Budgies originally came from Australia. In the wild they may fly many miles each day. Because they need plenty of exercise and the opportunity to fly, the best way to keep pet budgies is in a large aviary. If you keep your budgies indoors you should use an indoor aviary. Many budgies are kept in cages that are far too small. Tall, circular cages are not recommended since they provide very little flying space. Birds often feel most secure if their cage is in the corner of a room. Birds have sensitive respiratory (breathing) systems, so must be kept away from tobacco smoke or cooking fumes.
If your budgies are tame and need to live in a cage it is a good idea to let them fly free in a safe room, for exercise. They should always be supervised when out of the cage. Make the room safe by closing all windows and doors, turning off any extractor fans and removing any other pets from the room.
Budgies are very social birds and need the company of other budgies. Birds of the same sex should be kept together and ideally should be acquired at the same time.
You should feed your budgies with good quality, commercially available budgie food. Complete pelleted foods are recommended because they contain the right amount and type of essential nutrients. In addition, fruit and vegetables can be offered in small quantities. Because birds don’t have teeth many, including budgies, need to eat suitable bird grit to help grind their food in their stomach and aid digestion. Grit suitable for pet birds is available from pet shops. Budgies need constant access to fresh clean drinking water from a suitable water drinker, available from pet shops.
As well as having plenty of space, budgies need toys and objects to keep them occupied and prevent boredom. This is called ‘environmental enrichment’. Many budgies like rope ladders and swinging perches. You should offer different toys in different weeks so your budgies stay stimulated and don’t get bored.
If you care for your budgie well, it will live a happy and long life, often exceeding a decade.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about preparations for the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ Practice Standards Scheme Inspection. This is a voluntary scheme of accreditation which Veterinary Practices can choose to enrol on. It gives members of the public reassurance as to the quality of a Veterinary Practice.
A lot of work has gone into preparing for the inspection. Having 4 surgeries, all of which were to be inspected at the same time, meant collecting vast volumes of paperwork and certification from each surgery to demonstrate to the inspectors.
Last week we were inspected by the Practice Standards Inspector.
On Monday morning, he arrived promptly at 9am and we headed into the office for a morning of paperwork reviewing. The scheme is broken down into 10 sections, each with 10 to 15 subsections. We worked methodically through the list, while the Inspector’s list of tick boxes were gradually filled. The Inspector wanted to see evidence of everything from health and safety risk assessments, employment contracts and staff induction training, to medicines dispensing policies, biosecurity policies and X-ray use policy. We demonstrated written policies which have been prepared to guide Receptionists when dealing with the public, Nurses when monitoring, recording and treating inpatients and Vets when selecting the most appropriate medicine following the Prescribing Cascade.
We did feel as though we were very prepared for the inspection but at the end of the morning, when the Inspector described the organisation of our paperwork as “fantastic”, we did breathe a sigh of relief.
Monday afternoon involved a physical inspection of Maple Street and Birchencliffe Surgeries where the inspector reviewed the quality of the premises and equipment. At the end of the day, the Inspector declared that he was happy that he had seen all that he needed.
The second half of the inspection took place on Friday with inspections of the premises at our Mirfield and Thongsbridge surgeries. Since the inspection on Monday had gone well and we have very similar levels of equipment and facilities at each surgery, we were confident that the second phase of the inspection would go well.
Sure enough, by lunch time, the inspection was complete. We will have to wait several weeks for the formal notification but we are confident that we will achieved accreditation.
Over 25 years after leaving university, Robert White is heading back to the classroom. He’s one of just 30 vets in the country to have earned a place on the prestigious BSAVA Postgraduate Certificate in Small Animal Surgery.
The course lasts for at least three years and involves attending regular lectures and seminars, as well as completing a series of assessments and coursework. Robert will be learning about more complex techniques and new advances in veterinary surgery, which he will be able to share with other vets at the practice.
He says: “I know there’s a lot of hard work ahead for the next few years, but I’m really enjoying being back in an academic environment. People have come from all over the country to take part in the course, with a couple of vets even flying in from Europe for each seminar. It’s great to share knowledge with some of the best in the profession and I hope to be able to pass this on to my colleagues over the years ahead. “
Running a modern Veterinary practice can be quite a complex process. At Donaldson’s vets we have 4 fully functioning surgeries as well as the Farm and Equine divisions. Balancing the work rota to ensure that each surgery has the appropriate number of Vets, Receptionists and Nurses can be a difficult process and that job falls to our Practice Manager Lisa Jessop , and the rest of our management team at the Maple Street surgery.
The workload for Lisa and her team has increased significantly of late, as we are currently preparing for a ‘Practice Standards’ Inspection.
The Practice Standards Scheme is run by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. It is a voluntary scheme of accreditation which is designed to re-assure animal owners of the quality of the participating practice. Practice Standards is to Vets what an OFSTED inspection is to schools.
The scope of the inspection is very wide ranging, and includes assessing the quality of the premises, facilities and equipment, the level of training and qualifications of the Veterinary, Reception and Nursing staff and the level of emergency services we provide overnight and at weekends. The Practice protocols on aspects of work including infection control, clinical governance, neutering, vaccination, medicines dispensing, clinical waste disposal and use of X-rays are all examined. Health and Safety policies and Risk Assessments are examined alongside safety data for each individual medicine and hazardous substance stocked and used within the Practice. Servicing records are checked for everything from fire extinguishers and central heating boilers to instrument sterilisers and X ray machines.
Our inspection is scheduled for the end of June and we are to be inspected by Mr Harvey Lock, the retired President of the British Veterinary Association.
The requirements for a modern first class Veterinary Practice are a far cry from the “James Herriot” days! The additional workload in pulling all the information together for each of the surgeries in preparation for inspection day can seem daunting but the assurance that our clients will receive from achieving accreditation will make all Lisa’s efforts worthwhile.