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Keeping a Budgie

Anyone got any tips or hints

OnlineMSE  Male  Essex 17-Mar-2019 18:27 Message #4737038
Thinking of getting a Budgie as "company" for an elderly relative.
There's lots of info available, though some of it's contradictory, so it would be helpful if anyone has any real world experience of keeping one and any tips or hints etc
Victoriana11  Female  Buckinghamshire 17-Mar-2019 18:59 Message #4737041
Make sure he/ she doesnt have a cat. Is he/she able to clean the cage.

I've never had a budgie but think it would be nice for someone alone .
brisinger  Male  Lancashire 17-Mar-2019 20:14 Message #4737045
We used to breed budgies as well as other foreign birds in a big aviary. Make sure that the perch is preferably made of willow. It's a great natural material that is much better than the shop bought perches. If you have access to any locally to you a fresh branch is great for them to strip the willow bark and chewing the perches to keep their beaks in check. A lot of people will often let you snip a piece of pussy willow off their tree because they'd only be trimming it anyway. At this time of year a budgie will snip the buds off the branch.
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire 17-Mar-2019 21:25 Message #4737051
Think you need a male if you want it to talk. Told apart by the male having a blue cere, that's the bit above the bill like the bridge of your nose.
Good2BWith  Male  West Yorkshire 17-Mar-2019 21:33 Message #4737053
Get a hamster - great and cute little things, easy to keep clean and feed. Also, they love to be handled.
brisinger  Male  Lancashire 17-Mar-2019 21:47 Message #4737059
It's best to have as large a cage as possible and treat it like a "human" because by nature they are gregarious. They are very clever and with a bit of attention will soon see you as part of the flock. You can teach the to "speak" albeit more of a mumble. Beware, they can give quite a nip and will hold on if they feel threatened but equally don't make sudden movements because it might spook the bird. Sometimes it's worth a nip or two in order to tame it. Cuttlefish bone is useful as a form of calcium. Millet is often used as seed treats. Use good quality budgie seed, usually corn merchants as opposed to pet shops sell the best quality but you may need to lightly blow the husks of the top layer to uncover uneaten seed. Water pots must be cleaned regularly. I'd buy one from a reputable dealer. The best place to contact is your local foreign bird or budgie society/club if there's one available. You will get more for your money and they will usually help you out with proper guidance. If you go to a pet shop ask their age. If they aren't sure then don't buy from them. You often find hobby breeders on gumtree selling budgies so that could be worth a look and they should be very knowledgeable. As with most hobbies; those who breed them for fun or challenge produce the best birds as pets. Personally I'd avoid pet supermarkets like the plague.
brisinger  Male  Lancashire 17-Mar-2019 22:01 Message #4737063
It's worth adding a little fruits such as pieces of apples and veg such as carrots and peas to supplement their diet. I helps enhance their colour. Every so often lightly mist spray them with plain water to tighten their feathers and keep them clean of parasites. I've just had a quick look on gumtree (london) and there are plenty of people selling hand reared and aviary bred budgies. If they are any good they should be able to answer questions as well.
Good2BWith  Male  West Yorkshire 17-Mar-2019 22:46 Message #4737065
What diseases can you catch from budgies?

There are diseases that can be transferred to humans from psittacine birds, such as parrots and budgies, such as a viral infection.
In addition, people can also show an allergic reaction to feathers and other bird products. This condition is often called pigeon fanciers or budgie fancier's lung.
However, the most serious is called psittacosis. With this disease, an agent called Chlamydia psittaci causes it, and the disease is also called ornithosis.
Birds can be asymptomatic carriers, and may only fall ill when upset, as stress is a major component in all avian diseases.

Psittacosis is a very unpredictable disease but can be very contagious and it can cause a serious illness in humans. However, people can work in pet shops for years without being affected!

The symptoms in humans range from mild flu-like symptoms to a severe generalised infection with complications that can affect the brain, blood and kidneys.
The illness often begins with a chill, fever and headache in the front of the head. There is often a cough and occasionally there is diarrhoea. If untreated, the condition can lead to kidney failure and even death.
OnlineMSE  Male  Essex 18-Mar-2019 06:51 Message #4737069
V-Goes without saying they haven't already got a four legged friend, hence the "company" element, but thought a feathered pet would be less demanding to care for, as it will be mostly me doing that, and if lucky enough to get a chatterbox that will only enhance the experience for them.
OnlineMSE  Male  Essex 18-Mar-2019 07:03 Message #4737071
Thanks Bris, that's exactly the sort of first-hand info I was after.
OnlineMSE  Male  Essex 18-Mar-2019 07:12 Message #4737072
Hmmm very cheery G2BW.

