Beginners Guide on How to Take Care of Parakeets

Beginners Guide on How to Take Care of Parakeets

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll cover the essentials of parakeet care, ensuring your feathered friend thrives in its new home. Parakeets are small birds with big personalities, so you want to allow them to showcase this by providing an enriching environment where they can thrive!

From creating a comfortable and stimulating environment to understanding their dietary needs, social interactions, and health considerations, we’ll provide practical tips and insights to help you nurture a happy, healthy parakeet.

Whether you’re a first-time bird friend or looking to brush up on your avian knowledge, this guide is the perfect starting point for a rewarding journey with your new pet. 

Getting Started with Parakeet Care

Beginners Guide on How to Take Care of Parakeets

When you welcome a parakeet into your home, you commit to its care and well-being. Maintaining a healthy bird, gathering essential supplies, having fresh fruits on hand, and creating a comfortable habitat are fundamental steps in providing optimal care for your new pet.

Parakeets are good pets, but like any other pet, they take time, energy, and patience to turn into an incredible family member of your family. Since they are social birds, you must commit to spending time with your feathered friend.

Choosing the Right Parakeet

Look for a sanctuary or shelter that maintains a clean environment and healthy birds. Parakeets (budgies) are one of the most popular pet birds, so you’ll find many at shelters. Adopting one that needs a home instead of buying one is recommended. Additionally, you can look on Pet Finder for adoptable birds near you in the United States.

Observe the parakeets; active and alert birds with bright eyes and clean feathers are signs of good health. Consider the different species; some may have specific social or care requirements. Furthermore, did you know that parakeets are actually a type of small parrot?

Essential Supplies for Your Pet Bird (How to Take Care of Parakeets)

Before bringing your parakeet home and ensuring they have a healthy life, it is crucial to purchase the following items:

  • Cage: Many people will suggest at least 18x18x24 inches for a single budgie, but we recommend 20 x 20 x 24 inches or more (the more room, the better). You’ll need to double the size if there are two birds.

  • Perches: Varied sizes for foot health
  • Food dishes: Separate for food and water

  • Food: High-quality seed mix or pellets, fresh food like fresh fruits and fresh vegetables
  • Toys: To prevent boredom and encourage activity

  • Quality time: While this one is not technically a “supply,” you must ensure you have the energy to provide your bird with quality time each day.

Offer a variety of perch sizes to promote foot health and reduce the risk of arthritis.

Setting Up a Comfortable Habitat for Your Parakeet

(How to Take Care of Parakeets)

The habitat should be safe, spacious, and stimulating for your parakeet. Position the cage in a well-lit room away from direct sunlight and drafts. Ensure it has enough space on all sides for your bird to see around. Inside the cage, you’ll want the following:

  • Perches: Place at different heights, avoiding over-food dishes.
  • Cage lining: Easy-to-clean paper to monitor droppings for any health issues. Check out these bird cage liner ideas!

  • Toys and Accessories: Rotate regularly to keep your pet engaged.
  • Open Windows: If you keep your windows open, you’ll want to ensure all of the screens are intact before allowing your bird to fly around.

  • Horizontal bars: You’ll want a cage that has a good amount of horizontal bars for climbing.

Lastly always ensure you position the cage where your parakeet can observe and interact with your family, as these social creatures thrive on companionship and stimulation. 

Nutrition and Diet (How to Take Care of Parakeets)

Proper nutrition is essential for your parakeet’s health. A well-balanced diet comprising seeds, pellets, fruits, grains, vegetables, and a constant supply of fresh, clean water will ensure they thrive.

You’ll want to offer new food weekly to get your feathered friend used to trying new things!

Check out @plato_the_budgie

what can budgies eat

Feeding Your Parakeet a Balanced Diet

Your parakeet’s diet should be varied and nutritionally complete. Primarily, it should consist of high-quality pellets, providing an excellent nutrition base. Keep in mind that about 75% of your parakeet’s diet should be pellets. 

Complement this with a mix of seeds, which parakeets love, but offer them in moderation due to their high-fat content. Our pet birds are flying less than birds in the wild, so they cannot burn off all the high calories from a seed diet. Aiming for seeds to make up no more than 10% of the overall diet is a good idea.

  • Pellets: A staple that covers most nutritional needs
  • Seeds: For variety, limit quantities to avoid obesity

Safe and Dangerous Foods for These Small Parrots

While diversity in foods is good, knowing which foods are beneficial and which to avoid is crucial.

Safe Foods: (Best Food)

  • Fruits: Give apples, bananas, and berries (and other fruits) in moderation.
  • Vegetables: Leafy greens like arugula, lettuce, spinach, and kale are excellent choices.
  • Remember to use a veggie wash to clean  all fruits and vegetables this will help to remove chemicals and pesticides.

