Where you put the cage is just as important as what’s inside it. Somewhere in your home there’ll be an ideal place, but it might not be where you thought it was! Take on board these facts before bringing your pet home:
- The cage should be at chest or head height. Any lower and the bird will feel threatened by the hulking giant (i.e. you) looming over it. Put it too high or out of sight, and your budgie won’t feel part of the human environment. If you’re keeping an untamed budgie that no one can see properly, you should really ask yourself why you got the bird in the first place.
- Put the cage in a place that enables the bird to grow accustomed to constant human noise and activity, but not in the middle of a busy, high-decibel room where it might become a nervous wreck.
- Make sure one section of the cage is facing a wall. The budgie can then retreat into a quiet corner if something has startled him.
- Windowsills are not good places for budgies – they can overheat if the sun is shining through the glass, or catch a chill if there’s a draft.
- Following on from the last point, make sure the budgie’s cage is not in a drafty part of the house, including next to front or back doors.
- Don’t sit the cage over a radiator or near any kind of air-conditioning unit. The sudden changes in temperature will cause the budgie distress.
Location, location, location - find the ideal spot for the budgie cage
- Avoid keeping the cage in any room where aerosols are sprayed (bathrooms and bedrooms, for example). These release toxic chemicals into the air that can kill budgies.
- Don’t put the budgie in the kitchen. Steam can cause them distress, and the fumes from burnt food or cookware such as Teflon can be fatal.
- Once your budgie is free-flying, you’ll need to make sure windows are covered (the bird will not see the glass and is at risk of breaking his neck when he sets off to explore the great outdoors).
- Budgie-proof your room generally: switch off any fans or other dangerous appliances, remove fragile objects that the bird might knock down during his exercise, and use a fireguard if you have an open fireplace – even without the blatant hazard of a fire, the budgie can come to grief if he decides to explore up the chimney.
- Remove other pets from the room while the free-flight is taking place, unless you are confident they will not try to harm the bird.
- Does anyone smoke in the house? If they do, either get them to smoke outside, or take the budgie cage back to the shop and don’t buy a bird. It’s not a health warning you see on most packets, but cigarette fumes can kill budgies.