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Budgies as Pets for Kids

By Tom Ryan

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If you're considering a budgie as a pet for your child, don't think he's a low-maintenance pet because he lives in a cage. Budgies are active birds that love to socialize with their humans, and they generally live for 5 to 7 years -- but can live up to 15. Adopting a budgie is a serious commitment. Children have to respect the needs of the bird, and the only way they'll learn is for you to teach them. That means it's a serious commitment for both of you.

Step 1

Explain to your child that birds are not the same kinds of pets as dogs and cats. A new budgie needs a little time to warm up to his new family, and if your child comes on too strong or greets the bird with too much gusto -- as many children are wont to do -- the bird can become frightened. Owning a budgie is a lesson in patience even for adults, so make sure your child understands what constitutes proper behavior in the bird's company.

Step 2

Show your child how to properly change the budgie's food, water and cage lining every day. If your child can't do it on any given day, it's your responsibility.

Step 3

Provide your budgie toys so he can entertain himself in the cage. You may make this a teachable moment by explaining to your child that budgies have active minds and need stimulation to avoid boredom, just like people.

Step 4

Hand-train your budgie with your child present. Because budgies can sometimes nip and behave unpredictably during hand-training, you should hand-train the bird first. After you've had him for a while and he's comfortable with handling and socialization, you may teach your child how to hold him, always with supervision.

Step 5

Make sure your child takes the budgie out of his cage for socialization every day. Until the bird is comfortable with handling, this will be a joint project between you and your child and a wonderful opportunity to teach your child about proper human/budgie interaction. Budgies can be skittish and nervous in high-energy environments, particularly when young humans are involved, so making playtime a parent-child activity allows you to supervise and teach proper interaction. After the budgie is hand-trained enough to play with the child, you don't have to be as hands-on, but you should still supervise just in case of emergency.

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Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

Author

Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

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