Tuesday 8 March 2016

10. Why I love budgies

I've decided to write this post as someone asked me on an Instagram video recently whether budgies are good for beginners and whether I would recommend them. It made me realise that so far on this blog I have written about how I care for them and tamed them, and I've told you about Reggie and Buster but I haven't actually talked about why I decided to get a budgie or why I love them and am now a total bird convert. If you want the quick answer, YES I would absolutely recommend them, and I am still a beginner so yes definitely they are great for newbie bird owners!  

I never ever thought I would become a bird lady. I've grown up with cats, dogs, rabbits, Guinea pigs, fish and rodents and I've always said I can't wait to live in a house so I can get a couple of cats. I still want cats, but now I'm hopeful that one day I can get some different birds too.....hopefully my boyfriend Doug isn't reading this, 2 budgies is more than enough for him! Birds have never appealed to me, ever! My friend got a budgie called Penny at university (Penny was actually a boy - she is one of 3 Penny's I've now seen that are actually boys!) and he was cute and fun but I wasn't bothered about having one myself. The idea of caging a flying animal didn't appealed to me, it always seemed cruel.  

If you follow Reggie & Buster you might recognise
this as being one of their favourite toys also

When Doug and I moved into our flat we had my 2 fancy goldfish from University. Several tanks and goldfish later and we have now settled on our 180 litre tank which houses 3 lovely big goldfish, 2 weather loaches and 6 danios. Our neighbours upstairs have a cute budgie called Buddy, but a budgie still wasn't appealing and so we got a Hamster called Chubby. I fell in love with her straight away at the pet shop. Whilst the pet shop assistant was handling my desired gorgeous brown and white hamster, Chubby was sat in the corner on her butt cleaning herself and dragging her fat little cheeks forward with her paws. She was plain and brown and not the colour I wanted but she was hilarious. For 2 years she was our baby and she was a fantastic little pet with a huge personality. Nothing like the hamsters I owned as a child, hamsters are rubbish pets for kids!

Our fat Natasha!
Our second hamster was called Natasha (there's a stupid story about how we got to that name that's probably only funny to Doug and I, but it involved holding a hamster like she's our moustache lol). She was a spontaneous rescue from the Pets at Home's adoption section where she was pawing away at the glass. She was HUGE! We couldn't resist so she came home with us and lived along side Chubby (but separately). Chubby sadly passed away from old age leaving us with just Natasha. Natasha died about a year and a half later after she got an ear infection which spread to her eyes. We had learnt our lesson about dragging out death from Chubby and so after a week of treatment we agreed the best option was to put her to sleep. We loved our little hammies, they were a real presence in the flat and they had their own little personalities. They were very independent but they showed us love by recognizing our voices and sticking their little faces out from their houses when we called their names. 

When Natasha died we were left pet less and with a little hole in our lives symbolized by an empty table that a vase of flowers just couldn't fill. We still had the fish but they are like living ornaments, I enjoy them but there's not a lot of love or interaction from them. Living in rental accommodation on the second floor limited our pet choice to something in a cage - (we didn't actually know until we got permission for the budgie that we would never have been given permission for a hamster - what? Hamsters are so clean compared to budgie's with their poo everywhere!). For some reason I suddenly decided I wanted a budgie. 

I can't do anything or buy anything without first researching all there is to find about the topic or item. This is why I get annoyed when people ask me very basic questions that they could just type in to google and get pages and pages of info on that topic. I had never considered birds because I hated the idea of them being caged, but after hearing stories from my friend about her bird Stanley, and searching Instagram watching birds talk and balance on tennis balls, I was smitten! I attacked google and spent hours reading about budgie care and what was needed. www.talkbudgies.com  is a fantastic forum and I read so much on there, I still do - I have no intention of breeding budgies but should I decide to I know all about it! I was starting to see what was so fun about birds, and how, given the right care, a caged bird could have an incredibly fulfilling life. 

It was then a matter of finding the right bird, so I searched high and low for a little baby boy budgie from a breeder - and so I got Reggie - my first foray into bird ownership.

