This blog post will walk you through how to keep budgies as pets in Nigeria.
The budgerigar, also called budgies in Nigeria or parakeet in America, is a long-tailed seed-eating parrot found in the wild in Australia’s drier part. They have a green and yellow colour with black patches found at the back of their necks to their wings. The budgerigars are nomadic; they move from one place to another as conditions become favourable. In Australia, they can be found in small to large flocks and open lands covered with trees and grass.
The budgerigars became a popular candidate as pets in the 1800s. One of the reasons for this is their small size, cost, and ability to imitate human speech. They can breed both in the wild as well as in captivity. The budgie was first described properly and given a scientific name in 1805 by George Shaw as Melopsittacus undulatus. The genus name, Melopsittacus, means “melodious parrot”. Since the 1850s, breeders have been able to breed the budgies successfully, and they have also been able to produce different colours ranging from blue, grey, and indigo.
If you own a budgie or you are planning to get one, here are some quick facts you need to know about these cheerful little creatures:
- The budgies are the third most popular pet globally, and they come next to dogs and cats.
- The original colour of the budgie is green and yellow. But don’t be surprised, as there are budgies of different colours you can imagine; from yellow to white, to grey and blue. All thanks to the committed budgie breeders!
- Budgies love company. These highly sociable birds live in flocks, and they are happier when they are more than one. Be sure to talk to them every day because they love it!
- They are zygodactylous; this means that they have four toes, two pointing to the front and the other two to the back.
- Budgies love to talk. They can be trained to mimic up to 100 different words, including other sounds in your home like the doorbell. Pretty cool, right?
- You can also tell if your budgie is a boy or a girl. Although not as easy as it sounds, you can tell the sex by observing the cere’s colour. The cere is the fleshy part just above their beak. The male budgerigars have a blue cere while the adult female budgie has a brownish or tan cere.
Diet for Budgies as pets
You need to know what your birds eat before you bring them home. First, let’s look at the budgies beak. The upper half of the budgie’s beak is longer than it’s lower half; its beak allows it to pick up plants, fruits, and vegetables in the wild. The food the budgies eat depends on availability at different seasons.
You may be wondering why you should be concerned about your budgies’ diet and not just throw them any seed. You need to be concerned about their nutrition and give them good food because most health problems are a direct result of poor nutrition. When kept as pets, their diets are not far from what they eat in the wild as it also includes seeds, fruits, vegetables, and specially formulated pelleted diets.
Commercial Seeds for budgies as pets
Commercial seeds for budgies as pets are usually a mix of 2 to 8 different seeds, and the budgies will usually select one or two as their favourites. It would help if you did not feed the budgie with only seeds because seeds lack essential vitamins and minerals needed for proper body functioning. Fruits and vegetables may supplement some of these vitamins and minerals but should not be more than a fourth or fifth part of their daily diet. Note that avocados are poisonous to all parrots and should not be included in their diet.
You may also want to ask if you can treat your budgie to the same food that you eat. Generally, if the food is good for you, it will be good for your bird. But it would be best if you only gave them as a treat and in small quantities as your food cannot replace the bird’s food. There are also pelleted feeds that are nutritionally balanced and specially formulated for your birds.
You can also find different commercial brands in pet stores that come in different shapes, sizes, and colours. These formulated feeds should constitute the bulk of your bird’s food. Your budgie may not pick up the pelleted food at first. Be patient while you work to make them get used to it. Feed them with the pellet first thing in the morning. This is the time when they are hungriest and willing to take anything you give them. We have highly nutritionally balanced imported budgie food for sale at highly affordable prices. Our 5kg of budgie food is priced at N20,000 per bag.
And finally, don’t forget to give your budgie clean water every day. Water is an important component of your bird’s nutrition; therefore, you must make sure they have access to clean water all the time.
Personality/Temperament of the budgies
Budgerigars are colourful birds, and they can brighten up any home. Generally, they are playful and friendly birds and are easy to tame. It is best to train a budgerigar to become a pet bird from when they are little as they can easily learn to be more patient at that stage.
