Is it Normal That my Budgie Doesn't do Anything?

Last updated on May 4th, 2024 at 11:58 pm

Written by Isra P

My budgie doesn’t do anything! That’s a complaint some bird enthusiasts utter consistently. For the most part, budgies tend to be quite active. Still, from time to time, some that do nothing may appear.

Budgies might not do anything if they are sick or afraid. You see, for budgies, safety always comes first. If they aren’t feeling well, budgies won’t do much until they recover their strength. When they are threatened, their priority is to ensure their well-being before taking any action. So by making sure budgies are healthy and safe, you can motivate them to play and be happy.

In some cases, the situation could be more complicated, and you may have to use various methods to help them out. Other instances that can cause budgies to be disengaged are being too young, lonely, nutritional deficiencies, and boredom.

relaxed parakeet

If you aren’t sure how to tackle your budgie’s indifference, keep reading and discover the common causes of the problem and the proper steps you can take to motivate your pet to have the best time ever!

A passive budgie may remain quiet and disengaged for several reasons. You have to remember that birds, by nature, tend to be wary of anything that could be a threat, including humans.

So they might avoid doing anything until they know their surroundings are safe. Still, under normal conditions, it doesn’t take long for them to move around and demand attention. If that doesn’t happen, you must dig deeper to find out the real issue.

Your Winged Friend may be Unwell

If your budgie is normally active but suddenly stops chirping or doing anything, then there’s a big chance your pet is in trouble.

The number one reason for budgies to do nothing is to be sick. When that happens, they often puff up and remain in that position for almost the entire day (source).

You will also notice they barely eat, play or even bother to react when you put your hand near them. If you add up other telltale signs such as nose dripping, sneezing, and shallow breathing with tail bobbing, you can almost be 100% sure the cause of the problem is an illness.

Under those circumstances, the best course of action is to take it to an avian vet to treat it asap.

The Bird is Afraid

Once you have ruled out sickness, fear is the most frequent cause for birds not to move. Scared budgies might refrain from doing anything, which is common in new birds. As they find themselves in an unfamiliar home, they will try to make sense of it before exploring it.

But being new is not the only thing that can make a budgie afraid. Other pets you may have in your home, such as cats or dogs, can intimidate birds to the point where they will just stand still in a corner.

my budgie doesn't do anything

Furthermore, you can also be part of the problem. Something like trying to clip a budgie’s wings can traumatize and damage your relationship with them for a long time.

Imagine how your pet feels when a giant hand carrying this sharp instrument begins cutting some of its feathers as soon as it arrives at an already scary place. Some birds might not get bothered by it, but it is a terrifying experience for others. You will agree with me that’s no way to start a friendship!

After experiencing something like that, their priority will be hiding or not moving when you are close.

The ideal way to deal with this problem is to keep away anything that could scare your birds. For example, if you have cats, keep them in a different area from your budgies, as that can be pretty stressful.

Don’t try to clip the wings of your recently acquired birds or chase them with a broom to get them down, as that will make you, in their eyes, the biggest threat ever. 

Instead, always talk to them in a soft tone while ensuring they understand you are a friend and not something they should stay away from.

The following video shows a classic example of a new budgie that is not doing anything:

The Budgie is too Young

Young budgies (those who are less than one-month-old) are quieter than their adult counterparts. Unfortunately, some people ignore that fact and freak out when their newly acquired pet decides to ignore requests to play or make sounds. The truth is, under normal conditions, you won’t hear a lot of sounds from them until they are more developed.

Instinctively, they want to avoid being on the radar of predators while they are helpless. Moreover, younglings are probably used to being with their budgie family, and when they find themselves alone in your home, they may stay silent and watch while they learn about you and their new environment.

bird with light blue color

Don’t worry. As soon as your pets recognize you as a new friend that pays attention to their needs, they will be more willing to chirp and play around.

Your new Companion is Lonely

By nature, budgies are not loners, so they always seek bonding and companionship. When they are alone and caged, they need a human or another budgie to put them at ease. If budgies spend long hours without any interaction, they might get distant.

How do you solve this? Well, you either put the time or bring a friend, preferably both. At the very least, you have to spend two hours sweet-talking to your pet daily, so it doesn’t feel lonely.

That may be hard to accomplish if you have a busy schedule, so getting a pal for your budgie is the right move.

Your Parakeet Requires Better Nutrition

Just like people, budgies need a balanced diet to feel well. Think about it. You don’t feel like exercising or even walking when you only eat unhealthy snacks.

Budgies are quite similar. If they lack essential nutrients, you might see them staring at a wall without any intention of doing anything. That’s not good for them.

A diet consisting exclusively of millet won’t cut it! Pellets, seeds, fruits, veggies, and the occasional millet are a powerful combination. But pellets have to be the foundation. They should comprise around 75% of your pet’s dietary intake (resource). 

Still, teaching budgies what to eat is easier said than done. You must keep showing them these foods in different ways for your pets to try them. As long as you are creative and don’t give up, they will eventually get used to them, which means lots of playing and chirping.

Your pet Needs Entertainment

Budgies that are forgotten in a cage without any stimuli can lose interest in pretty much everything. So how do you know if that’s the issue? For starters, get a bigger cage that will allow plenty of movement.

Add in a few toys, especially bells, because they love them to no end (reference). Assuming they have a fair amount of good food and clean water, budgies also need quality time. Speak to them often and even play some music. Give budgies some time outside the cage.

parakeet outside the cage

If none of that works, the cause is likely something else, not boredom.

Solving your budgies’ lack of enthusiasm doesn’t have to be complicated. By learning what triggers the behavior, you can take the proper action and establish a stronger relationship with your pets. So take your time, and remember to be patient. Your budgies will thank you for it!

He is the leading creator of featheredbuddies.com, a website dedicated to helping bird owners. For many years, Isra P has cared for budgies and other birds to ensure their happiness and well-being. His passion and enthusiasm for them have led him to a quest to find out why birds act the way they do and how to enrich their lives.