Buying a Budgie for the First Time: 12 Things You Have to be Aware of Before Acquiring a New Winged Friend

Buying a budgie for the first time is not as simple as it seems. Budgies are excellent pets; however, taking care of them involves many steps beyond getting the first one you see and shoving it in a cage with some food and water.

They, like other pets, need love and attention, and if you want them to behave in the way you want them to, you have to put time and effort. Also, you have to know what you should and shouldn’t do.

The following tidbits of information will help you get the budgie you want while avoiding the pitfalls that most people fall into.

Getting the Facts About Budgies

You need to do some serious research before acquiring a budgerigar, commonly known as a budgie. Budgies are much more than pretty birds that can sing.

They have needs, and you have to know them well. Once you have your facts straight, you will be ready to have them join you and become part of your family.

But, first, let’s see if you are up to the challenge.

1. Remember they are energetic

– Budgies are innately loud.

Yes, they can sing, and chirp, and quite often, their sounds cheer you up if you are feeling down. Still, the opposite is also true. They wake up at sunrise, and you had better like it.

So if you are a person that is easily bothered by loud noises and enjoys getting up late in the mornings or at noon, you should reconsider having a bird as a pet.

The bites are real.

From time to time, budgies might nibble on your skin, and that hurts. If you desire to train them, they will do that a lot as they get comfortable around you. Of course, budgies also bite when they are angry or upset.

While you could use (light colored) gloves, it might not be the best idea if you desire to bond with them. But, then again, that’s something you need to consider before shopping for a budgie.

– Untidiness is certain.

Budgies are so energetic that they tend to make a mess in their cage and outside if given a chance. As they eat, you can see them throwing around the husks of the seeds carelessly.

Spillage of food and water is an everyday occurrence with them. So don’t fret over this, as that’s how budgies behave.

bird food and poop

In addition to the mess they make while eating, they also poop everywhere. There’s no way to make them stop.

To minimize the chaos they create, you can place sheets of newspaper on the floor of their cage and at the bottom of any place where they like to stay while having a strict cleaning schedule.

2. Think about their health

– Diet matters.

Believe it or not, budgies need more than mere seeds to thrive. If you only feed them seeds, they will likely develop chronic diseases and have a short life span. 

Therefore, prospective owners should also be ready with pellets, fruits, and vegetables to nourish their lovely companions.

millet, fruit and spinach

– They can have long lives.

You may not know it, but budgies can live up to 20 years if the conditions are right.

Although the average is from 7 to 10 years, you have to get ready to take care of them for a few years if you desire to be a genuine budgerigar owner.

– Losing feathers is normal.

Budgies may replace their feathers once to twice a year. Don’t panic if you find feathers all over the cage floor and even around your home. 

Of course, you should also see the new feathers growing out of their heads and other parts of their body.

Remaining featherless is a bad sign that may require veterinary assistance, so keep that in mind.

– Odors are not a problem.

One of the most significant pros of getting budgies is that they are pretty much odorless. They shouldn’t make your house stink at all. Under normal conditions, even their poop won’t generate offensive smells.

The stench coming from their cage is typically a sign that you forgot to keep it clean, or they have a severe health condition. If you suspect an illness, take your budgies to a vet immediately.

3. Keep in mind they enjoy company

– Budgies are not loners.

Get ready to buy an extra budgie if you want it to be happy. Otherwise, it may get lonely and sad. Of course, you might get away with acquiring one if your plans involve spending one to two hours with it every day.

– A couple is the answer.

Not spending time with your budgie may cause problems in your relationship with it. So if you have a busy schedule, it’s better to make sure your bird has a companion of the opposite gender.

Two males or two females will end up causing lots of fights, which is detrimental to them and you.

If you are concerned about breeding baby budgies, remove nesting boxes if you have any.

On the other hand, if you want more budgies, add the boxes and let them be.

4. Realize they are smart

– Talking for a budgie is possible.

As a member of the parrot family, budgies can learn to speak, and they do it quite well. 

Now, be prepared to spend months teaching them so that they can mimic the sound of your speech. It won’t be an easy task, but the rewards are well worth it if you are up to it.

Keep in mind that younger budgies learn much faster than their older counterparts. In addition, males talk more than females. So, if a talking budgie is your goal, a baby male is your best bet.

