Parakeets As Pets - Everything You Need To Know
Parakeets are the most common and widely used as pet birds when it comes to keeping birds as pets. Parakeets vary in size from small to medium as these birds have multiple genera that have a long feathery tails. The parakeet is a new spelling of these birds; in older spelling, they are still encountered as paroquet or paraquet. However, in the American English, the word parakeet is usually referred to as budgerigar.
The main reason that parakeets are the most popular birds as pets is they are very affordable. Also, these small birds are very friendly and easy to take care of. Another great quality of keeping parakeets is that you can easily make them comfortable according to your living style pattern and they will get adjusted easily in no time. Plus, the main X-factor of these birds’ popularity is that they are capable of human speech mimicking too. This makes them the most in-demand as compare to other birds.
History Of Parakeet
Parakeets and other parrot species are mostly native to the Australian forest, where they are mostly found in huge flocks in grasslands. However, these birds are wild lovers, but they can be easily kept as a pet due to their adjustable living traits. Compared to other wild birds, parakeets are quite small birds that are now gone as for captive breeding.
Parakeets were brought to Europe around 1838, and since then are they became the favorite pets all around. When it comes to how many types of budgies are common as a pet, then there are two types of budgies species that is very common for pet trade purpose, i.e., the American budgie or parakeet and the English budgie. Though, there is no such difference in the species; however, both species have some differences in appearance vice.
Budgies are very calm and positive gentle birds as compare to other pet birds. The pet owners have claimed that parakeets are very easy to tame. It is quite easy to take control over them at a young age. It has been recommended to pet owners when they come to buy parakeets that buy a pair of them, as in company they feel delighted and calm and keep on entertaining each other. However, this may not result in direct binding with the pet owners or fluent mimicking, but they will be comfortable. In terms of their normal behavior, they are very playful, non-disturbing, and very lively throughout the day. Also, they don’t make much extra noise like other parrots; instead, they can start to learn the new words they see you hearing all day through their mimicking skills.
Colors And Markings
Parakeets are full of exotic and breath-taking colors that will make you love them more. However, the very usual color found in parakeets is light green and black bars on their wings, back, and head.
Mostly, mature females parakeets have beige cere (which is the flesh portion around the nostrils), and in the mature males, they also have this flesh but in bluish cere. When it comes to the young budgies, they have similar bar markings on their head, which will recede with age. Another change that they got in their eyes in the early days they have black iris, but it starts to become gray at later ages. The secret of parakeets having various colors is due to their selective breeding trade, which is quite common in pets. Due to this, the parakeets are available in an array of colors and patterns, i.e., violet, blue, yellow, pied, albino, and the classic neon green.
Care & Grooming
Many pet owners are concerned before adopting the pets on their grooming and supervision and are the pets require high maintenance or not. But things are quite the opposite in case of budgies; unlike other parrots and other pet birds, budgies are very low maintenance and can be easily handled. Another good thing about them is their wide availability in almost every pet shop; you can easily find them. Also, it has been suggested that if you are planning to buy budgies, then buy from breeders directly.
Furthermore, it has been suggested to adopt the young budgies as it will be very easy to tame them in the early days and use your behavior. As in comparison to already mature parakeets, it will get quite difficult and challenging to tame them and get used to according to your living style that is why young parakeets are suggested.
As budgies are a very active player and quite cheerful throughout the day and to maintain their happiness all along, they should be given long cages to easily flight, eat, sleep and have fun all day. The minimum suggested dimensions for the cage are around 20 inches long by 12 inches deep by 18 inches high. But you can also make changes if you want them to give the extra big cage, as we all know the bigger, the better
The main reason for the bigger cages is that it allows them to climb, exercise, and easy flight all in the cage without making them feel trapped in it and missing the wildlife.
Another thing to remember, while buying parakeets, is that these are very social birds and many pet owners suggest keeping them in pairs. Even if you are busy and can’t spend time with them, at least they will entertain one another. Also, budgies seem quite happy when they are in pairs. Even though a single bird is fine if you have enough time to spare out and interact with them, but single birds usually don’t have a long period of their lives. So it is better to buy in pair and keep them happy and healthier.
Are you wondering where does this unique species live?
