My aunt had a budgie that she kept out on the porch in the summer, but it always spent most of its time inside. So can you keep these popular birds outside permanently?
Budgies should not be kept outside, as when the temperature drops below 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit they can get uncomfortable and could get hypothermia under 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Budgies also get too hot at over 75 degrees Fahrenheit, while temperatures over 85 degrees Fahrenheit can be harmful.
Let’s dive down into the subject of keeping budgies outside in more detail, and discover why this is a bad idea for your cute feathered friend…
Is It Ok To Keep Budgies Outside in a Cage? (Full Time)
Your budgie may enjoy having a change of scene by spending a few hours on the porch; however, they shouldn’t be kept outside full-time.
Budgies hail from Australia, so they’re used to a pretty warm climate. Anything under 60 degrees Fahrenheit feels chilly to these Aussie birds; however, in the wild they tend to prefer shade, so you shouldn’t let them get too warm, either.
Is It Cruel to Keep Budgies in a Permanent Outdoor Aviary?
While some birds thrive with the stimulation of an outdoor aviary, it can make your shy little budgie feel rather anxious.
Budgies can be nervous birds who are very wary of predators. For example, some advisory manuals for budgie owners advise keeping their cages away from windows, in case the sight of passing cats and dogs makes them feel anxious.
If it’s the right temperature (more about this later on) and you can provide good shade, there’s no reason why you can’t pop their cage outside occasionally for some fresh air and a change of scene. But, to keep a budgie outside all the time could cause them too much stress, as well as all the potential issues from climate and predators.
What Temperature Can Budgies Tolerate?
These Australian birds like a warm (but not too hot) climate. Your budgie will be at their happiest in a temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Below 60 degrees, they’ll start to feel a bit cool. If this drops to a wintry 40 degrees, your budgie will probably get hypothermia.
However, as Australian animals, surely they’re OK with a bit of heat? Sorry, budgies don’t like it to be too warm, either. Over 75 degrees Fahrenheit starts to feel a bit warm for your feathered friend, and 85 degrees is dangerous.
All things considered, it’s probably best to let your budgie live indoors with you, in your temperature-regulated, climate-controlled house.
How Long Can a Budgie Survive Outdoors? (Without a Heater)
Your budgie will be happy outdoors at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if the temperature drops, they’ll start to suffer fairly quickly.
A budgie can withstand cooler temperatures for around 6 hours; however, it can take as little as 12 hours for hyperthermia to set in. Their tiny, feathered bodies simply don’t retain heat, putting them at greater risk from a cooler day than say, your pooch in his kennel would be.
You can buy aviary heaters online and in pet stores. However, as we mentioned earlier, budgies can be anxious birds who feel safer in an indoor location.
Do Budgies Get Cold at Night? (How Can I Tell They’re Cold?)
Budgies can get cold at night, which is one of the reasons why they should be kept indoors. Aim to keep their room at a steady 70 degrees Fahrenheit if you can.
Of course, you may not want to keep the heating on all night, so there are some other things you can do to help your budgie keep warm. Choose a corner location away from draughts (and not two outside walls). Place a blanket over the cage at night to insulate it.
You can also get special heated perches, which emit a gentle heat. Your pet may appreciate this extra warmth.
Budgies, like most birds, have a nighttime routine. They fluff up their feathers, snuggle up to their aviary buddies, and stand on one leg at a time, to keep the other one warmly tucked up in their feathers.
If your budgie is fluffing up their feathers more than usual, sticking their beak into their chest, or standing on both feet more often, they’re probably getting cold. They could also start shivering.
Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can start to have many adverse effects on this species of bird. They might start sleeping more and eating less, and appearing listless. Conversely, the cold bird may be flapping around their aviary more, in an attempt to warm up.
If you notice any of these behaviors, contact your vet. Don’t attempt to warm your pet up too quickly, as extreme changes of temperature aren’t good for little birds. Seek advice, and hopefully, your little bud will be back to normal soon.
How Do I Keep My Outdoor Budgie Warm?
Again, it’s important to stress that pet budgies are not outdoor birds, and should be kept nice and cozy indoors. Budgies bred to be pets are very different to the wild flocks of birds in Australia, and they don’t cope well with the temperature fluctuations of outdoor life.
The best way to keep your budgie or budgies warm is to house them indoors, in a warm spot that’s away from draughts. We’ll look at the best places to put a budgie cage in just a moment.
But, what if you want to bring your budgie outside occasionally? We all know that stimulation and entertainment is important for caged birds, so a few hours sharing your porch will be lovely for both bird(s) and human(s).
Choose warm, still days for these outdoor trips. Budgies naturally prefer warm but shady spots, so pick the place carefully. Make sure it’s sheltered from the wind, which could easily blow too warm or too cold for these delicate birds
Keep an eye on the temperature (an outdoor thermometer would be good here) to make sure it’s staying at a pleasant 70 degrees or thereabouts. After a couple of hours, it’s time to go back indoors.
Summary: Where Is the Best Place to Put a Budgie Cage?
Well, it seems conclusive that budgies are indoor birds! So, in answer to the original question, budgies live inside the home, not in the yard.
Here are a few things to think about when you’re siting your budgie or budgies’ cage.
- Budgies can easily become anxious, and feel more secure in a corner
- Ideally, this corner shouldn’t be two outside walls, as these can get cooler than inside walls
- A budgie’s cage shouldn’t be too close to the window. This helps to keep them safe from draughts, and prevents them from becoming freaked by the neighbors’ cats peering in
- Speaking of draughts, try to choose a draught-free room to help keep Budge at a contact temperature
- Because budgies like to be at around 70 degrees, this is the constant temperature to aim for. As humans are at their most comfortable between 68 and 74 degrees, this is pretty achievable
- If you like to conserve energy by powering down your heating at night, think about getting an aviary heater or heated perch to keep your budgie cozy. You can also drape a blanket over the cage at bedtime
- Keep the cage off the floor, even if you don’t have kids or pets. This will help to keep it warmer
- If you want to take your budgie outside sometimes, make sure there’s an easy route to the porch. You don’t want to be staggering up and down the stairs clutching a cage
- Have more than one budgie! OK, you’re gonna need a bigger aviary, but budgies are happier in groups, and they help to keep each other warm at night. Also, it’s super cute to watch them preen and chatter together
If you want to know more ways to keep your budgie happy and engaged, take a look at this short film of top tips for budgie owners. There are plenty of ways to give your indoor budgie a stimulating life. 🙂
Homeowner and property investor Larry James founded Take a Yard in 2020 to bring you the very best outdoor living content, based on his years of experience managing outside spaces. Read more >