Budgie Care Guide

Budgerigar Guide

Essentials for budgies

Carry Enclosure – Every budgie owner needs one for safe transport, also useful for birdy adventures or to hold during enclosure cleans.

Quality Seed – Avoid low grade budgie mixes with filler, as it decreases your bird’s health/survival rate. Our Birdsville Budgie mix has no filler, not only keeping your budgie healthy but saving you money.

Birdsville Blend – The best of everything to not only make your budgie super healthy, this amazing mixture should also increase their lifespan.

Pellets – Vetafarm budgie crumble, Peckish, Passwell budge crumble, we only stock the best!

Millet Sprays/seed bar – Millet sprays are great for training & getting young budgie eating, while transitioning to their new environment. Seed bar is a forage toy.

Healthy Treats – Birdsville Gourmet Budgie Blend with added fruits, greens, beetroot, veg and legumes is arguably the healthiest mix you can get your budgie.

Enclosure – Please consult staff on enclosure recommendation.

Toys – 1 Ladder, 1 swing per budgie in their enclosure, with a minimum 4 appropriate toys for chewing, preening, and playing.

Perches – Minimum of 5 perches, including at least 1 grit or concrete perch and 2 natural perches and two perches usually come with a new enclosure, making 5 perches in total.

Substrate – Grit or sand sheets, great for budgies to forage in and makes it very easy to spot clean your enclosure. View substrate in our aviary budgie enclosure.

Calcium / Iodine – essential for budgies and come in the form of perches, bells, buttons and cuttlebone. Pink ones contain iodine, white ones are for calcium and perches contain both.

Vitamins – outside budgies use Multivet and inside budgies use Calcivet, Ornithon or Soluvite D. Very important for their health, as budgies cannot absorb vitamin D through glass, they need direct sunlight.

Wormer – Worming needs to be completed 10 days after bringing your budgie home. Simple to use, just follow the directions on the bottle.

Lice & Mite Spray – Lice & Mite spray is recommended 10 days after purchase. Simple to use, point and spray avoid birds’ eyes – directions also on the bottle.

Sulphadim or Spark – helps prevent stress from transition, which may lead to them getting diarrhoea and reduces dehydration. Mix in drinking water for 10 days upon bringing your budgie home. Simple directions on bottle.

Cage Cleaner – Avicare, F10 or Arisopet are all bird safe, nontoxic disinfectant and makes it easy to remove poo and dirt from enclosure, toys, perches, and bowl. Normal disinfects can be quite toxic to budgies.

What you may like to consider for your budgie

Enclosure stand – some large enclosures already come with a stand and all enclosure suitable for a budgie can have a stand available. These are great to lift the enclosure off the ground, to an easy level to interact with your pet.

Enclosure Cover – some people like to cover their bird of an night time, this can decrease early wake ups.

Enclosure Tidy – these are great for reducing mess, but won’t eliminate completely.

Spare bowls (food & water) – swap bowls, if normal one gets dirty and need a soak (easy cleaning) or to add an addition food. Additional bowls are also recommended in the first 7 days of bringing your new budgie home.

No Mess Feeder – these also reduce mess and prevent your budgie from spreading food everywhere.

Drink Bottle – they can’t poo in them, reducing the amount of time you have to change the water and less mess.

Cuttlebone, Fruit & Millet Spray Holders – an additional way of suppling cuttlebones, fruit and millet that can make them more interacted for your budgie and keep them off the ground, reducing waste.

Bathing – Bird baths (large, shallow feeders can also be used), shampoo, spray bottle and shower perches.

Tent/hide – tents, pouches, hammocks, and hides. You will be surprised how much some budgies love these.

Check the reptile and small animal sections upstairs, as there are some great products that could be used for bathing, hides, toy and so on.

Bird Stand and Play Gym – Excellent for budgie training, as well as giving them a place to hang out and play. Additional toys can be added to create environmental enrichment.

Synbiotic / Probiotic – can boost immune system, support digestive function when used daily.