Parakeets are found in open plains and grasslands of Australia, which is their natural habitat. Besides, these birds can be seen flying across many countries and continents, with their larger flocks almost covering the mainland. These birds usually avoid the wet areas of the east, the southwest, and northern edges of northern territories too. These are experts of thriving the hot weather, arid areas but also having a water source near. These birds spent most of the time chasing seasonal foods such as fruits, vegetables, and seeds, plus water resources.
Due to this constant searching and traveling, the parakeets can travel thousands of miles almost every year. It has been seen that in dry seasons the parakeets work more intelligently and end up seeking woodland or wet coastal areas very easily. It has been noticed that their favorite food is grass seed, and depending on the current availability, they can also eat fruits, vegetables, leaves, plants, whatever is available to them for survival. Parakeets have created some troubles for humans, too, after eating their fields of staple food and other agricultural steppes.
But for pet parakeets you can buy a huge cage for them while providing some toys. The cag should be huge enough so they can fly easily all around and feel trapped in it with dishes for food and water.
It has been seen a never-ending debate on parrot vs. parakeet, which is quite difficult to answer in some cases; however, the simple answer to this question is that all parrots are considered as parakeets, but not all parrots are classified as parakeets.
Parrots’ families consist of a large group of their species, ranging from every kind and every type of parrot, ranging from their sizes to life span. So this clearly states that the parrot’s family is quite a large family.
When it comes to parakeets, these are small to medium-sized birds and have a vast variation in their life span. It has been seen for a long time that parakeets and budgies are different from one another, which is false. They belong to the same kind, and all budgies are parakeets. Also, there is another confusion that parakeets are mixed with other medium-sized parrots. You must understand that parakeets consist of a very vast group having multiple breeds with unique characteristics. For your better understanding, here we are mentioning down the list of birds that aren’t a part of the parakeet’s family or shouldn’t be mixed with.
Types of parakeets
For your better guidance and understanding mentioning down the types of parakeets that do belong to their species while having some unique change in them
- Alexandrine Parakeet
- Monk parakeet
- Psittacula parakeets
- Plain parakeets
- Derbyan parakeet
- Indian ringneck parakeet
- Plum-headed parakeet
- Quaker parakeet
- Regent parakeet
- Lineolated or barred parakeets
- Moustache parakeet
- Bourke’s parakeet
- Brotogeris parakeets
Health & Diseases
If you are willing to own a parakeet as a pet bird, then you have to take care of their health needs as well. Parakeets are very healthy birds in general, but at a certain age and due to some factors, they can also show some signs of illness. We believe it should be in your knowledge on how to take care of parakeet if they are not feeling right. You can keep an eye on their appetite change; the different color fecal discharge or any behavioral change in a day will denote that there is something wrong with them.
Some of the common parakeet’s diseases are that parakeets are susceptible to goiters caused by iodine deficiency, even the development of tumors if you are feeding only seeds to your budgies fruits and vegetables. Budgies can also acquire psittacosis, which is also called parrot fever due to bacteria. Suppose parakeets are not given a balanced and suitable diet. In that case, they can be vitamin deficient, too, leading to other health problems.
Parakeets are diverse eaters, and they also like a variety of food as being a forager in the wild. When to comes to pet parakeets, a healthy and varied diet is quite essential for them. They require seeds, fruits, and vegetables in their diet. Seeds are full of essential nutrients and are necessary as a part of budgie’s diet but don’t overfeed them with seeds. Due to higher proportions of fat present in seeds, they should be part of the diet, not the only diet.
You can also choose a pellet diet for your birds, as it is a good choice and nutritionally balanced. You can also try to feed seeds and pellets in combination; however, to meet the required number of nutrients for a well-balanced parakeet diet, you should also feed them with a compliment diet such as a variety of safe and healthy fruits and vegetables.
Another important thing to keep in mind that parakeets do require patience when to comes to their adjustment behavior as; if you want to introduce them to a new food, you should be patient enough to give them their space and let them decide on their own whether they will eat it or not. Also, some food is harmful to their health, and it should be avoided anyhow, i.e., avocados, chocolate, sugar, and salt.
You can also provide them cuttlebone, which is a great source of calcium. But don’t give them grit; that is not important and will be harmful if your budgie consumes it too much.
