About I Love my Budgie!
A group for budgie enthusiasts! Post your pictures of your parakeets!
Are you a new budgie owner? Congrats on the newest member of your family and welcome to the pool! A little worried? Have some questions? Here are some basic tips that will lead to a long and healthy life for your parakeet!
1) Parakeets who live on a seed only diet have a life expectancy of about 3 years. If you add fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins to that seed diet, your bird can live 10-15 years!
2) Parakeets can eat almost anything humans eat EXCEPT absolutely NO AVOCADO, CHOCOLATE, SEEDS FROM FRUIT (like apple and orange seeds), RHUBARB LEAVES, or ALCOHOL. These are toxic and can/will kill your budgie.
3) Watch out for teflon and cleaners! Get rid of of the teflon (such as Teflon, SilverStone, Supra, Calphalon, All-Clad, Circulon, Emerilware, Farberware, Meyer, KitchenAid, Krups, and George Foreman). When you cook on it, it releases an odorless gas that is toxic to birds . There are cleaners with teflon (such as StainMaster, Resolve, and Scotchgard) in them and these are toxic, too. Using the "Self-Cleaner" function on your oven and many oven cleaners can also release toxic fumes. There have been recent reports that Febreze is toxic. The ASPCA has released a statement that reads, "As with any cleaning product, the center recommends that birds be removed from the room until the product application has dried and the area has been ventilated." While the jury is still out, it is better to be safe than sorry...
4) Budgies are horizontal, not vertical flyers (gliders, not helicopters), so buy the longest cage that you can for your bird (the absolute minimum size of a budgie cage is 18"x18" and the bars should be no greater than 1/2" apart). Obesity can be a problem, so the more space to fly, the healthier your bird.
5) Your bird should be allowed to come outside of its cage for at least an hour every day. Give them an obvious place to perch, otherwise they’ll choose to land on curtain rods, bookcases, and other precarious spots.
6) Make sure to give your bird fresh water and fresh food every day! Don’t let fruit juices or fresh vegetables sit longer than a ½ hour. Bacteria can grow and cause illness.
7) When a bird shows symptoms of being sick, it means they are extremely sick. Find an avian vet (AAVA) in your area before an emergency. Take your budgie in for a check-up to get a baseline of healthy vitals. Ask your vet to show you how to administer oral medication. Sometimes, they will give you a prescription to keep on hand in case of emergency. Being able to administer antibiotics within the first moments of symptoms instead of having to wait hours for an appointment has saved the lives of my birds more than once. Don't be afraid to ask questions!
8) Wash your hands before handling your birds! They have very delicate immune systems.
9) Human saliva has bacteria that is harmful to birds, so try to not let them kiss you on the lips or eat food you have bitten into.
10) Birds are smart! Let them listen to the radio or watch TV while you’re away. Make sure they have plenty of toys (that you can easily clean!) that can be rotated around to keep them from getting bored. My birds like just about anything made by Activitoy and I like that I can just throw them in the dishwasher. They also like a single paper towel placed at the bottom of the cage that they can wrestle with (I once came home to find they had folded it into a perfect square). If you notice aggression, remove any mirrored toys.
11) Birds need a cuttlebone to keep their beaks trimmed. Don't get sandperches or sandpaper for the bottom of your cage, though. It will irritate their feet. I have a single concrete perch to the side of the cage that my birds have the option of sitting on if they want to, but plenty of other soft and wooden perches for regular sitting and flying patterns.
12) Make sure to give your bird a small dish in which to bathe as frequently as possible, but especially during molting season.
13) Buy books! Do research on the internet! There is so much more to birds than I can cover here. It is a fascinating journey that will change your life!
13) But most of all, enjoy your new family member! In studies, budgies have shown the cognative power of a three-year old child. They are affectionate, playful, loving, and bond tightly to humans. You've made one of the most important purchases you'll ever make and we look forward to seeing your pictures and hearing your stories! Welcome!
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