My first bird skittles was berry easy to tame he never bit me and lived cuddling he loved sitting with me while I drew the only bad thing I could think about with him is it broke my heart going to school because he would call for me but he got so happy when I came back and all he wanted to do the rest of the night was stay with me then he passed away by death of my dog attacking him then I got a new bird a few weeks later and her name was onie but she was super mean and my mom suggested to take her back and get a new one since the pet store had a 30 day taming thing so I got a new bird named snickers (the one I have now) he was so sweet but he was depressed so we went back to the pet store and got him a partner named disco and they have lived happily ever after sence then so that’s my experience with my parakeets
And one more good thing I have discovered about budgies; They have excellent taste in music. All four of mine go absolutely nuts for Michael Jackson. I have to leave his music on for the downstairs budgies when I go stay with the rest of the flock or they get really upset with me.
Cute as a button (actually, they blow the doors off any button I've ever seen).
Don't require huge cages (although the minimum is bigger than what most new budgie owners might think).
Not as loud as bigger birds, which is especially important in apartments.
As tiny as they are, a flying budgie could easily get itself into a dangerous place.
As with any bird (if I'm not mistaken), you shouldn't use coated cookware. My wife and I are fine with stainless steel and cast iron cookware, but people who are very used to coated cookware should be aware of its potential toxicity to birds.
If you aren't prepared to be your budgie's flock mate, you should have two. That means a bigger or second cage, at least twice the vet bills, and the possibility of them not having as much interest in you as you might like.
As my avian vet said, they're the tumor factories of the bird world.
There's too much misinformation about the optimal diet for budgies. As most of us here know, store-bought seeds don't address a budgie's nutritional needs. According to two avian vets I've seen, pellets aren't the answer for budgies. I'm now giving him sprouted seeds, and my vet was very happy to hear it. Of course, I'm also giving him plenty of vegetables and a bit of fruit.
Great thread! Might as well keep it going.
THE GOOD: Budgies are incredibly social birds. Keeping one alone is cruelty. They are intelligent, curious, friendly and playful little things. When socialized properly, they will be extremely sweet to their humans and won't be able to get enough play time with you. One of mine gives me "kisses" on the nose on command. I didn't even train her to do this, I just said "Give me kisses" one day and she leaned in for the smooch. These tiny parrots have HUGE personalities and hearts, and they will brighten your day without fail. They're full of life. Mine love nothing more than when I just talk to them. They get relaxed, puffed up, go on one leg, close their eyes and softly chatter endlessly. It's adorable! Also, their poop is stupid easy to clean up compared to most other birds. At least it is with my birds. It's tiny and dries pretty fast, then just comes right off.
THE BAD: While they're not as brutally loud as a larger species like a cockatoo or macaw, they are making noise almost all day long. Most of the time, the noise level is pretty minimal and their happy sounds are cute, but be prepared for the occasional screaming!! They may not be anything like macaw-loud, but make no mistake -- these little guys have some serious pipes on them when the mood strikes them. I could not believe how loud such a small bird could be when I got them. Can be very annoying when you want to watch a movie or something. I suggest getting them in the cage and covering them up until it's over. They also can be a bit bitey. Not in an aggressive way, but my female likes to nibble my fingers sometimes. It's rarely a hard bite, and she isn't trying to hurt me. My male doesn't nibble at all.
THE UGLY: Really nothing other than I wish they lived longer. Both of mine are still alive, but I know they won't be for more than maybe another 5-10 years. Very sad, they really have found a place in my heart and I don't know what I'll do when they are gone.
Here's Kiwi (the female) climbing up my arm the other night, being curious as always. She's a sweetheart. They both are. Yes, that's the other one flying on my head at the end lol.
I've had my budgies for over a year now and they are such adorable little beings!
Good: They are easy to take care of, as their poop dries up quickly, so it's easy to wipe away. Their seed mess is not so bad if you put the food at the bottom of the cage and have a seed catcher of some sort. They don't cost a lot to keep and they don't go through toys like bigger birds do. What drew me to them is their beautiful colors and playfulness. I love their constant chatter, which I am able to tune out while watching TV. Although, we are going to get a stand with wheels so that we can move the birds out of the family room at night if we want to watch a movie. They do not scream nearly as loud as other larger birds, although their flock call is pretty loud, they don't do that all day.
