The Omlet Blog

Date Archives: October 2019

Getting a Budgie – Where, When, Which and Why?

Budgies make great pets. They’re easy to look after, intelligent, easily trained, and small enough not to eat you out of house and home or demand lots of space.

Because of the easy availability of budgies, it’s tempting to simply nip to the nearest pet store, bring one home, and take it from there. However, it’s worth answering a few questions first, to make sure you’re making the right choice, buying from the best place, and bringing the budgie home at the ideal time.

Where From?

The best place to source a budgie is from a local breeder. They will know the bird’s pedigree (and may even be able to introduce you to your new pet’s parents!) They will also know the exact age of your budgie, and will be able to give you details of the variety of bird you are getting. This won’t make any difference to looking after it, but will help you understand exactly why your pet has a particular colour or pattern – e.g. Opaline, Spangle, Skyblue, Texas, Yellow Face, Frilled, or a dozen other varieties.

Check online of in a local directory for a list of local budgie breeders. The closer to home the better, as it’s best to minimise car journeys when bringing new birds home.

A good pet shop is the second best option. The budgies here will usually be healthy, but the shop will not have bred the birds itself, and so will not usually have full background knowledge of each individual. They may also be a little vague about the age of the pets they have on sale. Shop birds are often relatively old, and a bit set in their ways. This makes them more difficult to hand-tame.

Where To?

Budgies needs a suitable space in the home, away from direct sunlight, draughts, steamy kitchens, scary dogs and cats, screaming children and bright lights. They also need a cage of a suitable size, equipped with all budgie mod cons. The geodesic Geo bird cage makes a perfect home for all small birds, including budgies.

When to Buy?

A budgie should not be brought home before it has passed the eight-week mark, and ideally it should be no older than 16 weeks. Young birds are much easier to hand-tame and train, and young males have a better chance of becoming talking budgies.

Older birds, especially ones that have lived in a cage with other budgies for a long time, tend to be less trusting of humans and therefore more difficult to train. However, an older budgie that has already had experience of perching on human hands will make the transition easily, regardless of its age.

You can check the age of the bird yourself, using a simple visual clue. Young budgies have horizontal stripes across their heads, including the forehead. These disappear after the bird’s first moult, (three to four months after hatching). So, any bird with a barring pattern on the head will be less than 16 weeks old.

As for your own part in the ‘when?’ question, bring your new budgie home at a time of relative peace and quiet. Renovations, house moves and long holidays are not good times to buy a new pet!

Which Type?

All budgies are beautiful, whatever their age, gender, colour or coat pattern. It’s best not be dazzled by colour. Sometimes you’ll see a budgie with unusual or colourful plumage and think ‘That’s the one!’ But there are more important factors to consider, such as age, personality, and gender.

Ideally, you want a young, confident bird. An older budgie will take more time hand-taming; a shy one is likely to remain shy and flighty; and a female bird is not going to talk (if that’s something that’s important for you as a budgie keeper – although bear in mind that no budgie is guaranteed to learn how to talk).

Why?

This is a deceptively simple question. Why do you want a budgie? Is it for you, for the children, as a companion for an existing bird, or a replacement for a budgie that has passed away?

All pets require our time, and budgies are no exception. They should never be purchased simply to make a house look prettier, but should be considered as friends and companions.

Children don’t make good budgie keepers – at least, not if they are under the age of 10. Birds are very fragile, and easy to injure or frighten. They also require regular and reliable care, in terms of feeding and cleaning.

It may sound like a good idea to buy your lonely budgie a new friend, but the birds won’t always automatically hit it off. The newcomer will often end up bullied and unhappy, and you may need to separate them. This is less of an issue if you have a larger aviary, with plenty of space for a new bird to find his feet, to hide if necessary, and to gradually work out his place in the hierarchy.

Why Not?

It’s not all pros – there are cons too, as with any pet. Budgies, although not in the same league as cockatiels and larger members of the parrot family, are still noisier than the average finch or canary. They mix their musical bubbling chatter with squawks that can become very grating.

If the squawking goes on and on, it usually means the bird is unhappy with something in its cage or in the immediate environment. Make sure there are no drafts, ensure that the bird is not trapped in sunlight without shade, make sure the food tray and water dispenser are topped up, and keep other pets out of the room.

Then there’s the mess. Budgies manage to scatter seed husks over the floor, and at moulting time the slightest breeze will send handfuls of downy feathers floating to the ground. They’re not super messy, but obsessively tidy owners may start to get twitchy! By purchasing a cleverly designed cage, like the Geo, you will minimise the spill from the budgie flapping wings.

If you’ve considered these basic questions and decided to go ahead and buy a budgie, the rest is plain sailing and many years of happy companionship with your feathered friend.

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This entry was posted in Budgies on October 8th, 2019 by linnearask


Autumnal Apple Pie Recipe

As the leaves begin to fall and the evenings get shorter we all start to crave comfort food. What’s more comforting and warming than hot apple pie with homemade custard?! Apples are in abundance this time of year so grab some cooking apples and cosy up with a bowlful of this homemade yumminess. 

Ingredients:

Filling

4 Cooking Apples

150g Golden Caster Sugar

Pinch of Cinnamon

3 tbsp Plain Flour

Pastry

250g Unsalted Butter

50g Golden Caster Sugar

2 Eggs

350g Plain Flour

Custard

2 tsps Vanilla Bean Paste

1 pint Whole Milk

4 large Egg Yolks

2 tbsp Caster Sugar

1 tbsp Cornflour

Method:

  • The filling- Peel, core, quarter and slice 4 cooking apples. Lay them out on paper towels to get as much liquid out of them as possible. Leave until you need them later.
  • Mix the sugar and flour for the filling with cinnamon and place in a bowl big enough for the apples and set aside. 
  • For the pastry- beat the butter and sugar together then whisk in 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk (save the white for glazing pastry later.)
  • Now fold in the flour slowly until it starts to form a ball, collect the remainder of the pastry together with your hands and form a solid ball. Wrap and place in the fridge to cool for 1 hour. 
  • Whilst the pastry is cooling, make a start on your custard. 
  • The custard- Heat the whole milk and vanilla bean paste to boiling then take it off the heat. Whilst that cools slightly, in a large bowl whisk 4 egg yolks, sugar and cornflour then slowly start to add the milk mixture in ladle by ladle whilst continually whisking. 
  • When all the milk is added to the mixture, pour it back into the saucepan and place on a low heat for roughly 20 mins, continuously stirring, take off heat when the custard becomes thick. 
  • Take pastry out of the fridge and set aside a third of the pastry for pie top. Roll the majority of the pastry out to fit your pastry dish, make sure there is a bit of overhang. 
  • Put the apples into the bowl with the sugar and flour and coat the apples using your hands. Now pile the apples into the pastry tin, then roll out the remaining ball of pastry. 
  • Brush some water around the edges of the pastry in the tin and then lay the other round of pastry on top and join them. 
  • Trim the left over hanging pastry off of the tin and make 5 slits in the top of the pastry to let the steam out. 
  • Preheat oven to 190 degrees c and place the pie in for 40mins until golden brown. 
  • Allow to cool for 5 mins then serve with hot or cold custard.

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This entry was posted in Recipes on October 4th, 2019 by linnearask