First aid – Spark, Sulphadim, Triple C, F10 barrier ointment, heat lights

The Good Oil – great for improving liver function in your budgie and overall health. These is mixed with the seed mix.

Harnesses – provided an added safety when outside with your budgie. Harness training does take time and should never expect your bird to expect it straight away.

Important Budgie Note

Environmental enrichment (toys) keeps your budgie entertained when you are away and they’re in their enclosure. It also helps prevent behavioural issue down the track, such as plucking, noise level and aggressive behaviour. It will help creates a tamer, friendlier and happier budgie. Toys need to be rotated regularly, so budgie does not get bored. If your budgie destroy their toy, it means they like it and should be replaced.

Are you ready to be a Budgie Guardian?

Please, all new budgie owners read all the below.

We have detailed all the important non-sugar-coated facts of budgie ownership.

Please follow these details below, as occasionally people find different opinions online and sadly your budgie may pay the ultimate price for an incorrect one.

Our goal, for our customers’ pets, is to thrive physically and mentally. This is how we and our breeders keep our budgies happy and healthy.

Congratulations on your new family member, from our Birdsville team.

Budgies are the most popular pet bird in the world for a very good reason, they make excellent pets and family members. A budgie can pretty much do and be trained to do almost everything a large parrot can do for a much cheaper price tag.

Baby budgies can be easily identified, as they have a darker coloured eye and the feathering on the top of their head has a series of bars that continue down to the cere.

The cere is the fleshy part above the beak that holds the nostrils (nares).
Baby boy budgies, will have a cere that is coloured pink or purplish in colour, that turns blue in adulthood.

Baby girl budgies, will have a cere that is a whitish brownish even opaque coloured, that turns brown in adulthood.

Sexing cannot be 100% or guaranteed for baby budgies, but you can be quite accurate by comparing budgies to increase your odds of getting the desired sex. Males and females can make wonderful pets.

A baby budgie will start to moult the bars on top of the head to reveal a clear colour when they reach 3 months old.

It is recommended to take your new budgie home in a carry enclosure, as this method of transportation ensures that your budgie will remain protected and safe, until you are ready to place them into the new environment. Some budgies can be stressed when moving in cars and can flap around and injure them self when journeying in a larger cage. Also, a carry enclosure is handy to have as a budgie owner, to hold when cleaning or moving your bird around in different situations.

Teaching your bird to talk: As budgies hold the world record in the most words said by any bird, they can be great talkers. Some budgies simply won’t talk and some will. This is a lucky dip, but to increase the chance of your bird talking you need to repeat words to them over and over again. Some people cheat and played recordings to their bird and this has worked quite well.

Introductions: If you have existing budgie, it is recommended to keep new budgie quarantine for at least 2 weeks in a cage close by or inside the aviary. This is so both birds can get to know each other and not be harassed too much, when they are introduced.

For the first 3 days: Your baby budgie will be naturally scared, because of the changed environment. Some of our baby budgies have never been in a cage before and have never been away from other budgies. Many baby budgies may not eat much for the first day or 2 due to stress of new environment.

Offer extra millet sprays on the floor to encourage your baby budgie to eat. Millet sprays are great, because they are a fresh. Recently harvested millet is a little bit softer and excellent for encouraging your new budgie to eat. When your budgie is eating properly and feels at home, then it is time to start training. Handle your budgie for 15 minutes, no more than 3 times a day gently. Choose somewhere that is soft like on a bed or a couch to avoid injury. Handling of hand raised birds is important to create and strengthen your bond with the bird. Encourage your budgie to eat its favourite treats. Handling of hand raised budgies is important to create and strengthen your bond with your budgie.

*Tip – if your budgie is spooked and runs away, gently pick up and continue calmly handling your budgie with 2 hands and bring them close to you, before teaching them to step up. Repeat this process until your budgie relaxes.

A hand raised budgies are tame but not trained.

*Remember – that your baby budgie needs to adjust to the new environment, so be calm, patient and your budgie will bond with you.
Many new budgie owners who are new to birds, can be scared when they flap their wings. Budgies are very perceptive creatures; this fear can set back you’re training and bonding. It is very important to not be scared of your bird and be a calm leader.

