Getting a pet is a huge responsibility, and while it may be tempting to think that getting a pet such as a budgie is all rainbows and unicorns, unfortunately, that is not the case. A pet budgie is not a toy, nor is it purely a companion; instead, it is a living organism with emotional, physical, or intellectual needs. So what are the things to do when bringing your budgie home for the first time?
When introducing a budgie to your home environment, it is integral to have them quarantined, especially if you have other pet avians in the area. Moreover, each budgie has a different temperament as they may need to adjust before moving into your home.
What can you do to help your budgie move in for the first time, and what is bird quarantine? This article will tell you all the things you need to know.
Getting Ready For Bringing A Budgie Home
Bringing a budgie home may seem like an easy task. Still, it is not, especially if you are not ready– may it be physically (are the cages ready), mentally (has your brain grasped the very task of having to take care of the budgie for the rest of its life), and financially (bills, bills, and more bills). So, what do you need to do when bringing your budgie home for the first time? Below we list some general tips.
How To Get Ready For A New Budgie
- Getting the suitable materials (cage, food)
- Knowing how to travel with a budgie
- Understanding bird quarantine
- Learn how to help your budgie settle in
Getting The Right Materials
Selecting the best bird cage to buy should be an easy task. Unfortunately, this process is not as straightforward as many people would want it to be– as there are a lot of concerns that, if overlooked, can make your budgie sick or prolong their adjustment period. Below, we provide a quick guide for selecting the best bird cage to buy.
What Is The Best Bird Cage To Purchase For Your Budgie
- Prioritize Comfort
Comfort is incredibly essential for you to help your budgie adjust to the environment well. Budgies typically are 18 or 7 inches long, accounting for their wingspan; they can reach a foot or approximately 30 centimeters. As such, buy a cage at least 1.5 times more significant. (The Australian Museum, 2020)
- Set The Proper Location For Familiarity
One of the things you need to make sure of when you bring your budgie home for the first time is to place them in a place that is near most communal activities: i.e., the living room. As such, budgies will be able to know the family members and familiarize them quickly.
- Set The Appropriate Setting
Place your budgie’s cage not near an open window where the sun ray may hit them. Moreover, budgies will appreciate it if the back of the cage is in the wall, so they feel secure and can observe everyone without needing surveillance on their backside. As much as possible, keep your budgie’s cage away from any moving parts: the door, for example.
- Buy The Right Cage
Did you make your cage, or are you planning to buy one pre-made? Whichever one you might be using, do utilize non-toxic paints. Moreover, do not buy plastic bird cages unless you live in an area where metal rusts easily (near the sea). If you purchase plastic enclosures, ensure they are sturdy enough and use BPA-free, food-grade materials. (source)
- Keep Away From Harsh Fumes
Do you live near a polluted air space? Keep your budgie away from the window (if you live in a polluted air space), the kitchen, and the restroom. The restroom’s cleaning agents may be harsh to their respiratory system, and burning chemicals such as Teflon (non-stick coating in pans) may harm them significantly.
Traveling With Your Budgie Safely
One of the things to know what to do when trying to bring home your budgie home for the first time is to learn how to travel with them safely. After all, unless the pet shop or breeder is within walking distance, you will certainly need to travel with them by car.
So, how do you travel with your budgie? There might be many more things to know and assess than you expect. Below, we list a few concerns.
How To Bring Your Budgie Home (Travelling With Your Budgie)
- Keep A Separate Cage For Traveling
The car might not offer most spaces, and one might purchase an ergonomic cage for the car and “appropriate” for home use. Unfortunately, that is not the case most of the time. Pens that one built with traveling in mind for your budgie is, most of the time, too small for everyday living. As such, buy a separate cage for traveling.
- Keep The Necessities Together
Traveling might take a bit longer than usual, so you will need to be supplying a lot of things to your budgie to make them as comfortable as possible. Place a space where they can be comfortable doing bathroom stuff. Moreover, you might need to place some food to keep them calm.
- Keep It Dark
To avoid confusing your budgie, it is best to make the area dark. To do that, place a towel on the cage so they will become oblivious to their surroundings. However, ensure they can breathe properly, so have air holes available.
- Keep Away From The Trunk
Exhaust can harm your bird significantly. Make sure to keep your bird away from the trunk. As much as possible, please keep your budgie in the back seat.
Knowing How To Conduct Bird Quarantine
The most crucial part of getting ready to bring your budgie home is for them to undergo bird quarantine. Although bird quarantine might not be the best idea for those with only having their budgie as their first avian, for those with multiple pets at home, the budgies need to go through some bird quarantine.
Your budgie might have exposure to many diseases at the breeder or pet shop. Keeping them under quarantine is the best option to keep your budgie and other pets safe.
