It's Autumn here, already getting cold snaps. I got my budgies something called Budge Tents- it's like a budgie snuggle bed, but it has no floor. Instead, it is a perch with some leather hanging off it, and 2 walls around it like a triangle, open at one end. They're afraid of them (they don't like red things, they only come in pink with red hearts) and I'm wondering if they're safe. Sorry I can't post pics, I can't get my go pro to connect to my computer. My budgies don't chew on cloth anymore, they used to but stopped once they realised they can chew on the cuttlefish bone. Aside from that, I have a heater blanket that can only cover half the cage, and a fluffy blanket I use at night. It can get down to 4C here in the Winter, will those be enough to keep my budgies warm? I haven't seen any of those nice heater perches anywhere, and they might not be enough. Last night they were cold, but they didn't have the heating one on, just the fluffy one. I'm thinking of putting a third blanket over their cage. Anything else I can do? I don't have a heater. The windows are left shut at night.
I meant the interior, sadly. Our house isn't insulated properly. I can't shut my door, there's a pet gate to keep the dog out in the way. We don't use heaters here, we have an air conditioner but it's a cold one for summer- we just bundle up and use electric blankets when it's cold. They were very cold last night, and even started flying around the cage in the middle of the night trying to warm up at one point. Bonejingles, my albino, seems very susceptible to temperature changes. They were cold enough to fluff up. I don't know how well a heating blanket over half their cage will do to warm them up. Thank you for the heated perch links, I'll be sure to use them at night when Winter hits. This area is actually tropical, but every Summer is getting hotter and every Winter is getting colder. When I first moved here 13 years ago, the lows in Winter were only 12C, not 4C. The highs in Summer haven't gone up as much as the colds in Winter have gone down, going from 32C to 35C. A Winter cold snap really wouldn't be good for my budgies.
As FaeryBee has posted, the actual temperature of 4*C is less significant than the daily change in temperature.
In their natural habitat, budgies cope with these low temperatures as they gradually acclimatise to them through natural seasonal changes. They are not their most favourable temperature, life in the wild can be harsh, but they survive. It sounds as though you have no heating in the daytime too, yes? If that's the case, then your (indigenous) birds should acclimatise to the colder temperatures. Here in the U.K. many budgie hobby breeders, house their birds in sheds, year round.
'They were cold enough to fluff up' & 'We just bundle up' You're just doing the same thing!
You could try to use a foil blanket (like those used at the end of marathons) on TOP of the cage blanket. Close curtains to retain room heat as soon as the sun goes down and maybe hang a blanket as a curtain over your doorway to minimise drafts, seeing as the door won't close.
I've never seen those foil blankets before. Again, I've got a heater blanket but it can only cover half the cage. When I put it on last night they fought at first to get close to it. They do sorta push each other trying to get close to things they want but never actually nip each other. It's usually over the swing with leather beads on it. I don't go for that whole aclimitise thing, mostly because domestic birds have different colours and temperments for a reason. They've not had the advantage of all that evolution, and the people who bred them possible kept them in even conditions, which means their bodies have never had to try to aclimitise before and may stress them to death. That's why I'm so concerned. This Summer, during a heatwave, I nearly lost Bonejingles to overheating... It only took me being out for 2 hours. Came back to her panting out loud and it took her over 3 hours to cool down fully, near an air conditioner and being misted every few minutes... She seems more sensitive to the cold too. Fluffing up or showing other signs of stress before Chitters does. Domesticated animals usually have never had to experience their wild counterparts conditions and are wholly unsuited for it. Never had wild birds show them how to hide, something most people think is instinctual. Budgies that escape almost never survive, not know how to forage for food, having relied on feeders their whole lives. More than that, I'm in the tropics. Not the desert. My budgies won't even touch water low to the ground but the water doesn't pool in trees here. I've even had a budgie die because he didn't know how to crack certain kinds of seeds open and swallowed them whole. It's very very bad to assume domesticated animals can survive the conditions of their