoid of barring, thus it would be difficult for an inexperienced person to distinguish a young bird.
Unfortunately there are some bad designs available. Never buy a cage that is taller than it is long. Budgies (and all other Parrots) need horizontal space -- not vertical. Buy the largest cage you can afford.
Cages with horizontal bars are better as it is easier for the occupant to climb about.
Four perches are provided with most cages. If these are plastic use two in front of the food containers and keep the other two in reserve.
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Cut branches from apple or willow to use in the higher part of the cage and renew them every month. Do not let them become worn and shiny. Budgies receive a lot of benefit from perches of different dimensions and from gnawing the bark.
Swing, mirror and small plastic toys are favourites. If you offer a bell, make certain it is of good quality and not one with a clapper that could trap the beak. Dozens of toys for Budgies are available here.
Buy a good quality Budgerigar mixture in a bag or packet - not a loose mixture whose age and origin is unknown and which could have been contaminated. In addition offer a millet spray at least twice a week and apple and/or greenfood daily.
When available seeding grasses, seeding dock and chickweed, and young leaves of dandelion and smooth sowthistle are excellent additions to the diet, providing elements, such as Vitamin A, that are not present in seed.
Cultivated greenfoods such as spinach or spinach beet and rocket are also suitable, as is broccoli. A piece of carrot wedged in the bars might also be appreciated.
All these foods should be offered at the time of acquisition because older birds might be reluctant to sample them. Grit should always be available, also an iodine nibble because Budgies are susceptible to thyroid problems.
Choose from lots of Budgie food here.
Start to train a young Budgie soon after acquisition to ‘Step up!’ so that he can be returned to his cage when required. This is important.
Try to practice this within the cage before letting him out otherwise a stressful chase to get him back in will occur, damaging your relationship.
Slowly and gently approach him when he is perched,placing your forefinger just above his legs and pushing very gently so that he steps on to your finger.
If at first he does not allow this close approach, spend a lot of time just talking to him until you have won his confidence.
Praise him when he steps up and give him a piece of millet, which should not be available until this training is perfected.
For many more Budgie foods, toys, cages, accessories and supplements visit the Budgie section of our website.