Don't hamsters live in their own urine & pooh until you clean out their cage, so handling them sounds delightful. And can't you get ringworm from them.
Any road up, it's a non starter unless they've bred one that might chat back.
Good2BWith  Male  West Yorkshire 18-Mar-2019 08:20 Message #4737074
In my experience, hamsters are clean animals and clean out their own little nests. I doubt you'd be able to train any 'pet' to use a vacuum cleaner, dustpan and brush and take the sweepings to the wheelie bin.
My (late) mother had a budgie and managed to teach it a couple of very short phrases. She regretted the day she did so as "Toots" repeated and repeated them for hours until the night cover was put over the cage.
Ringworm from hamsters?? From cows, yes.

The most common rodents kept as pets in the UK are rats, mice, gerbils, hamsters, agouti, guinea pigs and chinchilla.
All rodents, says Public Health England, whether pets or wild, can carry bacteria and viruses that cause infections in people.
A current problem is hantavirus, a potentially life-threatening disease which has been found in a few people in England who handle pet rats.
Hantaviruses can cause a range of diseases in humans - from a mild, flu-like illness to severe respiratory illness or kidney disease.
Other infections that can be transmitted to humans include leptospirosis, rat bite fever and a type of meningitis caused by a virus called lymphocytic choriomeningitis.

And as for cats:
The most common infection from cats is Cat Scratch Disease, which is caused by the Bartonella bacterium. People usually become infected after being scratched or bitten by a cat and experience swelling around the site of the scratch, and fatigue. It cannot be transmitted between people.
Cats are also the main carriers of the tiny T. gondii parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, but it's also found in dogs, sheep and cattle. The parasite is often found in the faeces of infected cats.
You may not know whether your cat is infected or not because cats don't usually show any symptoms.
If the parasite gets into the environment or food chain, it can be ingested by humans.
The greatest risk is to pregnant women, who could pass the infection on to their unborn baby, potentially causing brain damage and blindness, but severe congenital toxoplasmosis is rare - three in every 100,000 babies are born with the condition in the UK.
Up to a third of the UK population will acquire a toxoplasmosis infection at some point in their life but most people won't notice any symptoms. If symptoms do appear, they will be similar to flu or glandular fever.
brisinger  Male  Lancashire 18-Mar-2019 12:55 Message #4737087
If a budgie is in a communal area they usually soon learn how to talk because they pick up on words and phrases. Someone I know obviously swore a lot at home because once when I was there it kept going "Bloody hell!" :D
You can also take the time to teach them. I suppose it's like humans in that the more time you take with it the more it bonds and trusts you.
OnlineMSE  Male  Essex 18-Mar-2019 18:50 Message #4737096
& is it okay to have one on it's own. Have read that as long as they have some toys & a mirror etc in the cage to keep them amused they should be happy enough.

brisinger  Male  Lancashire 18-Mar-2019 18:57 Message #4737098
It shouldn't be a problem especially if the owner gives it a bit of attention. As far as the budgie is concerned it's part of the "flock". If you kept two in a confined area it's quite possible that they would fight for dominance.
BunnyGirl  Female  Buckinghamshire 19-Mar-2019 07:41 Message #4737121
My parents used to have a budgie as my granddad used to have a aviary. We had two budgies
We used to let them out flying around the room to give them some freedom. They were great
used to be able to talk and they would say their names. We did talk to the budgies
Plus also you have to clean out the cage daily, feed them, make sure they have clean water

If your relative can do all that then you will be ok.
OnlineMSE  Male  Essex 20-Mar-2019 09:41 Message #4737207
They probably wouldn't, but either I or someone else would.
ravspal  Female  Dorset 21-Mar-2019 10:45 Message #4737296
Seems odd thing to say, but warm even temperature. I had two die in me years ago as my old house didn't have central heating and got cold during the day when we were all out. They seemed to catch bird flu. My granny had one that used to tut at her as she was always tutting and little Jimmy lol
justfem  Female  Cambridgeshire 21-Mar-2019 12:21 Message #4737301
That does seem odd because we had them in an outside aviary with a shed that they could go in to keep away from the winter cold and night time. They few in and out of it and used it for protection and feeding. Maybe they suffered from a draughty location.
Christy K  Female  Warwickshire 21-Mar-2019 12:22 Message #4737303
Bit late to this but it's fine to have just one budgie. Also they love to eat lettuce leaves. You can hold a leaf in through the cage bars and they will happily peck away at it. It's quite nice to watch them eat it and it's good for bonding - well, as much as you can bond with a budgie. Chris x
brisinger  Male  Lancashire 21-Mar-2019 12:32 Message #4737304
The aviary we had had an outside flight with a shed attached which they could go in at any time. The food and water was kept in there so that we could encourage them in. They tended to come in at night anyway and in inclement weather so we'd close the entrance but we didn't have any extra heating on. Maybe your budgies were in a draughty position something I'd make sure they aren't in.
ravspal  Female  Dorset 21-Mar-2019 12:42 Message #4737305
I think you are right. An 'even' temperature is needed,away from draughts.

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