should i get birds?

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
1,144
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Omagh, NI
Saw a very cute budgie at my o/h's uncles over xmas.

This is the latest in a long line of pets that we've thought should we/shouldn't we, we usually end up deciding not to, not yet anyway . . .

I know nothing about owning birds, and if I got one (pair, group?) we're talking about it going in a corner of the living room, they would be handled regularly, and would like in the biggest cage we can get our hand on.

So looking for basic info about birds
 

lindsay7

Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 25, 2007
Messages
5,066
Reaction score
4
Points
710
Location
Bottesford, North Lincolnshire
Hi I have just text my friend beckie as she has a lot of birds and will be able to answer any questions * have pointed her in the direction of this thread when she gets chance I'm sure she will be on to help.

Lindsay
 
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
415
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Lincs
hiya,

i'm so glad you are considering a budgie, birds often get overlooked for furry pets as a lot of people don't realise just what characters they have.

i'm not sure at the moment quite what information you are after, so i will just give you a brief overview for now, and then if you have any questions feel free to ask away.

as lindsay said my husband and i have quite a flock of birds, we have a large indoor aviary, not to mention a number of other cages spotted about the house!i have been keeping birds for 27 years now, so like to think i have quite a bit of experience, but like everyone i'm always out to learn more.

amongst my flock i have 13 budgies, and budgies is where my passion started when i was 7 years old.since then i have expanded to diamond doves, tiels, and canaries.

be warned once you have a pet bird they can very easily win you over - my husband was scared of birds when we met several years ago - at the time i had two, these days he adores them as much as me, to the extent that it was him who decided to get the aviary.

i have kept single budgies before now, and as long as they get plenty of human interaction they have always been chirpy. these days we keep our budgies at minimum in pairs, but that is purely because with so many one to one attention becomes harder so it is fairer to let them then have their own company as well as the additional company of us (we have a single male tiel however who is the baby of the house and regularly sits with us for "family evenings" on the settee having head rubs).

the good thing with budgies is if you got one, but then thought maybe they need a friend, they are both easy to come across, and easy to bond (we personally have found males easier than females).

cost wise the biggest expense is the cage, and as you say in your post, the bigger the better, although the birds still benefit from out of cage time.once you have the cage budgies are very cheep pets. we have occasionally had to make vets visits, but out of the birds we have/have had there hasn't been many had to go, and a lot of things a good avian vet will show you how to do yourself (we now clip claws, and in the rare event of broken blood feathers - something we hardly ever come across with budgies more with the tiels and doves - remove these ourselves).

budgies are very easy birds to look after, a nice starter bird. they live on average 7 years (although we have had one live to 12 years, and i believe the eldest on record was in its 20s!).

each budgie has its own character, females are a bit more destructive, males are noisier (though nothing in comparison to some of the larger birds - the budgies we find have a nice happy chirrup)

as for what sex/age a lot depends on the reason for buying a budgie....ie are you after a bird you can handle, are you wanting to try teach the bird to talk etc? or are you wanting the bird more as a companion to hear whistling away?

let me know what your looking for, and i can then advise more, as sexing a young budgie can be fun (the colour of the cere is used to sex elder budgies, but it varies depending on whether you are looking at a standard budgie or a pied/yellow face type I or II, lutino or albino, younger budgies are even more fun but there are some tell tale signs).

i will leave this post here for now but please ask away any questions at all and i will see what i can answer.

beckie
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
1,144
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Omagh, NI
Thanks beckie for getting back to me so quickly!

We love the idea of a bird who might be able to talk to us.

And it doesn't have to be a budgie - I know so little about birds, I don't know what talks, what whistles . . .

I would prefer a pair or a small group, I think its best to have company of their own kind (assuming they are a socialable species, I have a syrian hamster and so know that some creatures prefer to be on their own).

I'm not worried about age or gender, our range of rodents have been all ages and backgrounds when we got them, and so far all our pets have been a joy to handle. My favourites have been the rescues with an "aggressive" temperment. We have a bunny and a syrian hamster that needed rehomed because of this, have now been waiting 3 years (bunny) and 1 year (hamster) for any proof - both turned out to be lovely!

