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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!
A budgie flew into the house yesterday. It appears to be young, since it is smaller and has the bars across its head. Poor thing was very dusty and dirty. I went to closest pet store (petsmart), and bought a cheap, small cage and food that appeared to look highest quality, believing this would be only temporary. It was both hungry and thirsty, and appeared tame. No tag around a claw. This morning, it was much more timid, so I gave it space, and kept it near me while I worked from my home office - I am on the phone a lot, so figured it would help with desensitization to me. It remained puffed and ground its beak every now and then, and slept a bit. Poop looks normal. Current temperature in my house was 71F, and he was shivering a little so probably scared vs cold? It seems to favor hanging its head while sleeping, and that's how I found this forum when I looked into the behavior. I am covering the cage with a warm blanket for the night.

I'm on the fence what to do. I don't think it is wild considering how it ran to the water and seed. My first instinct is to post in local email groups to see if anyone has lost the bird, but I suspect it may have escaped someone's backyard aviary and won't be missed - this has happened to me once before about 12 years ago, and I was able to find it a home. This new bird, I have been calling around and no one I know wants to home it. My options then are to continue to try to find it a home, maybe take it to a shelter, or become a pet owner.

Pet ownership is daunting - early childhood, we had several budgies as pets. They either flew off or died from disease at young ages. Heart breaking to me as a kid. We had dogs after, and when they passed, it hurt too much. I don't want to clean the cage weekly, I dislike routine, and typically wake up before dawn (no alarm). These birds are messy and I'm afraid of how fragile they are. I have several houseplants that are toxic if nibbled on. Our winters in southern california are mild, but I generally put on a sweater and don't like using the heater, so it can get pretty cold in my house. Also, some of my hobbies are obnoxiously noisy (example bean to bar chocolate making, the melanger runs 24 hours when I do this, which is every few months). I'm also dealing with an ant invasion right now.

That said.. part of me wants to give him a chance, might be nice to have a friend while working, and it also ironically breaks up my current routine 馃檭. Tomorrow I plan to call a few vets I found through the avian vet link here, to schedule an appointment and confirm health, and maybe help clean him off, because the poor thing is very dusty. The question though - would it be better to wait for the vet visit until the bird is more open to human touch?

I've found several threads with links to good cages and accessories, which would follow the vet visit - the current cage is too small, and boring with only two dowel perches - but at the moment, I think it's okay since the bird is still just acclimating.

Any words of encouragement?

Thank you for your time, and sorry this was so long.
 

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To me it sounds like you鈥檙e doing the responsible thing by asking yourself these questions.
Pet ownership, like any commitment, is a compromise :). If you feel that you can give him/her what s/he needs to lead a happy (and safe) life, I think that you should give it a go. You may find that tossing some plants, using s broom and turning your furnace on may be small prices to pay for the companionship and joy that a loving pet can bring.

But you know you better than we do ;)
If you feel like you may honestly resent the intrusion and the forced changes to your ways, then best to continue the search to rehome. Budgies, like all parrots, are incredibly smart and emotional creatures. They will pick up on your moods and behaviors just like a toddler would, and it wouldn鈥檛 be fair to keep him/her in a sad environment.
Pics?

A vet visit should be in order. I don鈥檛 think that you need to wait on that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks all. Yes, I'm being overly cautious because I still feel guilty about all the pets lost. I believe I can offer the bird a good home, I just don't know if the disruption to my lifestyle will lead to resentment (thank you spicy sea hawk for those words, helps put things in perspective) - maybe not right away, perhaps long term, with the assumption I can maintain its health and happiness for 10-15 years.

Timing was great for the mini t*rd factory, this morning we had a lot of rain!! Room temp was 68F, so I turned on the heater to warm things up. I will miss my 45-55F crisp winter mornings, hmmm. Maybe I can teach it to sleep in the fermentation chamber (a modified wine fridge), keep the temps there in the 70s hahaah, no, just kdiding 馃懆鈥嶐煍

I'll try for pictures later today!

I have an appointment with avian vet next wednesday :) Here's a photo of Chiribiri! Male?
african grey Bird Beak Pet supply Bird supply
 

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Thank you for rescuing Chiribiri
I'm glad you are thinking of all the pros and cons before making the commitment of whether or not to keep him.
You are correct. Budgies are messy, they require more time and attention than many people are willing to devote to them and they have delicate respiratory systems.
There are many dangers to budgies in a "normal" household and not everyone is willing to make the necessary changes for the safety and well-being of the bird.
Owning a pet is a huge commitment of both time and resources. Anyone who thinks owning a budgie means sticking it in a cage and giving it seed and water should not have a bird as a pet.
Budgies need stimulation, different types of toys, routine in their day, regular attention on a daily basis and sometimes require vet care.
I'm not trying to talk you out of keeping Chiribiri, I'm just confirming some of the things you already know so you can make a well thought out decision.

