The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.
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Naturally, when you are taking care of your budgies, you are going to want to do everything that you can for them. This will involve making sure that they have a comfortable environment, they have the food that they need, and they are not easily stressed out by what might be going on within your home.
However, there is more to taking care of your budgies than just feeding them and making sure that they have access to clean water.
As exotic animals, they have not necessarily acclimated to domesticated life yet. This means that their home environments need to be fairly similar to what they would encounter in their own natural habitats, minus the number of trees that they might have in their enclosure.
This includes making sure that the natural light is representative of what their homes would be like in the wild, and so on.
One thing that many people do not realize is that budgies are surprisingly sensitive to colder temperatures. After all, most budgies hail from areas that are pretty close to the equator, meaning that they come from humid and tropical environments.
This is much the opposite of a cold, snowy, and dry winter. This means that as the pet owner, it will be up to you to help your budgies through the colder months of the year.
In short, budgies can absolutely get cold. They have spent generations and lifetimes slowly evolving to perfect their ability to handle the heat and humidity that the tropics of the world have to offer, but this means that they have little in terms of protection from the cold.
Even temperatures that most people would consider to be average may be too cold for your budgie to live comfortably in.
In order to fully understand how colder temperatures can pose a threat to your budgies, you have to first understand how budgies can tolerate colder weather in the first place.
Once you have a better understanding of how the budgie’s body processes temperature, you will then have a better idea of what you can do to keep your budgies warm all throughout the year without much of an extra cost to you.
Budgies and Cold Temperatures
As mentioned above, budgies have evolved over generations and generations to be able to easily withstand the humid and uncomfortable temperatures that the tropics often reach.
Their small, delicate bodies do not have a lot in terms of temperature regulation. Budgies cannot really increase their warmth on their own so when temperatures begin to drop, it can mean trouble for your little birds.
Budgies have a few, not always effective, methods of trying to warm themselves up when they feel that the temperature is too cold. You should always be on the lookout for these signs so that you can be certain that your budgie is happy and healthy and is not feeling uncomfortably cold.
Budgies will typically try to fluff up their feathers to try and preserve as much body heat as they physically can. This is a budgie’s primary method of keeping itself warm and it often works for a little bit.
Keep in mind that if you have noticed your budgie keeping its feathers fluffed for a while or you see other symptoms of coldness in budgies, then it may be too cold for fluffing the feathers to provide adequate heat and it will be your turn to step in.
Just as how humans will shiver to try and forcefully warm the body up when its core temperature drops a bit too low, budgies will have much the same function. When a budgie is too cold, its body will use the natural defense of shivering to try and force its core body temperature up to a safer level.
By shivering, your (and your budgie’s) body will go through a series of rapid movements, which will give off a bit of extra heat per cell as energy is burned by the shivering process. This can help a budgie feel warmer and if you notice a budgie shivering, you will want to do what you can to warm it up.
These next two symptoms are signs that it is getting dangerously cold for your budgie. It could be that it has been cold for a long period of time, or it could be that the temperature is too low for your budgie to adequately keep its body temperature where it should be.
While it is not okay for your budgie to feel the need to fluff up its feathers or for it to shiver, it is a sign of discomfort rather than danger, although discomfort due to cold temperatures can quickly escalate into danger if you do not fix it quickly enough.
If you notice that your budgie is sleeping longer than usual, it may be due to cold temperatures. Much as how people will sleep longer when they are cold, budgies will go through the same process.
When a budgie is feeling severely cold, it will begin feeling sleepier, and this will progress as your budgie continues to get colder and it tries to cope with it.
And finally, if your budgie has been fighting against the cold for a long time, you will notice that it will become more lethargic. From shivering to keeping its feathers fluffed up to simply trying to compensate internally due to the change in body temperature, being dangerously cold is a tiresome process for the budgie.
It will continue getting more and more lethargic until you are able to resolve the issue of temperature.
Speaking of fixing a cold temperature for budgies, there are more than a few ways that you can ensure that your budgies will not have to face the cold too much more and that they can live in a comfortable habitat in your home.
Keeping Your Budgie Warm When It Gets Cold
There are many, many things that you can do to help your budgie out when it gets cold outside. Keep in mind that the ideal range of temperature your budgie’s room should be is between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you are not able to keep your budgie’s room at this temperature year-round, then a budgie may not be the best pet for you with their somewhat stricter temperature requirements. They can withstand up to 85 degrees comfortably but at around 60 degrees, they will begin to exhibit more than a few signs of being too cold.
One of the easiest ways to keep your budgie warm throughout the night is going to be to invest in not only a high-quality cover for the enclosure, but also in some heaters to physically keep the room warm if you keep the rest of the house cooler.
Space heaters and other types of heaters can easily keep a room in the budgie’s preferred temperature range without taking up too much space or having the potential to harm a budgie’s lungs (as a fireplace would).
You can also consider purchasing heated perches and replacing some of the budgie’s own perches with some of these. A thermo-heated perch will help keep the budgie warm throughout both the day and night without affecting the temperature of the rest of the room. Your budgie may even be interested in how they work if it has never experienced a heated perch before.
And finally, you can consider turning up the humidity of the room rather than the temperature alone. Dry heats tend to, understandably, dry out your budgie’s skin, which will only lead to sickness and more discomfort.
If you are keeping your budgie’s room warm through a heating system, you may want to also add a humidifier to the room so that your budgie can be as comfortable as possible.