Budgies can play an important, fulfilling role in you and your families lives. They are a great pet, are good companions and its nice to take care of them. One of the most devastating aspects of owning one is that they do not live forever. Knowing your budgie’s potential lifespan is very important so you can establish your expectations and plan according.
So, how long do budgies live for? Budgies have an average lifespan of about 15 years. While this amount of time can vary, a well-looked-after budgie should reach this age. However, factors that do influence lifespan include the overall quality of life, illnesses, diet, and environmental factors.
15 years is a decent lifespan for what you can expect from a small pet. Comparable to most cats and dogs, these little birds will be sticking around for quite some time.
Let us now take a closer look at what we can expect and if there are any things that we can do to ensure that our budgie lives for as long as possible, in good health and spirits.
Are There Certain Budgies That Last Longer?
There are many factors that play into the life expectancy of a budgie. The specific breed does have a lot to play into it.
Now budgies are commonly referred to as parakeets (in American English), so you may see a budgie called a parakeet, and the terms may be used interchangeably. They are in fact the same thing and the same species of bird.
When it comes to budgies/parakeets, there are three main domesticated breeds: the budgerigar, the monk parakeet (quaker parrot), and the plain parakeet. These variations have average life spans of 5 to 10 years, 15 to 20 years, and 15 years respectively.
While it is not exactly clear why certain species outlive others, researchers know it has a lot to do with genetics.
Is There Something I Can Do To Make My Budgie Live Longer?
You should go into this knowing your limitations and what it is possible . Sadly, there is nothing you can do to make your budgie live considerably longer, like double its average lifespan.
It will also be very difficult to have your budgie live into the higher ends of the average; this will largely be down to its own unique genetic makeup and the hand that it was dealt with.
Just like we run the natural course of our lives, budgies are the same.
Things happen, and it’s important not to think back and beat yourself up about things that are in and out of your control.
Sometimes a fragile budgie falls sick or fails to display signs that there is something wrong. In these cases you may not have been able to get them the attention and care they so desperately needed.
Guilt will not fix anything, and, in many cases, there was never anything you could have done to make things okay.
Aside from these rare circumstances of unavoidable disease and disorder, there are some simple things you can do in order to increase the chances that your budgie will live long and maximize its lifespan. Here is why
A healthy budgie is more likely to outlive an unhealthy budgie.
The Importance of Your Budgies Diet
It goes without saying but the diet that you feed your budgie is incredibly important for their health and their longevity.
The go-to food is bird seed, but you need to ensure that you are feeding your budgie with an appropriate brand. Some use cheap ingredients and are not fortified with vitamins and minerals that your budgie so desperately needs for good health.
Feeding your budgie a diet exclusively of low-quality seeds is a big mistake and can cause long term health issues and complications. If they develop nutrient deficiencies it will negatively impact their lifespan.
This is why the Volkman Avian Science Super Parakeet Diet (available at great bulk prices on Amazon) comes so highly regarded. not only are the ingredients naturally more nutritious, but it has also been fortified with added vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for your birds’ health
The rest of your budgie’s diet should consist of a variety of fruits and vegetables (mainly dark green or yellow colored). Interestingly, budgies do particularly well with boiled eggs and shredded cheese.
Here are some fruits you want to ensure are in your budgies diet:
Vegetables to include are:
- Sweet Potato
Ensure all the food you provide is raw (except the boiled egg) as this will keep nutrients in tact. You also want to cut these down into small and manageable chunks for your budgie to consume right away.
With a budgie, variety is key.
However, keeping a budgie healthy is more than just giving them a nutritious diet and plenty of clean water.
Thankfully there are things we can proactively do to ensure their good health, it all starts with where they are housed.
What Is The Proper Enclosure For A Budgie?
Budgies need to live in a bigger cage than most people realize. While there are a number of decorative, fancy, interestingly shaped ones on the market, these should be avoided.
A budgie should be able to fly around their cage and spread their wings – they need room to manoeuvre.
