Pet of the Week

Norman Barrett MBE with pet budgie
Norman Barrett MBE with pet budgie
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Catching up with feathered friends in Falkirk

Where are you from? Born in York, home in Blackpool.

Who is your pet? Twelve budgerigars.

How long have you had them? I’ve had various budgies since 1965.

Why did you choose them? I used to train horses, but it’s difficult to tour with 12 horses. I had to have an act that was transportable so I became a juggler, but there are 50,000 of us and 49,999 were better than me! Then I started training budgies and it went from there.

What ARE THEY like to live with? Fantastic! Real characters. They have their own aviary when we tour and their own room in my home. I have 12 budgies at the moment, all different ages.

Would you recommend them as a pet? Definitely, they are fascinating, each one has their own personality and they love being active. This means they can easily be trained to talk if they are on their own, but the more you have this is not the case. They are natural performers and love to push bar mats and coasters off tables. They are good company for all ages, however they can occasionally be destructive and make holes in curtains, but that’s part of the fun. The most important thing is to look after them well, clean their aviaries every day, make sure they have fresh water every day, good food and stimulation.

Do they have special talents? Mine are very talented! They climb ladders, push toy cars and do their own budgie sized version of many circus skills, all on command!