wild counterparts, it's like saying I can go survive in the jungles of Africa because that's where we evolved from, or that my dog won't starve because he's descended from wolves, despite being an indoor dog. Finally, their fluffing up is not a good thing to do from cold. It's more like an equivalent of having goosebumps and shivering. it only does so much and long term it's just not sustainable, and will cause large amounts of stress mentally and physically to have to do every night, especially considering their much faster metabolisms. We haven't been getting the gradual seasonal changes here like we're supposed to. It's so screwed up at the moment all the trees are flowering like it's Spring, even though it's Autumn, and we just had a cyclone season with one single cyclone, an extreme drought, and so bad the kangaroos nearly starved to death and actually did in many places, then all of a sudden we hit a cold snap and it goes from 22-25 lows to 12-17 literally overnight. This is a very strange year and everything seems to have been screwed up by something, a lot of natural cycles are out of whack, I can't even open my window more than 4 hours a day without getting swarmed by midges even though they're supposed to be gone by now. How can I expect a weaker strain bred for fancy colours and talking skills to survive sudden weather changes without outside assistance when even much large stronger wild animals are barely getting by?
Whilst I understand your concern, I don't really agree with your comments above. Budgies are not domestic in the same way as cats and dogs, they have not been bred to be much different than the wild ones except for the size and types of melanin the feathers. These things do not inhibit their bodies ability to respond to temperature. For evolution to make any real difference it takes far longer than the length of time budgies have been kept as pets. The ability to find food is a learned behaviour so escapees don't have it, but regulating their body temperature is not in any way conscious, their do it automatically. Fluffing up is a natural behaviour and does not necessarily indicate stress, it is a very effective means of keeping warm, you'd have to be worried if they weren't doing it in cold weather. They are wrapping up just like you. They do not shiver and use up energy when fluffed, they sit wrapped in a cocoon of air that is closer to their body temperature than the surroundings. Overheating is much more likely than chilling, there is no way to drop their temperature much below air temperature, but they can keep it higher than it. I have always had outdoor aviaries, with a sheltered section for them to sleep in. Budgies have no problem outdoors all through winter even with frosts when it drops below 0 degrees. The sudden temp drop may be causing them to have to adjust more quickly than usual causing a bit more difficulty though.
I agree with your concern though, it is great that you care and are trying to do what is best. Is there any way you can move the dog gate to allow your door to be shut.
Ok Jessie, I understand your thinking, and I agree with your points regarding odd weather patterns.
In regards to pet birds versus wild birds, there is a difference between the things like foraging that are enhanced by learning from parents/flock members, and with the genetic make up that allows for certain physical resilience. Evolution takes a very long time and even though man is selectively breeding budgies, they are not getting less fluffy.
As I said, 'They are not their most favourable temperature, life in the wild can be harsh'.
Ideally, you'll have heating & air conditioning indoors and keep a stable room temperature in order to provide the most pleasant less stressful environment.
I feel you'll be much better, buying a heater for the room than using electric blankets. Have a look at this page to help you understand what I'm trying to say: https://robharveyfeeds.wordpress.com...ng-your-birds/
Jessie, we live in almost the same area as you - north eastern NSW...our three budgies are in a room that is always open to the verandah and we don't shut the door to the hallway...as the sun is going down, we cover them with a light blanket, then with a cotton over throw, leaving a small hole at the bottom for air movement...we are in the middle of Winter now and our budgies are fine...they are indigenous to Australia and in the desert, where they mainly reside, it can get quite cold overnight...If, they have other budgies to snuggle up to through the night, they should be able to cope...I'm not sure if this is Ok, but maybe a hot water bottle, adequately covered placed near their cage would help with the cold.
__________________ I never for a day gave up listening to the songs of our birds, or watching their peculiar habits, or delineating them in the best way I could.