Housing your budgie is an important aspect of his care requirements. The size is one of the most important things to look at when setting up your little guy's cage. In general, your budgie needs room to play, fly, hop, eat, drink and poop without interference.
First Things First
Your budgie is naturally acrobatic and playful, therefore he's going to need a lot of room to hop from perch to perch, swing, bonk his toys and fly a bit. For the perches, you'll need quite a few to keep your friend entertained. A few perches should be set up in a ladder-type way so your bird can climb or hop from perch to perch. Other perches should be set near toys so your bird can play. Your cage needs to be big enough that all of these toys, perches and food dishes are spaced far enough apart that your feathered friend can still do everything without pooping all over his belongings.
Figuring It Out
Your budgie's cage needs to be large enough that your little guy can spread his wings out completely without hitting the sides of the cage, toys or perches. This is the absolute minimum width and length. If you have more than one budgie in the cage, you'll need to make sure each bird can do this without hitting toys, perches, the walls of the cage or each other.
The standard minimum cage size recommended by bird professionals is 12- by 18- by 18-inches for a single bird. This cage size is fine if your budgie is outside of the cage most of the time, but if you have a cage-confined budgie, it's going to be much too small to keep your bird happy and healthy. For two budgies, 39- by 20- by 32-inches is a recommended size. The bars of the cage should be horizontal and spaced no more than 1/2-inch apart. Wider than this and your little guy could get stuck trying to escape!
In general, you should buy the biggest, safest cage you can afford. Budgies need both vertical height and width for hopping and flying. Don't go with the first cage you see at the pet store, even if it states it's "everything your parakeet needs." Unfortunately, many of these cages are much too small to house your bird and everything it needs to be happy and healthy.
With a professional background in gardening, landscapes, pests and natural ecosystems, Jasey Kelly has been sharing her knowledge through writing since 2009 and has served as an expert writer in these fields. Kelly's background also includes childcare, and animal rescue and care.