Caring for Your Little Parakeet in Every Way

Parakeets, also known as Budgerigars (or Budgies), make perfect pets for first-time pet owner as they are generally easy to look after, easily tamed, pretty, intelligent and can even learn to talk! Of course, if you’ve just brought your parakeet home, the first thing you need to do is establish some kind of rapport with the bird so it feels comfortable and safe around you. This won’t, of course, be an overnight process but you need to start right away.

Firstly, keep it in a ‘safe’ location, generally at about head-height in some corner of a room you tend to inhabit more than any other. This will give the bird a sense of security from being at a height and also get it used to your face. It’s a wonderfully smart little thing and will even begin picking up on your moods eventually. You also need make sure the cage is big enough for the parakeet to be comfortable in and it should be kept quite clean. Remove bird droppings daily from the cage, for instance, and make sure you clear out seed-shells before putting in new food. Talk to it often, using ‘hard’ sounds like the ‘t’, ‘p’, ‘k’ used in ‘pretty parakeet’. These are easier for the bird to mimic as well and may encourage it to start talking back at you!

The next big thing, of course, is food. The kind of bird-seed you use, how often you feed the bird and what you give the bird apart from seed is of some consideration. Normally people find that some kind of seed mix that’s been fortified with vitamins is an optimal base. On this then other ‘rabbit’ food may be added, such as certain fruits and vegetables. This can potentially extend the life of your bird by up to five or six years! If you think about it, you’ll realise that in the wild, parakeets eat all sorts of food items not restricted to just seed.

Oh, a word of caution; if you see some suspiciously colourful looking seeds they may be artificially dyed seeds and you should keep your pretty parakeet away from them. Also, if the seed you bought, say, a few weeks ago becomes a bit stale and dusty, it’s likely got ‘seed moth’ and you need to buy a new bag. Try freezing it as soon as you’ve bought a bag to avoid this problem, but do remember to give it time to thaw before feeding your bird.

A few last tips: always keep fresh water in the bird’s cage and make sure there’s always enough food. Remember to ‘finger-train’ it as well so that you can allow it out of the cage for some daily exercise. It won’t ever really over-eat, but it needs to be able to fly every now and then, just so it can stay a bird and not just a pet.

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