Circular cages tend to limit their wing movement so you should opt for a larger, rectangular shaped one. Just remember, you can never have a cage that is too big.
Make sure to invest in a cage that is also easy to clean. While there are some gorgeous, highly ornamented enclosures, these are often a pain to clean. Like with most other pets, you want to have a cage that you can spot clean daily and then do a complete cleaning once a week.
It can be a little hard to completely remove your birds every time you do this cleaning, so having a cage with adequate space for your to efficiently clean without having to remove them will make your life easier.
If you cant clean your cage easily then chances are you will not do it as regularly or as thoroughly as you need to.
It will also make both of your lives easier if there is an easily accessible food and water dish. Make sure that you can fasten it tightly to the cage because your birds will be rowdy at times.
If they were to knock it over all this means is more cleaning, a waste of food, and, depending on when it was knocked over, they may go awhile without getting any.
You should also be sure not to overcrowd the cage. It can be tempting to take a number of budgies home when you see them all nestled together in a pet shop.
Remember that pet stores are just a temporary home and you often cannot model your personal budgie habitat after their occupancy rates.
Instead, limit yourself to two budgies per cage unless your cage is especially big.
The Prevue Wrought Iron Cage is a popular favorite of budgie owners that you can get over at Amazon for a great price. Its sufficient to house numerous budgies, is easy to clean and provides a lot of space for your budgies to fly around.
Do Budgies Need Mental Stimulation?
Its actually a good idea to have a couple of budgies. They are social and do not like to be all alone. They are a bird that also require mental stimulation, which is even more important if they do not have a companion.
Along with perches for your budgies to safely rest, you need to give them a couple of toys to play with. You need to find something that is safe for them to nibble on and get a little rough with.
It is best to try to find some specifically designed for budgies. Some of the more popular ones include bells, mirrors, and swings.
Again, Prevue have created a great hideaway that also comes with a ladder, which you can also purchase on Amazon.
This is perfect if you are looking for something with a more natural appearance. Although some people like the loud and bright colors of the traditional budgie toy, some people prefer them to a be a little more traditional.
This secure coconut hideaway serves as a mentally stimulating experience as your budgie can walk along the ladder. The shell itself offers a fun little hut that your budgies can sleep in.
Another good and cheap option is the Maiyuan Bird Knot Toy. There is a lot going on with this hanging toy, keeping your budgies entertained as they get to peck at this safe all natural toy.
It is super entertaining for them and budgie owners have left a lot of positive reviews over on its Amazon listing.
Lastly, another good option to consider is the Qumy Hanging Hammock from Amazon. Again this is another firm favorite and you can even go for the multipack that includes a little bit of everything.
Its great for budgies that get especially bored. While you only need to place two or three toys in at a time, you can rotate them occasionally to keep things new.
Birds like exploring novel things, and this will give them the opportunity to mix things up so they don’t get too bored with their surroundings.
What Do I Do With A Sick Budgie?
In addition to a healthy diet, paying attention to the latter elements of a budgie’s life are important to maintaining their physical health. Sadly, even healthy budgies can fall ill.
In fact, it is likely to happen at least during some point of their life. Budgies, like humans and other animals are also more susceptible as they get older and their immune system starts to weaken.
Budgies are also small and fragile, and it is unlikely that you will have the knowledge nor experience of what you need to do when they are ill or have contracted an infection/disease etc.
For this reason, it is important that you contact a veterinarian who is familiar with birds, budgies in particular.
They will be able to support your budgie and give you advice on what you need to do and the appropriate course of action.
Early treatment is the best thing you can offer your sick pet.
A healthy and happy budgie should live for 15 years, which is quite a long time for a pet bird.
In fact, it’s a relatively similar amount of time to pet lovebirds.
Although it must be said, it is quite a lot shorter than a macaw.
Nevertheless, with the right approach and care, budgies make for rewarding pets for the duration of time that you own them.
Just consider the costs involved with ownership and care. Besides, 15 years is quite a financial commitment, even if these birds are not considered too expensive to keep.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.