I'm fairly new to this forum and haven't owned a budgie in 15+ years but when I choose to get one, I was confident in being able to care for it.
That hasn't changed at all, but I'm pretty surprised by how much I don't know and mostly how badly pet shops are for selling items that are bad for your budgie and that I've found out through people on here.
The fact that Jimmy was sold with a pretty advanced case of Scaly face mites is terrible considering the pet store had two cages of budgies, side by side and they are all likely to need treatment and not everyone will think to look this up.
The cage I bought from a large chain of pet supermarkets over here, comes with plastic perches.
And the fact that so many pet stores are selling items that are pushed as to be for the betterment of your pet but that will actually harm them- sandpaper perch covers, grit etc.
I also saw in the pet stores oyster shell and charcoal. Is this even any good for a budgie at all?
It's really terrible that people will think they are getting things that will help their pets but could make them poorly.
Can anyone recommend some online stores that only sell approved items for budgies safety?
I want Jimmy to be as happy and content as he can be. I'm so worried now that I'm going to get the wrong type of rope perch or wooden perch etc. that I'd love if anyone could recommend a safe place to shop.
I'm so grateful that I joined this group! I thought I knew budgie care pretty well but it seems that pet stores only care about taking money and not about the animals. Makes me so upset for the little critters out there!
Jimmy's cage has a plastic base and sand down, but then there's a another metal piece, the same as the side of the cage, that goes across the bottom, so he's walking on that and not on the floor. Is this okay for him?
If not, what would you advise for the bottom of his cage. Thanks.
Hello again, unfortunately you are totally correct in what you say. It is very sad to think people hope and feel they are dealing with knowledgeable people when buying from them and they will do the right thing.
Your Jimmy's SFM are quite bad, but he will recover completely with no harm done, however as you say the other budgies who were there also most probably will be infected as well.
This is one reason we try to encourage people to buy from a reputable breeder. With a breeder you can get the back ground and see the budgies first hand.
Cages come with plastic as it is cheaper, plastic does harbour bacteria and with time becomes brittle.
Budgies do not need grit they do not have a gizzard. sandpaper perches and sheets can cause horrific foot problems or again the birds can digest some of it.
I am in Australia, I am lucky I can and do use native woods for perches and I collect grass, for them as well. I find the best way is to use common sense and research.
We have some excellent advice regarding safe toys, perches and woods in our sun forums have a read through them at your leisure.
Unfortunately you're right about what you're saying. I've found it's hit and miss whether you deal with someone in a pet shop who knows or not, and even then they'll sell commercial toys and bird products that might not be good for your bird.
Common sense, as Cathy said above, is your best bet. You'll learn a lot from members on this forum. I had also had a budgie many, many years ago when knowledge wasn't shared the way it is now, so I've learned a lot in the past year or so from having two budgies (the first one was very ill and died quickly).
When it comes to toys and perches, I find that some of it is down to preference. I have a variety of perches for Jakob - some are from the garden and some are shop bought. Her favourite toy is a swing with lots of strong on it. It's not in the cage because of all the string on it. She loves to play with it and I don't want to take away that pleasure, but I don't want to risk her getting stuck in the string should she ever decide to climb up to the top. I was quite fond of "trixie" toys. They are mostly wooden, but they contain too much string for me to find them safe. You'll quickly find that you can modify toys though...
I haven't found one particular site where I feel the products are all safe, so you might need to shop around and that can be easier online where nobody is trying to convince you to buy something.
Advances in knowledge about budgies has given us information we didn't have in the past with regard to things like grit, sandpaper perch covers, cotton string on toys, etc. I've found that I learn new things everyday and as research continues so does our knowledge base.
I use the "grate" you described in the bottom of my cage and cover it with newspaper.
I change the paper morning and evening.
Each morning when I clean the cages and put fresh paper on the grate, I give them a ration of a good seed mix scattered across the paper.
They love running around "foraging" for their breakfast.
Luckily at the moment Jimmy is still adjusting to his new home so I haven't over whelmed him with toys, so there's one thing I don't have to worry about right now is if his toys are safe, so I'll have plenty of time to read through all the stickies here first before I try him with anything. I've also seen a lot of people make some nice home-made toys that are safe for the budgies so I might try some of those too.
I'm reluctant to get any type of rope perch as my cockatiel had one and pulled it to pieces and tried to eat it, so that puts me off of anything like that. I think I'll spend some time over the next few days checking through these stickies and making notes on some what products and items will be safe for Jimmy and are necessary for his well being.
Just wanted to say how handsome Jimmy is. I am sure his scaly face will clear up in no time under your good care. I love his yellow coloring.
Thank you. I also think he's pretty adorable but I know I'm biased, but then there's so many beautiful birds on here as well and I'm always looking at them and admiring everyone's budgies! Frankly, there's no such thing as an ugly budgie!
I hope so. I think with all the advice I've got from here Jimmy is in safe hands.
This is nothing new, and it affects ALL varieties of pets.
In most cases an ethical pet store simply isn't a viable business model. Live animals are a high-risk product to ship and keep in stock. Unlike other products live animals require a level of maintenance that further adds to the cost of business. On top of this, the actual training required to ensure each staff member is adequately knowledgeable makes it difficult as the training costs money and staff resources, and staff will likely expect higher wages if they have specialized skills.
Some smaller stores get around these by hiring very passionate employees and specializing in only one or two types of animals so they can adequately equip their store to care for them.
Companies that manufacture pet products know that most of their market don't know the first thing about the animal they're caring for, and go by wives-tales and here-say, so they can literally sell anything they feel like at a premium. They also know that many parents don't bother researching their kids' pets, and the kid will beg when they see something they want.
Reptiles and fish have it the worst. Just look at the company Zoo-med. Their brand's slogan is "save your reptiles". Not "treat your reptiles", not "take care of your reptiles"... It's a pretty blatant statement that the industry standard is sick animals.
They sell hygrometers with cardboard backs (hygrometers are used to measure humidity. They're notoriously delicate instruments with a large margin of error... It's literally impossible to make a functioning one with cardboard). As well as thermostats (which are actually just rheostats) which don't have any numbers on them to indicate the temperature settings, but instead expect you to interpret a colour gradient from red to blue.
With all due respect, the industry side of animal husbandry and animal companionship is a cesspool of morally-depraved faceless corporations that thrive on peoples' ignorance. Learn some basic DIY skills and you can save hundreds without giving another dollar to the companies that condone such practices and exploitation of the animals. That's a generalized statement though, as some companies do put their resources towards conducting research for their products...