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Cages, Nests and Lighting for Budgies

Choosing a cage for you Budgies is extremely important. The following are some of the tips for someone searching for a suitable cage for their budgies. Budgies are extremely active birds. When choosing a cage it is important to ensure that the cage is wide enough for the birds to fly across the cage and exercise themselves.

Place two perches on either ends of the cages for the birds to perch themselves. The perches should be at least an half an inch thick to prevent damage to the budgies' feet.

The bars of the bars should be spaced not more than 1/2 inch apart. A larger spacing can cause budgies to stick their heads out of the cage with the risk of the head getting trapped between the bars.
There should be sufficient number of horizontal bars as budgies are avid climbers and love to climb the cage walls.

The cage should ideally be rectangular in shape. Avoid circular cages as they make budgies a bit insecure. The cage should have a removable tray at the bottom to remove waste and keep the cage clean.

The cage should have doors which can be secured effectively. Budgies are clever birds and will soon find a way to open doors that are not adequately fastened.

Nest for Budgies

In the wild, budgies nest in holes in the tree trunk. In cages, budgies will accept any box or container with an opening small enough for them to enter as a nest.

Ideal boxes for cages are made of cardboard or wood. The cage can have one opening on the top with a removable cover for you to inspect the nest and the budgie chicks inside. Make an entrance of approx. 1.5 inch in diamter in the side of the cage for the budgies to enter.

The female incubates the eggs. You do not line the cage with any thing as budgies do not use any nesting material such as cotton, twigs, hay etc.

The floor of the nest should preferably be concave to prevent the eggs from rolling around. Earthen pots can also be used as nesting boxes.

Special earthen pots of around 5 inch diamters with an entrance in the front are available at most pet stores.

Toys for Budgies

Budgies are intelligent and playful creatures. They love to play with toys, bits of paper and whatever they can find. It is good to provide your budgies with toys they can play with. The adage "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" holds true for Budgies too.

A wide varieties of toys are available for your budgies. Rings, steps, geometric blocks and a whole lot of designs. Budgies love climbing and toys such as a block of steps provide endless entertainment to budgies. Bells are another great idea. Rings and hoops hung from the ceiling of the budgie cage provide interesting perches.

Beads also make good toys for your birds. Beads can be used individually or strung up into beautiful shapes which can also look decorative.

A mirror placed in the cage also provides entertainment for your budgies

When designing or buying toys for your budgies you must take some precautions. The toys should not be painted as paint can be toxic. Do not use metals such as zinc or lead in the toys. Wood if used should be untreated. Do not use glue.

Toys should not have small holes or cracks/splits in which the feet of the birds can get caught.
Check the toys for sharp edges which can injure the bird.

Lighting for Budgies

Light plays an important role in the health of all birds including budgies. The amount of light determines the natural clock of budgies and controls many aspects from alertness to reproductive behaviour. Light also plays a direct role in the health of budgies.

When budgies are provided with light, their bodies produce vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 helps the budgies absorb calcium from the food. Hence, it is essential for budgies to have access to sunlight for 12 hours each day.

Natural lighting is ideal. Leave a window open to allow in sunlight. However, there are regions where the length of the day may vary with the seasons. In these locations, it is better to have a lamp such as fluorescent lamp to provide light.

Budgies are natives of Australia. Hence, they are used to the tropical variations of night and day. In tropical regions of the earth, the sunlight passes through the least atmosphere. The light which reaches the native habitat of budgies undergoes very little filtering as it passes through the atmosphere. Hence, any artificial light should be as close to sunlight as possible.

This is determined by the Color rendering Index (CRI). The colour rendering index indicates how closely an artificial light resembles natural sunlight. Sunlight has a CRI of 100. Hence, any artificial light should be as close to sunlight as possible. A CRI of more than 90 would be ideal with a colour temperature close to the colour temperature of the sun which is 5500K.