Budgerigar Guide

Buying & equipment

As birds that live in flocks in the wild, budgerigars feel a strong need for company of their own kind. The current recommendation is therefore to keep budgerigars at least in pairs. There are, however, some things that you need to do before buying a budgerigar.

Checklist for initial equipment:

  • A large birdcage with vertical bars for climbing
  • Perches of different sizes for foot exercises
  • Untreated branches for climbing
  • Water bath for daily bathing
  • Bird sand, such as Premium SANDY with calcium carbonate and essential minerals
  • Toys to keep your budgerigar occupied, such as a swing or ladder
  • Food bowl or automatic feeder filled with main food, such as Menu budgies
  • Water bottle with fresh drinking water or Vita Fit® Aqua drink
  • Mineral stone, e.g. Vita Fit® Mineral or Vita Fit® Sepia cuttlebones to provide added minerals and help care for your bird's beak
  • Kräcker® sticks to care for your bird's beak and provide variety 

By the way:  Bird sand not only keeps your cage hygienic, but is also important for your bird's digestion. Budgerigars pick "stomach grit" out of the sand, which helps to break down grain-based foods in their gizzard. This is necessary because birds do not have teeth and swallow most foods almost whole. The grit also includes calcium carbonate, which is likewise beneficial for your bird.

Tips for buying budgerigars

Budgerigars can be bought from almost any pet shop or directly from a breeder. It is also worth enquiring at your local animal rescue centre: although younger budgerigars tend to become tame more quickly, older birds from a rescue centre will also be glad of a new home.

Signs of a healthy budgerigar:

  • Lively behaviour
  • Smooth plumage
  • Clear eyes
  • Dry cere (area around the nose) 
  • A clean behind

The right spot for your birdcage 

Budgerigars love to have company and it is fine to place their cage in your living room or another room where your family spends most of its time. The birdcage should be sufficiently large and placed in a light, sheltered corner that provides a good view of the room.

  • Budgerigars cannot tolerate heat or draughts. 
  • Kitchens, in particular, can be hazardous places (hot hobs, washing up water etc.) and are not recommended.
  • You should place the cage at least three metres away from electrical devices, such as televisions, microwaves or PCs, as birds can hear frequencies that we humans cannot.

Customer service

Do you have questions about budgerigars? Here you will find the answers and a contact form.

 

 

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Portraits

Here you find different budgerigars by picture and description.

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Caring for your pet

The more flying, the better!

Letting your budgerigar out of its cage to fly around the room not only makes it happier, it also promotes healthy circulation and strengthens its muscles. It is therefore essential for your pet's health. Budgerigars often seek out a favourite spot when flying around the room. For example, they enjoy perching on a self-made "bird tree" that enables them to survey the room from on high: the ideal location to rest, climb and play. Remember: You must always close all doors and windows before letting your bird out of its cage. 

Goodnight!

Come evening, budgerigars retire to their sleeping perches. Before going to sleep, they will puff themselves up a little, rest their head on their back and sometimes stand on one foot. They place their beaks deep within the plumage on their backs.

Preening 

Budgerigars preen themselves several times each day to keep their plumage intact. This is important as their feathers enable them to fly and protect them against heat and cold. They do not usually require any human assistance with this.

Moulting

Budgerigars need particularly high levels of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients when moulting. Moulting aid for budgerigars and exotic birds and tasty Kräcker® sticks – designed specially for moulting – provide your bird with the additional nutrients it needs at this time.

Cleaning the birdcage

You should replace the bird sand between once and twice a week, depending on the number of birds and the size of the cage. The bottom of the cage will also need rinsing out with hot water once each week. While doing this, you should also wipe down the perches and toys using a brush or damp cloth and thoroughly clean the food and water bowls using hot water.

The cage also needs a thorough clean once every month: This involves rinsing the cage itself in the bath or shower. However, you must never use strong household detergents! 