– They will come to you.

If a bird can talk, surely it can do much more. Budgies will play with you outside their cages long as you put some time into it. Like any other type of training, you have to begin it when they are young to be the most effective.

Soon enough, they will stand on your fingers and even come to you at will. Patience is key.

5. Anticipate the cost

– Money is a factor.

Aside from food, snacks, housing, and toys, you should save a few hundred dollars just in case your budgie needs to go to the veterinary. You never know when accidents or sickness may strike.

– Trips and budgies.

If you plan to go on a trip, you will need someone to look after your budgie. You will need a friend, relative, or someone you can hire to take care of it.

That person should be responsible and have a good memory because your bird will be forgotten if the individual is not used to having pets.

Remember to provide all food and resources needed for your budgie to be as comfortable as possible while you are gone.

In the following video, you will learn what you need to know before buying a budgie for the first time:

Picking a Budgie

Now that you are ready for a budgie, you need a sure-fire way to find one that is healthy both physically and emotionally. Of course, it’s pretty easy to fall prey to dishonest and callous vendors.

They often try to trick people by offering a sick or emotionally disturbed bird, so you have to be on your toes.

Thankfully, there are ways to find out if you are getting the companion you are looking for. 

The location, the seller, and the overall behavior of the bird will give you the necessary clues to choose wisely.

6. Investigate your potential pet

You are ready for a budgie, but you aren’t sure where you are getting it from. Well, the most common alternatives are pet stores and breeders.

As you go shopping, you need to observe the environment where the budgies live. A bunch of birds crammed in a small cage is a bad sign.

Not enough food or water is even worse. Budgies that seem abandoned, depressed, or lethargic are a big no-no. Anything that looks out of place indicates that you should go elsewhere.

7. Question the vendor

Even if everything seems fine, you still need to interview the seller to see if the budgies are getting enough attention.

You should ask questions about their age, whether they are male or female, and their state of health.

A vendor who cannot answer these questions may not care about the birds, which means the budgies are probably in bad shape. 

Additionally, they should offer you a guarantee stating the budgies are healthy.

No guarantee means you should go somewhere else. The premise here is to promote businesses that care about the budgies they sell.

You shouldn’t enable someone whose only concern is profits.

8. Look for enthusiasm

Once you know the location where you will pick your budgie, it’s time to choose. As you look at all the budgies around, go for the signs of a healthy budgie.

You are searching for an energetic and active budgie. A healthy bird will be moving and playing around. Budgies are rarely just standing on a perch doing nothing.

parakeet playing with its toy

If you see one that seems sleepy when everyone else is climbing and jumping, you should forget about that one.

9. Check out the beak

A budgie’s beak provides essential clues about its health. One that is too big, too small, or just deformed in any way is an indication that you shouldn’t take that bird home.

look at the beak while considering buying a budgie

Moreover, wet or dry mucus in or near their nostrils is a sign that a bird may have a respiratory illness.

10. Pay attention to the vent

The vent or cloaca of a budgie is where the poop of the bird comes out. Droppings stuck in that area are an indication of sickness or digestive problems.

So even if it’s only mildly unkempt, that’s more than enough reason for you to stay away from that budgie.

11. Examine the toes

Are the number of toes in a budgie important? Yes, you can be certain they are. Healthy budgies should have two toes on the front and two on the back of each foot. Why does that matter?

Well, that anatomic structure allows them to perch with remarkable efficacy. Furthermore, it helps budgies climb with ease. So a bird with missing, swollen, or scaly toes should be avoided.

Also, as you assess your potential pet, watch out for any inabilities to coordinate its movements as it walks or climbs.

Refrain from buying a budgie with such issues as the likelihood of an illness is high.

12. Inspect the feathers

toes of a parakeet

One of the things you should notice on a budgie is the way the feathers look.

If they seem messy, untidy, or lacking that lustrous appearance you are searching for, that’s an indication of an ailment or inadequate care.

On the other hand, the right budgie looks well put together with a shiny and bountiful plumage.

parakeet feathers

Successfully buying a budgie for the first time requires knowing what you are looking for and what you should avoid.

It also means knowing what are the bird’s needs before they arise.

Learn and pay attention to these principles before making your budgie purchase. They will save you time and a lot of unnecessary distress.