How To Do Bird Quarantine For Your Budgie
- Prepare The Quarantine Area
The quarantine area should be perfectly comfortable for your budgie. Still, it should also be distant enough (at least twelve meters away) for your other birds to not get contaminated if there are viruses your new budgie carries. Moreover, your quarantine area should contain food and water and be safe and away from other animals, such as rat-infested areas. (source)
- Check For Symptoms
When your new budgie starts quarantine, monitor it daily for any signs of disease. There are common symptoms that birds in sickness may have, such as the following: ruffled feathers, increased sleeping, eyes consistently closed, lack of interest or increased inactivity, weakness, watery discharge around the nostrils, dull or eyes with abnormal color, vomiting, thirst, sneezing, wheezing, and changes in breathing. Take a planner and note any symptoms every day. (source)
- Leave Them For Days
Bird quarantine can take up to a month to solve. As such, it is best if your budgie is left to quarantine for approximately thirty days, especially if it is feeling symptoms. Take some fecal samples as well and let the veterinarian test them.
- Vaccination Is Essential
Check with your breeder if the budgie you have has its vaccinations ready during quarantine. If not, get them vaccinated as soon as possible.
- Quarantine Area Maintenance
Once every three days, scrub the quarantine area for disinfection. After the quarantine, clean everything, including the perch and the floor, before using the cage again for your budgie.
Visit the quarantined bird after, not before the rest of the flock. If you visit the quarantined bird before visiting your main flock, there is a chance that viruses and other contaminants will transfer to your main flock from the quarantined budgie.
- Do Not Quarantine Multiple Birds Together
Quarantining numerous birds together can lead to an unregulated mess, and an otherwise healthy budgie may get infected.
Helping Your Budgie Settle In
The adjustment process for your budgie can be a pretty tough time. After all, from an environment full of diversity and other flocks, especially if they come from a breeder, they will be moving to a cozier place with possibly fewer birds and even alone. As such, the adjustment process for your new budgie can be really tough.
The Adjustment Process Is Not The Same For All Budgies
There is no concrete number when your budgie should start adjusting to its new environment. Some budgies can adapt within a few days and will do OK afterward. Some of them, however, will need a lot more time and can even take months before they can adequately adjust to their new home.
How To Make Your Budgie Feel More At Home In Their New Home
There are a few things that can help your budgie adjust better. One of the best things you can do is talk to it frequently. Budgies have fantastic hearing, and talking to them will help them familiarize your voice. However, monitor the amount of talking you are doing with your budgie. They do need their space, so limit the amount of speaking on the first few days.
Another thing you can do is to let it do its own thing for the first few days. Please don’t move it out of the cage. Let it sit there and observe, as it can get overwhelming for them if you introduce them to the whole house, and there is always a possibility of them flying away or escaping.
To familiarize them with the whole family, place their cage near a communal area to observe the family properly so that other family members cannot disorient your budgie.
How To Know If Your Budgie Is Getting Comfortable
Your budgie may not be incredibly expressive, and it might be hard to identify whether or not they are getting settled in, but there are tell-tale signs that they are indeed comfortable. Below, we list a few examples of a comfortable budgie.
Is My Budgie Comfortable Yet?
- Keep your cage open and let your budgie come down on its own. When it slowly goes down and explores on its own, it can be a tell-tale sign of a comfortable budgie.
- It may already feel comfortable when your budgie touches your hands or tries to “kiss” you.
- If your budgie feels much more responsive, it is a good sign of comfort.
Getting your budgie comfortable in their new environment might be quite the challenge– but that’s fine. You can do a few things to keep your budgie feeling comfortable. One thing you can do is to prepare their living space before they arrive.
Make sure they have a living space (a cage) at least 1.5 times bigger than their wingspan. Moreover, use safe materials for your budgie so they will not ingest anything poisonous. Keep them away from kitchens and comfort rooms.
On the other hand, when traveling them home, ensure they are in the back seat and not in a place like a trunk where the car exhaust can harm them. Also, if possible, buy them a separate smaller traveling cage.
When They Arrive Home
They should remain under quarantine for thirty days. Appropriate quarantine measures should be applied, such as following a specific feeding order and keeping the flock away from your budgie as much as possible.
You should ensure that your budgie will be comfortable in their new living quarters. You can help them adjust faster by talking to them moderately and keeping them exposed to other family members such as pets. Signs of comfort might be them trying to walk out of their cage, being more responsive, or it tries to initiate physical contact.
- “Budgerigar”. The Australian Museum. December 10, 2020. Archived from the original on July 24, 2020. Retrieved July 2, 2022.
- “What is BPA, and what are the concerns about BPA?” Mayo Clinic, last accessed July 2, 2022. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/bpa/faq-20058331
- “Quarantine advice when introducing new birds”, Agriculture Victoria, last accessed July 3, 2022. https://agriculture.vic.gov.au/biosecurity/animal-diseases/poultry-diseases/quarantine-advice-when-introducing-new-birds
- “Protecting Birds in the Shelter through Quarantine”, Avian Welfare, last accessed July 3, 2022. https://www.avianwelfare.org/shelters/pdf/NBD_shelters_quarantine.pdf
- “Signs of Illness in Pet Birds”, MSD Manual, last accessed July 3, 2022. https://www.msdvetmanual.com/bird-owners/routine-care-and-breeding-of-birds/signs-of-illness-in-pet-birds