When you first bring your new budgie home it is important to settle your budgie as soon as possible.
Let’s assume you have already acquired the basic necessities – a budgie cage, perches, some food and food dispensers.
Caring for a budgie is really quite simple but you have to have the basics to start off well. Little ‘Feather’ ain’t going to be too happy without a cage or food!
I’ve put together some really useful tips for caring for your budgie in the first few days so let’s jump to it.
Moving in to a new home can be really scary – even for birds! Settle your budgie straight into its prepared cage as soon as you get home.
Prepare The Budgie Cage
What should already be in the cage?
- Seed mixture
- Cuttlefish bone or good quality grit
- Several toys (no mirrors)
- Lining on the bottom of cage floor (shell grit, sheet of paper,commercial tray liner)
Where To Position The Cage
Lets go back a step and have a quick chat about where to position the cage.
I’m all for quick lists and fewer sentences so:
- In a room with lots of human traffic (budgies are not solitary birds – they like company)
- In a bright, well lit room with natural light
- At eye level (encourages eye contact which helps with bonding)
- Next to windows that receive direct sun (will be too hot)
- Exposed to draughts (includes airconditioners, radiators or heaters)
- In the kitchen (appliances such as ovens release fumes which will make birds ill)
- In rooms where people smoke
- In rooms where there are other strong fumey (is that a word?) things (hairspray, paint, perfume, etc)
- On the floor (just too tempting for inquisitive toddlers or feline household members)
Settling Budgie In
So the budgie cage is ready and waiting and its time to introduce the newest family member to it. What should you do?
Hopefully your budgie has travelled home in a small, ventilated box. It’s a matter of opening the cage door to allow the box to be opened in front of the door. Most birds will be keen to leave the box and will hop into the cage without assistance. If yours is a little shy try gently tipping the non opening end of the box up to encourage the bird to slide out.
Its super important to prevent the budgie from leaving the box and escaping the cage by flying away. Uncontrolled flying around a room can be very stressful and dangerous to a new bird in unfamiliar surroundings.
Success! Budgie is now in his new home with minimal stress to you and the him. Now what?
Leave Your Budgie To Settle
I’m suggesting for the next two days, you should basically leave your bird alone and not make a big fuss. It can be very stressful and overwhelming for your budgie to receive lots of human attention in the settling in period and any attempts to handle or tame should be delayed for a few days.
Leaving your bird to settle in does not mean completely ignoring your new pet! Rather, it means keeping a casual eye on your budgie from a distance and carrying on with normal life. If your budgie seems particularly unhappy and is huddled in a corner on the floor – make sure to place some seed and water nearby to encourage eating and drinking.
By day three budgie should be feeling more secure in his new environment and will probably be showing signs of interest in his new home.
After the initial settling in period it is necessary to increase interaction with your bird in preparation for taming. The easiest way to do this is to develop a cage cleaning routine.
Introduce Your Hand And Begin Cage Cleaning Routine
To start, it is a good idea to slowly and calmly place your hand in the cage and perform the minimum daily cage cleaning tasks below. Your budgie will soon realise that there is nothing to fear from you and will begin to adjust to receiving more human attention. It will also begin the bonding process and will allow your budgie to develop trust in you. For further detail about how to clean the cage read on.
Daily Care Requirements
Budgies are cute and adorable, but like most teenagers, are messy and incapable of cleaning their room. This is where that ‘responsible person’ steps up to the plate! If you have no idea what I’m talking about – scoot on over to read Tip #2.
Cleaning the budgie cage is a daily must do! It doesn’t take long to ensure your budgie lives in a clean house and it’s a vital part of caring for a budgie.
- Blow any seed husks out of food containers and remove any poop from container too (yuck). Refill with seed if needed.
- Scrape off accumulated droppings from perches, ladders and toys.
- Clean water dispenser and replace with fresh drinking water
- Change bottom tray. Remove liner and dispose of in bin. Replace with new liner.
I have found a long handled, nylon baby bottle brush is a great tool for cleaning all sorts of things in the cage – water feeders, wire bars, hard to clean channels in the cage tray. It just makes the daily cage clean so easy. Try it!
Feathers – did I mention that budgies seem to have a never ending supply of cute little feathers that will fly about everywhere?
I didn’t? Sorry about that.
I don’t know how, but those feathers will escape the cage on a daily basis and mess up your floor. I have tried – and failed – to contain them, but have come to the realisation that its futile. The easiest solution is a quick daily sweep up under the cage with a small brush and pan or hand held vacuum.
Increase In Cage Interaction
In addition to the daily cage cleaning you can slowly begin to familiarise your budgie to the rest of your home.
Get All The Family Involved
You can do this by encouraging all family members to talk and interact with your budgie. You can also move the cage around the house for short periods of time. This will get it used to the normal sights and sounds of family life – tv, music, human voices, vacuum cleaners etc. This is great preparation for the day when your budgie is ready to be let out of the cage.
You may be tempted to let your budgie out of the cage right about now! It’s great to want to go that next step and begin out of cage taming but hold off for two weeks. First you should finger tame your budgie whilst in the cage. Read more about this in the next post.
Look For Developing Problems
Despite your best intentions, sometimes your budgie does not adjust quickly to its new life or home. It may be just a personality trait or an indication of something more sinister such as illness. Patience and a calm approach is the key to helping shy birds adjust to new surroundings.
If, after a week or two, your budgie is not appearing happy and settled, I recommend consulting your local veterinarian for further advice. If your bird is showing signs of illness (see below) seek immediate assistance.
Signs Of Illness
- not eating/drinking
- sneezing, coughing, panting
- crusty eyes or beak
- runny droppings (poop)
- tail is bobbing
- fluffed up feathers or bedraggled appearance
- quietness, sleepiness (happy birds are alert and make plenty of noise)
Caring for a budgie can be lots of fun and a great opportunity to teach children about responsible pet ownership. Having a budgie in your home ensures hours of entertainment and enjoyment for young and old! Getting the basics right at the very beginning is important for a good bonding experience and longer term satisfaction – for you and your budgie.
If you have found this article helpful – give it a little love by sharing it on your social networks. After all, budgies build a better world!