Will be checking out local animal santuary as well as pet shops, once I know what I'm after (and if I really want a bird (s), still deciding :))

One thing I've always wondered about - is it ok to clip their wing feathers? Is that cruel? I've heard it can be done to prevent them flying long distances, they can still fly around the room, but are easier to catch and to handle - heard this from people who also know very little about birds :{
 
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
415
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Lincs
hiya,

for talking birds you are usually better going with a single male, and acquiring them from a young age (6 weeks upwards). females can talk but are often found to be more interested in preening themselves. also if you do want to teach a bird to talk refrain from giving them a mirror until they speak their first words, or they will talk bird to the mirror instead (this being why birds in pairs/groups are more difficult to teach to talk also).

of the birds which are most likely to talk i would recommend a budgie as a beginner, as most talkers tend to belong to the hook bill group, and needless to say the larger the bird the bigger the beak and bite if they do decide to have a nibble. the birds belonging to soft bills, or hard bills tend to be less handlable, and whilst they make lovely pets to listen to whistling (ie the male canary - females don't sing) they aren't interested in perching on the finger etc.

like you we take on a number of waifs and strays (a number of our birds were adoptees who came to us with a "they will bite" warning), having kept hamsters myself i actually find even if the bird does bite it isn't as bad as a hamster bite (worst bites i've had was when i broke up a fight between two roborovskis!). the whole reason we took on our male tiel paddy was because he kept going to nip everyone and came with the above health warning (even the pet shop warned about him - we used gloves initially whilst he got use to us, and within two weeks i was able to handle him without them, rub his head, tickle his neck, etc!) that is one thing i will say...if you want a bird you can rub the head of tiels are better suited to this, but be warned they are harder to sex from looks, we tend to be able to sex ours now from character finding finding females are more timid and males screech. whilst having bags of character however they also have a bigger bite!

a lot of people who aren't use to birds (whether budgies, tiels, or other parrakeet's) think they are attempting to bite them, when what they are actually doing is using their beak to establish if their finger is stable enough to climb onto, keep this in mind when taming a budgie.

if you don't mind if a bird talks then any age is fine to obtain a bird, time and patience will tame pretty much any bird. like with hamsters they are best left in the cage for a few days to a week first whilst they get their bearings, whilst in the cage you can stand and talk to them so that they get use to your voice. then you can commence placing your finger in the cage.

on the subject of wing clipping, if its done properly then it does not hurt the bird and can actually stop the bird from hurting itself or escaping.we don't clip our budgies, but do clip the tiels with them being slightly larger and living in an open plan room. this again is something our vet taught us to do, there are some very good websites as well which show how to do it.

whilst they call it clipping its actually done using scissors, and the best way is to cut just a few flight feathers initially from each wing (if you do them symmetrically the bird can still fly just not as high), how many feathers need trimming depends on the strength of the bird, but by doing them a few at a time you can judge as you go along.

hope this helps,

beckie
 
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
415
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Lincs
just to add - budgies are indeed a social species (we have eight in the upstairs aviary!).

personally we tend to find males more acceptive than females of other budgies, but saying that we have two flocks with females in, and none were from the same clutch as each other, so they can be bonded).

if you get the budgies seperatly don't forget to quarantine for a few weeks first before bonding.

also when looking for a budgie check their eyes are clear, young birds will have a solid black eye, as with pied (split coloured birds), lutinos and albinos will have red eyes. older budgies will also have white in their eye. also the barring on standard budgies (ie blues, and greens) gives you a clue of their age, a full head of barrs - nicknamed "barrheads" means a young budgie who has not yet had their first malt. budgies should have all toes in place, have a clear bottom, and not be "fluffed up".they also should have a smooth cere (the coloured area above the beak).
 

Gaile

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
1,800
Reaction score
17
Points
435
Location
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
here are my 5 budgies..they live outside in an aviary.

DSCF0995.jpg
 

MrsWilsoncroft

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Oct 9, 2010
Messages
4,658
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Derby
I have a cockatiel called Russell.
hes awesome. Really easy to look after and take care for. He is very vocal and quite friendly too :)
x
 
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
415
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Lincs
here are my 5 budgies..they live outside in an aviary.

DSCF0995.jpg

i see you have both english (the "show type" with the bigger head) and the native budgie in there.

we adopted our first two english a few months ago, never had english before. we have found them to be more confident than the others, ie instantly on the hand where as the others we had to work with, i wondered if you had found that or if its just my two?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top