How to Care for Parakeets: A Full Guide With All You Need to Know
If you’ve recently decided to raise a pet bird, it may be best to get two parakeets.
But before you decide to get a parakeet, it’s a good idea to learn about their basic care.
You will find everything you could possibly need here to help your birds remain healthy and happy for as long as possible.
It can be challenging to learn how to care for a parakeet if you don’t know where to begin.
Even though you may think this is impossible, don’t give up hope! I found some interesting information on parakeet care while doing research. It is a complete guide on these feathered friends, providing everything you’ll need to know.
Caring for a living, breathing bird involves creating a list of needs that needs to be met right away. That is a cage, which is even larger than most parakeets’.
If you continue reading, you will discover everything you need to know, and you will find it without any stress!
You can look into different kinds like Alexandrine Parakeets, Indian Ringneck Parakeets, Black-Tailed Parakeets or any other parakeet that is available for purchase where you live.
The Most Important thing a bird requires is love and attention.
Is it okay to have parakeets as pets for the whole family? To some extent, yes. Assume this responsibility when you have sufficient time to tend to their needs.
Are parakeets suitable for everyone as pets? Not precisely.
If you lack the time necessary to attend to their needs, this may not be the best time to take on this responsibility.
Owning a parakeet requires a great deal of attention and devotion, as well as a budget. Learning how to care for parakeets entails a learning curve as well.
If you’re unfamiliar, parakeets can live up to ten years, which means that purchasing a pair is a long-term investment. Parakeet birds can live up to 15 years.
Apart from providing food and shelter for the birds, you’ll also need to take them to the veterinarian on a regular basis. If you’re willing to take on this responsibility, we’ll share our knowledge about proper budgie care in the paragraphs below.
Selecting parakeets as a pet
Find the right breed
The variety and types of parakeets available are seemingly limitless. Though the classic Budgerigar Parakeet is a popular choice. If it is not an option for you, there are another 100 available.
Identify the appropriate breed
Did you know that there are over 100 varieties of parakeets worldwide?
The budgerigar, which is native to Australia, is the most frequently encountered type of parakeet. Budgies require less maintenance than other types of parakeets.
If you want to choose a different type, you should first determine the cost of a parakeet at your local pet store or breeder. The rarer they are, the more expensive they are.
Purchasing a pet bird from a reputable pet store or breeder can help you avoid treating your parakeets for a variety of medical issues in the future.
You can research different types such as Alexandrine Parakeets, Indian Ringneck Parakeets, or any other parakeet that is available in your area.
A Budgerigar Parakeet (commonly referred to as a Budgie) originated in Australia, so if you live in Australia, this is probably the most cost-effective bird for you.
Select a Reputable Breeder for your Parakeet
Just as you would with a dog or cat, you want to find a reputable breeder who can ensure a healthy parakeet.
A definite way to determine this is to simply check online reviews for additional feedback about the breeder. Additionally, you can request to see the breeder’s other birds to ensure they are being kept in a clean & safe environment. Also, make sure that they are fed properly.
You can keep an eye on the cage and perches to ensure that the birds are not overcrowded. Additionally, inspect the fruits and vegetables that the breeder has displayed in the cage. Ascertain that it is fresh and that the cage contains a cuttlebone block.
Choose a healthy & Fit Parakeet
Now that you’ve located your breeder, you can begin searching for a healthy parakeet!
One way to accomplish this is to seek out a bright-eyed and animated parakeet! You can examine the cerebrum to ensure that it is not crusted (which is the fleshy part above the beak). Ascertain that the vent is also clear.
The vent is where the bird defecates, and if the vent appears to be dirty, there may be digestive problems. You’ll want to avoid these birds, particularly if they’re lethargic and rarely leave the bottom of the cage.
If you want your bird to look happy and in its best health, then you must feed it a balanced diet. To make sure of this, be sure to visit throughout the day. While you can count on your parakeet to take naps, be prepared for them to be in a semi-drowsy state upon waking.
Think about getting a pair of Parakeets
Parakeets enjoy one another’s a company and they are good in pairs. My strong recommendation is – pick up a pair to take home with you.
You should try to give your bird some company while you are away from them for a few hours during the day.
Even if you intend to acquire multiple pairs, make sure to keep an eye on the birds in the cage because they may try to fly away if you don’t hold them tightly. Live parakeets should only be kept with other parakeets.
