Santa Monica, California, United States
Posted Oct 04, 2013
If you enjoy the sweet chirping of little birds, then parakeets make great pets. They’re great for families with children. I’ve had them since I was a little girl. Mom always kept a cage in the kitchen because they like company; the family activity noise kept them chirping right along with us. They are not difficult to care for, but do require lots of care. They come in beautiful colors like bright greens, yellows, blues and I’ve even seen a lavender one. I once had a turquoise one (Karl was my all-time favorite – we got him when he was really young and trained him)!
There a few varieties of Parakeets, and the ones we always had were called “Budgies,” which is another name for English Parakeets. These little guys are quite intelligent and need toys to play with, or they get bored. They love toys with bells in them. Breeders breed them in groups, but you could get a male and a female and they are likely to mate! The babies get as big as their parents pretty fast. If you buy a Parakeet, try to get a young one because they’re easier to bond with and train them to perch on your finger.
Parakeets need lots of care. For example, it’s important to change their water every day because they mess it up (sometimes they poop in it) and could get sick. Also, the paper on the bottom of the cage should be changed every day. When I was a kid we used newspaper, but sometimes they chew on it so nowadays it’s better to use copy paper. One of our birds became ill with an infection from eating seeds that had bacteria in them, and the vet had us start keeping pellets in a food dish all the time, only giving seeds for an hour in the morning and again at night, then taking the seeds out of the cage. We used to stick pieces of sliced apples, oranges, carrots, kale, cooked yam and other things between the bars on the cage for them to nibble on. They loved it.
We always played with our birds, talked to them and sang to them, especially since we usually only had one Budgie, and they seemed lonely. The way to get them to sit on your finger is to gently press on their tummy with the side of your finger and they will step up onto it. There’s lots of info available online on how to train them. They also love a bath, so you can put a bowl of water in the bottom of the cage sometimes. We always kept a cuttle bone in the cage as well (so they can sharpen their beaks for eating). Whenever we left, we always put classical music on for them, like Vivaldi.
The last thing I want to share is how important it is for a Parakeet to have exercise outside of the cage. You can have the wings trimmed (or not). People think you just leave them in the cage all the time, but they will get chubby and there are Parakeet diseases that come just from that.
Anyhow, I’ve always found parakeets to be funny little companions that are affectionate in their own way if you spend ½ an hour to an hour a day with them. So if you love the idea of giving lots of attention to a little bird, having a charming little buddy, then parakeets are just wonderful.