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Budgies are not Starter Pets

Dr. Daren Mandrusiak is a veterinarian at Harvest Pointe Animal Hospital in Edmonton. Much of his practice is dedicated to exotic animals including parrots of all sizes.

Dr. Mandrusiak is not surprised to hear several animal welfare groups are seeing many budgies surrendered this summer. He says many people buy budgies because they are inexpensive and are often seen as starter pets.

While budgies can be purchased for $30, Dr. Mandrusiak says the true cost of a proper set up in your home for a budgie is in the $500 to $600 range. The most significant cost will be a cage of sufficient size to give the bird room to move around.

Budgies also have longer life spans than many people realize. Budgies in captivity can live to be 10 to 15 years old; the same as most dogs.

Budgies are native to Australia which means they cannot survive outside during an Alberta winter.

Budgies are highly intelligent. They have the greatest vocabulary of any parrot, but they aren’t as clear at enunciating their words as bigger birds.

If trained properly, budgies are great companions that can be taught tricks and will spend time with their owners outside of their cage.

Budgie Enrichment

There are three types of enrichment budgies need.

  • Bells and mirrors: These are simple toys that can help amuse birds for short periods of time.
  • Items they can destroy: In the wild, budgies would spend a large portion of their time foraging for food and this includes destroying things to get at the food. Wrecking items is a form of mental stimulation for parrots.
  • Foraging puzzles: As mentioned, budgies spend a lot of time foraging in the wild so it’s great to make them work for their food in their cage as well. This will keep them mentally engaged and go a long way in avoiding behavioural issues because your budgies is bored.

Budgies should also be supplies with numerous perches of different sizes that allow them options and to help avoid sores on their feet.

Budgies (and all parrots) have complicated feed requirements. Seed should make up a small portion of their diet. Owners can now buy pellets for their birds that offer the full nutritional requirements for budgies.

If you would like to add an exotic bird to your family, or just learn more about the requirements of exotics, you can contact Meika’s Birdhouse in Sherwood Park.

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