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Making Life Better For My Neighbour's Budgie


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Hi. My neighbours have a budgie called Benji, age unknown, who they inherited when the wife's father passed away. They've just headed off to Thailand for three weeks to pick up a six year old Thai girl they've adopted from an orphanage, and I'm looking after Benji while they're away.

 

Benji, I'm told, is wild and unfriendly. To their knowledge, he's never been out of his cage, although at some stage he had a budgie friend, who must be dearly departed. My neighbours have had him for, I think, two or so years.

 

After sort of dropping hints, I got them to get him a better cage. It's still not great, but much better than the barren, small, round thing he was in.

 

He gets fed and watered every day. However, just a seed-only diet.

 

I plan on redecorating his cage while they're away. I'm going to make him some natural eucalypt perches, and get him a few toys.

 

I'm not sure what else I can do. Whenever I've seen him, he just kinda sits there, doing nothing. And he seems to be in a permanent moult. That might not be the case, but he has been whenever I've been around there.

 

Is there any point in trying to feed him veges? I'd love to bring him round to my house, but I'm just cautious about the quarantine thing. I had a good look at him tonight, and he looks okay. No strange growths, crusty bits, or anything. As he's been alone in his cage for two years or more and not been ill in all that time, is it possible he's got anything he could pass on to my budgie?

 

He's not all nice and glowing like mine though. It's as though he's dry, if you know what I mean. Dry beak. Dry coat.

 

Anyone got any suggestions for me to make little Benji's life any better?

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Does he get any natural sunlight at all as that could also help purk him up.

Make sure he has calcium/iodine block and he would probably enjoy some silverbeet and if you have none a bit of milk thistle but make sure it has not been sprayed with poison. I give greens to my birds everyday.

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I would personally be hesitant to take him from his house to yours without his owner's permission. I have heard a lot of stories of people babysitting someone's budgie, and it dies. It even happened to us in our pre-budgie days when we watched a friend's budgies. :(

 

I kind of think it might have something to do with taking the budgie away from his customary environment, to a place that is strange, and food, care and schedule that throws him off.

 

It's very caring of you to want to improve his life, and maybe since you have three weeks, you have the time to introduce some gradual changes. But more than likely, his owners will revert him back to their normal routines.

 

However, with a new baby in the house, maybe they would be open to letting you have him permanently, if they find they have their hands fuller than they thought they would.

 

But I wouldn't do anything drastic. Maybe do the suggestions Splat gave you, but not all on the same day. Wait and see how he takes to each new thing before doing another. (Don't forget, adding greens will change the color and consistency of his poos.;) )

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Day one of my three week project. And I made some toys for Benji over breakfast.

 

photo-1-1-1.jpg

 

 

 

Spat. I know he gets some sun, as I see him out on their balcony when I go past. I'm gonna try him on some simple veges and see how he does. I've already got him some seeding grass. It's pouring with rain in Sydney, so I don't know when I'll be able to scout around for a gum tree branch.

 

And Finnie. They don't mind if I have him at my place. It's more that I'm worried about quarantine between him and my own bird.

 

I'll see if I can get a 'before and after' picture of his cage.

 

Apparently he bites. Might have to find some gloves.

Edited by stace
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Any string type toys with over 1 and a half inches of "string" can hang a budgie..........nice toy but DANGEROUS :(

 

photo-1-1-1.jpg

Edited by **KAZ**
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That leather bit gets tied up to a link, not hanging loose. I just haven't done that bit yet till I know how long to make it. And the chewy kabob thing get tied up tight and flush to the bars of the cage.

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here's Benji. I have no idea how old he is.

 

IMG_2712.jpg

 

And here's his cage at is it now.

 

IMG_2714.jpg

 

 

I can't figure out how to make his perches run front to back, as they'd sit over his food bowls. It's rather annoying. Natural perches will have to wait till it stops raining and I can go out and scavenge.

 

Hopefully, I'll get some new progress after-photos soon.

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Benji looks female by those photos

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As you know, Kaz, I'm no expert, but I kinda thought as much. The cere is nowhere near as blue and shiny as my boy's. It's not brown though. Just kind of a really faded out blue.