Visit the veterinarian to have your parakeets (birds) cared for.’
There is still the remote possibility that your parakeet could be ill. But in order for their symptoms to become apparent, the condition must be severe.
It is critical to see your new parakeet right away so that it can be checked out by your vet. The vet will conduct a series of tests on your parakeet to see if he is susceptible to many diseases.
They will additionally screen for parasites that can impact them both internally and externally.
Cage : Factors to consider while choosing a cage for your parakeet.
Every cage must be large enough for your bird to comfortably roam and walk around in. Before giving your parakeet flight capabilities, make sure the cage is big enough for it to fly around freely.
Because birds fly horizontally rather than up, you’ll want to make sure your measurements, horizontally, are correct.
The cage’s material is just as important as the type of cage. While other metals might be toxic to parakeets, stainless steel is the perfect choice for a birdcage. The cage should not have any rust, and if it does, the paint needs to be chipped.
Buy your parakeet a circular cage because it will result in the parakeet not being able to fly.
When it comes to choosing a cage, horizontal bars are preferable because parakeets love to climb around the cage.
Depending on your budget, you can go with plastic, stainless steel, or wrought iron and metal. Keep in mind that some metals may cause irritation to your bird’s skin.
Related: 10 Best Parakeet Cages (Flight, Travel & Play-top Options)
A tray for cleaning poop
When you want to prevent a bacterial breeding ground in your bird’s cage, this is an important aspect to consider. Try to keep track of how often you remove the bottom of the cage for cleaning.
In the end, newspapers are easy to grab and put into your tray for easy cleaning.
Durability of the cage
You get what you want when you pick the type of cage you want. Stainless steel is a popular material, but you may also purchase other materials.
When it comes to basic or fancy parakeet care, certain accessories are required, while others are optional. The following is a list of items available on Amazon that are required for all parakeet cages.
A minimum of three perches for your budgie
A swing(which is similar to a perch, but it moves, and it provides your bird with entertainment)
2 bowls for food
If you wish to keep your birdcage as clean as possible, you may wish to consider purchasing a birdcage skirt. This will keep a portion of the bedding and waste inside the cage, while allowing you to easily remove and clean the tray.
A coconut ladder hut house can also be a great addition, as it provides a safe hiding place for your budgies when they need to rest, while the stairs make it quite entertaining.
Whatever type or quantity of accessories you purchase, make certain they are made of parakeet-safe materials.
Learning how to care for a parakeet also entails recognising that they can become bored if left alone. However, what types of toys do budgies prefer? Here is a brief list of some that you can purchase from amazon.com and are enjoyable for them.
But what types of toys do budgies like the most? Here’s a short list of some that you can get from amazon.com and that are fun for them.
Consider the social nature of budgies when selecting toys. If you can only keep one budgie, provide it with a companion by including a mirror in their living space. Another option is to purchase a plastic budgerigar that can be clipped to a perch or cage bars.
Choose toys that are as colourful as possible, as birds can see the entire spectrum of colours and even beyond what humans can see.
Change the toys occasionally or rotate them on a weekly basis to ensure that your budgies are never bored.
Related: 12 Best Parakeet Toys to Keep Them Happy
The health of your Parakeet
Signs of a bird in good health.
Parakeets in good health have a voracious appetite, particularly in the morning. If the bird loses its appetite, this could indicate that something is wrong with its health.
Additionally, budgies are active and acrobatic, and they do not remain immobile or calm for an extended period of time.
Every day, a healthy parakeet grooms themselves and their pair.
Their feathers must be attractive, smooth, and well-ordered, with no missing feathers. The grooming habits of a healthy budgie should be consistent.
Because budgies’ feet are susceptible to a variety of diseases, you should monitor their claws and feet. They should be clean and free of encrustation, and their claws should not be excessively long.
When it comes to the parakeet’s temperature, it should be between 102 and 112 degrees Fahrenheit physiologically. Birds, like other animals, can develop fevers, so if you notice your budgie is lethargic and feels excessively warm when you hold it, it may be ill.
Several additional indicators of a healthy parakeet are listed below.
- A straight flight
- A waxy cerebellum
- A strong and unbroken beak
- Firm faeces
How do you determine whether your parakeets are happy and healthy?
When you first begin keeping budgies as pets, you will notice how active they are.
As a result, a happy parakeet is constantly on the move, whether flying, chewing, playing, or climbing on various perches throughout the cage. If you have a pair, they will also communicate frequently with one another.
