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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). English/Show budgies tend not to live as long as American/Pet type budgies.

My budgie is biting me! Why and what do I do?
Budgies often bite because they are afraid or when they are trying to exercise their dominance. 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 more space. Spend a lot of time with your budgie talking, singing or reading to it (without touching it) as this can help the budgie develop more trust in you.

What size cage should I get?
The minimum cage size for a single budgie is 18"x18"x18". Avoid round cages as budgies feel more comfortable with corners . The bigger the cage the better as long as the spacing between the bars is no more than 1/2". Cages with a flat roof offer 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. Avoid plastic and wooden dowel type perches. The best perches are natural wood perches of varying diameters. These exercise your budgie's feet and help prevent pressure sores.

What's the difference between a budgie and a parakeet?
Generally, only people in the US call budgies "parakeets". In reality, a parakeet is any small, slender, long-tailed parrot. The name budgie (which is short for budgerigar) is more proper and is the correct name to use.

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. Most adult male budgies have a bluish-colored cere (the fleshy part above the beak)while an adult female will typically have a light tan to brown-colored cere. There are exceptions depending on the budgie's mutation. Budgies with a smooth translucent pinkish/purple cere are male whereas budgies with a light whitish/blue cere with white around the nares are female. Behavior should not be used to try to determine a budgie's gender. Both genders can and do exhibit the same types of behaviors and each and every budgie is unique.

Should I get a male or a female budgie?
Both male and female budgies make good pets. Some people prefer males as they are concerned about a female possibly laying eggs. While it is true that some females will lay even if they are not paired with a male, there are ways to discourage this. Limiting the amount of daylight hours, ensuring there is nothing in the cage that can be used as a nesting site, rearranging the cage frequently and limiting the protein in the budgie's diet when it is in breeding condition is generally sufficient to prevent unwanted eggs.

Can I grab my budgie?
Budgies should never be grabbed. 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. Teaching your budgie to step up, whether on your finger or a small dowel perch, in order to move it is recommended.

My budgie has its head in its back feathers.
Budgies often nap with their head turned and the beak buried in their back. This allows the budgies' neck muscles to relax and is a comfortable position for them.

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 your budgie has a leg-band, the year the budgie hatched is usually shown on it.

Why is my budgie sitting on one foot?
Budgies sometimes 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 especially if you are new to owning budgies. Many budgies are quite happy being a solo bird and most will bond more closely with their human "flock". If the budgie will be alone most of the time, then it is best to ensure it has a same species friend for company when you are away. The budgies 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 already have a budgie and are getting another, the new budgie MUST be quarantined in a separate cage and room for 40-45 days before being introduced to your current budgie. Budgie's mask signs of illness and many budgie illnesses are airborne. By quarantining your new budgie away from your current birds, you greatly reduce the risk of spreading illness from one bird to another.

Can I 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. 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. It is generally best to cover the top, three sides of the cage and partway down the front of the cage. Using a night light in the room and having a portion of the cage uncovered will help to reduce night-frights.


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