The first 10 days: When bringing your budgie home, we recommend all baby budgies have sulphadim in the water every day, for the first 10 days. This is important, because it stops new budgie from getting diarrhea, due to stress. This medication also reduces the chance of your budgie dehydrating which opens your budgie up to more complications.

Moving into a new environment is stressful for any budgie and this stress can easily make them susceptible to diarrhea, quickly leading to dehydrate. Dehydration reduces a budgie’s immune function and leaves them susceptible to illness.

As your budgie becomes more confident and use-to its’ new environment, you can increase the amount of time you handle your budgie, as they bond to you. Once your parrot starts to become confident, handling is no longer stressful for the parrot.

On the 10th day of bringing your budgie home, your budgie is ready for worm treatment and lice and mite spray. Details below.

Enclosure set up: For the first 7 days, make sure there is an extra seed bowl and water bowl placed on the floor for easy access. It is still important to have food and water available in normal feeders on the side of the enclosure.

We recommend each enclosure should have at least 4 feeders as minimum, one for seeds, one for pellets, one for water and spares for treats and veggies.

Do not be surprised, if your baby budgie only eats seed in the beginning. It can take some budgies a month or more to learn how to eat pellets or budgie crumble, mineral supplements and veggies properly. During this learning phase, your baby budgie must have a constant supply of seed or it may starve, but it is also, very important they are offered a varied diet. So, they learn how to eat different foods. All you can eat buffet for the first 3 months!

Many options are available for dispensing water that are great, will save you time and prevents your bird from defecating in the water. Ask our Birdsville team. Budgies must always have a constant supply of fresh clean water.

Perches: Make sure your perches are placed in a good position, so your bird is comfortable and won’t hit its’ head. Common sense in this area is important. Make sure perches are appropriate sizing for budgies. We recommend a minimum of 5 perches.

*Remember – most enclosures come with 2 dowel perches, we suggest adding in 2 natural perches to keep feet healthy and free of bumble foot. Different sized perches are good for their feet. Also, 1 grit or cement perch to wear down their nails.

Environmental Enrichment: Toys and play equipment are a must from the start to get your budgie use to them and not scared. A ladder and swing per budgie in the enclosure and minimum 4 to 6 appropriate toys for chewing, preening and playing.

To get the best usage of space when it comes to toys, think of the enclosure as 3 levels.

You want to utilize all levels of your enclosure, the top, middle and bottom (floor) with toys. For example: hanging chew toys and natural toys at the top, bell and forage toys for the middle and foot toys (bar bell or balls) on the bottom.

Do not use the same toys, as variety makes it much more interesting and entertaining for your budgie.

Environmental enrichment is to keep your budgie entertained while you are away and when they are in their enclosure. It also helps prevent behavioural issue down the track, such as plucking, noise level, aggression and general bad behaviour. It will help creates a tamer, friendlier and happier budgie in the long run.

Toys need to be rotated regularly, so your budgie doesn’t get bored. If your budgie destroys their toy, it means they like it and should be replaced. Watch for wear and tear, discard when they become damage or rusty.
We have different toys arriving at Birdsville all the time.

Diet: We recommend a ratio of 40% – high quality pellets or crumble, 45% – high quality seed or seed blends and 5% – fruit, veg and greens.

Baby budgies should be given an all you can eat buffet, as baby budgies cannot over eat. Birdsville stock high-grade seed mixes and also have specialty mixes with added greens, fruits, veg and legumes. All our healthy seed mixes are great value to our customers, as they are mixed and bagged fresh on site for unbeatable prices and quality.

After about 3 months you can begin to feed your bird a higher quantity of pellets. We recommend to have separate bowls for your pellets and your seed blends. This allows you to know exactly what they are eating.

Never feed your budgie lettuce, cereal, avocado, onion, garlic, sugar, corn, beans, breads, sweets, chocolate, biscuits, coffee and some garden plants can be toxic.
If you need help with your budgie diet or transitioning them on to pellet, please come instore to see our team.

