Before buying any birds take time to find out how to keep them, and feed and water them.

Pet Birds

These can be purchased from reputable breeders from within close proximity to where you live. Use the link to the Budgerigar Society site where you will find the "Breeders Direcrory". By buying from this source you can talk directly to the breeder, see how they were bred, and more importantly when. For pet birds it is best to get them at around 6 to 7 weeks of age, when they have just been removed from their parents. At this age they can be easily taught to sit on your finger. After leaving the bird settle for a few days to get used to its new surroundings you can get the bird onto you finger by quietly putting your hand slowly into the cage and putting your extended finger up to the birds lower body , just above the feet and gently push the bird away from the perch.. The bird will then lift its feet off the perch, and stand on your finger. It does help if you talk to it quietly as well.

Talking

Most people believe that only the Cocks talk. This is false, as both Cocks and Hens can be taught to talk. In fact the best talker I have seen was a Hen. Only birds kept on their own will talk. If two birds are housed together then it is unlikely that they will talk as they will talk to each other. If only one bird is kept it will mimic its owners voice. Start by saying just one word or phrase at a time , e.g "Hello Joey". This can get a bit boring for the owner, so the best thing to do is to tape yourself saying the phrase when you first get the bird, and then when you go out, put the tape to go, and they will soon pick that word / phrase up. After the first word is taught, more will follow quite quickly.

Housing

An oblong cage is better than a round one as it gives the bird more room to move about in. Never place the cage in a window in direct sunlight or in a place where it can get a draught. The biggest killer of Budgerigars is stress, so do things like feeding, cleaning etc slowly and quietly and gently talking to the bird. Always be aware of cats and dogs as these can both stress the bird especially if kept in the same room when you are out. Keep toys in the cage to a minimum. Clean floor of cage at least once a week.

Feeding

Any good quality Budgerigar food like Trill is ok, Water should be changed daily and any husks blown from the seed pot. When seed is eaten the outer skin, the husk is cracked open to get at the seed. The husk is then usually left in the seed pot. It may look full but it may not be. It is advisable for a few days to put an extra pot of seed on the cage floor until the birds find the feeder in the cage, This is because a lot of breeders feed from open dishes on the breeding cage floor and the birds are used to this. When they find the cage feeder then you can do away with the feeder on the floor. This prevents the bird from dying of starvation, although there is plenty of food in the cage. Clean cuttlefish can be given, do not use straight from the beach where it is often washed up as these are usually contaminated. Iodine nipples can also be given Millet sprays can be given but soak in Vanodine before giving to the birds. These are nearly always contaminated. Fresh water should be given daily.

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