Owning parakeets, also known as budgies, can be easy, rewarding and great fun. These colorful little budgie buddies have big personalities and long lifespans of 6 to 10 years. With proper care, these playful pets can bring many years of joy to their owners.
How Many Parakeets?
If you spend a lot of time at home and have the time to pay plenty of attention to your new pet friend, then one parakeet may do just fine. But should your life become busier, it may be best to purchase another bird to keep her company. And don't worry, parakeets will not breed without placement of a special nesting box, and any male/female combinations get along equally well.
Housing Your Parakeet
Parakeets should be kept in cages that are long and wide, rather than tall and narrow, because your budgie pal prefers to fly horizontally, rather than vertically. Place several perches, toys, water/feed dishes and a swing or two around the perimeter of her parakeet palace, keeping the center open for flight. Place parakeet gravel paper, shredded newspaper or a picture of your least favorite politician at the bottom of her cage to absorb waste. A varied assortment of cages, toys, feed dishes, perches and gravel paper are available at your favorite pet supply store or online
Feeding Your Parakeet
Fill her water and food dishes with fresh mixed budgie seed and water every day, and keep an iodine block or a cuttlebone in her cage to provide needed minerals and amino acids. Special treats like lettuce, parsley, spinach or an occasional slice of fruit will likely cause your parakeet to sing out your praises.
Keeping Your Parakeet Healthy
Keep your parakeet healthy by choosing a nearby avian (bird) veterinarian and scheduling an initial health check. Take the time to discuss the care and diet of your new bird friend, and plan future annual check-ups. Parakeets are known to hide signs of sickness, and may only appear unwell when they are very ill. If your budgie seems irregular, not eating or weakly lingering at the bottom of the cage, take her to your avian veterinarian. Bringing your pet to your veterinarian sooner than later will greatly improve her chances of a quick recovery.