Budgies, known as parakeets, are the most popular pet bird in the world.
Budgies are ideal pets for 10-year-olds because they’re energetic, chatty, affectionate, friendly, and easy to train. They aren’t aggressive birds, and their small beaks won’t cause any significant injuries.
Despite how easy they are to keep as pets, budgies are still animals with specific care needs.
Is a Budgie a Good Pet for a Child?
Budgies are considered one of the best pets for children aged 10 and up.
They’re called family birds because they fit in well with families and family members of all age groups, from seniors to kids. However, they don’t do well with babies and toddlers.
Budgies are considered great pets for children because they’re:
Budgies are small and don’t take up much space. A budgie cage can easily fit in a child’s room, which will help the child feel like the pet is theirs. Budgies don’t produce as much feather dust as other birds.
Being so small, budgies don’t make as much mess as bigger birds or other kinds of animals.
Budgies have a relaxed, friendly temperament.
They love socializing and thrive in households with a lot of people. As long as they are not ignored, they will always be happy to play and talk with their owners.
However, budgies can sometimes get jealous. Because they’re social creatures, they get possessive if they can only direct their emotional energy toward one person.
It’s fairly easy to train budgies to be less possessive by spending time with them. Budgies aren’t aggressive by nature, so they won’t have fits of rage when they’re angry.
If something displeases them, it’s only for a while.
Bites Don’t Hurt
Note that when budgies are upset, they sometimes bite. Luckily, budgies have small beaks and talons. Children aren’t at risk of getting seriously injured with a budgie around.
When budgies bite, it feels like a slight pinch at most. Their beaks aren’t strong enough to break the skin, and if you and your child train the budgie well enough, the budgie won’t bite at all.
Budgies are most likely to bite when they’re being petted. Budgies that aren’t properly socialized don’t like being touched.
They can be trained to perch on a finger, and they enjoy perching on people’s shoulders, but they aren’t cuddly if they aren’t used to being around humans.
With time and proper training, a budgie will not bite when handled, so make sure that’s the first thing you and your child teach a new budgie.
Budgies love to zoom around the room by flying or hopping from one place to another. They are playful and chirpy, so they have no problems matching the energy of a 10-year-old.
A child can find many ways to play with a budgie, from dancing to chasing each other. The child has to be mindful of how small a budgie is to avoid accidents.
Easy to Train
Budgies can learn all sorts of tricks in a few weeks. Training a budgie can teach a child how to have patience and be consistent, which are two qualities crucial to the budgie training process.
Training a budgie can also encourage a child to get creative. Because of their intelligence and energy, budgies love learning by solving puzzles. If you have a particularly creative child, they can create various puzzles to teach the budgie new things.
Budgies are social creatures that need attention, but they can easily entertain themselves for a few hours. While your kid is at school, the budgie can have fun by itself if it has enough toys in the cage.
Your child should play with the budgie after they get home from school. It’s important to tire the budgie out so that it can take a nap in the afternoon.
Budgies typically nap for 30 minutes to an hour every day. This gives your child time to play alone, do homework, and have alone time without being chirped at by the budgie.
Budgies go to bed early, usually after 6 in the evening. Your child will again have time to spend with family and get ready for bed. Budgies sleep for 10-12 hours, so they’ll wake up in the morning, possibly when your child needs to wake up for school.
Are Budgies Good Pets for Kids?
Before getting a budgie as a pet, you need to speak to the child to make sure he or she understands the negative aspects of having a budgie, such as the fact that budgies are:
Budgies are energetic and talkative, and while that may appeal to some children, it won’t appeal to others. Some children may find a budgie’s incessant talking too much to handle.
If the child likes peace and quiet or gets annoyed easily, a budgie might not be the best pet.
Need Daily Attention
A child would have to play with the budgie every day to fulfill the bird’s need to socialize. If you have a child that has trouble staying away from a computer or phone for more than a few minutes, a budgie might not be a good pet. A budgie that feels socially unfulfilled will become stressed, frustrated, and ill.
Budgies need to be played with for 10-15 minutes a few times a day. The child needs to be able to keep up that daily routine to properly care for the bird.
Have To Reconsider Getting Other Pets
Budgies can get along with other animals, but this isn’t always the case. Unless the budgie was socialized around other animals, it’ll have trouble adjusting to a new pet in the house.
Budgies can be jealous and territorial. You may not notice this possessive behavior from a budgie until you bring a new pet into the mix. Not to mention, the budgie might get scared and stressed if the new pet doesn’t respect the budgie’s space.
Competing for attention and protecting itself from other animals are long-term stressors for a budgie. Long-term stress results in problematic behavior, such as:
- Feather plucking
- Lack of appetite
- A poor immune system
If your family is looking to get another pet in the future, you might have to reconsider getting a budgie for your child.
If you already have another pet, some changes will have to be made. The non-avian pet might not be able to enter the room where the budgie is kept. You’ll also have limited space to care for and play with both animals if you need to make sure neither interacts.
Live for a Long Time
A budgie that is well-cared for can live for 7-15 years. Though it isn’t a lot compared to other parrot species, the bird may need care throughout your child’s teenage years.
This is a big commitment, especially for a species that needs daily care. Before getting the bird, talk to your child about responsibility and how a new pet also changes the child’s daily routine.
Can a 10-Year-Old Take Care of a Budgie?
A responsible 10-year-old can take care of a budgie, but there are hidden costs that an adult will need to take care of. There are certain things a budgie needs that a child won’t be able to provide, such as:
- Vet visits
- Toys and entertainment
- A varied diet
Budgies need to be taken to the vet at least once a year. They’re delicate animals that get sick easily. They are good at hiding whatever illness they have, so a yearly vet visit is recommended.
Budgies also need ample toys and entertainment. Depending on the toys you get, the budgie can destroy them in months. Daily use from a lively budgie means that you’ll need to get new ones every few months, which isn’t something a child can provide with allowance money.
Budgies also need a varied diet. You may think that a simple seed diet is enough for a budgie, but this isn’t the case. According to the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery, pet parrots primarily fed formulated diets met nutritional requirements more than birds with manufactured diets.
You’ll have to get the budgie fresh fruits and vegetables and prepare the ones that require knife peeling since a child won’t be able to do it themselves.
Good Birds for 10-Year-Olds
Besides budgies, other birds make great pets for kids. Such as:
- Pacific Parrotlets
These birds are considered similar to budgies in that they’re relatively small, easy to care for, friendly, and easy to train. The differences they have would be in energy levels, how talkative they are, and how affectionate they are.
Despite being low-maintenance compared to other parrot species, these small birds still need a lot of attention and care. A certain amount of patience and delicacy is needed to handle such small birds. If you think a 10-year-old has those qualities, that child will make a great owner for one very lucky bird.