Before you buy your budgie, make sure you have the following things:
- Aviary (if housing your budgie outside)
- Cage (large, if housing your budgie inside)
- Cage cover
- Water pot
- Seed pot
- Seeds or pellets and fresh fruit & veg
- Bird sand or sand sheets
Budgies will thrive if they are kept in an outdoor aviary, however a large cage indoors with plenty of toys and time to fly around will serve just as well. If you are keeping a budgie indoors, do make sure the cage you buy is large and designed specifically for a budgie, this way, they'll have enough space to move around the cage. It should also have horizontal bars to allow your budgie to climb. A cage that is wider than it is tall is the best design to go for, so your budgie can hop from perch to perch with ease.
The cage should be put in a room where there's plenty of human contact, and also safe for when they need out of the cage to fly around. They shouldn't be kept in their cages all day, as they will need to spread their wings and amuse themselves for a while. So you will need to let your budgie out of its cage daily so it can get some much needed exercise and have some fun. Make sure you shut all windows and doors in the room first though, to prevent your budgie from escaping. Any potential hazards such as ornaments that could fall, electrical cables and household plants should be moved out of the way.
The cage will need to have a water feeder and either a water bowl or enclosed water bath, for both the budgie to drink and sometimes bath in. You can bath the budgie yourself, although some prefer to just be sprayed with tepid water. Enclosed water baths can be found in pet stores.
At night time you may wish to cover your bird cage if it is located in a place which is likely to drop in temperature, this will also encourage your budgie to settle down and sleep for the night.
Budgie cage furnishings
When you furnish the cage, make sure there's perches near both food and water bowls so your budgie can access these easily, with a few perches higher in the cage as budgies like to be high up. You can use small fruit tree branches as perches — plus they're free! Giving your budgie perches of different widths is also advised as this will allow him to alter his grip and prevent his feet from cramping and becoming deformed.
Your budgie will need to be kept occupied and entertained for the duration of his time in the cage, so provide him with toys and fun bits of furniture to prevent him from getting bored — boredom can result in budgies pulling their feathers out! Ladders, swings, bells and chew toys are fun for your budgie to use, but try not to overcrowd the cage. You will also need to make sure that the toys don't end up posing a problem or causing any danger to your budgie — i.e. any loose string from a swing that your budgie could get tangled in. Lots of interaction between you and your budgie such as talking and handling is also good for him — budgies will get tamer as time goes on.
Cleaning your budgie's cage
A layer of bird sand or sand sheets should be placed at the bottom of your budgie's cage, which will soak up any water or droppings. This should be cleaned everyday, as well as a quick wipe over the perches and toys in the cage. Make sure you give your cage a thorough clean once a month using a pet-friendly disinfectant and keep your budgie away from any cleaning chemicals while you do this.
It's your job to keep your budgie safe, so before letting your budgie out of its cage, consider the following:
- They like to explore, play and may nibble on things, so make sure there's nothing in the room that can harm your budgie
- Make sure there is not an open fire / candles burning
- Check for any poisonous materials that may be in the room such as plants, other foods (chocolate), metals, glues and rust! Your budgie will want to nibble it
- Ceiling fans — turn them off
- Remove any cats / dogs from the room
- Remove any buckets or sinks full of water — if your budgie flies into water it will drown
- If in a kitchen, make sure any hot surfaces have cooled (i.e. oven rings, it is not advised that your budgie is allowed access to your kitchen as there are many potential hazards)
- Close all windows and doors.