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					                   Keeping a Budgie
Is a budgerigar the right pet for you?
Budgerigars or budgies are colourful and friendly companions that need to
live with other birds in a large aviary. This can be expensive to build or buy and
needs regular cleaning, for health reasons.

What does a budgerigar need?
•   Companionship - to be with other budgies and to have human company.
•   A large aviary, safe from predators and with sleeping areas or nesting boxes.
•   Daily exercise. There must be plenty of space for flying in the aviary.
•   Lots of wooden perches at different levels for sleeping and resting.
•   Branches, toys and vegetation to create an interesting environment.
•   Clean water for bathing.
•   The aviary needs to be cleaned regularly.
•   To be taken to a vet if they are ill or injured.
•   To be looked after when you are on holiday.


What does a budgie eat and drink?
•   A balanced diet of bird food and regular treats like fresh washed lettuce,
    carrots and apple.
•   They also need a cuttle fish bone and grit to help digestion.
•   A constant supply of fresh, clean water.


How long does a budgie live?
Budgies can live for up to ten years .

Behaviour
In the wild, budgies live in large groups. You can keep
groups of males or females, or, have 1 male and 1 female as
a pair. Budgies should not be kept in the same aviary as
canaries as canaries are smaller and may be bullied by the
budgies.
                        Keeping a Budgie
Handling
You need to gain the budges confidence before you can handle it. For the
first few days approach the cage quietly, the bird should become used to you.
At this point you can start “ finger training”. Extend the index finger alongside
the perch raising it under the birds chest until he hops on. Move your hand
slowly around the cage the bird will eventually get used to this and you will be
able to withdraw your hand from the cage with the bird perched on your finger.
This can take several days to build up the birds confidence to do this.

To pick up a bird, place one hand over its back. The tail should lie along the
inside of your wrist and the head should rest between the first and second
fingers, while the thumb and other fingers restrain the wings. Relax your
fingers to make your grip as gentle as possible and never squeeze the bird.

Breeding
It is strongly advised that you do not breed from budgies.
The best way is to keep males and females apart.


Health
•     If your budgie is huddled on its perch, wheezing and gasping for breath, it
      may have an infection that could lead to bronchitis or pneumonia. Keep the
      bird warm and seek veterinary advice straight away.
•     Budgies may suffer from an overgrown beak or claws. The beak can usually
      be kept in trim by pecking at a cuttlefish bone and claws short by providing
      perches with a rough or bark-covered surface.
•     A budgie may develop a contagious condition called scaly face, a grey crust
      that spreads around the beak and face. It is caused by a tiny parasite and
      can be treated with medicine from your vet.
•     Feather plucking can be a sign of boredom or stress.

    Remember - a pet needs your time and interest for the rest of it’s life.


This care sheet is designed to act as a brief guideline only. It will help you decide if a budgie is the right pet
for you and if you are the right owner for a budgie. If you decide that you are going to keep a budgie find out
                                        as much information as you can.

				
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posted:12/25/2010
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