Ah, I have waffled!! So back to the reason I am writing this post - I would absolutely, without a doubt, unequivocally, recommend budgies as pets. I am a total convert to birds and I am a proud bird mummy. I love my boys and everything that they give me, they are my two little clowns who can't do anything without making me want to photograph it or film it to share with everyone. I post so much on Instagram because they provide me with so much material. I loved my hamsters and I'm still a cat lady at heart waiting for the right time to unleash my madness, but for now I am crazy about my budgies. They give love and affection to Doug and I and they feel like a real part of the family. 

Looking after them in terms of cages and feeding is pretty easy. They don't cost a fortune to keep once you have bought their cage and toys (unless like me you can't stop treating them) and they don't really cost a lot of your time to look after them. Where they do take up your time is with the taming and the playing but I don't think you even notice that because you are having fun. For me, they are no harder to keep than hamsters, but what they give back is way more! 

However, just because I rave about them, don't go thinking that they are little princes and can do nothing wrong. I can lose my rag with them quite easily!

They poo everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!! Everywhere is a toilet which can be infuriating, especially when I find it smeared down my leg hours after leaving the house. I try to clean up their poo regularly and I even bought a little cordless vacuum, but they are just little turd factories pooping it out as they go. I've heard that some people have successfully trained a budgie to poo in one place, but they have very little control over what their behind does so I haven't even attempted to try and train them to do that. I have just had to accept that a poo on the shoulder, immediately after they have left their cage, is a daily occurrence in my life now. AND I only have two budgies!
Plotting how to get it all out without me noticing!

It's not just poo they leave everywhere, if I give them a lovely bowl of vegetables to enjoy, that's not good enough! Bird logic tells them that they can only enjoy those vegetables if they take them one by one and drop them over the side of the table onto the floor. To add to the bits of broccoli and spinach they've thrown everywhere, they've started regurgitating to each other! It doesn't matter that they have just shared the same seed stick, apparently it is absolutely necessary to swap these seeds between their beaks and drop them all over my floor in the process! How wonderful that they can demonstrate to each other their devotion and friendship, thanks boys, I'll will just get the hoover out!

Toasted bun with a side of Reggie

They don't just mess about with their own food. A meal for us is preceded by a battle of wits to get them back in their cage because otherwise they will land in our food, no matter what it is. Hot runny curry? No problem, Reggie will just get his wellies on a walk straight through it. Cooking our food can also be a trial. When they are feeling particularly desperate for my attention, it doesn't matter that I have a meat cleaver in my hand, if they want to flap about on my chopping board they will, and I will shout and wave my arms about and get frustrated. They lose out in the end because they get locked away, but I'm sure they take great pleasure in seeing me go mental. 

My flat is a mess, there are multiple  wooden twigs in the hallway that I collected weeks ago and I can't quite work out what to do with them. Our coffee table has a play gym on it permanently which collects only half the poo they leave about the flat. I've got a large rope swing hanging off the lamp because they love it. I think I have a lovely big mirror hanging over our fire place but I haven't seen it for 6 months because it has a scarf covering it to stop Reggie flying at his reflection. My carpet is constantly embedded with seeds and their husks and the flat has permanent coating of fluffy budgie down. Watching movies - forget it

But I love them :) 


  1. I love this post! It made me laugh so much, because I can see myself in it, just with my mice :D ! My flat is also a mess, with stuff for the mice all over the place, and not enough space for me ^_^ And here there's mouse poop everywhere because they fall down from the table, or the mice throw them out when they throw their bedding around. So I also walk around with a vacuum every day to remove it ^^ Mice and birds aren't so different :D

  2. Love my Sid and Nancy, pair of silly budgies who are my world

  3. This perfectly sums up my relationship with my budgies, Benjamin and Kiwi. They are a total handful, but I absolutely love them, and it's clear that they love me back!

    If a budgie flies away from its budgie friend, its own species, just to sit on your shoulder and chatter at your ear, or preen your hair, it means they really enjoy your company. You are a part of their flock as much as the other bird.

    These are animals that are hardwired to distrust anything but their own kind. If they break from that instinct just to be with you and interact, that is no small thing.

    It's quite an honor! :)

  4. Love my toot and Kazhal. I love my budgies, and I'm in love.