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Housing (Cages, Aviaries and Cleaning Tips)
- Budgie parakeets are very active and playful and should have a large cage to allow ample room for toys and exercise. There is no such thing as a “too big” cage.
- Get as wide a cage as you can afford (rather than tall) because birds are not helicopters; they fly sideways, NOT straight up an down.
- Place the perches to allow your bird to fly back and forward across the longest part of the cage. Don’t put any perches or toys over the food and water dishes where poop will fall into them.
- Budgies need a between-the-bars spacing of 1/2 inch (0.5″) or less.
- The door should be as large as possible to allow easy access to take the bird in and out: at least 7″ wide by 7″ high — but larger is much better. Avoid “guillotine” style doors as they can slam shut and injure your bird.
- Avoid round cages as these don’t provide very much usable space, plus they have bars that converge at the top that can pinch and damage toes!
- Choose a wide cage with a flat roof as you’ll find that you can make better use of the space for hanging toys and perches.
Recommended Minimum Cage Sizes
- Minimum size for 1 parakeet = 20″ long x 18″ deep x 18″ high (Volume = 6,480″ cubic inches)
- Minimum size for 2 parakeets = 30″ long x 18″ deep x 18″ high (Volume = 9,720″ cubic inches)
- Minimum size for 3 parakeets = 32″ long x 18″ deep x 20″ high (Volume = 11,520″ cubic inches)
- Minimum size for 4 parakeets = 34″ long x 18″ deep x 25″ high (Volume = 15,300″ cubic inches)
- Minimum size for 5 parakeets = 36″ long x 18″ deep x 30″ high (Volume = 19,440″ cubic inches)
- Minimum size for 6 parakeets = 40″ long x 18″ deep x 32″ high (Volume = 23,040″ cubic inches)
- For each additional parakeet, add at least 4,000″ cubic inches of volume (ie. for 7, the cage needs to be 27,040″ cubic inches or larger).
How do you figure out the volume in cubic inches? Multiply (in inches) the length x width x height.
These are the ones I use for my breeding pairs — they are a perfect size for two budgie parakeets (with daily free-flight time in our bird room). Features of the cage include:
- 30″ Length, 18″ Width, 18″ Height (Volume = 9,720″ cubic inches)
- Bar Spacing: 3/8″
- Color: White or Black
- One large lift up door (8 1/2″ x 9″) and one small lift up door (2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″) in the front
- Two half moon shaped, see through feeder cups with feeder doors (3″ x 4 1/2″) in the front
- Two extra doors / breeder doors (3″x 4 1/2″) on the sides
- Two wooden perches
- Pull out sturdy plastic tray
Essentials to include in the cage or aviary
- Perches: 2 or more of various sizes and materials to exercise your bird’s feet: natural wood branches from pesticide-free and non-toxic trees (e.g., Northern hardwoods, citrus, eucalyptus, Australian pine), tight-woven cotton or sisal rope, a swing. To keep nails from growing too long, make sure to include perches that the bird’s feet cover 3/4 or less around so their nails come into contact with the sides of the perch. Do NOT use sandpaper-covered perches because they can cause injuries to feet. Birds prefer to spend most of their time perched as high as they can in the cage, so try placing two up high; one on each side of the cage so they will get exercise flying back and forth between them.
- 1 feed cup, 1 water cup, 1 veggies cup
- 3 toys which are rotated with other toys every week (birds are intelligent and get bored of the same old toys)
- A cuttlebone and a mineral block
Where to place the cage
The cage should be placed off the floor, against a solid wall, in an area that is well-lit. Locate the cage in an area where there is family activity because most Budgie Parakeets love attention, noise and commotion. But do allow your birds a quiet, dark place to get 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night (cover the cage with a fabric if necessary). DO NOT place the cage in direct sunlight or in the path of drafts from windows, heating or air conditioning vents. DO NOT put the cage in the kitchen because birds can be killed by harmful fumes like heated Teflon. Steer clear of rooms where people smoke, and where room fresheners or other toxic household fragrances or fumes are present.
Cage Cleaning Tips
Line the bottom of the cage with paper towels or newspaper. Don’t buy pelleted bedding, corn cob, or wood shavings because they an be ingested and/or grow mold. If the cage or aviary doesn’t have a bottom grill to keep birds off the bottom liner, be prepared to replace the liner paper daily to prevent dangerous food spoilage and ingestion. Fill a spray bottle with 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 water, and use this non-toxic mixture to thoroughly clean the cage once per week or more often as needed.
