Do you want to know about parakeets?
Well, you are at the right place. Today’s detailed parakeet guide will help you understand the various characteristics, personality behaviors, health issues, and common types to quickly understand the potential of owning a parakeet.
In a deeper dive, you will also learn some of the exquisite pros and cons of owning a parakeet that you must be aware of.
Before we dig in, you must remember over a hundred species are potentially called parakeets. However, for some people, all those can also be synonyms for the same species.
So, what’s the reality? What makes them different from others?
These are the common concerns that will also be discussed along with the facts about parakeets.
Without further ado, let’s jump in.
Parakeet Meaning: What Are They?
The first and foremost thing you must know is what the parakeet is.
So, it’s a common misconception that parakeets are indeed referring to a specific famous pet parrot or its species.
|In reality, it’s a term used to describe a pet bird that has a small size but looks similar to a parrot. Moreover, it must be slender and have long feathers to be called a parakeet.|
So, considering these two factors, there are around 115 species worldwide in the family of Psittacinge (family Psittacidae) known as parakeets. Source: Wikipedia
Parakeet Origin: Where to Find?
The origin of the popular pet bird parakeet is Australia. It’s because they are native to Australia, so they still can be found in considerable quantities in its grasslands.
Furthermore, besides America, they are native to South America and Asia.
You must know parakeets have been going through the breeding process for several years. For these reasons, the parakeet birds found in stores are usually small.
|Good to Know: In 1894, Australia banned the export of parakeets due to the excessive breeding business in Europe. Conversely, finding these pet birds was also getting more challenging due to decreased parakeet populations. source: Lisa shea|
Moreover, you must know two common types of it are primarily traded – American parakeet or budgie and English budgie. With that, both of these have different appearances even though they belong to the same
Highlighted Parakeet Characteristics:
- Parakeets usually have vibrant and bright colors.
- It’s easy to find them in different colors and patterns ranging from yellow, green, black, and many others.
- Commonly, most of the parakeets will have a yellow throat and forehead.
- Their long tail feathers are usually black but outlined with green and yellow.
- Species of parakeets commonly vary in size from six to eight inches.
- The natural range of parakeet weight falls from 0.8 to 1.1 ounces.
- The average lifespan of a parakeet is 10 to 12 years if given proper care.
- They are herbivores and can be kept as pets.
- The minimum habitat size of a parakeet is 18” W x 18” D x 18” H
- Predators are common for young birds, and to scare them and keep them from rose-ringed parakeets make soft sounds like purrs.
- Most importantly, it is illegal in California to own a monk parakeet.
Personality and Behavioral States of a Parakeet:
It is a common misconception that a parakeet is a beginner bird.
However, these social bird parakeets need the same attention and care as the larger species.
So, understanding the behavior and personality states of a parakeet is essential.
- To begin with, you must know buggies are social birds and playful – there are better ideas than keeping them alone or in isolation.
- It’s easy to care for a budgie.
- If you own a pair of parakeets or buggies to keep each other company – they can live longer, remain friendly, and would undoubtedly be the best parrot family.
- Indeed, a parakeet’s beak is not very strong; still, sensitive fingers can easily get hurt with the bird’s beak.
- Buggies are usually easy to tame and even hand-tame by paying little attention.
- They can easily enjoy the company of children if they remain respectful to them.
What Do Parakeets Eat?
Parakeets can eat a variety of food. However, creating a well-balanced diet and ensuring what do parakeets eat is the key to ensuring an increased lifespan.
- Firstly, offer 60 to 70% of the diet specially formulated for parakeets.
- Offer different fruits and vegetables but just as an occasional treat.
- Clean or change the food and water daily.
- Including high-fat or high-salt treats in the diet is always discouraged.
- Discard the fruits and vegetables if they were not used even for a few hours.
- Certain fortified seeds can also be given.
- Parakeets can remove hulls before eating them.
- The amount of treats should be at most 10% of their diet.
|Remember, don’t feed chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, or fruit seeds, including avocado, to a budgie, as it can be toxic and affect health. This can even be a cause of illness or death in severe cases.|
Seeds for budgies:
Certain types of seeds are suitable for budgies. However, we highly discourage a purely seed-based diet. It’s because seeds have lower amounts of amino acids, minerals, and vitamins that can reduce the needed nutrients.
