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Scott

Keeping A Budgie Warm

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Since we're going into winter I thought it might be good to ask for advice on keeping our new budgie warm at night. I understand the protecting them from draughts is the most important part, but what about just low temperatures? Can budgies fluff themselves up and keep warm enough as long as there is no wind chill? We cover the cage with a blanket at night, but since he is on his own and overnight temperatures are getting quite cool now I'm still a bit concerned about him getting cold. Would a hot water bottle (wrapped in towels etc) in the cage help?

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You are right about draughts, they are a bird’s worse danger, but as to heating, in the Australian situation no artificial heat is necessary. They are quite a tough bird & evolved in the Australian outback, where they experience desert type conditions, hot days & sometime in the winter quite cold night. As long as you do what your doing, keep your Budgie out of draughts & cover it at night, unless sick it needs no artificial heat, in fact giving artificial heat would only prevent it’s own body from adjusting to the changes around it.

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We get cold winters I would suggest nothing colder then 70F also if it gets warm and then cold and then warm again continue to keep the windows closed by your bird because the up and down weather can get them sick, I believe that is how Pretty got sick. I personally have Merlin in my office where I have a heater and it is a consistent 70F.

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Hmm. 70 F. Thats about 20 on the real scale right? :) That sounds pretty warm. Surely they can handle lower temperatures than that? The only reason I was concerned is that he is on his own. I assume that wild budgies huddle together on cold nights to keep warm.

 

Toowoomba gets pretty cool in winter, but probably no worse than the overnight lows out west. I have only lived here for a little while. If I was still living in Armidale, where it regularly goes below -10, I would be really worried.

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Well I had my house between 60-65F and this is when my other bird got sick and died, their respiratory lining is so delicate, the reason I have him in my office is because I can have this room with a small heater warmer because with gas prices I couldn't afford the whole house at that temp. This is my experience, I am sure others will tell you what they feel or have experienced.

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Here in Buffalo, NY USA It gets Very cold in the winter and my house it kept at about 68 degrees F and the budgies don't seem to mind. Frankly 70F sounds warm to me... (Laughing out loud) :)

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Well that is only a 2 degree difference (Laughing out loud) I am in Ohio so we get the same weather as you do.

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Guest Phoebe

:ygbudgie: I keep it 73 F constantly (except in the summer when I cannot control things), I find it too warm for me but it is ideal for the birds, hedgehog and my elderly mother. And I have the kitchen window open for the last couple of hours as it got really warm today, supposed to go to 20 C tomorrow. I think the MOST important thing is no drafts. :ygbudgie:

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As long as your covering the cage with a blanket at night your not going to have any trouble... 70 deg.F doesn't sound that cold to me.. Maybe the American Budgies were bred from a weak pairing and are now genetically subordinate to Australian budgies :(Laughing out loud):

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My bird room is located in the basement (with windows). I keep mine between 65-75 F all year round depending on the season. Generally as long as it's not cold enough to freeze the water, they'd be fine though... it's not the cold so much as the quick change in temperatures that harms the birds in my experience... if the temperature is gradually changed then I've had no major issues.

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cold enough to freeze the water - that is 32F that is very cold?

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Scott theirs an old saying in England. If the water doesn't freze they be okay. Just keep them dry and out of the wind.

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I live in the outer suburbs of Melbourne and I always thought it got too cold in Winter to leave the budgie in the laundry as it has no insulation and gets really cold. Our house is old and the laundry was added later so isn't as insulated/warm as the rest of the house.

Is it an idea to keep them warm while they moult?

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My birds are in an aviary. They are out there rain, hail and shine and we've never had any problems due to the weather. Some nights around here it gets below 5 degrees C. Maybe they are tougher than their cushy indoor cousins though :lol:

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We get down to a few degrees above freezing on occasions in Adelaide, South Australia and our out side birds are always okay. It can hit 0 but it's rare and always at the coldest part of the night/early morning in winter so it's never really "freezing". This is about the limit of a budgies  reasonable tolerance. Other parts of Australia where they are found can get a little colder but they aren't going to do well at 0 for extended periods.

The key is breeze or wind. Budgies are tough, they live in the desert. They don't like to freeze but can keep them self warm when needed by fluffing up an insulating themselves. A breeze and especially wind can cause problems because it blows the heat out from their feathers and away from their body in general, essentially ruining there ability to insulate. If they are shivering, like any animal, it's not good.

Protection from wind can be the difference between tolerant and unhappy and dead. The key ESPECIALLY WITH OUT DOOR BIRDS is this. They need good, well though out shelter.


Think about this...

In the wild a budgie will keep moving until it finds a place that supports enough protection from the wind to survive. Within an artificial environment (which every environment we provide is, no matter how big or small the cage) budgies are limited in places it can move to perch where the wind is minimal (and they still feel instinctually safe from predators). If you ask yourself, "would a wild bird naturally choose to perch and sleep with this much wind" especially when it gets cold, it will tell you if your budgie will be happy through the night.

An indoor cage is easy, wrap it completely in a blanket or cage cover you would consider warm and it's unlikely you will get a breeze that will bother them. 

Out door birds need good protection, not a nesting box per se  but a well protected area. In a big out door cage you can make it out if wood within the metal cage itself especially the perch (as metal radiates cold, wood doesn't)

If the cage is outdoors and on the smaller side, the type with bars all around in all directions, wrap it when it's cold or cooler and windy if it's exposed. These types of cages offer no wind protection except possibly a limited amount down low where the walls are plastic and a budgie won't sleep low.


If the cage is to big to bring in side make sure it's in an area shelters from wind or create an area (wood surrounds are best) in the cage to do this.

A good high perch in a place well protected from wind gives them the opportunity to move there if they choose if they get too cold on a windy night.

I have seen them sleep exposed on the side of a wire case, side by side (but not close enough to share heat) on very cold nights. They won't always shelter themselves when you think they should, but for our birds, they can when they need to and we have never had a death we suspected was from being cold.


However like all animals they prefer the warmer side of their tolerance limit if they can get it. If they are inside birds and you keep them above 5 degrees (41F) they will never have a problem as long as they are seasoned birds and you don't take them from a non stop heated house and start leaving them in freezing areas abruptly. 

Anything over 10 degrees (50f) for inside birds is a comfortable life and 20 degrees (68F) is pretty much a tropical resort.


If you live in a hotel, it's your only pet and you named it "Tinkerbell", spend the money on heating the house to 20C and plant a tree to combat global warming because it's nice to spoil pets.

If not, don't worry, your buddies won't hold it against you so long as they are not stuck perching on metal, to close to freezing or unable to escape cold moving air 😉

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