Thank you for getting an Avian Vet appointment for Chiribiri and please let us know what you decide to do.

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Truly, the very BEST advice anyone can offer you is to take the time to read ALL of the stickies throughout the various Talk Budgie forums as well as the Budgie Articles we have posted.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks! Not an easy decision, for sure!!

I happened by petco store this morning and decided to stop in to familiarize myself with what's offered, in case I decide to home the bird myself; they seem to have slightly higher quality acecssories than what I saw at petsmart earlier this week. Picked up a natural twig perch for him to rest on higher up in the cage, since they didn't have small swings in stock. While attempting to install it in the cage, he got out, but fortunately, all my doors and windows were closed. He kept flight low to the ground, didn't smack into anything and was easy to pick up. I was worried this would be tougher since my upstairs is an open-design with the kitchen and living room, and offers a large flight path.

He's got a couple interesting habits so far: whenever I walk by, he either yawns, stretches, or does the flutter shake, then heads right to the food bowl. Reminds me of a dog yawn when they're a bit stressed. Also, if there's anything that startles or extra stresses him (e.g. pan banged loudly on accident, or while I was fiddling with the perch), he jumps right to the food, chows down and hogs the bowl. Stress eater?
 

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He sounds like quite a little character and it seems as if he's settling in very well!
I'm sure he goes for his food dish when stressed just to make sure that food isn't going to be taken away from him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
It's funny how birds are not like dogs or cats, which typically and maybe even instinctively are much more open and welcoming to human interaction! I think a lot of people forget that.

Decision will likely come down to the vet visit. I'm been continuously assessing what I need to give up and compromise, and for the most part, it's doable with minimal disruption. There are a few things I'm still unsure about, even after reading through the stickies and searching the forums, maybe you all can help?
1. pre-dawn noise: is it okay for me to be up and making noise, whether banging pots/pans, or having the TV on, 3-4am before sun is up and the cage is still covered? I'm de-cloaking bird around 6:30am, and putting to sleep around 7-7:30pm.

2. 24 hour noise: every few months I use a wet grinder to grind/melange chocolate, nuts, etc, and this runs 24-36 hours, and can be loud, somewhere between fridge compressor and blender loud. Is it okay to have such a noise during sleep? The area is an "open" design so I can't really move the bird, unless I take him downstairs to the bedroom for night, but in a larger permanent cage, is that even possible? I suppose I could also experiment with stopping the unit at night and restarting, but not sure how that will impact the process.

3. floor cleaning: upstairs is all travertine floor.. Vinegar etches when I tested, even if only exposed briefly. I am not going to remodel the house for the bird 馃お. I use a hardfloor washer every couple weeks, with either bissel formula or an enzyme cleaner (ingredients listed: Floors - Naturally It's Clean) The bissel product leaves a scent for a few hours, and the enzyme cleaner has none when diluted; are either or both safe? ideally I would switch to a steam cleaner, but after doing research, most steam cleaners look like they are more trouble than they are worth and really intended for a small space, without spending a lot of money on them.. and even despite all the amazing properties I don't think I've ever even seen one used in a commercial environment... thoughts?

4. travel: I have family that lives a couple miles from me that is more than happy to house the bird when traveling. Is it better to leave the bird in the travel cage (14wx11dx20h), or take the permanent large cage over to the temp home? Or get a third cage that meets minimum sizing? Having someone visit my home to care for the bird is not likely to happen. Majority of travel will be 2-4 days for work, 1-2x year I will be out 7-30 days.

Thanks again for your time :)
 

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1. Pre-dawn noise. The noise will wake the budgie but, like everything else, it will adjust to it and probably take naps during the day to make up for any lost sleep.
2. 24 hour noise. I don't think this will really be a problem. Depending on the size cage you get, if it is easy to carry you can definitely move the cage down to the bedroom at night.
I have moved my budgies cages from upstairs to downstairs and from room to room on a frequent basis and it's never been an issue.
3. Do not use the Bissel Forumula. The enzyme cleaner that you dilute is fine to use. I had a steam cleaner and really didn't like it. It was hard to use and not worth the effort in my personal opinion.
4. Travel, I'd take the permanent large cage IF it fits easily in the car. I've taken fairly large cages in the car with no problem. I simply make sure the cage is level using towels or something on the seat and strap it in well with the seatbelt.
If that isn't a possibility due to the size of the cage, then I'd get a third cage that meets minimum sizing for the times you are away.
 

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FaeryBee has given great advice above. As for pre-dawn noise, it's the same in our house as I frequently have to get up before dawn to take people in my family to work or school, and it varies day by day so there's different levels/amounts of noise in the mornings. They get used to it relatively quickly :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for that! I'll measure my trunk opening dimensions and make sure to account for it when looking up cages.

