The budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) is currently ranked as the third most popular pet parrot species in the world. They are often called the pet parakeet or budgies. These small-to-medium sized birds make wonderful family pets due to their naturally affectionate behavior and playful disposition.
Whether this is your first time raising a parrot or not, you'll find they make wonderful companions. Introducing a new pet into your home, especially a budgerigar will make the transition challenging but at the same time fun. Now with that said, there are a few things you should know about the species before agreeing to adopt one.
Diet and Nutrition
Budgerigars are commonly called as seed-eating parrots because in the wild, budgerigars consume a diet mostly of seeds and nuts. Most avian veterinarians recommend owners feed their parrots a premium pellet formula but it's typically best to use a combination of the two for budgerigars.
This is why it's important to make a visit to an avian veterinarian to gather important information for your pet’s diet which will be a great factor in keeping them in good health.
Being that they consume mostly seeds in the wild, you should replicate this with your budgerigar's diet. It is best for them to transition to new food patiently so they don’t show any signs of health issues.
Feeding them 60% pellets and 40% seeds is a good ratio that offers a variety of beneficial nutrients, vitamins and protein. Keep in mind that their diet and what they consume on a daily basis should be your top-most concern as a budgerigar owner.
Note: you should still feed your budgerigar the occasional fresh fruits and vegetables. They love a good variety once in awhile just as we humans do, too.
Feeding them fresh fruits and vegetables will provide them with a source of all-natural vitamins, some of which aren't found in traditional pellet or seed mixes. Fresh fruits and vegetables can also be an ingredient to your homemade treats that your budgerigar can enjoy, most especially during training time.
Playing With Your Budgerigar
Some people assume that budgerigars require little-to-no attention, but lack of socialization can lead to some serious behavioral and even physiological problems later down the road.
There are signs and symptoms you have to take note of when your budgerigar does not show interest in seeking your attention anymore as parrots also go through stress and loneliness which will definitely affect their diet and health.
Budgerigars are social creatures and they stay together in flocks in the wild. They socialize together with their flock almost always daily so once they are domesticated, you should continue to stimulate their senses by exposing them to new sights, sounds, environments, and people.
You can take them out of the cage and the house once in awhile, making sure that they are attached to a safe and secure leash for a peaceful day outdoors.
Try to get into the habit of taking your parrot out of its cage on a daily basis for short play sessions. This will stimulate their senses while encouraging healthy mental and physical development. This will also give you the chance to bond with your budgerigar and teach him a trick or two using bird-safe toys and treats.
Far too many owners adopt budgerigars, only to leave them cooped up inside their cages for weeks on end which might be one of the factors of that lead to a stressed and lonely parrot.
The Budgerigar's Vocal Ability
The African Grey isn't the only parrot with an exceptional vocal ability. The budgerigar can also pick up on words and phrases spoken by people, mimicking them with great accuracy.
In fact, experts rank this species in the top five in terms of vocal mimicry, which is pretty impressive considering the hundreds of different parrot species out there. Have you read about a pet parrot that solved a murder mystery? To know more about that check out our recent post here.
If you want to teach your parrot to talk, start with some basic words like "hi" and "hello." By speaking these words over and over in front of your budgerigar, they will eventually pick up on what you are saying and begin to mimic them. It just needs consistency and occasional treats to help keep you budgerigar motivated to exercise their vocal ability.
How did this article help you to prepare yourself before adopting a budgerigar? Did we leave out any basic information about budgerigars? We’re interested to hear your stories so let us know in the comments section below!