Budgies are GREAT pets
1.)&2.) Budgie equipment shouldn't cost too much. Here's all the supplies you need. Now, I'm OBSESSED with my budgies because they're cute, they sing a LOT, they're eager to please, they love me, they play with all of their toys, and they don't cost much at all if you buy everything secondhand. Craigslist has a LOT of bird cages and toys. Never buy food, treats, or mineral blocks second-hand. You can't clean those and what if the previous budgie had a disease that you bird could catch?
Here's what you'll need.
1. The largest cage you can afford. The bird should be able to stand on one of the perches and flap his wings to release some excess energy.
2. There should be AT LEAST 3 different sized perches in the cage. If the bird only has 1 or 2 sizes, there will be problems with the bird's feet. Dowels make fine perches. Just sand them down and saw them to fit in the cage. You can make slits on the ends to push them onto the bars so they stay. 3 or more different sizes will ensure that the feet are forced to be exercised. Just make sure that when the bird stands on the perch, the claws on opposite sides do NOT touch each other.
3. TOYS. Budgies basically LIVE off of toys. My boy Angel is attached to his open-bottom bells. I get them from Petco or Petsmart. There are SO MANY bird toys on the market, your bird will be in HEAVEN. Make sure there are at least 4 toys per cage. The bird will not have all the natural stimulation it would have in the wild so toys are a MUST. Don't buy mirrors, because the budgie will be more interested in wooing the pretty bird on the other side than wooing YOU.
4. Bowls and dishes. You need at least 2. There are also standing water dishes that dispense water as the bird drinks. Don't use these for food; the seed hulls will clog the hole and unless you empty it every hour, the bird can starve!
5. What you SHOULDN'T buy is GRIT. It is a NO-NO, despite some irresposible bird books' advice. It's supposed to work like this: the bird swallows the seeds whole, he eats the grit, in the first stomach (the crop) the grit crushes the seeds and the shells fall off. The bird digests the rocks and the seeds, and the rocks are passed. But budgies/parakeets do NOT swallow seeds whole so the grit will stay in their crop, and every time they eat it, it will impact their stomach, eventually starving the bird and killing it.
6. Mineral blocks. Also known as beak blocks. The birds gnaw on it to grind down their beaks. You can also buy cuttlebones. They are available at most pet stores. They look like 6 or 7 inch white ovals, with a soft side and a hard side.
7. Bird seed. Buy seed specifically for budgies and parakeets. They won't eat sunflower seeds, so try not to buy packages with a lot of them in it. Make sure there is a wide variety of colors in it. There should be rolled oats and all kinds of tiny seeds. Try to buy Kaytee seeds, not Walmart or Target or Kmart brand, which is probably going to expire soon and offers less nutrition.
8. Used computer paper to line the bottom tray. It will catch all poo and seeds and will soak up spilled water. Completely cover the bottom with paper and be sure to change it every day, rinsing off the tray in hot water. Place an extra sheet of paper under the water dish.
9. Fruits and veggies!!!!! Budgies MUST have these DAILY!! They naturally forage for fruits and veggies in native Australia. Give them (rinsed off) dark green lettuces, peeled carrots (or carrot shaving), cucumber (no seeds), peeled grapes, and bits of apple. Feed only one type of new food per week. The bird will most likely get diarhhea if it eats too much of a new food, so offer new food sparingly. Lettuce can be offered in large amounts (make sure it's not iceberg, which has no nutritional value whatsoever to budgies).
10. A BUDGIE. Also known in its scientific name as the budgerigar (bud-JUR-i-gur). English budgies have longer, fluffier feathers, and are not sold at pet stores often at all. You usually have to buy those from a breeder. American budgies (those little, sweet, playful, colorful birds you find in pet stores) make better pets. They live up to 15 years, they're usually friendlier, and they are hardier. They range in price from $15-$25. Make sure the cages in the pet store are clean, NOT crowded, and have clean water (a couple of feathers in it are okay because they're constantly losing those little soft feathers.)
3.) You can get everything second-hand except for the food and edible things. You can find most of it on Craigslist. There are even budgies to be found there. You don't have to worry about creepers because you can usually tell by their e-mails and the way scammers type or talk.
4.) A reasonable price is 15. Though if the flock you see in the store looks exceptionally bright-eyed, clean, talkative, and doesn't seem afraid of you, I'd pay up to $20.
5.) YOU DO NOT NEED 2 BUDGIES :D
When my cockatiel (RIP Cookie) died in '08, and I was devastated, but allergic to anything beginning with "cocka"(-tiel, -too) so my mom got me a little Budgie for Christmas. I named him Angel after HER budgie that died when I was 2, and I knew he was only about 3 or 4 months old, because his cere, or nostrils, was still light pink. Males have blue ceres, females have brown. In breeding condition female's ceres turn a crusty brown and males' turns a bright, shiny blue.
He was the world's happiest budgie with just me. Budgies are flocking birds, so obviously a friend is a good idea, unless YOU want to be the companion. I finger-tamed Angel by putting my hands closer to him everyday, then eventually on top of the cage, then on the perches, then touching the bird's foot. Then I fed him little seeds from my fingers, then I let him out into my room. I'd reccommend covering any large mirrors with a blanket, and covering all fishtanks with books, and all windows with shades or blinds, because most birds think that it's just more open space to fly in. Thankfully, my birds are sensible enough that they only talk to their reflections in the mirror. Angel is ridiculously friendly, he loves to sit on my fingers, "kiss" me, "thumb wrestle", and play with his buddy. He's still friendly with me because he loves me and he used to be a loner and he knows I love him. He has a female partner, but when I come up to the cage, he ignores her and puts his attention on me. But be warned, if you want 2 birds, it will be VERY hard to tame both of them because they will be so interested in each other if they aren't hand-tamed.