In the wild, budgerigars flock together and fly as groups. They are very social birds and may become lonely if kept alone. You will see that your bird will be more cheerful and happy if you keep it in pairs. But if you want the budgerigar to be closer to you, you have to keep it alone and engage it in more activities to get used to you.
Is Budgie as pets right for you and your family?
The next question that most intending bird owners ask is if budgies as pets are right for them and their family. Every family would be glad to have a new member that could actually “talk” to them. The budgie is an excellent pet, and it can be taught to mimic many words. This can be fun to watch, and it can also help relieve you and your family from stress.
Before you bring a new bird to your home, you have to ask yourself some questions. The first question is, why do you want to own a budgie? Do you want it because you want it to talk or want to have a pet in your home? By the way, not all budgies will learn to talk, so be ready for this before bringing home your new bird. You also need to know that you must be willing to spend time teaching it to do so for your bird to mimic some words. Budgies are social birds, so be sure you have their time before getting them.
Another thing you need to put in place before bringing in these birds is the space. Make sure you have a space big enough to make the bird comfortable. They should be able to fly in the cage as that will keep them healthy. If all these are in place, then you are ready to welcome a budgie into your home.
The lifespan of budgies
Sadly, every life must end, and that includes the life of your budgie. The average life span of a budgie is 7 to 15 years under a good living condition. This is low compared to some other breeds of birds, but you should learn to enjoy the company of your budgie for the period they will be living with you.
Teaching your budgie to talk
One of the great things about budgies is their ability to talk. However, they don’t just develop this ability. You have to teach them. You should also note that not all budgie will talk, but with the right training, your budgie should be able to repeat some words after you within a short time. The process of teaching your budgie is an enjoyable time to build a relationship with your bird pet.
Step by Step training guide
- Place your budgie where there is much activity. The budgie will learn to mimic what they hear, so if you want them to mimic more words, you have to place them where they can hear people talking.
- Spend time with your budgie. Spending time with your budgie will help them be more comfortable with you and learn to pick more words from you. You should repeat this process every day.
- Keep your budgies separately. Like I noted earlier, budgies are social birds, and they enjoy the company. If you have more than one budgie in a cage, they may decide to spend more time with themselves rather than spending more time with you.
- Learn to talk to your budgie the way they will understand. The way you talk to your budgie will also determine how fast they will learn. Learn to talk to your budgies with enthusiasm and watch them pick the words faster.
- Start training them one word at a time. You don’t have to overwhelm your birds with a lot of words from the start. Learn to speak individual words to them until they can catch up. For example, you can tell your budgie “hi” each time you come inside the room and “goodbye” each time you leave the room.
- Start teaching them to say more words using short phrases. Once they start learning individual words, you may start teaching them to say more by teaching them short phrases. Learn to associate some words with specific actions. For example, each time you want to give your bird food, you may say something like, “here is your food.”
- When your budgie decides to talk, make sure you respond. As your budgie catches up with the language lessons, they may try to repeat what you are saying. It is your responsibility to respond to whatever you think they are trying to say.
How to care for Budgies as pets
Your budgies’ welfare is your entire responsibility, so you must learn to take care of them. Here are a few things you can do to ensure that your budgies receive adequate care.
- Make their cage comfortable for them. Your budgies are not in the wild, so you have to keep them in a cage. Make their cage as comfortable as possible. First, buy a bigger cage so that your bird will have enough space to fly and stretch its wings.
- Add different toys in the cage and different materials for them to perch on. All of these are to keep your birds active and healthy. Feed your bird on time with the right food and the right quantity daily.
- Clean their house often and regularly.
Where To Buy Budgies as pets in Nigeria
You can buy budgies as pets from several local pet stores of your choice. However, to get a healthy bird, you have to buy from a recommended breeder to avoid buying weak or sick birds. You can also save yourself stress by buying your bird from a reputable online store. At Pet Lovers Nigeria, you are sure to buy the best and healthiest Budgies. Websites like petlovers.com.ng don’t only sell birds but offer useful tips on how to take care of your pet birds.
Price of Budgies as pets in Nigeria
Pet Lovers Nigeria sells budgies online, and a budgie cost N15,000. We sell a pair of budgies for N28,000. For those looking to buy in bulk, we have a super deal for 50 budgies at N550,000.