Three years ago, I became a pet parent of two budgies at the young age of 13. I conducted research on how to properly raise a budgie a year before I adopted them, but my research was proven incomplete on multiple occasions. My searches on budgies only provided me with information on how much budgies need to eat, what cage size is appropriate for budgies and and what kinds of toys budgies like to play with.
Unfortunately, I only discovered what not to do for my budgies when I specifically asked the internet during moments of doubt. I hope my collection of anecdotes about the heart-stopping times I almost endangered my beloved budgies prevents any potential accidents for my fellow pet parents.
1. The Feather-Eating Fan
One hot summer day, I was chilling in my room with Bolly and Lellow. They had been playing around on top of the cage for a few minutes when I realized that I was actually chilling in my room. It was too chilly for a house in Georgia during the middle of July. The papers on my table were rustling. Randoms strands of my hair were tickling my cheeks. Bolly and Lellow looked especially fluffy.
My throat suddenly closed up as I realized the cause of these occurrences. I shot out of my bed and slammed the switch on the wall. Everything in the room, along with my beating heart, slowly settled down and I released a sigh of relief. Had Bolly or Lellow decided to stretch their wings and fly around the room, they would’ve been minced up by the feather-eating fan.
2. Dracula’s Clippers
It had been a few months since I had adopted Bolly and Lellow when I realized that their nails were leaving indentations on my fingers whenever they perched on me. One of my friends who had two budgies of her own told me that she clipped their nails with a normal nail clipper. What she forgot to tell me was that I needed to be extra careful with the clipper.
If Bolly or Lellow shifted their foot the slightest bit when I tried to clip their nails, I could accidentally snip a blood vessel in their nail (called the quick), and they would lose a lot of blood.
Bolly was really scared of the nail clipper (imagine a giant shiny metal thing coming for your feet) so I searched up how to clip budgie nails. I learned that you should clip a budgie’s nails in a bright place so you can see the quick and cut a good distance away from it. It’s recommended to wrap your budgie lightly in a small towel so they won’t move their feet too much. For example, Lellow used to snatch his foot away at the last second so I had to resort to wrapping him in a towel. It’s pretty cute, though.
3. Forbidden Fruit
Bolly and Lellow usually take a few minutes to get used to a new fruit or vegetable before they try it out, and then, they finish the whole thing and ask for more. I offered them an avocado once (I can hear the gasps) and they wouldn’t go near it.
When 10 minutes had passed, I got tired of holding it out to them so I asked the internet why my budgies wouldn’t eat the avocado. I learned to my despair that avocado pits contain a toxin called persin, and it can cause serious health issues for budgies, and even death. After I closed the tab, I could feel Bolly and Lellow’s judging stares from across the room. I treated them with millet for being smarter than a human.
4. Pesky Pests
A few months ago, the first floor of my house had an ant infestation. They weren’t harmful, they were just annoying and literally everywhere. I wasn’t planning on spraying the ants because I thought they would leave after 24 hours, but after three days had passed, I decided it was time to end their house party. My house has an open floor plan, so the kitchen, the living room, the keeping room (where Bolly and Lellow hang out) and the dining room are all in one large space. If I sprayed the kitchen, the fumes would diffuse to the other "rooms," too.
I had sprayed a small amount on the farthest corner of the kitchen when my dad suddenly started yelling at me. He has a soft spot for my budgies which he will never admit. My dad went on for five minutes about how bug spray is harmful for all living things and that it's essentially poison, which would kill my small budgies along with the ants.
I started freaking out, and I grabbed the cage and bounded down the stairs of the basement and deposited Bolly and Lellow and their food container on the kitchen counter. I then ran up the stairs and locked the door. I kept Bolly and Lellow in the basement for two days in case there was any bug spray left in the air. After that incident, I don’t allow anyone to spray or smoke anything near the first floor. We must take extra precaution regarding airborne substances.
We must always be aware that there are things that are normal for humans but extremely dangerous for our pets. If you’re not sure if something is OK for your pet, go the extra mile and ask your vet or the internet so you can live a long happy life with your animal companion.