For ease, the following is the list of seeds you can introduce in your parakeet diet.
|Seed Type||Ideal Type of parakeet|
|Safflower and Groats||For small parrot|
|Striped sunflower||Suitable for both small and medium-sized parrots|
|White sunflower||Moderation is the key|
|Canary seed||Good for all budgies|
Instead of seeds, pellets can also be given to a parakeet. These pellets have an essential nutrient for a parakeet that the seeds can’t provide alone. However, your budgie might not love these pellets.
So, you must watch her and follow the following essential guidelines.
|Week||Ratio of seed and pellet, respectively|
|2||2-part pellet 4:2|
|3||equal of both|
|6||Start giving pellets only|
Fruits and Vegetables:
To meet a parakeet’s natural vitamin and mineral needs, there is no better source than fresh fruits and vegetables.
However, they should only be served occasionally due to the high amount of sugar – especially fruits. On the other hand, you must ensure that different veggies and fruits have a high amount of water. So, make sure to be in moderation and don’t make it a cause of diarrhea in parakeets.
For ease, here is the list of fruits and veggies your budgie can eat.
Nuts can be the favorite food of your parakeet. However, they are high in fat, and an overdosage should not be done at any cost.
With that, you must stay away from flavored nuts, or party mixes that are roasted and salted, as they can be dangerous for your parakeet’s health.
|So, the following is the list of nuts that should be given 2,3 times a week.
Common Health Issues of a Parakeet?
Like any other parrot or bird, parakeets can also suffer from some diseases. However, some health issues are common, and some are uniquely associated with this species.
For example, parakeets can be prone to goiters due to iodine deficiency. Meanwhile, tumors can also develop in them due to the excessive use of seeds or nuts.
So, what common diseases and health issues must you be aware of?
Let’s find out them together.
Excessive egg laying:
Low blood calcium means more than frequent egg laying by a female parakeet.
Due to these, a parakeet can quickly become weak in a short period. It can also be life-threatening.
So, must show some immediate action and consult the veterinarian.
Stretching and Feather plucking:
You might see your parakeet stretching and plucking his feathers more often.
Is it normal?
No, it can be a cause of infection or internal disorder.
So, if your child is stretching or plucking his features – immediately collect several fresh, moist focal and pack them in a ziploc bag. Grab the bag and show it to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
With that, you can also keep a moistened piece of towel in the bag to keep the fecal fresh.
Change in color of cere:
Firstly, the “cere” is the area where the nostrils of a budgie are located. The usual color of it is bright blue and brown, or tan in males and females, respectively.
So, if you see any change in the cere color, it will be expected if you have an aged parakeet. However, it can cause serious illness if you have an adult.
Either way, veterinary care is always recommended and best.
- Parakeets can suffer from liver diseases like humans, animals, or birds. The most common cause of it is poor nutrition.
- Hormonal imbalance in older budgies.
- Your parakeet can also be affected by various tumors. For example, fatty, testicular, adrenal, and kidney tumors.
- Enlargement of the thyroid gland can cause changes in the bird’s voice, and all of it happens due to the deficiency of iodine.
How to Do Proper Care of a Parkeet?
Parakeets are a fun species and the most common type of pet. They can live in between 7 to 15 years.
However, if they are offered the best care, the average life span can be increased, and a healthier lifestyle can be ensured.
So, here are general guidelines for caring for a parakeet.
A healthy lifestyle lies in between healthy eating.
So, suppose you are offering proper feeding to your parakeet that contains a balanced amount of seeds, pellets, treats, and fruits along with the vegetables’ rest. In that case, you can take the surety they will live a longer, healthier, and happier life on average.
Moreover, it’s essential to clean the bowls of water and food of a parakeet daily and fill them with an essential variety of seeds and pallets.
|To ensure healthy feeding, a general rule of thumb is to give 20% of seeds, 70% of diet pellets, and the rest 10% with vegetables, fruits, and occasional treats.|
The second most crucial step for adequately caring for a parakeet revolves around adequate handling.