*Remember – baby budgie will mostly eat seed and will learn to eat the pellets and vegetables in the coming months.

Worming: Budgies that are kept indoors should be wormed every 3 months and outside every 6 weeks.

Baby budgies shouldn’t be wormed until 10 days after moving to their new environment, by this time they are the right age to be wormed. Worming a budgie too young can upset a baby budgie’s crop (stomach), causing them to stop eating, as they have only just learnt how to eat on their own.

Common house flies are known to spread a large number of parasitic worms. The fly would pick up the worms from wild bird/rat faeces, fly inside, landing on your birds’ water, food bowl or on your budgie and infects them.

Humans and other pets can get and spread the same worms as budgie. Worms can kill your budgie so it’s important to get them wormed. Not only to protect them, but also the whole family and other pets.

Application is very easy, simply follow instructions on the packet and add solution to water.

Lice & Mite Spray: Budgies that are kept indoors should be sprayed every 3 months and outdoor every 6 weeks. Lice and mites can unfortunately spread everywhere and budgies in an inside environment are still susceptible.

Lice & Mite Spray is recommended to applied the same time you worm your budgie, making it easier to remember.

Application is very easy, simply follow instructions on the packet and spray budgies’ body, under wings and avoid the eyes.

Trimming your budgies

Click the link to read about on our nail trimming page

Wing trimming: 

Some hand raised budgies come with trimmed wings and some are flighted. To read more details on pros and cons of wing trimming please click the link Wing trimming explained

Signs of illness: If you ever notice a change in behaviour, appearances, your budgie sitting on the floor of the cage fluffed up, swelling around the eyes, faeces covered vent or just generally down-spirited, we suggest adding antibiotics to your budgie’s water supply and a heat lamp. This is a first line of defence and is available over the at Birdsville. Broad-spectrum antibiotic is an easy-to-use powder, that is added to your budgies’ food or water.

If you are not sure how to tell what a healthy budgie looks like or how to perform a visual health check, we will happily show you. Please bring your in budgie in-store to Birdsville, we do not charge to do this. This is a great skill set for any budgie owner to have, as you can have a much better ability in spotting if your budgie is not 100%.

If you do use antibiotics, it’s important to have a heat lamp as an ill budgie cannot produce enough body warmth. As a first line of defence broad spectrum antibiotic will often fix many common budgie ailments, if your budgie doesn’t appear to be improving, we recommended seeing a vet. We have a list of vets at the bottom of this page.

Unweaning risks: There is always risk of a baby budgie reverting or unweaning (stop eating food on their own). There are several reasons why a baby budgie may unwean, some of the reasons listed below.

      • High level of stress, such as over handling by kids or excited owners, incorrect handling or over stimulation. We understand it is an exciting time getting a new pet and it is hard to not want to play with them, but it is important to remember they are young and everything in new to them. Please follow our instruction for the first 3 and 10 days to ensure your baby budgie isn’t over handle, incorrectly handle or over stimulated.
      • Playing with a baby budgies’ beak – This can make the budgie think you are feeding them and encourage them to beg. It is recommended not to play with a baby’s budgie beak and it begging behaviour happens you may need to re-introduce hand raising formula, which Birdsville always has in stock.
      • Change of diet – We always recommend our baby budgies go home with the same food they are on prior to purchase, or food we know they have already been introduced too. A baby budgie may not recognise a new food as food when you quickly change diet, causing them to start begging.
      • Worming your budgie too early can upset a baby budgie’s crop (stomach), causing them to stop eating, as they have only just learnt how to eat on their own
      • Low-quality seed – some seed mixed are full of filler seed or cheaper grains that have been store for long periods of time. These mixes are low-grade, because the filler seed has low nutrients and the stored grain loses nutritional content. It is in there to bulk out the seed mix and look pretty. Baby budgie may not to recognise it as food or get the nutritional contents they require, causing the baby budgie to revert.
      • Other animal/bird – Other animals and birds can stress out a baby budgie that has recently weaned.
      • Cold/chills can slow down the process of the crop’s digestion of food. This slowdown of the crop can cause a young budgie to unwean and stop feeding them self. If this has happened you must warm up your bud and offer hand rearing formula.
      • A combination of all the above.

