Pet Budgies and Their Care
Up until 1840, most Europeans were familiar with the green parakeets that first arrived from Australia in 1770. It was John Gould soon introduced a new group of pet birds when be brought budgies (Melopsittacus undulates) back to England. From here, the race was on to breed some of the most colorful budgies, or budgerigars, and in 1870 a yellow budgie with red eyes was bred, even though this colour variant did not survive. Today, there are more than two hundred and fifty color variants to choose from.
Budgies are a popular choice as first pet birds, as they are small, easier to maintain than their big parrot counterparts and are very social as pets. With a lifespan of anything between six to twenty years, they make wonderful companions and bring color to an otherwise dull home. Show budgerigars can be approximately nine or ten inches in length, which makes them somewhat larger than those which are found in the wild.
When buying a budgie it is important to remember that these birds are quite active and need enough room to exercise and move around. Without being able to fly around a little, jump from one stick to another or even to flap their wings, budgies run the risk of becoming overweight, which could lead to serious health issues. A cage with a sliding tray makes it easier to clean and grit is essential, as it forms part of their diet. Food and water should be supplied every day and bowls should be positioned in such a manner that bird droppings into water and food bowls can be avoided. A nutritious food mixture, as provided by the pet shop, is recommended and supplements such as apple, carrots and other fruits and vegetables will only enhance the budgie’s diet. It is also advised that cuttlefish be placed in their cage for added calcium, and an iodine treat will assist them to keep their beaks short. Toys are another very important part of a budgie’s care. Items such as light balls and mirrors are quite popular, and this keeps them entertained and alert. Budgies are not destructive birds and owners can feel free to let them explore the house under their supervision, for a little adventure.
These spectacularly beautiful birds enjoy to preen themselves and love to take baths. Owners can therefore leave a small bath in the bottom of their cages for their pet to cool down or to frolic in. With a lot of attention budgies are able to mimic speech and other noises, but are also happy to just receive admiration and attention.