Some parakeets will take time to give you their tame and make a bond. However, they are pretty observant creatures. That’s why it’s essential to connect with your parakeet slowly.
Moreover, some may enjoy being tamed, stroked, or handled, or some may not. So, understand the nature first.
|In this regard, taking your time with the process is a general rule of thumb. Offer your hands slowly and make a bond with them. All they need is to get used to your appearance. Once they do, making them your buddy will be far more accessible.|
If you want to give proper care to your parakeet, the best solution is to offer a gentle, clean session. It can be the best way to bond with them while keeping them neat and clean.
However, if your parakeet is a bit sick due to contact with something dirty, help them by keeping them clean.
|In this regard, a gentle rule of thumb is to clean the feathers with warm water or a damp cloth.|
It is often said that parakeets should not be let out of the cage due to the potential risk of injury.
In our case, time outside the cage is precious for a parakeet. And we highly encourage you to bring your parakeet out of the cage. This would help them to have a bit of exercise and enjoy the time.
|However, before doing so, you must ensure your house is safe and has no open windows, doors, or spaces.|
Taking care of and maintaining a cage is as important as the parakeet’s health.
It’s because your budgie is about to spend much of the day in the cage. And to ensure the best of his health, keeping the cage is essential.
So, you must keep the cage hygienic and clean all the time.
|In this regard, you must know the entire cage requires thorough cleaning. And cleaning it with disinfected soap is always encouraged. However, you must ensure to rinse it properly afterward.|
Since we are discussing parakeet maintenance of taking care, socialization is another essential part. Especially if you haven’t kept a pair of them, spending time with your parakeet is needed to socialize.
However, we recommend having two parakeets as a pair for these reasons.
The Pros and Cons of Parakeets:
Diving into the pros and cons of a parakeet will help you understand – whether parakeets are the correct type of pet for you.
So, let’s summarize some of the key pros and cons.
- Parakeets always need their owner’s attention as they are attention seekers and loving creatures.
- They are highly affordable pets – not only in terms of buying cost, but they also eat less. So, they are about to save you immense costs.
- Specific cues and verbal commands can easily be taught to them.
- A parakeet cage is easy to clean as it usually produces less mess in its surroundings than others.
- If you have children – parakeets can be your best bet to adopt as a pet.
- They usually require small cages. So you won’t need much space.
- Parakeets are also relatively quiet creatures as compared to any other house birds.
- These small to medium-sized birds and parakeets are playful and can be great family pets.
- The male parakeets can quickly learn how to talk.
- It is super easy for them to learn and adopt your actions.
- Due to their small size, they can easily be your travel companion.
- Shorter lifespan.
- Regular exercise is their need to get rid of many diseases.
- They often chirp, making the surroundings quite disturbing for many.
- Companionship is a must for a parakeet.
- They can quickly get sick.
- The IQ level of parakeets is not the same as any other larger species. So, you can not expect to be intelligent.
- A parakeet is highly sensitive to chemicals.
- Parakeets are not for you if you don’t have enough time to take care of them daily.
- It is hard for them to breathe in contaminated air.
- Biting when you are getting aggressive on them is normal.
Different Parakeet Types:
There are numerous types of parakeets or countless. And it’s even impossible to give an estimated value or number.
However, some common types you must know are the following.
One of the first and most common types of parakeet is budgerigar – also known as a budgie.
It is also a popular choice as a pet bird and is usually found in Australia as they are native to it. Moreover, they are small and playful, making them easy to care for and train.
The color range of a budgie revolves around the classic green to yellow, blue, white, and purple. However, you can also find black spots or bards on their bodies to ensure distinctive color marking.
With that, budgies are also easy to keep. You only need a proper diet and plenty of toys in the cage.
|Good to know: “All budgies are parakeets, but not all parakeets are budgies.”|
Another critical and charming type of parakeet that you must be aware of is the monk.
It is one of the most important types to catch the heart at first glance. However, they are commonly found in South America as they originated in it.
Monk parakeets also love social interaction. So, they would love cuddling with their owner. Similarly, they are most commonly known for their social behavior and love for building nests.
This lovely creature also loves to spend most of its time in the cage. So, make sure to have a beautiful cage for him with many toys.