Additionally, healthy parakeets make a variety of happy sounds, ranging from chirping to whistling and even singing.
Additionally, they will nibble food throughout the day and occasionally even between play sessions.
Medical requirements of parakeets
Do parakeets require veterinary care? Yes, and on a consistent basis.
The nails and wings of a parakeet must be trimmed to facilitate the taming process. Nail trimming is necessary every 1-2 months, depending on the rate at which they grow.
Both of these services, however, should be provided by a veterinarian, not by the pet parent.
This is because budgies are small birds with little blood in their bodies. If you attempt to clip your parakeet’s nails or wings on your own and cause a haemorrhage, you risk being unable to stop it.
Red Flags you must NOT avoid
Knowing when it is time to take your parakeets to the vet can help prevent any illness from getting worse. Keep an eye out for these signs to show that your budgies aren’t well and that you should take them to the vet as soon as possible.
- Your bird has some kind of Discharge that is coming from the nose or eyes
- There are white deposits that appear on the lower legs and feet.
- Your bird shows an inability to eat
- Your bird’s eyes with redness or inflammation
- placing one foot in is avoided
- faeces that is green
- feathers muffed and stained
Coughing or respiratory distress
- Swelling in the beak
- Avoiding sitting on a perch
What to Feed Your Parakeet
Your parakeet’s diet is critical to its overall happiness; a well-fed parakeet will grow into a happy and healthy bird. It is critical to treat your parakeet gently, as they are living, breathing creatures.
Seed diets add variety to a Parakeet’s relatively simple diet. They can receive a combination of components beneficial to their health. Vitamin pellets, dried fruit, and other greens are all included in a balanced seed diet.
Even the best seed mixtures, however, do not provide everything your parakeet requires for optimal health.
Therefore, keep in mind that this seed mixture is only a supplement to your bird’s core nutrition.
You can provide a small dish for your bird to nibble on throughout the day, but because parakeets only consume the top layer, you will need to empty the seed dish daily.
Additionally, you can completely clean the food dish every couple of days to ensure that no lingering bacteria grow in the food.
Diet of Pellets
Your parakeet will thrive on a pellet-based diet.
Feeding your parakeet seed is a common practice for parakeets that survive in the wild. However, that diet can also serve as a breeding ground for bacteria, reducing your pet’s lifespan and health.
You should strongly consider feeding pellets to your parakeet (only 60-70 per cent). The majority of birds adapt quite well to pellets. Though, as a word of caution, some may also reject them.
It may take up to two weeks for your bird to completely convert to a pellet-based diet. As the majority of birds (approximately 90%) become converted.
To assist your bird’s conversion, you can follow this plan:
You can provide seed to your bird(s) for approximately an hour in the morning and another hour at night.
Allow them to snack on pellets during the time between their morning and night feeds.
If your bird does not switch after approximately two weeks, it will eventually switch after a brief period of returning to its seed diet.
Another way to introduce pellets into your parakeet’s diet is to simply combine their normal seed mixture with some pellets. You can gradually increase the amount over time.
Give them Fresh Food
Additionally, you will need to provide seed mixes, fresh fruit, and vegetables for your parakeet.
Along with their pellet and seed diet, the following fresh fruits and vegetables will benefit your bird’s health:
- Yams that have been cooked
- Apples, sliced
- Oranges mandarin
- Citrus (and similar fruits and vegetables)
If you are mindful of the variety of fruits and vegetables you give your bird (this also includes not giving them the same fresh food twice in a row), they will not suffer from dietary overload.
Some suggestions for feeding them these types of fruits and vegetables include the following:
Apples and carrots should be clipped into bars so that your bird can easily peck at them. (For larger fruits and vegetables, chop them up or process them in a food processor.
Foods to avoid
Chocolate and avocado are poisonous to birds, never offer chocolate to your parakeet, even if they appear interested.
Candy bars or guacamole are two examples of this. Chocolate is used in the candy bar, while avocado is used in guacamole. As a result, it is to be avoided.
Also, avocados, eggplants, apple pips, rhubarb, tomato plant leaves, and potato plant leaves should be avoided completely. These foods can be extremely dangerous to your bird’s internal organs.
Additionally, avoid substances that could be harmful to humans in large doses. This includes caffeine, alcohol, high-sugar foods, and even fried foods.
