Budgerigars are friendly, cheerful little pets, and good companions for all age groups. The budgie is a member of the parrot family, and originates from Australia. Their natural colour is green, but they are now available in a variety of attractive colours. A cock budgie will have the nostril area, called the 'cere', a bright blue; and a hen budgie's will be brown. Baby birds will have a pink cere, and it is not possible to tell what they are. The average life span is 8 - 10 years.
A healthy budgie will be bright and alert. There should be no signs of discharge from the eyes or nostril, and the vent area should be clean. Feathers should be flush to the body and not fluffed up. Breathing should not be laboured or wheezy.
A budgie can be kept indoors either alone or in pairs. The cage should be as big as you can afford and have space for. It should be big enough at least for the bird to open its wings fully. A cage with horizontal bars is best as budgies are climbing birds! Avoid draughts, direct sunlight, or damp and humid conditions, and sand sheets on the bottom of the cage make cleaning out far easier.
A good quality budgie mix from should be available at all times. Remove the empty husks daily and refill. Millet sprays can be given with discretion, and honey bells or bars can be hung in the cage as a treat. A little fresh green food can be given, such as lettuce, chick weed or dandelion, take care not to give to much. Your budgie must have a cuttlefish, as a source of calcium, and to keep its beak worn down, and an iodine block is essential to provide minerals and trace elements. Budgies have not got teeth, so they need grit to help digest the seed in their crops, and of course, fresh water must be available at all times.