Budgies need a properly outfitted cage.
Sometimes, owners only give their budgies food, water, and a single perch. While a budgie can survive in this environment, it won’t thrive.
A budgie’s cage needs 2-3 perches, 1 climbing rope, 1 bell, 1 swing, 1 cuttlebone, 1 bathing bowl, 1 water bowl, and 1 food bowl.
The cage should be at LEAST 18 x 18 x 18 inches and lined with paper towels. Vertical cages are ideal, as budgies like climbing bars and flying between perch levels.
Humidifiers and heat lamps are useful during cold or dry weather but aren’t essential. Budgies like having room, so a larger cage with additional forms of enrichment will be appreciated.
What Do Budgies Like In Their Cage?
According to Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine, budgies are inquisitive, intelligent birds from the psittacine family. A budgie cage needs to reflect its needs to maintain this bright disposition.
So, a cage should have the following items:
- 2-3 perches
- Food and water dishes
- 1 bathing bowl
- Cage lining lined with paper towels
- Toys (bells, swings, ropes, etc.)
Depending on where you live, you may need a humidifier or heat lamp. Budgies don’t strictly need them, but they can make their living environment optimal.
What Size Cage Is Best for A Budgie?
A budgie will need a cage for two main reasons:
- Safety: To keep a budgie safe at night or when there’s no one home to supervise.
- Security: This is for the budgie’s sense of comfort because it won’t enjoy feeling exposed constantly.
Budgies are inquisitive and enjoy exploring their surroundings. So, they’re clever escape artists.
As a minimum, a single budgie needs an 18 x 18 x 18-inch cage. The size of the cage should double for each additional budgie. Each bird should be able to stretch its wings without bumping into anything.
Ideally, the largest cage you can provide is preferred as it’ll give a budgie more freedom.
Best Budgie Cage Shape
Budgies are most suited to rectangular cages that are vertical in structure.
Wild budgies will hop up and down in the canopy. A tall cage allows domestic budgies to replicate this behavior. Also, a tall aviary with a domed ceiling is suitable.
The cage should be clean and rust-free. It’s best to avoid cheap plastic cages, as they’ll break easily due to general usage and persistent chewing.
Metal cages should be coated in a bird-safe, anti-rust material for longevity.
Be certain that any materials coating the cage aren’t a cheap plastic that’s prone to chipping and cracking. Your budgie can ingest the particles and choke or hurt itself on any sharp edges.
What Kind Of Perches Do Budgies Need?
A budgie’s perch should be made of natural materials. Ideally, this will be a type of wood or braided rope. These surfaces are soft and allow a budgie to grip the surface without damaging its delicate feet.
Perches also need to be the right size. Too narrow and too wide can have detrimental effects on a budgie’s feet. Around 1 inch in diameter is the ideal width. At least one perch should be level in the cage, while rope ladders can hang in any direction.
While 2-3 perches is recommended, there should be at least 1 wooden perch in the cage. Avoid metal, plastic, and stone perches if you can. These surfaces either make it difficult for the budgie to perch comfortably or can damage its feet. Sanded or sandpaper perches should be avoided entirely.
Perches aren’t just for perching, as they play a vital role in maintaining beak and claw health. A budgie will chew on wooden surfaces to clean, sharpen, and grind down its beak.
Do Budgies Need A Bath?
Budgies love to bathe. It’s not only a form of hygiene but a great way to play. It even encourages budgies to preen and better maintain their feathers.
With that said, a permanent bath isn’t strictly necessary in a budgie’s cage. It’ll be able to clean its feathers with its beak, and it can enjoy sink-baths with you once a week.
If your local climate is dry, frequent bathing is recommended. That can make placing a bath in your budgie’s cage far more convenient.
Bathing dishes should be shallow and wide, with no more than 1-2cm of water. The budgie should be able to comfortably fit in the dish and move around.
Do Budgies Need A Bed?
Budgies will sleep on a perch out in the open. You can provide a budgie with a bed or sheltered hut. A budgie may use it, but it likely won’t.
It depends on the personality of the budgie. An anxious budgie may find such a shelter as a welcome reprieve until it grows comfortable in your home and presence.
Do Budgies Need A Night Light?
Budgies don’t need any form of night light.
Ensure that the budgie has total darkness when it is time to sleep. It’s recommended to turn off all lights and even cover the cage to ensure a good night’s sleep.
However, if your budgie is prone to night frights, a light can be beneficial. This will ensure your budgie doesn’t wake up in total darkness and feel unable to observe threats.
Do Budgies Need A Heat Lamp?
Bird-safe heat lamps may be necessary if you live in a climate with frigid winter weather.
Budgies are tropical birds, so they are sensitive to the cold. A heat lamp is a solution for those that want to control the temperature of a budgie’s cage.
A budgie’s ideal temperature range is 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. They can tolerate colder temperatures but will become less comfortable around the 60-degree mark.
Do Budgies Need Sand?
It’s unnecessary to use sand as a cage liner, and it can cause an impacted crop if ingested by budgies. Use newspaper or paper towels to line a budgie’s cage floor.
Do Budgies Need Toys?
Companion Animal notes that providing enrichment through multiple avenues dramatically improves budgies’ welfare and quality of life. Toys play a crucial role in this enrichment.
Toys encourage a budgie to act as it would in the wild, including foraging for food and exploring its environment. Besides keeping the budgie active and engaged, it keeps it entertained. A budgie without proper enrichment can become bored, destructive, and depressed.
Budgie toys can be loosely grouped into four categories:
- Foraging toys: Budgies are foragers, and toys that encourage this behavior are ideal for keeping them stimulated throughout the day.
- Puzzle toys: These will be even more mentally challenging for the budgie as it forages.
- Chewing toys: These are important for mental enrichment and beak maintenance.
- Play toys: These can encompass everything from bells and ball toys to rope ladders for climbing.
Budgies will eventually grow bored of their toys, so rotate them every week to keep things fresh. You may also have to replace toys as they become damaged.
Do Budgies Need A Mirror?
The idea behind providing budgies with a mirror is to create the illusion of having companions.
Unfortunately, solo budgies can become obsessed with their reflection, so they’ll only interact with the mirror and rarely stray from its side.
There’s a risk of this developing into destructive behavior, frustration, and depression. It’s recommended that you don’t give a solo budgie a mirror. In multi-bird cages, mirrors pose less risk.
Food And Water Dishes For Budgies
Budgies need water and food bowls. These must be cleaned and have their contents changed out daily. It’s recommended that you have food and water dishes that can be accessed externally from the cage.
Aside from making it easier to access, it saves more anxious budgies from becoming stressed. Not having to reach into the cage makes feeding and water replacement easier.
Ensure that the locking mechanism over the food and water dishes is budgie-proof.
Do Budgies Need A Humidifier?
Humidifiers can be an excellent tool for tropical bird owners during dry weather.
Prolonged exposure to dry air can irritate a budgie and result in minor health problems. Alongside frequent baths, a humidifier is a great way to keep a budgie comfortable.
A humidifier isn’t necessary if the climate is suitable for the budgie.
Budgies are mistakenly thought of as simple birds that need small cages and little else but food and water dishes. However, budgies need tall cages with plenty of room for flying and exploration. Budgies need perches, water and food dishes, a liner for the cage bottom, and toys for entertainment.