The Alexandrine parakeet is another beautiful type in the list that no longer requires introduction.
A beautiful red mark around their wings differentiates them from others. With that, a round red band around the neck is also one of their unique quality.
They are commonly found in Punjab (pakistan) as they are native to it.
It is also the most suitable and perfect parakeet to adopt as a pet bird. Moreover, these are highly intelligent, and their mimicking abilities are the ones that make them an ideal choice for any.
The name sounds unique, but it is because of the particular trait of this bird, which is “a black line above the beak.”
Yes, it just looks like a small mustache that is well-groomed. Not only these, but they also have greenish-blue tails that make them unique.
Furthermore, they originated from China and Indonesia.
As the name suggests, ring-necked – means these parakeets have green plumage around the neck, which looks similar to a ring. Another distinctive feature is its intelligence and its ability to learn and talk.
These are social birds usually found in forests and woodlands, where they eat various nuts, fruits, and seeds.
The plain parakeet is one of the smallest yet most curious parrots. As indicated by the name, they have primary colors.
However, they are commonly found in South America and Brazil.
One of the best things is that they can easily adjust to small places. So, if you have a small appartment, you can also have them.
Conversely, they also produce small sounds that makes them a best bet for any peace-loving person.
Indian ring-necked parakeet:
Another parakeet that resembles the Alexandrian parakeet is the Indian ring-neck.
As the name suggests, they are mainly originated in India. However, they look similar to Alexandrian. And the only thing that sets them apart is their location and long tail with bright plumage.
You will mostly find them in flocks and even 100 birds in each.
They are playful and active creatures and are usually known for their intelligence, as they can easily mimic human speech.
A lineolated parakeet is a small parrot found in the forests of southern Mexico and Panama.
It is one of the quietest and calmest pet birds. However, they can still mimic or talk human speech.
Furthermore, wild linear parakeets have primarily green plumage and black and dark green stripes on their backs, wings, and sides.
However, the types of parakeets are countless, and stating them in a single post is quite impossible.
So, along with the abovementioned types, here are some additional types of parakeets.
- Yellow parakeet is usually found in South America and is the most beautiful yellow color. However, the underparts and wings will give a beautiful touch of green, orange, and brown. They are also playful, and having them as pets is standard.
- Golden face: They are similar to yellow parakeets but have a deep golden face that differentiates them from others.
- Scarlet crested: One of the unique parakeet types with a hooked beak and giant head with vibrant color features. They are relatively quiet creatures.
- Blue: Well, they have the longest lifespan of around 20 years. It is knowledgeable and can stay in a cage but with toys.
- Saddleback buggies: It is the most challenging type of parakeet to find in stores as they are rare. But they are beautiful creatures and would be worth your time.
How to Train a Parakeet?
Training is always a fun way to make a connection with your parakeet. It is also the easiest way to encourage physical activity.
Meanwhile, training them with guidance or proper ways could make the process manageable. On the other hand, parakeets are also keen learners. So they can quickly learn many tricks and words even without any hassle.
So, all you need is to follow these quick guidelines.
Gain trust before training:
The key to easier training lies in gaining trust. The more your pet parakeet gets comfortable with you, the more it will be for you to train.
So, before you start the training process, you must ensure that he is comfortable enough while being touched.
Conversely, hand taming or pet training is a time-consuming process that involves several steps to initiate one by one. And it all starts with making the pet comfortable.
|Pro Tip: Trim your pet’s wings a bit before you initiate the process. It will reduce his flying ability, and you will also be capable of giving more accessible training.|
Start with the basics:
Another tip to train a parakeet is to start with some basics.
As you have a pet bird, we understand you must be excited to teach advanced tricks. But this is different from how it works.
First, bond with your pet bird, then start with the basics.
|For example, you can train your parakeet to step up on your finger. It is also known as hand training or training. And in this way, you are just making a foundation of other complicated training and tasks.|
Embrace the bites:
As you are about to start the training process, you must be mentally prepared so a parakeet can bite.
Yes, this requires patience, and you must not get terrified.
Furthermore, you are not about to jerk them if they do so.
|Conversely, you can wear gloves if you consider that you won’t be able to bear the parakeet bite.|
Training to step up:
So, this is the actual moment where the training process starts. And here is our step-by-step guide for how to hand train your parakeet.