This cleaning aspect really is a rabbit hole here, more and more changes to be made. I read last night tea tree oil is no good (I use it all over), most candles are no good, have to give up my waffle iron and replace the toaster oven, etc. Uh boy :p

Like other new budgies, it seems like he is skeptical/terrified of millet, but funnily enough, this morning, he kicked out the small stalk this morning after its been there a couple days, and then tossed aside the little balls of it in his dish. He's also been burying his head into the food dish, and thrashing it about to make a mess.

Speaking of mess, I read here several of you like to put paper on top of the grate, makes for an easier cleanup. I do like this idea, and I'm thinking of trying it since I can't get the bottom grate out of this this temp cage without full disassembly to clean it better, but a couple questions:
1. right now he's still jumpy when my hand goes into the cage - the vinegar sponge was too much yesterday so I abandoned that, and then I tried putting paper in and he was pretty startled; I know this will take time, but now I'm wondering, are there any cages that have a sorot of "insert" somewhere in the cage so I can take out the bottom grate? It seems like most cages are user assembled and lock in the bottom grate, and would require putting the bird into the second cage for now (e.g. carrier), until he's tame enough to sit outside while I clean. On the right track?
2. he does like to go to the cage floor on occasion, is it okay that he'll walk through some poop?

Thank you again!
 

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Lots of cages have bottom grates that slide right out. For example, I have Prevue Hendryx F050 cages and simply slide out the bottom grate, insert a piece of Packing Paper and slide the grate right back in.

Yes, there are lots of Dangers to Budgies to look out for.

No problem if he goes onto the bottom paper and occasionally walks through some poop. Actually, they generall will walk right around it.
In fact, in my cages, I change out the paper both morning and evening and then scatter seed on the bottom paper so the budgies can "forage" for the seed. The love it and I love hearing their little feet clicking across the paper!

You are going to want to get a good size cage for him if you decide he's staying with you (and it sounds as though you are leaning in that direction now?)
The MCage Flight Cage has a removable grate and tray.

MCage Flight Cage

Packing Paper
 

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The MCage Flight Cage has a removable grate and tray.

MCage Flight Cage

Packing Paper
picked this one up myself.
it is current sans bird, but the trays remove quite easily :)

Thank you for that! I'll measure my trunk opening dimensions and make sure to account for it when looking up cages.

This cleaning aspect really is a rabbit hole here, more and more changes to be made. I read last night tea tree oil is no good (I use it all over), most candles are no good, have to give up my waffle iron and replace the toaster oven, etc. Uh boy :p
I didn鈥檛 even consider waffle irons, good catch!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@FaeryBee: yes, I am leaning towards keeping him. I did not realize the bottom grate slid out with the tray! That makes makes this so much better, yes! I was looking at both the prevue cages and the various mcage styles while reading the forum - benefits and drawbacks to the cage's ability to come off the cart. I do like to have high quality things, and prefer to spend more up front vs learning the long-term hard way. The only free wall I have right now is behind couch, which would make access to changing food, water, paper tricky, but doable. As an alternate, I can probably tack up some posterboard or similar along the back as I've seen some people do with DIY cages: I have noticed he doesn't really like the cage out in the open, and I'm moved it against a cabinet for now.

@spicy sea hawk: yes, the waffle iron discovery made me sad. Cast-iron waffle irons exist as an alternate, but I'm one of the rare people who is not a fan of cast iron cookware in the first place. I saw mention of ceramic coated ones, too, need more research. Additionally, another potential hazard would be the clothes iron and the ironing board cover they might have non-stick surfaces - likely overkill I think because these are downstairs in my bedroom, but doesn't hurt to check so I can be wary of it in case they do.

Much planning and changes! :)
 

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@spicy sea hawk: yes, the waffle iron discovery made me sad. Cast-iron waffle irons exist as an alternate, but I'm one of the rare people who is not a fan of cast iron cookware in the first place. I saw mention of ceramic coated ones, too, need more research. Additionally, another potential hazard would be the clothes iron and the ironing board cover they might have non-stick surfaces - likely overkill I think because these are downstairs in my bedroom, but doesn't hurt to check so I can be wary of it in case they do.

Much planning and changes! :)
lol @ "spicy seahawk", by the way ;)

Right, I'm sure our waffle iron is coated; we just use it so infrequently that I didn't consider it.
If you find a good ceramic one, please let me know! I haven't found one yet where the manufacturer comes right out and says that it's safe (for our purposes).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I could never pronounce that hotsauce type correctly, let alone spell it :p

He's much more active today, chirping and climbing the cage. It doesn't look as much exploration as it is trying to get out.. did I capture a wild bird? Hmmm. Southern California has pocket areas of wild parrots, but I haven't heard of flocks of budgies.
 

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I could never pronounce that hotsauce type correctly, let alone spell it :p

He's much more active today, chirping and climbing the cage. It doesn't look as much exploration as it is trying to get out.. did I capture a wild bird? Hmmm. Southern California has pocket areas of wild parrots, but I haven't heard of flocks of budgies.
Sounds like a budgie who's starting to settle in and is now looking for ways to get into new trouble :)
 
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