Dangerous Foods:

  • Avocado, chocolate, and caffeine are toxic to parakeets, and you must avoid them.
  • Also, refrain from giving them any food high in salt, sugar, or fat.

Check out @louiethebluebudgie and @plato_the_budgie

parakeets on instagram

Water: Hydration and Quality

Parakeets need access to fresh, clean water at all times. Refill their water bowls daily, and if using a water bottle, ensure it’s cleaned and working properly.

  • Hydration: Replace water daily to prevent bacteria growth
  • Quality: Use filtered water if possible to avoid chlorine and other additives found in tap water

Remember, a diet tailored to your parakeet’s needs is the best way to keep them healthy and happy.

Variety of Toys (How to Take Care of Parakeets)

Budgies and parakeets need plenty of toys and foraging treats to keep them happy. Additionally, you can learn to create foraging boxes and other DIY parrot foraging toys.

  • Variety of Toys: switch out the toys weekly so your bird doesn’t become bored with the toys.
  • Bird Safe Toys: Shop for toys at reputable companies like Hoot n Hollar Bird Toys

Daily Care and Maintenance

Proper daily care and maintenance are essential to your parakeet’s well-being. Keeping the environment clean and monitoring your bird’s health ensures your feathered friend stays happy and healthy.

Cleaning and Sanitation

It would help to keep your parakeet’s cage clean to prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria and parasites. Daily, replace the cage liner (such as paper or paper towels) and remove any waste.

Make time to clean the dishes with soapy water and refill with fresh water. Then, you’ll need to wash the food dishes to prevent mold and mildew.

  • Daily: Clean the bottom of the cage, plus all food and water dishes
  • Weekly: Clean the entire cage with a steamer.
  • Monthly: Wash all perches and toys in a mild soap solution and rinse thoroughly.

In brief remember, a clean living space is crucial for your parakeet’s safety and health.

Regular Health Checkups for Your New Bird

Scheduling annual checkups with an avian veterinarian ensures you identify any health issues early. Additionally, watch for signs of illness in your parakeet daily, such as changes in behavior, feeding, or waste.

  • Alertness: Your parakeet should be active and responsive.
  • Feathers: Look for vibrant, clean feathers without any bald patches that might indicate mites or other problems.

In this case, by staying vigilant, and interacting with your bird on a daily basis you can catch and address health concerns swiftly.

Managing Parakeet Molt

Parakeets naturally shed old feathers, referred to as molt, which can be stressful for the bird. During this period, focus on the following:

  • Nutrition: Provide foods high in protein to support feather growth.
  • Bathing: Offer regular bathing opportunities to help remove loose feathers.

Lastly understanding the molt cycle and offering extra care can help alleviate the discomfort  (from pin feathers) associated with this natural process.

parakeets have pin feathers

Socialization and Training

Parakeets are social animals that require regular interaction. Training your parakeet not only strengthens your bond but also stimulates their intellect.

It is essential to manage their social needs and train them from the beginning to ensure their happiness and well-being. Whether you have young budgies or adopt an older bird, you can start the socialization process as soon as they come into your home. 

Interacting with Your Parakeet

To foster a friendly relationship:

  1. Begin by spending time near their cage each day.
  2. Speak softly to your bird to build trust. Once your parakeet seems comfortable with your presence, you can gently extend your finger as a perch inside the cage.
  3. Offer them attention consistently, as erratic handling can cause stress.

Therefore given enough time, your bird will begin to look forward to your company.

Training Basics

When starting with training, establish a routine for daily sessions. Keep training short and positive. Begin with simple commands such as “step-up” onto your finger or a perch. Therefore use treats as rewards to encourage progress. Lastly patience is crucial; never rush your parakeet, as trust takes time to develop.

Training Steps:

Step 1: Offer your finger and say, “Step up.”

Step 2: Reward with a treat when successful.

Step 3: Repeat daily, adding more commands over time.

Mimicking Human Speech:

Parakeets are one type of talking bird, and while they may not be as chatty as an African Grey, they can still copy your voice! You can begin reading aloud to your bird to get them to start talking. Doing this daily will also help your bird begin to bond with you.

Introducing Parakeets to Other Pets

If you have multiple parakeets or other pets, introductions should be gradual. Start by keeping the pets in separate spaces where they can hear and see each other without direct contact. Monitor interactions closely when they share the same space to ensure they are safe and comfortable.

  • Introduction Phases:
  1. Visual contact without physical interaction.
  2. Supervised direct interaction.
  3. Increase shared time as they become comfortable.

With time and patience, your parakeets can enjoy human interaction and even build relationships with other pets in the household. Lastly remember, that socialization and consistent, gentle training are crucial to having a happy, friendly parakeet.

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