Going on holiday 

Before going on holiday, you should ask someone you trust to look after your budgerigars' day-to-day needs. If nobody is available to do this, you could arrange for your birds to be looked after by a breeder or animal boarding house.

Diet

The perfect diet

In their natural habitat in Australia, budgerigars often have to cope with harsh conditions, heat, drought and a lack of food. Flocks of budgerigars fly large distances to find suitable places to feed and breed. 
Their staple diet comprises the seeds of a wide range of plants (grass seed in particular), fruit and fresh greenery in the form of grass and herbs. Scientific studies have shown these birds to have a highly varied diet.

At Vitakraft, we believe that the wide variety of different foods eaten in the wild should also form the basis for the your pet's diet. We therefore offer a varied and balanced range of products that meet the nutritional requirements of budgerigars.

Food types

Main food:
A main food such as Menu budgies covers your budgerigar's basic nutritional requirements.

Kräcker®: 
Tasty Kräcker® sticks have a number of functions in one: Birds have to work for their food like in the wild. This helps prevent boredom and is a natural way to occupy your bird. Picking at the nibble stick also helps keep your budgerigar's beak healthy

Natural Snacks: 
VITA NATURE®. Tasty treats that cater to the birds' natural instincts, e.g. picking seeds from natural millet spikes

Treats:
Snacks, such as Bisquiti provide variety, serve as a reward and help to tame your pet and create a bond

Nutritional supplements:
Pet food supplements, such as Vita Fit® Mineral or  Vita Fit® Multivitamine strengthen your bird and promote well-being. They help meet the specific nutritional needs that can arise during certain stages of life, e.g. during periods of growth, after illness or when laying eggs. They may also be beneficial for particularly active animals.

Feeding tips

  • Remove the empty grain casings from the food bowl or dispenser on a daily basis and top up with new food 
  • Kräcker® sticks or fresh branches from untreated fruit trees should be placed in your budgerigar's cage for it to nibble and peck on. This is a natural way to keep your bird occupied and exercises its beak
  • Provide a varied diet 
  • Provide fresh drinking water every day
  • Provide fresh fruit 

By the way: Bird sand not only keeps your cage hygienic, but is also important for your bird's digestion. Budgerigars pick "stomach grit" out of the sand, which helps to break down grain-based foods in their gizzard. This is necessary because birds do not have teeth and swallow most foods almost whole. The grit also includes calcium carbonate, which is likewise beneficial for your bird.

Behaviour & familiarisation

Behaviour

Budgerigars are naturally very lively, sociable and inquisitive animals. Since they live together in flocks in the wild, they have highly developed social skills and are very outgoing. And they don't just display this behaviour toward other budgerigars. Humans who treat these birds with patience and empathy will also be accepted as friends. All of which makes budgerigars true "family birds".

A new member of your family

During the first few days, budgerigars need a little bit of peace while they settle into their new surroundings. If is therefore important to set up the birdcage before your new pets arrive home. If you need to introduce two unfamiliar birds to each other, proceed carefully and keep a close eye on them to begin with. After a few days, your budgerigars will remain on their perches and appear relaxed when you approach. It is important to place the birdcage in an elevated location and not to approach from above as this can scare the birds.

How to tame your budgerigars

Once they have settled in, you can slowly start to get your birds used to the presence of a human hand. This is best done using a treat, such as a Kräcker®. However, it is important that the birds have first "acquired a taste" for these treats. If you quietly hold a snack stick in the cage, the first bird will usually start nibbling away and enjoying the treat after a few moments' hesitation. If you repeat this step on a regular basis, the birds will soon start seeking out contact with "their" human on their own initiative.

Budgerigars have an inborn urge to imitate sounds and will often start repeating noises from their surroundings of their own accord. Sometimes, it is even possible to teach these birds to speak a few words. It is best to try teaching them a short sentence or a name with distinct sounds. You should repeat this on regular occasions using the same tone of voice.

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