Due to the small size of your parakeet, their bodies can be affected by the foods listed above much more quickly and strongly than a human would.
Before you begin training your bird to perch on your finger, you should first acclimate it to its cage environment.
While it is doing so, make sure to change their food and water daily to prevent bacteria from growing and to ensure they can enjoy their food while it is still fresh.
Other foods can be particularly toxic to Parakeets. Here is a shortlist.
- Tomato leaves and stems
- Raw peanuts
- Uncooked beans
Additionally, avoid feeding your parakeet large amounts of oats or sweets, as both can be quite fattening and unhealthy for your parakeet.
You can occasionally give your parakeet treats. Sprays or millet sprigs can be a favourite treat for parakeets, but it is important not to overfeed them as they are quite fattening.
Budgie care entails occasionally providing treats to your parakeets. It is prudent to give your pet bird treats only on rare occasions, as they are not the healthiest food option available.
They may contain an excessive number of seeds in comparison to the recommended daily amount for a parakeet, or they may contain honey, which is high in sugar.
Safe parakeet treats include treat sticks and spray millet, which you can purchase from Amazon- here is the link
Suggestions for Maintaining Your Parakeet’s Health
Always provide drinkable water for your parakeet, water that you would drink.
Allow your birds to fly around an enclosed space if possible; this will help them develop their mental faculties and will stimulate them.
Give your parakeet healthy food that is germ- and fungus-free!
If your birds poop on the bird feeder, you can replace it after thoroughly cleaning it and refilling it with water and food.
When you purchase a new bird from the outside, you must quarantine it for a week to ensure its health.
If you’ve been outside, you’ll want to wash your hands before carrying your bird; this will ensure that any outside germs do not harm it.
Once a week, spray the birdcage with germ-killer liquid; this liquid is safe to have around your birds.
If a bird becomes ill while others remain in the same cage, you will want to move them to a different cage to avoid infecting the other birds.
Handling your parakeets- Other Aspects
Parakeets tend to sleep for approximately ten to twelve hours per day, which makes them ideal as a pet. During the night, the majority of these things occur.
The best way to ensure that your budgies are all tucked in for the night is to drape a cloth over the cage so that their habitat becomes a safe place.
While doing this, it is critical that the cage remains well-ventilated and that adequate amounts of air enter.
To help your budgies sleep, cover the cage during the night.
A parakeet’s sleeping behaviour can be noticed at night, too.
For example, they often close their eyes to take a quick nap, but they will occasionally stand on one foot in order to take a break.
Parakeets can become extremely sensitive to any significant temperature change.
Though they do well in most household temperatures, make sure the cage has a shady spot for them to retreat to when the indoor temperature rises too high.
Allow your parakeets to Experiment Outside the Cage
Allowing your bird to explore outside the confines of its cage can be extremely beneficial. Allow them to fly freely once a day.
Though you should ensure that all windows in your home are closed, you should blow out any candles and other items that could be harmful to your parakeet.
Clicker training can come in handy when you decide to let your parakeet out of its cage.
Some things that you may not immediately think of being a danger to your parakeet can be just not remembering to close your windows, to which they can fly out of and get lost. Chances are if they escape, they won’t come back.
Other things to be aware of are keeping them off the floor and keeping them away from children or other pets. The safer the environment you can make it, the better it is for your parakeet’s well-being.
Without consistent attention, your parakeet may develop an aversion to human interaction. If you have more than one bird in the cage, they can form a pair and collectively ignore humans.
However, if you make it a point to interact with them frequently, you will quickly be considered a member of the flock!
One way to interact with your bird is to bond with him or her through singing. It may sound childish, but they enjoy it! You can also teach them to play games, as they may develop an interest in the game once they pick up the moves.
Happy talk (conversation with the parakeet in a cheerful tone) is also an effective way to assist any parakeet that appears lonely.
Because parakeets require companionship (especially if they are the only bird you own), plan to spend at least 90 minutes a day with them. However, these 90 minutes do not have to be consecutive.
Related Questions: Is it permissible to keep another bird in the same cage?
Multiple birds may be kept in the same cage as long as they are members of the same family.
In this case, you may keep as many parakeets in the same cage as you wish.
What is the difference between a budgerigar and a parakeet?
The two birds are identical. In the United States, they are referred to as parakeets. The rest of the world refers to them as budgerigars, while Americans refer to them as parakeets.