How to Tell if Your Budgie Was Hand-Raised

Budgies are colorful and social birds.
Budgies are colorful and social birds. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Budgies, also known as parakeets, are sociable birds known for being excellent captive companions. On average, budgies live approximately 15 years -- so they're long-term commitments; take your time choosing a budgie for a pet. Some birds are naturally friendlier than others; they way they are raised as young can influence their behavior for the rest of their lives.

Hand-Raised Budgies

Hand-raised budgies are generally considered more desirable pets than those caught wild or raised in an aviary by budgie parents. Hand-raised budgies have been taught that humans bring food and can be trusted, since this is what they've known from before they were old enough to fly or feed themselves. Hand-raised birds are preferred because they are tamer than those who were not handled at an early age.

Talk to the Breeder

If you want to purchase a hand-raised budgie, your best bet is to go straight to a reputable budgie breeder who hand-raises chicks. Make it clear to the breeder that you would like a hand-raised bird and allow the breeder to help you choose a hand-raised chick from the budgies available. When you purchase your budgie directly from the breeder who hand-raised him, you can guarantee you have legitimately purchased a hand-raised bird. If you have already purchased your bird, call the breeder the bird came from and ask how he was raised. If your budgie came from a reputable pet store, a representative should be able to give you information about how your budgie was raised or be able to refer you to someone who can tell you.

The Tame Juvenile Budgie

Hand-raised budgies are typically pulled away from their parents when they are between 2 weeks and 3 weeks old. Being fed by hand from this early age makes hand-raised budgies extremely tame and trusting. If you have purchased a young budgie and you wonder whether he was hand-raised, his level of trust in you will be an indicator. A juvenile bird who quickly comes to you for food, allows himself to be handled, and generally seems eager for your attention and handling is likely to have been hand-raised.

Taming Budgies

If your budgie does not want to be handled, is difficult to catch or is actively aggressive when you try to handle him, he was probably not hand-raised. If you have purchased an older bird and do not know if he was hand-raised, you may be able to find out this information from the previous owner. It can be impossible to tell if an older bird was hand-raised if you can not track down his history. Older birds who have been tamed properly should be fairly friendly regardless of how they were raised.

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