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What is a budgie's life expectancy?
Depending on their care, health and genetics, budgies typically live from 5 to 8 years. Some budgies may live quite a bit longer (up to age 15) and some may have live a relatively short life (2 to 3 years). Also, English budgies tend not to live as long as Amercian budgies.

My budgie is biting me! Why and what do I do?
Budgies usually bite because they are afraid, or because they are trying to exercise their dominance over you. It is best to try to ignore the biting (even if it really hurts!). If that doesn't work, you can try getting your budgie to repeatedly "step up" from finger to finger several times in a row following a bite. When they realize that this is what will happen every time they bite, they may actually stop. If your budgie is scared and biting, it is best to give your budgie some more space. Spend lots of time next to your budgie (without touching them) as this can help them to develop more trust in you.

How big should my budgie's cage be?
The minimum cage size for a single budgie is 18"x18"x18". Avoid round cages as these don't provide very much usable space. If you can get a cage with a flat roof as you'll find that you can make better use of the space for hanging toys, perches, etc. Avoid tall cages, they may look large but budgies are not helicopters and cannot fly upwards (they are also likely to just stay at the top of the cage), try to find a cage that is longer than it is tall and place the perches sensibly to allow your budgie to fly back and forward along the length of the cage. The bar space should be no more than 1/2".

What's the difference between a budgie and a parakeet?
The short answer is there is no difference. But really, a parakeet is any small, slender, long-tailed parrot. The name budgie is more proper and is the correct name.

How can I tell what gender my budgie is?
Figuring out gender when a budgie is still a baby can be very difficult, but as they get older it becomes much easier. Male budgies have a bluish-colored cere (the fleshy part above the beak). A female will typically have a light tan to brown-colored cere. In addition, females tend to gnaw and chew on things more, and may be slightly more aggressive than their male counterparts.

Should I get a male or a female budgie?
If you are looking for a tame pet then a young male budgie (6-12 weeks old). They seem to be the least temperamental and also seem to make good talkers if worked with from a young age. Having said this, female budgies can and often do make equally good pets.

Can I grab my budgie?
No! You should never grab your budgie. Imagine what it would be like if a giant hand grabbed you. If you need to capture your budgie, it is best to do so with a cloth so they don't become afraid of your hand when you try taming them.

My budgie has its head in its back feathers.
Budgies often do this when they sleep. As to why they do it, it's so they can rest their neck muscles.

How young or old is my budgie?
There are a few things you can look at to tell if you have a young budgie. Under four months of age, a budgie's cere (the fleshy part above the beak) will be smooth and is generally pinkish-purple in colour for males and whitish-blue for females. As well, the budgie will have striping or “barring” on its forehead, and will have a completely black eye (except for lutinos and albinos). At about 3-4 months old, a budgie usually has its first molt, so the forehead begins losing its stripes. This is also the time when the cere starts to change colour (bluish for males and brown or tan for females). Once a budgie reaches 6 months of age, it is quite difficult to differentiate him or her from an adult budgie since they have an identical appearance; the forehead has no barring, the eye has a white iris and the cere has changed colour. If you are lucky, your budgie has a band on its leg indicating the birth date so you can easily tell its age!

Why is my budgie sitting on one foot?
They do this to give their feet a rest. They'll often do this while resting or sleeping. It's perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.

Should I get one or two budgies?
It is often best to start with just one and tame it before adding another. However, if you know that you will be away from the home often and your budgie will be on it's own, then it may be better to start with two. They are more likely to bond to each other, but they should both be happier. It is possible to tame two budgies at once; it just might take longer. It is important to remember that if you are adding a new budgie, it MUST be quarantined in a separate cage and room for at least 30 days before being introduced to your current budgie. This is to monitor the new budgie for any signs of illness that may be passed onto your current budgie.

house other species of birds with my budgies?
No, birds of different species should not be housed together for their own safety, and because birds of different species do not communicate in the same manner. If you own a large avairy then it is possible to keep some various species together who are compatable in size and temperment.

If I build an outside aviary, what is the best kind of wire or screening to use?
NEVER use regular screen material like you find on windows. The budgies claws will get caught in it and they can be injured. Hardware cloth seems to be the most economical material but be careful of the size. For inside use, half inch is good but outside, you need to use quarter inch. Believe it or not, mice can go through half inch. (I've seen it happen.) Also, if you use button quail to help keep seed waste down, baby button quail can go through half inch hardware cloth too.

How much sleep do budgies need?
Budgies typically need between 10 and 12 hours of sleep per day. They'll do most of this at night, but budgies also tend to take naps during the day. When you put your budgies to sleep, consider covering the cage with a blanket (not too thick - you don't want to inhibit air circulation). Covering their cage can give them a sense of security and prevent them from reacting to shadows or lights from a car for example.


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