Budgie Basics For New Budgie Owners
One of the most popular pet birds that is kept in households around the world is a breed called Budgerigar, otherwise known as a budgie. These fun birds attract men, women, and children of all ages as they can be taught how to speak and imitate. Caring for your budgie is important and here is a guide on budgie basics that you must know before you bring your new budgie home.
When taken care of, budgies lifespan ranges from 10 to 12 years old. Most birds in this species only survive until 5-7 years old, thus their life span is not the longest. If a budgie dies before the age of 5, it is possibly due to inadequate living conditions or nutrition. This can lead to their organs failing, the budgie becoming over or under weight and growing tumors in between their skin and muscles.
ENVIRONMENT & LIGHTING
The budgie is best suited to live in a large, roomy cage where they will not feel trapped, confined or claustrophobic. This is because budgies love to climb their cages, and require open space to do so. The cage should be kept away from direct sun-light, heat and air-conditioning vents. You can also consider purchasing a cage cover, to put on the cage over-night so that it creates a dark environment for the budgie to rest in.
One of the most important environmental factors is lighting. Your budgie requires ultra-violet light on a daily basis. Simply placing the bird cage in front of a window will not suffice. These birds require strong UVA & UVB rays to prevent calcium and vitamin D3 deficiencies. To produce ultra-violet light, it is best to buy a floor lamp with a UVA/UVB bulb and place the lamp over the cage. This ensures they are getting the light they require, which will increase their life span and decrease health problems or abnormal behavior of the budgie.
DIET AND NUTRITION
Your budgie requires a balanced diet to maintain their health. This includes having fresh budgie seed mix in your pantry at all times. This mix can be refilled daily as budgies like to snack on seeds. In the morning, budgies can eat anything ranging from: small chopped up fruits and vegetables, pasta, rice, beans and whole wheat toast. Budgies also require protein as part of their diet, so offering them finely chopped cooked eggs twice a week is ideal.
Of course you want to treat your budgie too and this can be done by giving packaged seed treats, honey sticks, and egg biscuits. One treat that all budgies love are spray millets, which is something they are used to eating, especially in the wild.
Your budgie also needs to be showered from time to time to ensure their bright feathers stay clean. This can be accomplished by providing a misting shower, or purchasing a large bird bath that can be attached to their cage. This bird bath can be filled up with warm water and rinsed out after use.
VARIETIES AND MUTATIONS OF BUDGIES
Budgies origin is native to Australia and have been bred since the early 1800s. In the wild, budgies natural colors are green, however with breeding today, they can produce a variety of beautiful colors. Green series are the dominant and blue series, are the recessive, or less commonly found.
Green series: we can find normal green, dark green and olive green.
Blue series: sky blue, cobalt blue and mauve.
There are also other rare mutations such as: crested, fallow, saddle-back, black face etc.
Budgies are physically able to breed after 6 months of age, however they should not be allowed to breed until they are at least 10 months old to ensure best successful results. Budgies typically breed in the wet spring and summer periods under artificial light and a large cage.
In all, caring your for budgie is a fun experience and new owners tend to learn as they go along. These playful birds are pretty, smart, can be taught tricks and make the perfect every day companion. Plus, they are relatively quiet for a house bird! New owners should do their research and compare different cages before purchasing one for their new budgie, as this is going to become their new home and will determine how active, healthy and long your budgie lives.