Acquired: Pet store
Posted May 12, 2015
In the past, I've had two yellow budgies: Coco (male) and Cookie (female). I did not have the funds for a more pricy bird, but wanted a companion to ease the suffering of my grandmother's passing. I did not have very much prior experience working with animals at the time and was hesitant to have a pet due to the limited space I had in my apartment. Furthermore, I had a busy schedule packed with schooling and work. Will I have the time to take care of another human being?
Fortunately, Coco and Cookie were a breeze to take care of! The seeds were largely inexpensive, the bedding was easy to make (I used those pesky ad papers), and they make the tiniest poopies you've ever seen. Cleaning them is easy as all I needed to do was leave a bowl of water in the cage and they will clean themselves up with glee. They need a lot of attention at times, however. So if I couldn't be at home for extended periods of time, I purchased a variety of toys to occupy them. They sure love hitting them with their heads! As an aside, it is very important to keep them occupied, especially if you only purchased a single bird. Budgies are very social creatures, so a lack of familiar contact can drive them up the wall. Often when I am in another room, Coco will scream uncontrollably until I am in the same room again. A temporary fix is to bring a lot of mirrors into the room as it is fooled by its own reflection, but it is preferable to have another budgie as a roomie.
Getting them used to you well enough to handle them with your own hands is another story, however. As any other bird owner may know, budgies are very hesitant to socialize with human beings if they are bought as an adult. They are essentially wild animals and were not bred to be sociable to humans as a cat or a dog. Coco was hand-fed (easily done with grinded up seeds, warm water, and a syringe) from a very young age and was easy to socialize with. Cookie, on the other hand, was bought as an adolescent and was violent and uncooperative. She was very nippy, and I would have to wear gloves just to be able to take out the bedding and change the food. It took about a couple months before she was used to my hand being in the cage, but it took about a year before she would let me roost her on my fingers. If you are thinking about letting your child have a budgie, be sure that it is very young or handfed from a young age.
One other concern that I have with budgies is that they often contract a variety of diseases. The major selling point of budgies was that they are cheap and easy to maintain. However, Coco developed a strange growth on its foot that required antibiotics to take care of. Cookie, upon reaching that age where she was able to bear eggs, died when it was unable to release its eggs. Though they are generally easy to maintain, unfortunate things do happen. And Budgies are no more immune to diseases than other animals...