budgie time out of the cage

How much time out of the cage budgies should have every day

So, you’ve had your parakeet for a while, he’s pretty much tamed up and is one of your best pals. Now that the hard work is done you might be wondering how much time your budgie should have out of the cage every day. The answer depends on your schedule and your individual budgie.

If your budgie is still on the edge of being new then the answer is how much time can you devote? For the first several months when we had Toby as a solo parakeet she couldn’t be  out of the cage without full supervision. She would come out and immediately look to us to entertain her. If she didn’t have our full attention there was no telling where she would end up or what she’d get into. Now mind you, my house is small, but it’s still pretty darn easy to lose a parakeet in any nook or cranny.

I do not recommend having a parakeet out unsupervised that you don’t know extremely well. And I do mean even for you to run and change over a load of laundry.

Under those limitations, if you can devote two hours a day to hanging out with your parakeet I think that’s great. That’s enough time for them to stretch their wings, socialize, and hopefully tire themselves out a bit.

But please don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make that every day. Sometimes you’re going to have to work late and you get home just in time for dinner. Other times your human family will have needs that take precedence. Stuff happens that is totally out of your control and you will miss days. So, please make sure your budgie(s) have a nice large Flight Cage and all of the toys and perches that make up a varied life.

budgie time out of the cage
If this is what I do when you’re watching me, imagine the fun I have unsupervised!

Budgie time out of the cage for an established flock can be different. Now that we’ve had Toby, Kelly and Kevin for several years we know their behavior patterns pretty well. Also, having three of them typically means they keep themselves fairly well occupied. If someone wants to really get into trouble (like trying to eat framed artwork or the blinds) inevitably another parakeet will come over and ruin their fun.

Over time we have adjusted things in the house that we know are problem areas. Like putting decals on windows and covering enticing gaps.

My flock of three is usually out of their cages for about 2-3 hours on a weekday (as soon as I get home from work I let them out) and anywhere from 4 hours to the entire day on a weekend. As long as we’re going to be home I open up the cages as soon as I get up and typically put them to bed around 7pm.

Now mind you they are at their leisure to head back to their cages at any time, and they do typically go home for a lengthy afternoon nap. Otherwise they are usually on one of their window perches, on a play gym, or, yes, getting into nonsense.

budgie time out of the cage
Is this the nonsense to which you are referring?

The other key piece is that they typically like to hang out where they can see the whole flock, and that includes humans. So, if I go into my office space to work at least a couple of them will follow me and hang out on the play gym there.

For budgie(s) that you know well and have established patterns of behavior relaxing your vigilance a bit regarding supervision is natural. Check in every so often and be aware of any suspicious sounds (or the lack of sound, which is always MOST suspicious!). In any case, make sure your budgie always has easy access to food and water. Unless you are limiting their access to the cage for taming or training purposes they should also be able to chose to go home and take a break.

Ultimately I feel like a good guideline is that your budgie should have time out of the cage for about two hours a day. But, we must acknowledge that this absolutely won’t work every day. There will be days that you’re able to let them out for 15 minutes and days that are missed entirely. That’s okay, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about a random missed day or two. There will be enough days that they are out for 2++ hours that more than balance out the short days.  

budgie time out of the cage
I live here now, right?

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4 thoughts on “How much time out of the cage budgies should have every day”

  1. HI i have had my two new budgies for the past 5 days. They are settling into a routine but i am afraid to let them out of the cage. How long should i wait? The last 2 birds i had, i had the cage door open all day long and they would only circle the living room and go back into the cage on their own. it was GREAT. They were not interested in going anywhere else in the house . It was such a pleasure knowing this. The 2 new ones are pretty spunky so i just don’t know if they will go back into the cage on their own or will i have to get the net and put them back myself and hope they don’t go behind the china closet or go so high up on a window sill.
    Thanks for your reply
    ~Tisha

    1. Hi Trisha! Congratulations on your two new budgies!

      As long as they are not exhibiting signs of being panicky about being in their cage (running back and forth on the bottom, flipping around and mashing themselves up against the cage bars) I would wait a while yet before letting them out.

      How are they feeling about your hands inside the cage? Are the comfortable with you? That will be a huge plus for the first time you let them out because they will be more likely to let you help them get back to their cage, or out of whatever trouble they may find themselves in!

      Unless they are totally raring to get out I would let them hang in the cage for two weeks and get used to you and your house.

      Good luck!

  2. I’m sorry but i don’t know your name….thank you so much for replying back to me. My two new budgies, emerald and Sapphire, are getting used to my hand being in their cage but still are unsure of me so they do some flitting around at times when i do put my hand in. I will take your advice and not let them out for at least 2 more weeks.
    I have to share this story with you…last Friday my previous 2 birds got out and flew away. This has happened before and they never came back even when i would leave the cage and food outside.
    This time i prayed and asked GOD for a TRUE miracle which would be to have my birds come back. Well after 5 days, about a mile away, a lady in a trailer park was feeding her outside birds (just like i do) and looked up and saw my BUBBA BIRD ( he was my fav) sitting on her fence in the backyard. She called the office and asked if anyone reported a missing parakeet. The office lady said “NO” but she would make a note of it. She left the sticky note on her desk next to the work orders for the trailer park, A friend of mind who works for that trailer park, saw the note next to the work orders and thought,”that is probably Trisha’s bird!” He drove to my place and asked if i wanted him to take me to this ladies house. OF COURSE I DID!!! We went over and sure enough i knew BUBBA’s chirp in the tree. My friend tried to get him but he kept flying away. Long story short….i went back to her house with the cage, the training stick and a piece of Millet which he loves! It was rough going but between me and the lady, i got him back in the cage!! He was quite to see 2 new birds! what a miracle don’t you think?
    ~Trisha

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