What drew me to these little birds is that they don't necessarily REQUIRE as much attention as the larger birds. We almost got a Quaker and I am SO glad we didn't. I did not want a bird that would bond with potentially one family member and be jealous of others. I didn't want a bird that would NEED me for attention and that would act out like a human toddler. I didn't want a bird that could do serious damage with a bite. My budgies tried biting me at first, but I did not react at all and they have stopped trying to bite me since. Their bite was a hard pinch, but nothing that drew blood or was too painful to withstand.
Budgies require a LOT of patience, so if you have the patience, then they can be friendly and fun to interact with, but still be independent. These guys do not destroy anything in my house. They don't get messy poops everywhere. I can let them out of the cage and they will just hang out on the play gym and in the bird safe tropical trees that I have around the cage. They fly laps and go back to the trees. I can hand feed them in the cage and they will jump all over my hands. They will also sit on the play gym perch for training. I have started clicker training them to step up, shake hands and then I want to teach them to fly to me. They will sit on my finger and listen to me talk, but will no longer sit on my shoulder since their wings grew back. They came with clipped wings but I have not and will not clip them again.
They have just as much personality as any other larger bird and if you are home most of the day, you will have a very interactive little bird. Especially if you don't have any predator pets in your home, so the budgie can rule the house. On the other hand, it seems like a lot of people have an aviary or large flight cage with a flock of budgies that are not tame, and just enjoy watching them. The budgie will be happy in a flock, a bonded pair or bonded to a human that has a significant amount of time for the bird.
As far as talking, I read that an English Budgie holds the world record for the largest vocabulary of any parrot! They do have the potential to mimic, although it seems like teaching them to talk is more hit or miss and may require a lot more effort than larger species.
Bad: Budgies require a LOT of patience to get them to be social with humans. They are inexpensive and I fear that a lot of people buy them on impulse without knowing how to care for them or what size cage they really need for all their energy. The more time you have to devote to these little guys, the more you will get out of them. I have never owned anything other than a cockatiel (when I was a child) so I don't know for sure, but it seems like larger birds need a lot of interaction as well.
They do constantly chatter, which I like, but some people may not. Budgies tend to be flighty and the less you work with them, the more flighty they will be. Mine are getting to be more trusting, but they are still fearful of new toys, which I must place on the outside of the cage for about a week before it can go in the cage. It then takes them a day to go over to the new toy, sometimes more. This is just my birds' personalities though... Some budgies are much more outgoing and brave.
My budgies were fed only seeds when I got them, so it is difficult to get them on a healthy diet. I see that many others are having the same experience. I have been slowly and I mean SLOWLY getting them to eat vegetables and pellets. They will now eat some pellets from a dish, but vegetables will only be taken from my hand. I have had to sit with them for a very long time offering the food to them while they sit on their perch and take the TINIEST little bites of the new vegetable, so tiny that you can barely see that they took a bite. I have to eat the vegetable in front of them to prove that it won't kill them... This is a lot of work, but I really want my budgies to have a good diet, so I keep trying. I would advise finding a breeder who has already introduced the babies to vegetables and pellets so that it will be easier to feed your bird healthy foods.
Ugly: Just like most other people, I cannot think of anything outright ugly about keeping budgies as pets. They are beautiful, energetic and have a lot more personality and potential than many people give them credit for.
After owning my Thor for two years I have decided to weigh in on this thread.
The Good: Small. Full of personality. Has a huge vocabulary. Very entertaining. Cute. Extremely intelligent.
My Thor speaks in complete sentences, and combines sentences to suit him. He laughs when he does something he thinks is funny - he is very cheeky! He follows me around the house, and is very bonded to me. He gets real close and says “I love you. Mwah!”. He takes great joy from music, and sings along. It is so fun to watch him.
The Bad: Pushy. Demanding. Attention seeking. Hormonal.
His BFF is my Green Cheek Conure, and Thor is so pushy with her. He wants to be her mate, but Pancakes clearly only wants to be friends. He bites her when she doesn’t do what he wants, and she is so submissive that she just goes along with it (this only happens when they are out together for too long). He mounts EVERYTHING. He bites us when we don’t do what he wants, then says “Thor you’re a monster! Hahaha”. He demands kisses from Pancakes by saying “Pancakes give me a kiss. Kiss. Kiss!” and shoves his beak in her beak.
The Ugly: He is honestly a total monster, but he’s cute and tiny so still lovable. Also, he will not eat any fresh vegetables aside from broccolini, not even broccoli.