When you're away, your bird will play. And preen. And squawk. And potentially destroy items in his cage or harm himself if he isn't kept busy. Supplying your bird with toys, treats and background sounds can keep him amused and engaged when you're not home.
Bored Birds are Bad News
Leaving your pet while you go to work is a painful thing. Bored and lonely dogs and cats may eat the furniture and destroy the carpet, and while caged parakeets can't destroy your house, they also become bored. Keeping your parakeet busy is important, as bored birds may pull their feathers, overeat, or harm themselves while attempting to escape their cages or find something to do. Parakeets are natural chewers and may resort to whittling their perches or chewing on plastic seed cups or seed guard panels on their cages. Leaving your bird for a quick trip to the store doesn't require much forethought, but leaving him home alone while you go to work means you must plan ahead to keep him busy and safe when you're gone.
Birds Going Bonkers
Your parakeet is an intelligent, active bird that is naturally inclined to be active most of the day. Sitting alone in a cage is frustrating for him and can lead to excessive squawking and chattering in attempts to gain attention. Tame parakeets bond with their owners, and calling out to locate them is instinctive behavior. Bored birds can develop repetitive behaviors such as pacing and climbing their cage bars in a particular pattern. Parakeets may "feed" their reflections by regurgitating food toward their mirrors. This is natural behavior that keeps your parakeet busy. Supplying your parakeet with a variety of toys, foods and chewing material will help keep him out of trouble when you're away.
Now That's Entertainment
Provide your bird with a cage large enough to freely climb and exercise his wings. Place a couple of toys designed for small birds in his cage along with a mirror. Placing a mirror in your bird's cage provides the illusion of company. Dog toys and human toys can be dangerous for parakeets due to their chewing habits and birds' sensitivity to chemicals that don't bother dogs, cats or people. Entertain your parakeet by leaving your TV or radio on while you're at work. Record words or short phrases you want him to learn and play the recording while you're at work. Your bird will be comforted by your voice and may learn to talk while he's absorbing your every word.
Keeping Your Parakeet Safe
Allowing your parakeet freedom from his cage while you're away is not a good way of keeping your bird entertained. Birds have no sense of controlling their flight speed indoors and can be hurt or killed when flying full force into windows or walls. Unsupervised parakeets can also get into things they shouldn't. Chewing drapes, upholstery and the stack of bills you left on the kitchen table are a few examples. Parakeets are ground feeders and enjoy walking around on the floor looking for treats. Allowing your parakeet access to your floors while you're away is dangerous. If your parakeet's wings are clipped, he can't escape fast enough to avoid household pets and risks being stepped on when you get home. Keeping your parakeet caged during your absence may seem cruel, but it is safer for your bird.