Caring For Your Parakeet
Because parakeets are friendly, relatively easy to keep, and inexpensive, they are a popular choice for new and experienced bird owners alike. While they are easy to keep, there are a number of important points to remember when caring for your pet parakeet.
Parakeets are very intelligent and social birds. They need to have direct interaction with you just about every day. At a minimum, this means that you should hold your bird and gently pet it and talk to it lovingly. Try to play with your bird for at least half an hour a day.
Make sure your bird has lots of toys to play with. This is a great way to keep your bird stimulated, and to keep it happy.
Watch for the signs of “bad behavior” (including biting or a general reluctance or resistance in interacting with you). For parakeets, this is often a sign that they are not receiving enough attention or activity. Start to play with your bird a little more, and get a new toy for it.
Make sure your parakeet has a large enough cage. As with most birds, the bigger the cage, the better. In addition, make sure the cage has an adequate number of perches and room for toys.
Parakeets enjoy a varied diet, and it is essential for their continued good health. Traditional birdseed or bird food pellets can be the backbone of your parakeet’s diet, but include small pieces of fruit as a treat from time to time. Just make sure to remove the fruit from the bird’s cage if it isn’t eaten within a few hours. You can also give them occasional “birdie treats” that are sold at most pet food stores.
Be gentle. Remember that your parakeet is a small animal, and that being grabbed can be scary to it or could injure it. For this reason, some parakeet owners have had great success with cages that have a top or side that opens completely, so that they don’t have to remove their bird through a small cage door.
Teach your bird to perch on your finger. This takes time and patience, but it can become a great way to interact with your bird.
Make sure to keep your cage in an area of your home that doesn’t get too cold. Parakeets don’t do well and can get sick unless the temperature is above 70 degrees. Also, keep them away from fans, windows, air conditioners, or anywhere else there might be a draft.
Let your parakeet fly around your house on occasion for exercise and stimulation. Just make sure your windows and doors are closed, and there aren’t any ceiling fans running.
The best rule of thumb is to be patient and even-tempered with your parakeet, and spend time interacting with it. Parakeets can be a great pet when they are cared for properly.