Budgies make great first pets for the novice bird keeper. Budgies have lots of personalities and some even learn to talk. Males are more prone to talk than females, so pick a boy if you want a talker. You can also increase your budgie's chances of learning to talk by purchasing a very young bird, less than six months old. There are several ways to tell a budgie's age to make certain that you pick a bird that is at the age that you want.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Ask the breeder, the pet shop owner or the bird owner about the age of a budgie. A reputable breeder or store will be happy to provide this information to you. This method is not always reliable -- older budgies are less valuable than younger budgies, so some owners may lie about the age to get rid of the budgie. Double-check the information you are given by checking the bird itself.
Read the tag if your budgie has one. Look at the budgie's leg for a tag. The colour of the tag can give you the year the budgie was born if the tag is an American Budgerigar Society (ABS) tag. However, tag colours are sometimes repeated, so double-check with the breeder or owner to verify the budgie's age. As an example, the ABS tag colour for 2011 is dark blue. The budgie's birth year and possibly birth date are inscribed on the tag in some cases, so check for numbers on the tag to decipher your budgie's age.
Check the budgie's head to tell its age. A budgie under four months old will have stripes on its forehead. When the budgie first moults, these stripes will disappear, indicating that the budgie is somewhere around three to four months old. The exceptions to this are lutino budgies or albino budgies, as their markings are not like those of other types of budgies.
Look at the budgie's eyes. Most budgies will have solid black eyes until they are about four months old, then an iris starts to form. The iris will be dark at first, than gradually lighten.
Tips and warnings
- Some older budgies do learn to talk -- don't let age hold you back from buying a bird you love.
- Female budgies should not be bred until they are over a year old to protect their health.
- Always consider carefully the time and investment in owning any pet. Do not purchase a budgie until you have researched their care and determined that you can meet their needs.
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