By Penny J. Corbett
Posted: December 12, 2012, 6:00 p.m. PST
Once you have decided that you will add a budgie to your home, make a list of “must-haves,” “should-haves,” and “would-like-to-haves.” Purchase the items on the must-have list before the new parakeet is brought home. Things normally go a little better when the bird cage is set up, furnished and stocked before the new budgie moves in. Everything will be in place, and there will be no need to make an emergency run to the store because you forgot to purchase bird food or need to replace a broken cup.
Bird Cage: First on the list is a bird cage — one purchased to suit the budgie instead of the owner. Size, safety and design are more important than whether it matches the drapes or is shaped like a house. Length of the bird cage is more important than height.
Check to see that all basic necessities are included, such as perches and cups. Does it have a floor grate? Are the cups broken or cracked? Is there any damage to the cage or cage base? Are the perches of an acceptable type, size and shape? If the bird cage doesn’t come with all the accessories, buy them. Once everything has checked out OK, it is time to wash, disinfect and dry the bird cage before your new budgie moves in.
By Gina Cioli/BowTie Studio/Courtesy Fran's Exotic Birds
When you get a budgie, it will need a cage, bird food, toys and more!
Bird Food: Now it’s time to consider your parakeet’s food items. Budgies need to eat and, more often than not, this necessitates the mad dash back to the pet store or bird breeder. Always start with the same food your parakeet ate before you purchased it, of the same brand if possible. If your budgie has a favorite food item, such as spray millet, pick it up as well.
Spray millet is often the first food choice when a bird moves into a new home. Get a cuttlebone or a mineral block, too, and don’t forget the fresh greens and other veggies.
The must-haves are the very basic items required for your budgie. The should-have list includes items that enrich the life of the parakeet and owner. These include:
A bird cage cover. Choose a material that washes easily and is dark enough to allow your peaceful budgie sleep.
An extra set of food and water dishes. Your parakeet should have separate dishes for treats and soft food and clips for greens and other treats.
An extra set of perches to replace the perches being cleaned.
A bird stand of the proper size for a parakeet, not an overpowering parrot-sized stand or gym. Playgyms and playstands provide your budgie with a play area other than its cage. Place them near the bird cage or in a different area of the house to entertain your budgie when you want to allow your bird out-of-cage time. Play areas can be very simple or complex, depending on what works best for you and your parakeet. They can come with perches, ladders, swings and toys. This is a good place to introduce a new toy or food item or to teach tricks. Choose the budgie’s play area the same way you pick a bird cage — keep safety, comfort and ease of cleaning in mind.
Several styles of bird toys, such as swings, ladders and links to hang on and swing from, chew toys to trim the beak and destroy, colorful bird toys to pick and poke, things to preen and props for tricks. If there was a favorite bird toy in the old cage, try to duplicate it. Get a travel cage for your budgie, not just for visiting the vet, but to also use as a temporary bird cage when you clean the regular cage.
Excerpt from the Popular Birds Series magabook Parakeets with permission from its publisher, BowTie magazines, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase Parakeets here.