Training And Exercises
As it has been seen that parakeets are known to be flight lovers, and they like to fly all the time. However, if you want them to learn it in their initial days then give them enough hours in a room to learn how to fly safely; if you want your parakeets to have a good time and can train and exercise as much as they can, then an outsized houseplant can be very helpful for them.
Also, for better health and great mental stimulation, parakeets require some of the time for flight pieces of training and somebody stretching exercises. Try to give some space and time in their daily routine for physical activity.
Parakeets are the friendliest pet birds that you will ever get for yourself. They have a very flexible nature that you’ll notice in very few days they will start to feel like a part of your family. Even though they are not expressive and outspoken, just like your other family members, but you can still study them through certain behavior patterns.
Parakeets are the most noise-making birds you will ever see; another unique thing about them is that they can talk with you. Isn’t it too much surprising that you can talk with your pet. Hence there is an interesting fact about their speaking skills that are parakeets can’t talk technically. They mimic the sound of your words and phrases also it has also been seen that some parakeets are also capable of speaking extensive vocabulary words superbly as compared to the ‘known talkers’ larger parrots like African greys, Quakers, and amazon parrots. Even if your parakeet doesn’t start to speak quickly, they can still give you good company too.
Great Source Of Entertainment
Parakeets are very fun-loving and joyous all the time, and having them around in your surrounding will ensure that you will not live any dull moments. If you want your parakeets to be extra playful and entertaining, then you can give them some right set of toys and then see them in their element.
Parakeets are very social birds when it comes to having interaction with a human. They are not afraid of humans; once they get used to with you, they will start spending with you. If you can hand-tamed very well, then there are chances that they will sit on your hand and will allow you to scratch their head feathers and snuggling up to you. What number of joys a single pet can bring in your life.
Parakeets are very smart and quick learners as compare to other parrot species. Many pet owners are concerned before buying, thinking like they’re very small birds; how will they learn or grasp anything, but that’s not the case. You can try teaching your budgies numbers of tricks and some words too. You can also teach them to somersault your hand, which will be quite an entertaining source for you. This type of bonding will also help you get closer to your pet and form an unbreakable bond.
Parakeets have an ever-growing vast population of their species; under right given conditions, you can easily breed as much as the parakeets you want. But most of the parakeet owners aren’t interested in becoming breeder’s experts. This isn’t a problem as we have enough parakeets that can easily breed more of their kind while being provided the necessary conditions for breeding.
Commonly parakeets start their breeding season during the wet spring and summer, also depending on the geographical area where they are present. Due to this particular trait, the parakeets of the north USA are the year in the mood. Another thing male requires the long daylight hours for the stimulation of male instincts. That is why many breeders start to pair up the number of parakeets they want to produce in November, so at the start of 1st January, they will have their new birds ringed. (Putting the ring in their legs) This shows that birds are ready for spring shows.
If you live in a place where short days are, then you can also try artificial lights for the stimulation of breeding birds. These birds need 12 hours of light in a day time just in case your birds are kept indoors. The sunlight coming through your windows will not be sufficient enough to satisfy their Vitamin D need. For further breeding tips, you can also ask the professional breeding experts of parakeets.
Parakeets are capable of reproducing their breed at the age of around six months and so on; however, it has been preferred that they shouldn’t breed until they are of 10 months. A younger bird will not be able to be a good parent and take caring of their young ones. The breeding can easily be done once the birds are matured enough, as female parakeets are capable of breeding for four years and males for six years.
In the early stages, the mother may lay their eggs outside their nests which is okay as if they are not used to the new nest box. Once they start to get comfortable with their box, they will lay their rest of the eggs in it, and she will not repeat the mistake after getting cozy with it.
Parakeets are very easy-going and very low maintenance pet birds to keep even also they have many greater qualities than large parrots. This makes them so special because parakeets are active, intelligent, socially active, and can talk. While from a pet’s perspective, if parakeets are given a good environment for their survival, they can live for ten years unique as a small bird.
If you adopt the young parakeets, they are very easy to tame in the early ages and capable of learning things very quickly. This also helps make a good bonding with your pets. Parakeets are known to be the best human companions in general as they enjoy interacting with humans.
Who wouldn’t love to have parakeets as pets when they’re easily manageable just like that also small enough to even be in your apartment and small enough to be carried easily as your travel companion. We know too much is being offered in little packages plus a good company to be with.