- Sit beside the parakeet’s cage and let him get used to your presence. We highly encourage this step for at least two weeks. However, depending on his comfort, you can increase or decrease the number of days. For example, if your budgie is a socializer and gets used to you earlier, you can move to the next step; if not, stick to it for more days.
- Next, get your hand closer to the cage and talk to him with a smooth voice. Keep repeating the process until your budgie stops flying to the opposite side of the cage and starts accepting you and your finger’s presence.
- This is the perfect time to let your parakeet out of the cage.
- After that, hold your finger near the parakeet’s belly and encourage him to step up with some polite words.
- They wouldn’t understand the command at first. For this, you must gently smooth or push against the parakeet’s belly to ensure encouragement.
- Further, rewarding the parakeet with a treat or praising with words can help them to step up fast.
- That’s it! Repeat the process until he gets comfortable and starts stepping up or out on your hand.
Remember the tip to cut the wings, wearing gloves, and trying several times?
Great! No more worries; start training your parakeet.
How Big is a Parakeet?
You can quickly understand a parakeet’s size from a statement that “parakeets are small to medium-sized birds.” So, it means you can expect to have both of the sizes. However, the most minor size of it can be 7 inches (around 18cm), and the biggest can reach up to 18 inches (around 48cm).
On the other hand, their tail also made them different in both sizes.
With that, the weight of a parakeet also varies due to certain factors, such as the environment and nutritional value they get. On average, you can expect to have at least 34 (1 ounce) grams to 90 (30 ounces) grams.
How Much Is a Parakeet?
Remember, the cost of a parakeet revolves around different factors. For example, the size, breed, and pet store.
However, for your ease, here we have provided a general estimation.
- If you buy the most popular breed, Budgerigar, from a typical pet store, such as PetMart or Petco, you can expect to have it between $20 and $50.
- Similarly, choosing from an independent pet breed usually has a more extensive range of breeds and different price sections.
How to Spell Parakeet?
Firstly, the parakeet is taken from the French word “perroquet.” However, it was taken from older spellings still encountered and used by many, including “paroquet” or “paraquet.”
Parakeets are usually called “perruche” or similar-sized parrots in modern French.
Similarly, in American English, parakeets are usually pronounced, spelled, or referred to as “budgerigar.”
So, in the end, it’s not about how to spell a parakeet; it’s all about the various languages and how they call or refer to it.
Are parakeets parrots?
Parakeets belong to the parrot family known as “Psittacidae.” So, a parakeet is a type of parrot with diverse characteristics.
Similarly, their curved beak, social nature, and toes are just like a parrot – making their resemblance to it.
Do parakeets migrate?
Well, not all types of parakeets migrate. However, few of them will, such as monk parakeets. With that, it’s worth stating that they only migrate in winter, so they are often called and referred to as nomadic.
They usually flock from one place to another to find a better living space or condition with the same habitat.
Do Parakeets talk?
Yes, they can talk. They are famous for their ability to talk. However, you can expect them to talk clearly. Still, a female parakeet doesn’t speak as clearly as a male. Similarly, male parakeets are active learners and can quickly learn a language compared to females.
What is the average lifespan of a parakeet?
Remember, the average lifespan of a parakeet depends on various factors such as breed, care, overall health, lineage of the bird, and many others. However, generally, they live between the ages of 7 and 15 years, which is one-half of a budgie.
So, if you have a budgie, you can only expect him to live between 4-6 years.
Similarly, a monk parakeet can live up to 15 to 20 years, and a plain can live for 18 to 20. Yes, we also stated that age depends on several factors.
|Fun Fact: The oldest age of a parakeet was 25 years when he passed.|
Wrapping up today’s discussion with a note that parakeets are beautiful creatures, and having them as pet birds is always encouraged.
However, it would help if you distinguished the budgies, parrots, and parakeets.
They all are similar, but a little differentiation sets them apart.
If you stick with us till the end, we hope this guide has created value in yours. Don’t forget to write in the comment section you want us to write.
We would also love to see the pictures of your parakeet if you have one.
Just share below!