 

That's also probably why Benji's owners say Benji can bite like a banshee.

 

I spent a couple of hours cleaning out her? cage today. And hung up a slice of beetroot. It's probably the first vegetable Benji has ever seen, so I'm not holding my breath.

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Looking good. :D No need for mirrors though :)

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Looks sooooo much better already. Have you got some thinner branches in there for her to sit on, as it's better on her feet she have a multiple of thickness'. Also, do you have access to branches from bottlebrushes or similar... their branches have loose bark on them so they can pull it all off. Great to keep them busy! I'd also personally ditch the mirror (if that's what it is) too...

 

BUT great work!!! What are her reactions thus far?

Edited by maesie
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I'm going to get some Eucalyptus branches and try to make some new perches soon. It's just such a horrible wet day here in Sydney, I can't do it today. Hoping for the sun to come out tomorrow. Those wooden dowel things that are in there are really fat, I know. Her feet sit practically flat on them.

 

Still not sure how I'm going to arrange them so she can at least flutter from one perch to the next. I don't want her pooping in her food and water.

 

With the mirror, I wasn't sure what to do. As she's by herself and never out of the cage, I wondered if at least it might give her some company? Do you reckon I should take it out all the same?

 

I'm going to get her a calcium and iodine perch, too. One of those plaster of paris ones.

 

I'm even thinking of getting her a sisal rope perch and a non-plastic natural swing. Then I can string it up from one corner to the other, so it doesn't sit over her dinner bowls. I'll have to order that online though. Maybe that might sort my problem with placing the perches, since I can't seem to do them front to back.

 

Just went around and checked on her. (She only three houses down the road). No nibbles on her beetroot kabob yet. Nor the gum leaves. Or the fresh grass bunch. Must be patient. I don't think she has any idea what they are.

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Ier.

 

With the mirror, I wasn't sure what to do. As she's by herself and never out of the cage, I wondered if at least it might give her some company? Do you reckon I should take it out all the same?

 

 

 

Mirrors do their head in and affect their mental stability. It gives them a reason to protect it and bite the owners.

Best to have no mirrors in my opinion.

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okay if i was you i would just maybe try giving her a drop of cod liver in her seed mix it very well and let it sit for fifteen mins before feeding just once a week this will start her coat to shine but remove it dont leave more than 12 hours or can go rancid

you could use linseed which doesnt go rancid just one drop in seed a week

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It must be mentioned that she is moulting so that may account for her dry looking feathers. :D

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I have seen cocks with ceres like that when they are totally out of condition. So he still could be a cock but he does look like a hen. Time will tell when he or she comes out of the moult.

You could give him a few sunflower seeds in his diet which has all in them too, the grey one striped ones, don't give him to many because to much oil is not good for them either.

But Stace you have his/her cage looking good.

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Thanks for the help so far everyone. I'll see about the oil. Maybe linseed. I want to get stuff that her owners can easily keep up when they return.

 

 

I was looking at supplements last night. Moult Aid and Calcivet. Are those, or anything like that, worthwhile?

 

Maesie. I haven't been able to find a bottlebrush around here. I'll see what I can do.

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I wouldn't worry about supplements because the owners probably won't keep it up, as for calcivet, all you need is a calcium

block which is easy for the owners, and as for moulting aide, I think a waste of money ( this is my opinion only) but I do use vitamins in my birds water. I would keep it simpler for the owners sake. Dark green leaf vegies have a source of vitamins, like silverbeet/milk thistle etc.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi, Just an update.

 

The neighbours returned from Thailand with their little girl, and they LOVE what i've done to the cage. I was just a tinsey bit worried they'd be insulted. But they are really nice people, so I shouldn't have worried.

 

They say Benji seems much much happier with the new natural perches and gum leaves I'd strung up.

 

Next move is to see if I can turn the cage on its side so it's wide rather than tall. I'll have to get some new clip on food bowls though for that.

 

They are not bad pet owners. Just unaware of what the right thing to do was.

 

Their little girl is gorgeous too, and she likes the bird. She doesn't speak any English yet, but that will come.

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Awesome, that's great news! Do keep us update.

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