Acquired: Pet store
New York, United States
Posted Nov 19, 2013
My 6 year old son wanted a pet bird for his birthday, so after chatting with the folks at the local pet shop, we brought home a parakeet. We bought the cage they recommended for two birds, but just have the one in it. She has plenty of room in there to move and play around. We considered the possibility of adding another bird in the future, but haven't so far. He named the bird Chelsea, for a district in London (his favorite city).
Chelsea has proven to be a tough egg to crack. We've tried all the taming techniques we can find online and in parakeet books at the library, but she still won't sit on our hands. She is curious around us and will move closely and take a peck or nibble (she has never attacked or bitten aggressively), but she's not interested in really hanging out and being friends with us yet. She doesn't like having her flight feathers clipped (who would?), so I wear gloves when I do this. She definitely pinches, but has never broken the skin. I don't have concerns about my children's safety around the bird, but I would not let small children handle the bird either -- for the bird's sake.
She sings all day long and will whistle a little bit, but she does not mimic words. It's noisy, yes, but it's not distracting to me -- and I work from home. Even though she isn't particularly friendly, she's very curious and funny and it's fun to watch her on her bird playground. We eat a lot of fruits and veggies and so Chelsea gets a nice salad everyday as well. I printed off a list of foods she can have and keep it on the fridge so that when i cook, I can give her veggie scraps. She seems to enjoy this.
Though my son is quite mature for 6, I feel like it was a mistake to get him the bird -- only because the cage is quite large and it's impossible for him to clean it himself. And I feel like if I would have gotten a smaller cage, it would have been cruel to the bird. I end up doing the cage cleaning -- which is actually less hassle than scooping a litter box. But still, for a child, the maintenance is unwieldy.
So far, she has been healthy and peppy. I worry that she is lonely though, since she hasn't bonded with any of the humans in our house, and may consider getting her a friend in the future. My bird experience has been positive overall, but I don't feel the same love or bond for my bird as I do the larger animals in my house.