Recognising the sign of reverting: The first signs of reverting is a head bobbing motion, flapping wings while standing in one place and a begging noise. They baby budgie may do all or one of these and if you are concern, bring the bird in for us to check or get it on some hand rearing formula.

If you think, your budgie has unweaned it is important to act fast, as it will no longer feed itself and will starve within a few days. An unweaned budgie must be feed hand rearing formula morning and night, our Birdsville team always have this product in stock.

Our Birdsville team will not sell a hand raised budgies that hasn’t been self-sufficient for at least a week.

Keeping your baby budgie warm: It’s important to keep an eye on your new budgie, as they are more susceptible to having a chill. Especially, if you only have one budgie, even in summer.

Budgies in a wild or aviary environment huddle together to conserve heat. More often than not when someone brings a new budgie home, they buy one budgie to create a strong bond with the human family.

It is very bad for your baby budgie to get a chill, because it weakens the budgie’s immune system and can lead to an illness. A baby budgie that is warm, with a healthy food supply, has a much stronger immune response. Baby budgies are very delicate and a budgie with a compromised immune system can die from a whole host of pathogens. Adult budgies are less susceptible to the cold, so it’s very important you keep a baby budgie in a dry area where there are no wind drafts.

Laundries are not a great place for budgies.

Substrate – Grit is the most recommended. It is great for budgies to forage in and makes it very easy to spot clean your enclosure. We use grit in out aviary enclosures at Birdsville, if you would like to see what it looks like.
Substrate only needs to be about one inch deep.

Calcium / Iodine – Calcium perch, bells, buttons and cuttlebone are essential for budgies.

Pink ones contain iodine, white ones contain calcium and calcium perches contain both. All these items only need to be present inside the budgie’s enclosure and the budgies will sample them when needed.

As budgies have hollow bones, they are unable to store calcium and they use a lot of calcium for feather production, bone growth and strong beak and nails.
Iodine is especially important for budgies as they are more likely to have iodine deficiency than almost all other pet birds. Iodine is used by thyroid gland, which helps regulate body temperature digestion, growth, heart rate and reproductive system.

Vitamins – Recommended outside budgies use Multivet and inside budgies use Calcivet, Ornithon or Soluvite D. Adding vitamins to your budgies water is very important for the health and vitality, as pets’ budgies cannot get all require vitamins from diet alone.

Vitamin D helps absorb calcium to promote feather production, bone growth and strong beak and nails. Budgies can get vitamin D from direct sunlight, but indoor budgies are found to be deficient, as vitamin D cannot get through glass.

Handling/training: Basic training has huge benefits for you and your budgie. It requires dedication in the first few weeks, repetition and persistence is the key.

If your budgie bites you, do not pull away. Wear wool gloves, if you need to and continue to gently handle it. When your budgie isn’t nibbling your gloves, they can come off.

Ignore bad behaviour and reward good behaviour. If your budgie runs away, gently pick up and continue calmly handling. If you allow your budgie to run away and not be handled, it will not form a bond.

The budgie being close to you, will create a bond and your budgie will get used to you. Then when your budgie is getting used to you, start training your budgie to step up. Once your budgie is stepping up this shows your budgie is trusting you and getting used to its new environment.

Boarding: We can board your budgie, if you go away on holidays. Boarding is available throughout the year, please visit petsvillehotel.com to check it out and book your budgie in.

Don’t hesitate to come and see us in store if you have any concerns, or questions and bring your budgie for us to see.

Recommended Vets

Southern Cross
02 9516 0234
60 Princes Hwy, St Peters
The Wild Vet
1300 9453 838
22A Bridge Road, Glebe
Carlingford Animal Hospital
02 9871 6036
772 Pennant Hills Road Carlingford
Small Animal Specialist
Hospital 02 (9190 6806)
Level 1, 1 richardson place North Ryde
02 9436 4884
57-63 Herbert St Artarmon