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How Long Does a Budgie Live in a Cage?

Green and yellow budgie parakeet macro portrait.

Whether you already have a budgie or are looking to get one, you probably have the same question many others do: How long will my budgie survive in a cage?

It’s normal to think that captivity can shorten a budgie’s lifespan, as it has been shown to do with some animals. Budgies, though, can actually survive longer in captivity when cared for properly.

So, How Long Do Budgies Live?

A budgie typically lives anywhere between 5-15 years in a cage, which is about double the lifespan of a wild one. The quality of care it receives can either decrease the life expectancy or extend it to 20 years or more.

A budgie’s lifespan ranges greatly, depending on several factors. Domesticated budgies typically live anywhere from 5 – 20 years. Some have died as early as two years old while there are a couple of rare reports of budgies living nearly 30 years.

The type of care they receive directly impacts how long a budgie can live in a cage, but it is almost always longer than they are expected to survive in the wild. When faced with predators, a lack of a proper diet, and exposure to the elements in the wild, the expected lifespan is very limited. 

While it is said that they can survive up to five years, that is a very lucky bird. Most are not expected to last more than a couple of years in the wild.

When living in a cage, the exposure to the elements and predators is reduced to zero or very little. Therefore, as long as the owners take good care of their budgies, they can expect to have this flying family member around for a long time.

Below is information on factors that affect a budgie’s lifespan and tips for increasing life expectancy.

Factors That Can Impact a Budgie Lifespan

While we cannot do anything about genetics, there are several things that can shorten a budgie’s life expectancy that you can gain control over, including the following:

Stress: Did you know that your budgie can experience stress and anxiety-like a human? That stress and anxiety can impact the budgie’s health, just like it can ours. Some common stressors include:

  • Loud noises– For some budgies, yelling, barking, items dropping or breaking, and other loud noises can wreak havoc on a budgie’s nerves.
  • Fast movements– This is mostly when you are close to their cage, such as when you are cleaning it out.
  • A small cage– Budgies need space to fly and play. A small cage prevents that from happening and can cause budgie stress and depression.
  • Other pets– Especially those that are loud or that are predatory. This does not mean that you cannot or should not have any other pets- just that you should take some steps to make it a bit easier on your budgie. More on this below.
  • Smells– Cooking aromas, smoke, perfume, chemicals, and other such smells can aggravate your budgie.

Diet – A Budgie’s diet plays a large part in their health and well-being.

Overweight- Being overweight can cause sickness and disease in budgies just as it does in humans.

Lack of physical and mental stimulation: a lack of activity not only contributes to being overweight but also keeps a budgie’s body from growing strong and immune to certain issues. A lack of mental stimulation and social interaction can lead to depression and more.

Lack of medical care- Sadly, many owners overlook the need for medical attention when it comes to budgies and most other birds. Perhaps it is because the birds are not expected to live long anyway. Or maybe it is because most of the advertising seen for animal products and care revolves around dogs and cats as those are some of the most common pets. No matter the reason for overlooking medical care, it is a mistake. Your birds need to visit the vet, too.

Lack of restful sleep- Not getting enough sleep or not getting restful sleep can lead to many physical, mental, and emotional issues. And each of those can cause additional problems.

How Long Do Budgies Live In Captivity

Budgies live 4-6 years in the wild. If properly cared for, budgies can live up to 15 years in captivity. Budgies have a shorter lifespan than many other parakeet species.

Here are other parakeet species’ lifespans compared to the budgie’s:

Type of ParakeetYears
Monk parakeets20-30 years.
Golden parakeets20-25 years
Rose-ringed parakeet25-30 years
Plain parakeet18-20 years

Tips for Increasing Lifespan

Though a longer life is not guaranteed, proper care and good health certainly increase your budgie’s chances of living longer. Just as humans increase their life expectancy by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the same is true for budgies.

