Welcome to Hand Reared Cage and Hand Reared Exotic Birds Lisburn County Antrim.
The Budgie, as it is commonly known, belongs to the parrot family and is native to Australia. During the 19th century naturalists introduced the Budgerigar into Europe where it soon grew in popularity, and was in great demand. They originally lived in the wild, however, all budgies now purchased will all be bred in captivity.
Budgies are very popular as a family pet particularly for those with limited time and space. They make ideal pets for children, the elderly or the infirm; they are cheerful, colourful little companions, which can respond well to training and like all pets tend to develop their own individual characters. Young budgies can even be trained to talk if they receive lots of stimulation and encouragement before the age of six months - although time and patience are needed in abundance.
Your Ideal Bird
With over 100 officially recognised colour-ways choosing your bird comes down to the simplest of factors - that of which colour do you prefer.
Light green? Grey green? Violet Cobalt? The choice seems endless, basically, go for the one that you like best. Albinos and Lutinos, Pied, Opaline and Crested, Cinnamons and Greywings are all bred from a variety of mutants.
When buying your budgie, it is best to go to a recognised breeder or visit a large pet shop. It may be stating the obvious but it is wise not to buy from a market stall as you cannot be sure the bird is disease free - this is especially so if you are planning to breed from it or to introduce it into an already established aviary.
Checking the sex of a bird is one that is fraught with difficulties - sometimes even the experts get it wrong! Henry quite often can become Henrietta! Basically in a young male bird the cere is pink and turns to blue in maturity, in the female the cere is bluish-white which gradually turns brown on reaching adulthood.
Remember that budgies are sociable little creatures and the best way to keep them happy is to pair them, they could become bored if kept singularly. When choosing a pair, it is best to choose the same sex - that is if you are not planning to breed from them - two males or two females will live quite happily together.
The budgie may be kept indoors in a suitable bird cage or may be housed in a specially built outdoor aviary.
The Bird Cage
A suitable bird cage is ample accommodation if you are only planning to keep one or two birds. Make sure the cage is as large as possible with enough room for the budgie to move around comfortably, it should be positioned in a room where the bird has plenty of human contact and light, but with protection from draughts. The cage needs to be suitably furnished with the provision of perches, which are close to their food and water supplies.
Brightly coloured toys will be a welcome distraction for the budgie and will add an interest to its life. Toys such as mirrors, ladders, bells and ropes which are all designed to give the bird a little exercise as well as providing much hilarity as you watch its antics. Remove and replace toys regularly to ensure your bird does not get bored.
An outdoor aviary is perhaps the best way to comfortably house your budgies. Aviaries can vary greatly depending on several factors, ie the number of birds you plan to keep, and the space available to you for building; however, all aviaries will have two things in common - there must be a weatherproof, draught proof and ventilated sleeping area, and an outdoor flight area.
Most aviaries are made from simple timber for the housing area and a mesh flight area, the floor should be made from concrete for ease of cleaning, and for security the entrance should ideally have a double door - to help prevent any of your birds from escaping.
Your aviary should be rat-proof and it is vital you remain vigilant and check the wire mesh on a regular basis, making sure there are no holes or routes available for the rats to gain access.
The indoor furnishings should consist several perches to suit the number of birds kept, the perches should vary in size and diameter. Nesting boxes are necessary should you wish to breed and although the boxes can be simple in construction they should be dark secure places in which the bird will feel comfortable enough to lay its eggs. The nesting boxes will be within the indoor construction of the aviary and should be draught proof yet ventilated, there is no need to furnish these boxes although a light covering of sawdust on the floor will help with ease of cleaning.
In the flight area you should provide a variety of perches and bird tables as well as water pots, branches may also be included in the flight area. Toys such as ladders and other accessories will add variety to the birds life.