New budgie accomodation: any good live plants to use?

This is a discussion thread · 3 replies
Ted Byers:
I just bought four budgies. These are the first since my family last had them when I was a kid (I now feel so old I can almost remember fighting off T-Rex to I could enjoy my bronto-burgers - but that's another story).
Anyway, I bought the budgies, and a cage that the vendor claimed is large enough to accomodate half a dozen or more budgies.

As I have read that the birds may easily get bored, I got them in pairs, so they can have social interaction when I am too busy working to pay much attention (I work in an office in my home, and their cage is in my office, so at least they see me 90% of the time).

In any event, I thought the cage is large enough that I could make it more interesting for them if I put a small houseplant in the cage with them. Obviously I'd need to use something that is not only not toxic, but something that would be beneficial even when the birds have access to it 24-7. It also would need to be able to grow despite being 'pruned' by the birds. I'd like it to be sturdy enough that it could provide more interesting perches than the simple wood presently there. In a sense, it would be like having the birds make a budgie bonsai.
I know I like to enhance my environment by adding plants (I have a few standard Cymbidium orchids with a lovely scent when they're in bloom, but they'd never fit and I don't know if they'd be toxic to the birds). I would expect the budgies would appreciate having their environment enhanced with a plant or two, if I could find one that would enhance their general health and could thrive in spite of the chewing the birds would do.
Does anyone out there know of plants I could find in the garden centre (or Home Depot or Walmart) that would be suitable? Something that would always remain suitable for a 10 to 12 cm pot? Or are the birds doomed to a boring cage filled only with dead wood, plastic and metal?

Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks
Ted
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Owly:
[nq:1]I just bought four budgies. These are the first since my family last had them when I was a kid ... doomed to a boring cage filled only with dead wood, plastic and metal? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks Ted[/nq]
Hi Ted,
I wish I had advice. I like your idea, but know nothing about plants. I was kind of holding off, hoping that someone would reply, but didn't want you waiting in limbo - this group has slowed down considerably and sometimes replies are in short supply...
Anyway, I do offer natural branches for perching/chewing/peeling but I order them and so don't really know what they are made of. I also have offered pots of wheat grass which they love - it comes in kits using something in the pot that is bird-safe. I recall mentioning the keeping of a potted plant in a cage once (not here), and received some semi-hysterical replies about mold in the dirt and unknown substances and how I'd surely kill my birds off if I ever did such a thing. Well...the internet being what it is, there's a lot of unfounded hysteria out there...but I never did it only because I simply don't keep plants, of any kind, in any part of my house. So I became bored with the idea before I acted on it Emotion: smile.

I hope someone will chime in, I'd love for you new little budgies to have such a nice environment in which to live! Emotion: smile
owly
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Anonymous:
[nq:1]I just bought four budgies. =EF=BF=BDThese are the first since my family =last had them when I was a kid ... doomed to a boring cage filled only with dead wood, plastic and metal? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks Ted[/nq]
Good Morning,
Since I'm on daily digest, this just came across my e-mail this morning, the 12th, however, this is a subject I've been greatly interested in for some time as I dearly love house plants, but with the birdies, was afraid for a long time to even try to have any. I also have a 2 year old cat and a small (knee-high) 17 yr old poodle.

I don't remember everything I used to know about plants when I had an almost forest in my home many, many years ago (like around 40 years ago), but have in recent years really missed their beauty and decided to start over again with them, As a very practical person, I justified this, with my husband, as a natural way to add humidity to our very dry house in the winter especially in the room the birds inhabit the most as we were loosing viable eggs to dehydration,

Being on a limited budget, I researched 'bird safe plants' on the internet, then set about asking friends and neighbors for starts of plants they had that fit that category. What I didn't find they had that they had I asked for on "Craigs List" and on our local Yahoo Groups "FreeCycle". And eventually, bought a few 'Terrerium' plants from local green houses.
After the plants were rooted, I potted them in coffee mugs and placed them on top of the birdies nest boxes - adding humidity closest to where it was needed the worst and forcing the nest box tops to stay shut because of the weight (and had less escapeing birds when it was not conveneint). It worked great! And the birds had a few 'greens' as the plants got big enough for the birds to reach them through the bars of the cages.
However, plants grow. And as they grew, they became too big for the tops of the nest boxes so, the hanging and vining type were placed on top of the cages and the more upright or bushy plants were placed on stands near the cages and eventually theses later plants have ended up in larger planters on the floor.The problems I've had are: 1.) some of the birdies favorite plants to eat have had to be replaced several times or put in another room to be given a stem cutting and let regrow. 2.) the Mother-in-laws Tongue once too big for the cages and put on the lower stand died due to the cat liking it too well, not only eating it but then using it for a litter box as well. 3.) my birdies have a 20% seed diet and thrown or dropped seeds and shells end up in the pots and some, if it is really fresh seed, sprout and you never know for sure just what you may end up with.

