If budgies don’t drink water regularly, they’ll become sick and die.
New budgies may refuse to hydrate when they first arrive in your home. This is a natural response to fear and stress, but it should fade over time. You must ensure that your budgie doesn’t get dehydrated.
New budgies may refuse to drink water because they feel scared and unsafe because putting their head down to drink puts them in a vulnerable position.
Also, new budgies may be unsure where their water bowl is located, dislike the taste of hard mineral water, or the smell of chlorine in the water.
Some new budgies will drink water, but not while you’re watching. You can test this by marking the water line on the bowl or recording the budgie with a camera while it’s alone.
Budgies must stay hydrated as they’re unlikely to survive for more than 24 hours without water.
New Budgie Won’t Drink Water
Budgies are usually good at regulating their water intake. As long as there’s always access to water, a budgie will drink small amounts whenever the need arises.
The reasons why new budgies stop drinking include:
- Fear. The budgie is scared of its environment and doesn’t want to drop its head to drink.
- Vulnerability. The bowl is placed in an open, exposed spot that makes them feel vulnerable.
- Unclean. The water itself is murky or has food and poop in it.
- Odor. The water bowl has a fragrance, such as cleaning chemicals or a strong plastic smell.
- Competition. A budgie has to compete with other birds to access the water.
How Long Can Budgies Survive Without Water?
Budgies will rarely survive for more than 24 hours without access to drinking water.
At this point, they’ll start to experience organ damage, reduced energy levels, and disorientation. Water is crucial to every part of a budgie’s system, and without it, the body falters quickly.
If a budgie can get its liquids from another source, it’ll be able to survive longer. According to Oecologia, budgies can go around 8 days without drinking water, as long as their food has water content.
In this study, budgies were given a diet of food containing about 8.7% water. They survived for 8 days and were provided with water again.
However, during this 8-day period, budgies experienced issues with their:
- Internal temperatures
- Breathing and respiratory systems
Without sufficient water, budgies will experience dehydration and long-term health issues. The longer your budgie goes without hydration, the less likely it will recover once it drinks water again.
How Often Do Budgies Drink Water?
You should find your budgie sipping from its bowl at least 2-3 times per day, perhaps more often.
Budgies consume water regularly rather than drinking a day’s supply in one go. However, budgies will drink more or less often, depending on the following factors:
- Room temperature
- Air humidity
- Activity level
- Food ingested
- Water freshness
How Much Water Do Budgies Drink a Day?
Experienced owners measure their budgies’ water intake at about 1 teaspoon per day. The average adult budgie weighs about 1-1 1/2 ounces, so this small amount of water is proportional to its body weight.
How To Tell If Your Budgie Is Drinking Water
Sometimes, it looks like a budgie isn’t drinking water, but that’s not necessarily the case.
New budgies may be afraid of sipping at their water bowl in front of others. After all, this process involves lowering the head, obscuring their vision, and not focusing on predators or threats temporarily.
If the budgie is scared or unfamiliar with its surroundings, it’ll feel vulnerable. So, it drinks when nobody is around. As long as the budgie stays hydrated, you don’t need to witness each time it drinks.
Here’s how to tell if a budgie is drinking from its bowl:
- Mark the bowl at its current level and check if the water level drops.
- Set up a camera near the cage to see if water is being consumed.
- Watch for signs of dehydration, such as lethargy, panting, and odd-colored feces.
If your budgie isn’t drinking, you’ll need to encourage it.
How To Make Your Budgie Drink Water
By eliminating these problems, you can help your budgie stay hydrated:
According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, many young birds don’t know which containers house water. Consequently, they may not know how to hydrate themselves.
So, teach your budgie to recognize the bowl as safe, present, and full. You can do this by swishing the water around its bowl, spilling a small amount on the floor, or putting the bowl below perching level.
Any action will suffice, as long as it informs your budgie that water is available.
Your budgie may dislike its water bowl’s shape, size, color, or smell.
Although it’s rare for a budgie to be that picky, it happens. You can circumvent this problem by providing more than one bowl or offering it a glass bowl.
Glass is the least likely to smell, have a weird color, or retain any chemical residue.
Tap water may contain high levels of minerals that are distasteful for budgies. You can offer different kinds of water, such as bottled or filtered water.
Alternatively, add fruit or vegetable juice to the water to make it more enticing.
New budgies may be uncomfortable sitting out in the open.
If the water bowl is hooked on the side of the cage, it could be forcing the budgie to leave a safer corner. Also, it may require the budgie to approach a side of the cage that’s open to the rest of the room.
This will make them scared, but you can resolve this by changing the bowl’s position. Place it in a corner away from the rest of the room, or shade that corner with a blanket draped over half the cage.
Food Water Content
Your budgie will glean water from eating fruits and vegetables.
Offering sliced strawberries or blueberries can provide some hydration. This shouldn’t become a regular meal or a permanent substitute for drinking water, but it’s a temporary solution.
New budgies may refuse to drink water if they’re scared of their home or certain people. Also, they may dislike the water’s taste or only drink when you’re not around.