Homemade Furniture Style Aviaries
We provide our birds ample opportunity for exercise and flight. We retrofit large pieces of furniture and turn them into flight cages / indoor aviaries. These “birdie mansions” are placed near a window so our budgie parakeets enjoy plenty of natural light and a great view of the backyard. They have lots of room to fly from perch to perch and keep mentally and physically entertained. The glass doors offer easy access, unobstructed viewing, and keep feathers, dander, seeds and hulls contained.
Health and Safety
Most homes are full of things that can pose a serious threat to pet birds such as common household cleansers, fragrances, candles, fumes from hot Teflon and non-stick cookware, nail polish remover and hairspray. Fumes can be toxic — even deadly — to our feathered friends! We clean our entire house with only water, vinegar and baking soda — it’s very effective, inexpensive, and improves indoor air quality for birds and humans alike. Please review the following links for other ideas on how to keep your pet safe.
How to trim wing feathers
Seed mixes are NOT a complete diet. One of the leading causes of early death in parakeets and other parrots is improper nutrition. Furthermore, “Avian veterinarians estimate that poor nourishment is the underlying cause of about 75 to 80 percent of the medical problems they see.” (source: Bird Talk April 2010). Because nutrition is so important, we’ve created an informative page that details exactly what budgie parakeets should eat (and what they shouldn’t).
Bathing stimulates normal grooming behavior and decreases dust and dander. Offer your bird a bath or shower two or three times a week. Bathing can be accomplished by offering either a flat dish that your bird can step into and throw water on itself, or by spraying your bird with a light mist of lukewarm water from a clean spray bottle. Some birds like to roll around on wet, leafy greens.
Playtime Activities, Exercise and Toys
Budgies are active, curious and playful. Exercise and play are important activities for the physical well-being and psychological health of your pet bird. Give your Budgie access to a range of other places in the home. Accessories such as play stands, hanging bungees, swings, and window perches positioned in various places throughout your home can provide your bird with this environmental variety.
Watch out for toys that have “jingle” type bells on them because your bird can get its beak, feet, head, tongue or feathers stuck in the bell. If you get a rope toy, watch for fraying that can tangle around your bird’s feet and toes. Make sure toys do not contain any lead, zinc, lead and lead-based paints, or anything so small that they can break it off and swallow it.
We make portable, table-top playgyms out of PVC pipe for our birds’ entertainment and exercise. The base of the gym is glued for stability but the rest of the gym (where the birds normally play) is just pushed firmly together to allow for adjustments, variations, and safety. Simply place the playgym on top of a clean layer of newspaper to catch droppings. Vet wrap is used for traction and zip ties are used to fasten toys into place. View more play gyms models and sizes — we make them for all sized birds and can accommodate custom orders!
- Bird Play Gyms: How to build your own (or purchase one)
- Homemade toys and games to play with your bird
- How to make natural wood parrot and bird perches
More Budgie Parakeet Pages
Nutrition and Food Recommendations: Birds fed seed-only diets have a much shorter life span. We provide lists of healthy foods and show you how to grow your own sprouts.
Colors, Varieties, Mutations, Genetics: Budgie Parakeets come in a rainbow of colors. This page has beautiful photos with variety and mutation descriptions.
How To Care For Your Budgie Parakeet: What is the best cage and how should I set it up? How do I keep my budgie healthy and safe? What are the best toys and playtime activities? How do I trim their wing feathers?
FAQ (frequently asked questions): What is a budgie parakeet’s personality like? What are the differences between American parakeets and English budgies? How do you tell a male from a female? Should you keep one, two or more? How long do they live? Where did the species originate?
Training, Tricks, Talking: A step-by-step guide for finger-training, trust-building, and bonding. Watch informative and entertaining video demonstrations. Find out how many words they can learn to say.
Play gyms, Stands and Perches: How to make your own (or order a custom one from us).
Homemade Aviaries and Flight Cages: How to converted used furniture into large flight cages and beautiful indoor aviaries.
Parakeet Food and Supplies Market: We offer organic, homemade bird food plus other essential bird supplies.
Budgie Parakeet Breeder in Colorado: Our family raises, hand-feeds, trains and adores budgie parakeets! Learn more about our selective breeding program and view our gorgeous, tame birds.
Inside Our Aviary: See where our birds live — flight enclosures, breeding room, play gyms.
Our Flock of Budgie Parakeets: Take a peek at our gorgeous feathered friends. Lots of photos with color mutations listed!
Adorable Pictures of Our Hand-fed Babies: Come ooh and aahh over all the cuteness and watch them grow up!
Pre-Adoption Questionnaire: If you are interested in adopting one (or more) of our parakeets, please respond to these questions.
Budgie Baby Waiting List: I know how hard it is to wait when you’re excited but I promise you, the wait is worth it!