Pet Corner: Good tucker

The budgie originated from Australia. Budgerigar is aboriginal for “good to eat”. Budgies can be seen flying freely and happily surviving in their natural habitat, collectively known as a “chatter”, colonising in tropical climates.

Birds, as pets, come in at number eight of the Top 10. Most popular? Sociable budgies.

Domesticated budgies need clean sanitary cages with fresh water, good quality seed, a millet string or block. The cheeky, chirpy chappies, hopping from perch to perch, are used to human company. Toys are essential. Narcissistically looking into their mirrors … “Who’s a pretty boy?” No, they are in fact looking at their make-believe partner. Two is a happy number for caged birds.

Females will lay eggs with or without a male. If fertilized, an egg results in a chick. Training birds to talk can be a challenge. First, remove all the toys and mirrors. Having started, they apparently don’t know when to stop. Be warned – careful what you say! Keep it simple. Stick to “pretty boy” or “Joey” for starters.

Night-time – introducing a tea-towel to your feathered friend may become a necessity. Is it to help wipe the platters? No, it is to keep the chatter down! They can then quietly perch, at the top corner of the cage, tucking heads into their little shoulders to sleep.

Birds enjoy flying but ask your vet if the wings should be clipped to stop any lengthy flights. Shutting doors is essential. Cleaning the cage and letting ‘Joey’ out for a few minutes is a good idea. If ‘Tom’ the cat isn’t loitering around, of course! Hanging the cage for a while outside, in a safe, draught-free place, is a pleasant change.

Match your pair; it doesn’t matter about their colour. Two males do not mix socially! Don’t try “sexing” the bird by checking its nether regions. The beak’s the clue. Blue for a boy, white or pale pink for a girl. The bolder their colouring, beaded collars and bright eyes, the less likely they are to be from poor stock.

Visit websites, check out the different breeds. And surprise, surprise, they are parakeets! Most budgie owners bond quickly with their beaky, beaded, feathered friends. Allow them the space and freedom almost all day, and they will return instinctively to their cage at night. Who? Joey, of course!

How to Take Care of a Budgie (with Pictures) – wikiHow

APAA (Association for Protection of Animals Algarve) is here to help you. But how can you help us? Visit our charity shops at:

• Alvor Dunas Complex, Monday-Saturday, 10.30am-2pm;
• Silves, Rua Elias Garcias 20, Monday-Saturday, 10am-2pm.

You can either support us by buying gifts or donating good quality items.

Next Pop-Up? Tuesday, March 1. Pop into O Tasco, Senhora do Verde, for our Pop-Up and tuck in! Book lunch direct – 282 471 769

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