Hand-raised budgies are physically identical to their hen-raised counterparts. The difference is their level of comfort with humans. Hand-raised parakeet chicks are fed, handled, and cared for by human hands throughout their infancy, which helps them quickly adapt to new owners.
Finding Hand-Raised Budgies
Hand-raised budgies aren't normally found at large, chain pet stores. Some independent pet stores and bird breeders hand-raise their budgies. Hand-raised budgies can be more costly than those who were raised by their mothers or kept in a pet store display. People who hand-raise budgies may include a note on their classified ads or websites mentioning that they hand feed or train their baby birds.
Hand-Raised Budgie Behavior
Hand-raised budgies are less afraid of humans than budgies that were raised by other birds. A hand-raised budgie may already know how to step up onto your finger, take food from your hand or rest on your shoulder, which take the average parakeet weeks or months to learn. Though buying a hand-raised parakeet can greatly cut down on training time, you need to maintain a good relationship with your hand-raised budgie to keep him tame and friendly.
Hand-Raised Budgie Speech
Budgies mimic whatever sounds they hear regularly. A budgie that's raised around budgies will be more receptive to chirping and tweeting. Budgies that are raised around humans will be more receptive to copying human speech, even if they can't talk when you first bring them home. If teaching your budgie to talk is one of your goals, you can more easily achieve it with a hand-raised parakeet than a hen-raised one.
Compared to Other Budgies
Though hand-raised budgies are initially easier to train than other budgies, they may not be much different than any other well socialized and cared for budgies. With enough patience and good training, budgies who weren't raised by hand from hatching can become just as friendly and fearless as hand-raised budgies. If you are rewarded by the experience of training a budgie to gain your trust, it would be better to get a budgie who was not hand-raised.
June Mebei is a Virginia-based writer who earned her B.A. in English at Georgia State University. She began writing professionally in 2008, and has published narrative essays, editorial articles, short stories and poetry.