Frequently Asked Questions About Parakeets

Many of Your Parakeet Questions Answered

How Long Do Parakeets Live?

Parakeets tend to live 10 to 14 years, if in good health. Not all will live that long, however, since parakeets can fall ill even with proper care. Improper care can shorten their lifespan to a mere 4 years or less. Consider these parakeet care tips.

Are Parakeets Known By Another Name?

Yes. The term "parakeet" is actually a generic term used to refer to a variety of small parrots. The common parakeet found in pet stores is actually a budgerigar, or "budgie" for short. Outside the US, this term is more common.

What Parakeet Toys Should I Buy?

Parakeets love toys, and should have at least one toy in the cage at any given time. They are attracted to items with a reflective surface, as well as toys featuring beads, rings, or bells that they can manipulate with their beaks or feet. This activity stimulates them mentally and physically, contributing to their health and well-being.

What Toys Should I Avoid?

Avoid any parakeet toy with small parts that can detach and become a choking hazard. Also avoid toys that contain lead or zinc plating (zinc will give off a white powdery substance as it ages), which are found more commonly on cheap imported bird toys. Toys with bits or flakes of plastic that can be bitten off and swallowed should also be avoided.

What Part of the World Are Parakeets From?

Parakeets are domesticated versions of wild birds native to Australia.

How Can I Teach My Parakeet to Speak?

It should be noted that many, if not most, parakeets will never speak. Evidence suggests that your odds are improved if you start with a very young bird, preferably male. Repeat certain phrases again and again over days and weeks, and with a little luck your parakeet will pick up on them. It takes a lot of patience.

Is Tap Water Safe for Parakeets?

Because of their small size, parakeets are more vulnerable to impure water than humans are. If you know that your tap water is good quality, there should not be a problem. However, pure spring water is your best bet. Remember to clean the water dish regularly so that harmful bacteria does not grow.

What Kind of Parakeet Cage Should I Get?

Parakeet cages come in many varieties, but some are better than others. Experts recommend bird cages with many horizontal bars, which are easier for your parakeet to climb on. However, most cages tend to have mainly vertical bars. Even more important, in my opinion, is that the cage top can be removed. This makes it one hundred times easier to let your birds in and out! It is especially important with a parakeet you are trying to train to trust you and sit on your finger, as it can be very difficult to do so when your only access into the cage is through the small door.

Cages also come in many sizes. Your parakeet should be able to stretch out its wings in any direction within the cage with ample room to spare. Two or more parakeets sharing a cage obviously need even more space.

Where Should I Place the Cage?

Parakeet cages should be placed in a room where they can observe daily activity. Never place the cage on or near the floor; birds in nature spend their time in trees, and feel safer higher up. Eye-level is the optimal height. Placing the cage in the kitchen is a bad idea; fumes from cooking and cleaners are not good for parakeets. Finally, make sure the cage is out of reach of small children or any other pets.

How Frequently Do Parakeets Produce Droppings?

About once every 12 minutes, more frequently when the birds are young. Yes, this does present a challenge when taking your parakeets out of their cage. It is best to do so in a room with a sealed hardwood, linoleum, or tile floor.

What Temperatures Are Good for Parakeets?

Parakeets like it warm. They do well in temperatures in the 70s and 80s (Fahrenheit). Avoid exposure to temperatures below 68 degrees. Keep your birds away from drafts--that means a safe distance from windows and air conditioners. Also, avoid locating them in direct sunlight.

Can I Give My Parakeet Fruit?

Yes, fruit is a great addition to a parakeet's diet. They'll eat all kinds. Try giving them vegetables as well, but avoid anything too acidic--tomatoes, for instance.

How Much Sleep Do Parakeets Need?

Parakeets will get into the same sleep rhythm as you. Dim the lights and they will usually start to settle down. Turn off the lights when it is time to sleep (leave a night-light on for young birds as the darkness may be scary). Your birds will wake with light in the morning. Some parakeet experts recommend more sleep--as much as ten hours a day. However, your birds will likely take small naps at quiet times of the day if they are tired. There is no need for them to sleep for ten hours continuously.

How Can I Tell if My Parakeet is Young?

Young parakeets have stripes on their foreheads. When they get older, these stripes go away. Also, the eyes of young parakeets appear completely black, while older parakeets have noticeable irises. Young parakeets are easier to train, and thus more desirable.

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