I admire that you are looking for answers regarding owning a budgie as a pet. This information is immensely important which every first-time bird owner should have before getting a budgie. We have seen several first-timers ignoring to attain this knowledge which led to complexities and your pet’s demise eventually.
If you have decided to keep a budgie as a pet in your home then you should know what to look for in a budgie before buying from a pet shop.
What Should I Know Before Getting a Budgie?
Purchasing a budgie the first time is not as easy as it seems. You should check the appearance of the budgie to look for any medical complications the bird might have. Inspect keel bone, feathers, beak, vent, fingers, nails, size, activities, pedigree, and gender.
What Should I Know Before Getting a Budgie?
Budgies are one of the smallest biological species of parrots that have an average size of 5 – 11 inches from beak to tail tips. These birds originated from Australia where they live in huge flocks and keep migrating to different parts of the continent in search of food.
Before buying budgies, you should focus on the following aspects,
Determine the Gender of Budgie
If you wish to buy a pair of budgies then you should be able to identify the gender. Knowing the gender of the budgie is easy. You can tell if the budgie is male or female by seeing the “Cere” color. Cere is a fleshy membrane placed on the beak where you can see the budgie’s nostrils.
Male budgie has a dark blue or dark pink Cere
Female budgie’s Cere color changes with age. At a young age, you can see light pink or light blue color but it changes to dark brown or golden when the bird is mature.
Determine the Age of Budgie
Determining the age of the budgie is also important because we recommend new bird owners to get a mature pet as young budgies are sensitive and need more care. Age is also easy to determine, you can check the age by observing the following,
Check the Cere color:
Cere color in mature male budgies turns to dark blue whereas, in young birds, you will notice a light blue color.
Cere color in mature female budgies turns to dark brown or golden whereas, in young birds, you will notice a light pink or light blue color.
Check the neck markings:
You will notice mature budgies having darker neck markings whereas, in young birds, you will see light markings.
Check the foot ring:
Every captive bird has a ring on its feet that mentions the birth year of the bird. You can assess the age of the bird by checking the year on the ring.
Size of Budgie
The average budgie size is 5 – 11 inches from the beak to the tail tips. If you notice the size is smaller then do not buy that budgie as this may happen due to some medical problem or improper diet.
Every pet owner keeps tabs on the family tree (Pedigree) of each bird. You should know the ancestors of your bird which tells you about your budgie’s genes.
To check it, you can simply ask the pet owner to provide your bird’s pedigree before purchasing. Bird’s pedigree record looks like this,
You can verify the authenticity of the data provided with the bird’s foot ring.
Budgie’s Keel bone
The keel bone is located in the center of the budgie’s ribs. It helps to anchor the wing muscles of the bird. This bone will be prominent in underweight budgies which can be a sign of sickness therefore place your fingers in the center of the ribs to check the keel bone.
Avoid purchasing a sick budgie.
Inspect Budgie’s Feathers for Disease
Feather of budgies hides several secrets about the bird. You need to observe any symptoms of the feather’s disease. Some feather diseases are very prominent if you notice.
in this disease, the budgie will not have flying feathers and you will be able to notice several skin patches on the bird.
Feather Dusters syndrome:
In this disease, you will be able to notice abnormal growth of feathers and furs as it does not stop growing.
Inspect Budgie’s Beak for any Disease
Abnormal beak condition can be noticeable if the upper or lower beak has overgrown. Remember to observe the budgie’s beak and if you notice any abnormality then you should avoid buying that bird.
There is one more thing to notice which appears on the beak. You have to check if there are any symptoms of scaly mites disease. This disease damages the beak of the bird and you will see holes in it.
Inspect Budgie’s Eye for any Disease
You would have to observe the eyes of the bird. Some eye diseases are prominent so you can notice them easily such as “Eye Pox”.
Inspect Budgie’s Vent for any Disease
Check the vent of budgies to notice the following,
- Stuck poop droppings near the vent area
- A wet vent is a sign of diarrhea
- If you notice fats sticking out of the vent then it means the bird will have a problem in breeding
- A swollen vent can also be a sign of fats, remember to check this and confirm with the pet owner
Inspect Budgie’s Feet for any Disease
Budgies have 4 fingers on their feet, you need to inspect if there are no signs of injury, scalings, or pox which is a sign of scaly mites. This is a disease in birds that can cause the death of the budgie.
You need to observe if the bird can grip the perch properly or not.
Inspect Budgie’s Nail for any Disease
Budgie’s nails should be proper, if these have not grown to their fullest then the bird will have a problem while holding food or mating.
Check if the Budgie is Active
Budgies are playful and active. You need to stay and notice the bird for a while to observe the flying, chirping, and activities of the bird. If you notice any red flags such as
- Heavy breathing might be a sign of air sac mites, which causes them to have difficulty in breathing and die eventually.
- Scratching bodies with their beak might be a sign of feather mites.
- If the bird is not flying then it can be a sign of illness.
After reading this blog post, you will be able to get your new pet easily. Kindly check all the above-mentioned points so that there won’t be any problem with your new pet.
I have tried to elaborate on all the points in detail as to what you need to know before getting a budgie. If you would need more then you can reach out to us our email or in the comment section below.