I will start off by saying, I don't currently own a budgie. We had a darling little fellow who died very suddenly last month, after only living with us for 3 weeks.
It broke our hearts, and we've missed him so much.
We would like to get another bird, but we are concerned because we often go on little 3 or 4 day trips about 4 or 5 times throughout the year, and I've started to think about what we would do with our budgie during our vacation. I want to keep the bird's stress to a minimum, and make sure it has the care it needs.
We want to keep a solitary bird, so he/she will bond with us well, and we can (hopefully) teach it to talk. I work from home, and will pay a lot of attention to the bird throughout the day, so loneliness is not usually an issue. But, I'm afraid if we go on vacation and suddenly nobody was home with him/her all day, it might get sick and die.
I have two options for care while we are gone, and wanted to get some opinions on which would probably be better for our future bird:
First option: Budgie goes to my parent's house (in it's usual cage), where it will have human company most of the day that will talk and interact with it (they are retired and home during the day just like me, and like budgies very much), as well as changing papers/food/water daily. But, it would be a new environment (though the cage would be the same familiar one).
Second option: Budgie stays at our home, our neighbor (who has bird experience - 15 years as a large parrot owner) comes over once a day to change food/water/papers, but will not stay very long to chat/play with the bird. I would leave on the classical radio station for the budgie, but it would not get much human interaction for 3 or 4 days at a time.
I do not really want either my parents or my neighbor to attempt to take the budgie out of the cage for flight time, as they might not be able to get it back in the cage, or might make one of the many easy mistakes you can make that could cost the Budgie it's life.
So I guess my question is - is leaving home for another house (but having companionship) more stressful than being at home, but being mostly alone (except for the radio) for 3-4 days?
I am so worried about losing another budgie, I really want to do the best we can with this bird.
I know we could hire a pet sitter, but I still would not be comfortable with them letting the bird out to fly, so that would be about the same as the neighbor coming over.
If you have any other ideas or experience with leaving your budgie with another caregiver for a few days, please feel free to share! Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.