Budgies may seem like an old fashioned choice of pet to some, but they can make an excellent choice for some families.

Budgies originally came from Australia. In the wild they may fly many miles each day. Because they need plenty of exercise and the opportunity to fly, the best way to keep pet budgies is in a large aviary. If you keep your budgies indoors you should use an indoor aviary. Many budgies are kept in cages that are far too small. Tall, circular cages are not recommended since they provide very little flying space. Birds often feel most secure if their cage is in the corner of a room. Birds have sensitive respiratory (breathing) systems, so must be kept away from tobacco smoke or cooking fumes.

If your budgies are tame and need to live in a cage it is a good idea to let them fly free in a safe room, for exercise. They should always be supervised when out of the cage. Make the room safe by closing all windows and doors, turning off any extractor fans and removing any other pets from the room.

Budgies are very social birds and need the company of other budgies. Birds of the same sex should be kept together and ideally should be acquired at the same time.

You should feed your budgies with good quality, commercially available budgie food. Complete pelleted foods are recommended because they contain the right amount and type of essential nutrients. In addition, fruit and vegetables can be offered in small quantities. Because birds don’t have teeth many, including budgies, need to eat suitable bird grit to help grind their food in their stomach and aid digestion. Grit suitable for pet birds is available from pet shops. Budgies need constant access to fresh clean drinking water from a suitable water drinker, available from pet shops.

As well as having plenty of space, budgies need toys and objects to keep them occupied and prevent boredom. This is called ‘environmental enrichment’. Many budgies like rope ladders and swinging perches. You should offer different toys in different weeks so your budgies stay stimulated and don’t get bored.

If you care for your budgie well, it will live a happy and long life, often exceeding a decade.