Budgies as a gift
Especially at Christmas time, the great misery starts for many pets. They are given away to somebody out of a spontaneous idea without considering their special needs. So with this well-meant gesture, all too often great misfortune takes its course. In addition to dogs, cats, and other popular small pets, birds are also frequently affected: For example young budgies who look so cute because of their large, black button eyes, are given to the grandchildren. Or the sweetly chirping birds are brought along to someone to the move into the new house as a gift. And maybe this person isn’t experienced in bird keeping at all.
There are so many more occasions for making presents, but sometimes the charm of the birds does not arrive with the presentee. For many different reasons people may not want to own pet birds or cannot afford it in the long run. Some of these men and women will not enjoy their new feathered housemates, maybe treat them indifferently – or in the worst case even badly -, and a few weeks or months later they finally try to get rid of the birds.
Particularly because they are quite cheap, budgies are popular Christmas gifts. Those persons who give the birds to others, usually are not aware of the fact that budgies aren’t suitable pets for beginners, but exotics with special needs. But the mere fact that they suddenly have to take responsibility for an animal that was given to them is too much for many people. The result is an annually recurring phenomenon: Approximately starting from in the middle of January the cages of the animal shelters that are overloaded anyway start to fill with unloved and unwanted feathered Christmas gifts.
And also shortly before the start of the summer vacations, an astonishingly large number of birds escapes from their homes. Many of them have probably become a nuisance. Therefore they are disposed of by simply opening the window wide …
Thus if you plan to give away budgies or other pet birds, then you should be absolutely sure about whether the receiver of your gift is interested in keeping birds or not. It is important that this person can and wants to provide a safe, responsible, and loving home for the animals given away.
Of course, it is a different situation when it is certain that the presentee will offer the animals optimal conditions and will quickly take them to his heart. In this case, it can be reasonable to decide on birds from the local animal shelter. Many budgies are being kept there waiting for a fond new home.
Special case: Birds as gifts for children
Be careful if you plan to give budgies or other pet birds to children. Many experts and psychologists recommend that the recipient should be at least ten years old to be up to the task of caring properly for pet birds. Younger children are often not yet able to take over full responsibility for an animal due to a lack of maturity. Daily feeding and hygiene (cleaning the cage and bird toys) overstrain most children under ten years of age.
This is even more difficult for children younger than six years. Up to about this age, adolescents still actively learn about their physical limits. This includes, among other things, the dosage of muscle power. If a small child grips a tame bird too tightly, it can quickly become fatal for the animal. This would be a catastrophe not only concerning the bird. For the child, such a violent experience of inadvertently hurting or even killing a pet bird would most likely be enormously traumatizing.
Make sure to include the child’s parents in your plans, because they are usually the ones who are responsible for most of the care. Because even if a child is over ten years old and is interested in birds, this could change sometime later with the onset of puberty. Then the parents have to step in and take care of the animals. Only if the adults are willing to take over this task permanently and indicate their agreement with your wish to give away birds, you should decide accordingly.