Budgies are creatures of habit and dislike sudden change.
This makes any significant adjustment to your bird’s lifestyle, such as moving the budgie to a different cage, stressful. So, you must manage the transition slowly and carefully.
When the time comes to make the move, it needs to be as easy as possible for your budgie. This involves replicating the conditions of the existing cage as closely as possible.
If the budgie can see its old cage from the new location, it’s less likely to become upset.
Can I Move My Budgie’s Cage?
Before committing to moving your budgie to a new cage, question if it’s necessary.
Behavioral Ecology explains that budgies are stressed by environmental change, but you can minimize this impact by blending a unique experience with familiarity.
There are numerous reasons why a budgie may need to change location. If this is the case, assess if you can move a cage rather than get a new one.
Never move a budgie’s cage to a location with an inappropriate temperature, blustery draughts, excessive noise, or potential danger, such as a predatory pet.
When Should A Budgie Move To A Different Cage?
Moving a budgie to a different cage isn’t a decision to make lightly, so only do so if you have no other choice. Compelling reasons to change a budgie’s cage include:
- Budgie has outgrown its cage
- Budgie is sick and risks infecting a conspecific
- Extra space is needed due to having several budgies
- Two budgies are not getting along
- The cage isn’t safe and secure for your budgie
In these instances, you must consider picking up a new cage from a pet store.
How To Introduce Budgies To A New Cage
Moving a budgie into a new cage should be a steady process, unfolding over around a week.
There may be occasions that you need to move your budgie once and leave them to adapt. Expect your budgie to act out in this instance.
If you can make the change slow and gradual, the entire experience will be less problematic.
Protect your budgie by following this six-step process:
1/ Purchase A New Cage
Have the new cage ready, so your budgie can move from A to B with no unnecessary middle steps.
When looking for a new cage, you’ll need to consider why you’re rehousing your budgie. Feeling that it’s time for a change isn’t a good enough reason to justify the stress the move will cause.
When choosing a new cage, look for a model that shares similarities with your budgie’s current habitat. This will make the transition easier for your budgie to cope with.
Examples of this could include matching the height or width of the existing cage, a similar color scheme, or even ensuring the bars look identical.
Anything that brings your budgie a measure of familiarity will be considered comforting.
2/ Decorate The Cage
You’ll need to make the new cage appealing to a budgie with recreational activities, such as:
- Perches, swings, and hammocks
- Climbing toys, such as ladders, ropes, and nets
- Bells, chimes, rattles, and other noisy toys
- Chewable wood or cuttlebone
- Small balls your budgie can chase
- Puzzles that appeal to your budgie’s intellect
Consider adding something for your budgie to shred, such as paper, to help with stress management.
3/ Place The New Cage in The Budgie’s Eyeline
Your budgie will accept its new cage much faster if it can see and smell it from an existing habitat.
Place the new cage next to your budgie, leaving it empty unless you actively encourage your bird to interact with the new enclosure.
4/ Let Your Budgie Play in The New Cage
Open the door of the new cage and invite your budgie to play inside while it enjoys recreational exercise. If you have successfully decorated the new cage, it’ll appeal to your budgie.
Never force a budgie into a cage, as this will create a negative impression of the new home from the outset. Convince the budgie to enter with treats, rewarding it whenever it willingly enters.
At this stage, leave the cage door open. If the budgie understands that it can arrive and leave of its own volition, it’ll become less anxious when moving full-time.
5/ Lock The Budgie in The New Cage
Eventually, the time will come that your budgie needs to start spending prolonged periods in its new cage. When the budgie willingly enters the cage and seems serene, close the door.
If the budgie happily hops onto a perch and seems calm, don’t interact with or disturb it. Allow your budgie to explore at leisure, ideally for several hours. If the budgie starts showing signs of distress, let it free. You can gradually increase the budgie’s time in the new cage each day.
Unless strictly necessary, don’t force the budgie to spend the night in its new cage immediately. Let it grow accustomed to its new surroundings first. If necessary, remove the budgie from its new cage at bedtime and let it sleep in its old cage for a week or two.
6/ Remove the Old Cage
Eventually, the time will come to remove the old cage from your budgie’s line of sight. Your budgie needs to understand that it no longer lives within this habitat.
After around a week, your budgie should be showing less interest in its former home.
If your bird goes an entire day without trying to enter its old cage, you can take it away. The budgie will no longer be distressed by its absence, especially if everything it needs is found in the new enclosure.
You may want to keep the old cage as an emergency backup option.
My Budgie Hates Its New Cage
When your budgie first moves to a new cage, it may express some distaste for the change. This is especially likely if the switch was sudden and the bird didn’t have time to adapt.
Common behaviors when a budgie is relocated against its will include:
- Loud vocalizations, including squawking and screaming
- Uncharacteristic grumpiness or aggression
- Destroying toys and tipping over food bowls
- Sulking and refusing to interact
- Refusing to eat
Your budgie is acting out due to the stress of the change. With patience, this behavior will pass.
How Long Does It Take A Budgie To Get Used To A New Cage?
Every budgie is unique, but it usually takes around two weeks for a bird to grow accustomed to a new home. This is just a guideline, as some budgies will immediately take to a new cage if the transition has been steady, while others will take up to a month to calm down.
Relocating a budgie from one cage to another is rarely straightforward, but appropriate preparation can make the transition smoother. If you select the right cage and ensure the move is handled delicately, your budgie will accept its new surroundings faster.