Seed shells can simply be blown out of the planted pots. 4.) 30% of my birdies diet consists of cooked beans, legumes, pasta, and grains and when they throw or play with this mixture and it ends up in the plant pots, if I'm not vigilent and pick it out right away, it will spoil and I'll have a mold problem. 5.) 20% of the diet is fresh and frozen fruits and vegies and another 20% is pellets. When these are tossed into the plants, they will also mold and are harder to take out as the pellets always and some of the fruits and vegies turn very mushy and are hard to remove from the plants and their leaves.

6.) with birds comes bird dust and bird poop. That means to have healthy plants the leaves must occasionally be washed to keep the plants healthy.
So, in other words, having plants with birds is more work to keep everyone and every thing healthy and happy, but in my humble opinion, very well worth the effort. It is not like I've nothing else to do, I work part-time, home-school high school, and have a very busy personal life besides. It is all where you put your priorities.

Good luck on your endeavor and keep us posted on what you come up with and how you do it, for most of us, I as a long time lurker believe, being on this group is a way of learning from each others experiences.
Bev
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Owly:
[nq:1]I just bought four budgies. ?These are the first since my family last had them when I was a kid ... doomed to a boring cage filled only with dead wood, plastic and metal? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks Ted[/nq]
Good Morning,
Since I'm on daily digest, this just came across my e-mail this morning, the 12th, however, this is a subject I've been greatly interested in for some time as I dearly love house plants, but with the birdies, was afraid for a long time to even try to have any. I also have a 2 year old cat and a small (knee-high) 17 yr old poodle.

I don't remember everything I used to know about plants when I had an almost forest in my home many, many years ago (like around 40 years ago), but have in recent years really missed their beauty and decided to start over again with them, As a very practical person, I justified this, with my husband, as a natural way to add humidity to our very dry house in the winter especially in the room the birds inhabit the most as we were loosing viable eggs to dehydration,

Being on a limited budget, I researched 'bird safe plants' on the internet, then set about asking friends and neighbors for starts of plants they had that fit that category. What I didn't find they had that they had I asked for on "Craigs List" and on our local Yahoo Groups "FreeCycle". And eventually, bought a few 'Terrerium' plants from local green houses.
After the plants were rooted, I potted them in coffee mugs and placed them on top of the birdies nest boxes - adding humidity closest to where it was needed the worst and forcing the nest box tops to stay shut because of the weight (and had less escapeing birds when it was not conveneint). It worked great! And the birds had a few 'greens' as the plants got big enough for the birds to reach them through the bars of the cages.
However, plants grow. And as they grew, they became too big for the tops of the nest boxes so, the hanging and vining type were placed on top of the cages and the more upright or bushy plants were placed on stands near the cages and eventually theses later plants have ended up in larger planters on the floor.The problems I've had are: 1.) some of the birdies favorite plants to eat have had to be replaced several times or put in another room to be given a stem cutting and let regrow. 2.) the Mother-in-laws Tongue once too big for the cages and put on the lower stand died due to the cat liking it too well, not only eating it but then using it for a litter box as well. 3.) my birdies have a 20% seed diet and thrown or dropped seeds and shells end up in the pots and some, if it is really fresh seed, sprout and you never know for sure just what you may end up with.

Seed shells can simply be blown out of the planted pots. 4.) 30% of my birdies diet consists of cooked beans, legumes, pasta, and grains and when they throw or play with this mixture and it ends up in the plant pots, if I'm not vigilent and pick it out right away, it will spoil and I'll have a mold problem. 5.) 20% of the diet is fresh and frozen fruits and vegies and another 20% is pellets. When these are tossed into the plants, they will also mold and are harder to take out as the pellets always and some of the fruits and vegies turn very mushy and are hard to remove from the plants and their leaves.

6.) with birds comes bird dust and bird poop. That means to have healthy plants the leaves must occasionally be washed to keep the plants healthy.
So, in other words, having plants with birds is more work to keep everyone and every thing healthy and happy, but in my humble opinion, very well worth the effort. It is not like I've nothing else to do, I work part-time, home-school high school, and have a very busy personal life besides. It is all where you put your priorities.

Good luck on your endeavor and keep us posted on what you come up with and how you do it, for most of us, I as a long time lurker believe, being on this group is a way of learning from each others experiences.
Bev
GREAT information here, Bev! I know I wasn't the OP (how do you get usenet by email, BTW? Don't use use a newsreader? I can see how email would be convenient...) but Ted did get me re-interested in the whole topic. The voice of experience is always worth its weight in gold to me when it comes to birds Emotion: smile.
owly
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.