You've just brought your new parakeet home from the pet store and you've set up everything she needs -- a well-lined caged, plenty of food and water. Even so, a timid bird might wait a day or two before making herself at home and chowing down.
The New Bird Won't Eat
It's not uncommon for parakeets to ignore food on their first day home. Think about when you had to get used to finding your way around a new kitchen. Your bird needs time to acclimate, figure out where things are, and get used to your presence. After a short while, hunger should force her off her perch and onto the food bowl.
Signs of Eating
Some parakeets eat on their first day home, but only when no one's around. Don't take this personally. Your new bird will be practically attached to your shoulder in no time. But for now, she honestly thinks you might eat her.
So give her some space in the first couple of days, and periodically check her food bowl. If she's eating, you'll see seed husks in and around her bowl, and healthy, solid stools at the bottom of the cage.
If Your Parakeet Still Won't Eat
If your parakeet still isn't eating after the second day, ask yourself whether you're feeding her the same food she ate at the pet shop. Before gradually introducing her to a new diet, make sure she's getting the food she was used to. Also, your parakeet might also confused as to where the food dish is. Attract her attention to it by taking it out of the cage and putting it back in.
If she still refuses to eat, consult a veterinarian to find other reasons.
Parakeets Who Eat on the First Day
Some parakeets are more likely than others to eat on their first day home. A timid pet shop parakeet will probably take some time to start eating. A hand-fed parakeet who's used to humans will probably be less cautious, and she might even eat out of your hand.
In either case, spend time with your bird, feed her the right foods, and keep her away from stress to help her feel right at home.
June Mebei is a Virginia-based writer who earned her B.A. in English at Georgia State University. She began writing professionally in 2008, and has published narrative essays, editorial articles, short stories and poetry.