Acquired: Pet store
Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Posted Jan 08, 2015
The budgerigar is, by nature, a social creature and so, if you have one, please consider buying another, as they are much happier with company. Having said that, be prepared for a cacophony of squawking and chirping, once your bird has a new friend. As far as I know, no one has ever properly deciphered budgie-calls but they have a whole repertoire of different noises. Some of the chattering, however, can become extremely repetitive and monotonous - be warned. The name ‘budgerigar means ‘good to eat’ in Aboriginal language and having heard the incessant noise these birds can create, I can understand why native Australians resorted to eating them.
At the same time, if you live alone and want an animal that provides some noise and company, a budgerigar or two could be good idea. Remember that the animals can easily be quietened with a dark cloth placed over their cage at night time, if necessary.
Food-wise, the budgerigar needs constant feeding, due to its tiny size and the fact that it needs to consume about its own weight in food every day. This is definitely a point to consider if you live alone and plan on being away for days at time on business: these birds can starve very quickly if left unfed for even a relatively short length of time.
Appearance-wise, budgerigars are available in a large range of colours. Apparently, budgerigar society is matriarchal, so to see the female calling the shots in a pairing is quite usual. Individuals who feel uncomfortable about seeing a hen-pecked male may want to get two males or two females, instead.
Health-wise, it’s always a good idea to check the beak and legs of this animal, which can become infected but are easily treated with medicine from your veterinarian. Obviously, when it comes to a cage, the larger, the better. A budgerigar which can stretch its wings properly is a happy budgerigar and really, an animal designed for flying should be able to fly at least some of the time. There is nothing more sad than seeing an unhappy bird locked up in a tiny cage. Some people like to let them out of their cage to fly about a bit - but be careful when picking them up to put them back in their cage, as they can give a hard peck with their little beaks, rather like a strong pinch.
As they are relatively inexpensive compared with other pets, these birds may be a good choice for those living on a tight budget, or may also be a good choice for teaching children about the responsibility of looking after a pet.
One other point worth consideration is the fact that, due to their consumption of bird-seed, the area in and around their cage will need regular cleaning. This may be an issue for those with busier lifestyles.
Overall, this type of pet is a good and relatively inexpensive choice, especially for those who live alone and who like the idea of a little bird-song and chatter in their lives.