Taking a budgie home is a big responsibility. You're wholly responsible for the well being of your new pet day in, day out. And that will still be true once the novelty wears off. At the risk of sounding like a spoil sport, there are a few things you need to consider before you bring a budgie home.
|Male Budgerigar of natural coloration (Wikipedia)|
Taking care of a budgie's basic need doesn't take up a massive amount of time. But it does take a little of your time every day. A budgie needs fresh food and water, a clean cage and regular companionship.
In the wild budgies live in huge flocks. And within the flock, they have an immediate family that they are very close to. It's a common myth that a budgie alone in its cage will be happy. The truth is that they are very social animals that have a deeply ingrained need for company. As your budgies adopted the family you will have to spend a decent amount of time with it if it's housed alone. Otherwise, it's likely to get depressed.
Now, budgies aren't expensive pets to keep. Far from it. But there are costs that come with owning any pet. The obvious initial expense is a decent sized cage, but you've probably already realized that. A regular supply of food, sandpaper, grit and mineral blocks does add up. As well as the need to buy new toys every now and again, so your budgie doesn't get bored with them.
Also, it's a good idea to put a little money aside each month to pay for vets bills when you need to. Alternativ, ly you can get pet insurance. Nothing is more heartbreaking than not be able to pay the vets bill that could save your pet's life. Or having your budgie suffer because you don't have any money for treatment. A saying that I heard recently really sums up this point, 'If you can't afford the vet, you can't afford the pet.'
It only costs a couple of bucks to buy a budgie, but then it's your duty to make sure you can look after it.
Is A Budgie The Right Pet For You?
While budgies are great companions that can bring a lot of joy into your life, they're not right for everyone.
A relationship with a budgie is much more hands off than a relationship with other pets. Budgies will sit on your finger and let you stroke them for some of the time, but they're certainly not pets that you can have a very physical relationship with. So, if you're looking for a pet that you can cuddle and stroke often, then you are probably better suited to owning something furry.
Noise is also something that you need to think about. Are you going to get irritated if your budgie squawks all the way through your favorite TV or radio show? If there's a steady stream of sound, like a conversation going on in the room, you budgie will often join in. Also, a budgie tends to create a fair amount of mess. Feathers and seed husks will usually litter the floor under and around your budgies cage. And when your budgie's flying around the room it'll leave stray feathers all over the place. This means that you'll likely find yourself needing to vacuum slightly more often than you do at the moment.
Budgies and Other Pets
You'll often hear tales of a small bird being introduced to a cat, and of the cat getting on well with the bird. Of the cat taking a curious interest and then leaving the bird in peace. It sounds cute and it probably does happen. But it's the exception rather than the rule. Generally, if you have larger animals like cats or dogs they'll need to be kept apart from your budgie. Since your budgie needs time every day outside his cage, you'll need to house him in a room that you're happy to lock the cats and dogs out of while your budgie flies around and explores.
Budgies can be housed with quite a few different species of bird. They're not suitable to be kept with all types of pet bird though.
Budgies and Children
You might be thinking about getting a budgie primarily for your child. If you're child wants a budgie, that's great. They're good pets. And your child can learn about responsibility as well as gaining a loving companion. However, children generally like to be hands on with their pets. The younger they are, the more hands on they tend to be. So your child will need to be taught how delicate a budgie is and supervised when handling it.
Lastly you should remember that as the adult you have the primary responsibility for the budgie's welfare. Your child might want a budgie more than anything in the world right now, but what about in six months time? Are you prepared to look after the budgie in the years ahead, if your child gets bored of it?