Also, like humans, budgies can face unforeseen issues that can result in unexpected sickness and death. Still, barring any unforeseen problems or genetic issues, the tips below can help you keep your feathered friend around longer.

Do be reasonable in your expectations, though. While a healthy and cared-for budgie is most likely going to outlive an unhealthy one, it is not likely that a healthy lifestyle will go as far as doubling your budgie’s life. Whether they increase the lifespan, just keep your pet happy and at optimal health while it is alive, or both, the following tips are well worth the effort.

How Long Do Budgies Live For

Budgies are not very pretentious and are best feed with vegetarian food. They can live up to 15 years in captivity, but being overweight and lack of movement can lead to failures of the bird’s organs.

The budgie diet you choose should be based on what they would naturally eat.

For optimal health, feed your budgie organic fruits and vegetables, focusing on dark green or yellow leafy vegetables. Feed the fruits and vegetables raw because cooking takes away vital nutrients.

Provide a cuttlebone and a mineral block to your budgie.

Budgerigar parakeets need 10-12 hours of sleep in the dark in a quiet environment. If they become nervous at night, you can talk to them.

Budgerigar parakeet cages must be clean and neat and have several accessories and toys. They hate to be left alone, punished or hit, or have unwashed cages.

1. Provide a Healthy Diet

It is important to provide your budgie with a good diet. Many owners feed their budgie birdseed, which is not a problem in and of itself. However, the quality of seeds can be. It is also an issue if that is the only food they get.

Budgies are naturally prone to obesity and iodine issues, and a proper, well-balanced diet is imperative. Birdseed is high in carbs and fat but low in essential vitamins and minerals, meaning it is not healthy for your budgie to live strictly on seeds.

Instead, you need to mix up the diet and fill it with healthy foods and snacks. Some examples include:

  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Shredded cheese
  • Cooked pasta or rice
  • Bits of boiled egg
  • Parsley
  • Grapes
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach

You can feed everything on this list raw except for, of course, pasta, rice, and eggs. Bananas are healthy to eat but can easily clog the throat and nostrils. Avocados can be deadly for budgies, so stay away. Providing your budgie with iodine nibble blocks can be beneficial, though.

Variety is very important in your budgie’s diet, so change up what you give. If you choose to continue with seeds, give them in addition to other foods and be sure that they are of high quality. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Also, don’t just introduce a bunch of new foods at once. Do it slowly so you can figure out if there is an adverse reaction to anything.

2. Provide Stimulation

Consider having two or more. Budgies need a lot of social interaction. If you have a full-time job or your budgie is home alone for long periods of time for another reason, they are lacking a good deal of interaction and stimulation. Having more than one means that your budgie is getting interaction even while you are gone. You do not need a whole cage full of budgies, though. Two is sufficient enough.

Also, take care of the cage. Choose a larger one that is a more rectangular shape so your budgie can fly around. Put toys inside that will keep your budgie active and interested.

For instance, be sure there are plenty of perches and bars as well as bells, mirrors, swings, knot toys, and anything else that seems to get and keep their attention. Try rotating a few toys out on a regular basis with others so that they always seem new, even if they are not.

3. Seek Help

If you notice your budgie acting differently or you suspect he or she might be sick, you should certainly visit a vet. Not all vets are accustomed to budgies, so look for one prior to needing him or her. That way, you know who to call if an emergency arises.

4. Minimize Stress

You can minimize the amount of stress your budgie is exposed to with a few steps. First, don’t have the cage close to the kitchen. Otherwise, they will be irritated by cooking aromas constantly. Likewise, do not place it near any wax warmers, candles, diffusers, or other tools that you use to create scents in your home.

Second, don’t keep the cage in the busiest section of the house. Doing so means that they will see everyone coming and going all day, including any other pets you have. It is typically better to place the cage in a quieter, less busy space.

Third, when cleaning out the cage, feeding, or doing anything else in close proximity, do not move too swiftly. You don’t have to inch along. Just move at a regular pace with no jerky or sudden movements.