Parakeets (Melopsittacus undulatus) are small parrot-like, of which the budgerigar is the best known. These beautiful colored birds are originally from Australia. Here they travel around in large groups, where they cover great distances in search of food. Around 1850 the budgerigar Europe was introduced. The beautiful colored birds quickly became very popular and they still are.
Parakeets are cheerful, social, sociable crabs and certainly suitable as pets. A budgerigar in a cage needs a lot of attention, otherwise they will get bored. After all, they are group animals. To prevent boredom, it is advisable to put some toys in the cage and / or hang them up. The colorful birds exert an enormous attraction on children, but be careful with this. A parakeet is a rather fragile and vulnerable animal. A wing or leg is broken quickly. From the age of seven, children will be able to take care of the bird - under the supervision of a parent, of course.
Learn to talk
Parakeets can be tame and learned to talk. It is best to buy a just flared parakeet that is, by the way, old enough to eat independently. Of course taming the parakeet and learning to talk does not happen by itself. You need a nice portion of patience and the necessary hours of free time. On this website you will find a good description of taming the parakeet.
Newborn budgies are blind, but they grow very quickly and the faster they grow the sooner they can see. Parakeets have beautiful bright colors (green, blue, yellow, violet, gray, white). At the nose cap you can see if it is a male or female (also called pop). The nose cap is a piece of bald meat on the upper beak in which the nostrils are located. Males have a blue nose cap and females have a pink / light beige nose cap. When the female is in a brooding mood, her nose cap turns brown.
Parakeets have 4 toes: 2 from the front and 2 from the back (unlike songbirds that have 3 toes in front and 1 toe from the back). Because of this good distribution, parakeets can climb well and stick well.
In relation to their bodies, parakeets have big eyes that are placed to the side. This ensures that a parakeet can hardly be stunned unnoticed.
Eat eat food!
Budgerigars are seed eaters, just like parrots. The best food is a complete feed (for sale at the pet store), also called pellets, preferably consisting of exclusively biological raw materials. The diet contains all the necessary nutrients in the right proportion. Give your parakeet a daily dose of parakeet seed, this way you prevent your parakeet from picking only the tastiest seeds.
As an extra, your parakeet can be a piece of fruit, green food or herbs (parsley and basil) every day. However, this must be washed very well because vegetables and fruit often contain pesticides and they are toxic to your parakeet. A parakeet can basically have all kinds of fruit. When giving vegetables you can think of: broccoli, leaf endive, carrots, et cetera. Give your parakeet no lettuce, or at least not too often: from lettuce you can get parakeet watery stools.
Be careful with avocado and rhubarb
Never give your parakeet avocado or rhubarb. These products contain toxins for your parakeet.
Your parakeet also needs a piece of sea foam. This is a source of lime that they use to sharpen their bill, otherwise it would grow too far (just like with nails). They get lime at the same time, whatever they need. Lime is especially important for laying females. You can also find sea foam (sepia) on the beach yourself. Before you use this, however, the piece must first be boiled to remove the sea salt.
If your parakeet is in a moult, you can give it egg food as a bonus. You can buy this ready-made at the pet store, but you can also make it yourself. Prepare an egg and mix some biscuit crumbs through it. The fresh mixture may only be left in the cage for a few hours, because it is highly perishable.
You also need parakeet grit (stomach gravel) for good digestion. Shell sand is usually grit, but you can also buy it separately.
Bowl of water
Of course your parquet also needs a bowl of water. Although he comes from dry regions and does not drink much, he must always have access to fresh drinking water.
Newborn parakeets must receive ground food. For example, you can give them ground sunflower seeds or, if they are a little older, ground soft apple.
The best stay for a parakeet is a high cage with horizontal bars. Parakeets are good climbers and they also want to do this in a cage. The bars should not be more than 12 mm apart, otherwise he can go through with his cup and maybe not return.
The cage is best placed in a sunny or light room. However, do not place the cage in the direct sun, because he can not handle it, just as he can not handle drafts.
Never hang (or put) the cage near a television or sound box. This equipment emits a high-pitched beep that is not perceptible to the human hearing, but that makes your parakeet crazy. It is also advisable to place a bird cage in the kitchen. Baking and frying vapors are bad for the health of a parakeet.
At the bottom of the cage you lay a small layer of wood chips (from beech wood or corbo of maize) or shell sand. This ground cover must be changed at least once a week. Hang a minimum of 3 wooden sticks in the cage of the right thickness (the nails of his front and rear legs should not touch each other if his toes are around the stick).
Of course you also need a food bowl and a drinking bowl. Of course, these must also be cleaned regularly.
Some parakeets find a swim box delicious. You can hang these trays with a little water in the cage. Incidentally, not all parakeets like swimming. If your parakeet does not like swimming, you can occasionally spray it with a plant spray (do not spray directly).
A parakeet must fly around freely on a regular basis. Make sure the room is properly closed (doors closed, windows closed) so that your parakeet can not fly away. Also cover the windows (curtains, curtains or slats closed) as much as possible so that your parakeet can not fly against the glass. If the windows are uncovered, he will see this as a free passage through which he can simply fly.
Together or alone
A parakeet is a very social animal that absolutely needs attention. A parakeet that is alone needs extra attention: the lack of a buddy will have to be compensated by you. If you have little time to give the bird attention, you better take a couple. This can be 2 males, 2 females or a male and female.
Proper care is essential for a healthy parakeet. It is not always easy to recognize a sick bird. After all, a bird is trying to hide its sickness from natures. Yet there are a few phenomena that you need to be alert to. If you discover one or more of these symptoms in your parakeet, please contact a veterinarian immediately.
Symptoms of a sick parakeet
The following symptoms indicate that your parakeet may be ill:
- The bird does not eat and / or drink
- He is sitting on two legs with stuffed feathers
- The parakeet sleeps on two legs
- Your parakeet does not talk and / or chats anymore
- The stool is watery
- The head feathers of the parakeet are soiled by mucus
- There are equilibrium disorders
- The bird sleeps more than usual
- The bird has no interest in its environment
Price and purchase
You can buy a parakeet in a pet store, animal shelter, at a grower, in people's homes or via an advertisement on the internet. Whether you buy your bird in a pet store or in people's homes, always make sure that the creature is healthy. Even in pet shops, not all animals are equally well cared for ... A healthy bird has bright eyes, a well-formed beak and clean feathers. A parakeet is generally not expensive. For about 10 to 15 euros you buy a nice parakeet.
How do you learn to speak to a parakeet?
Parakeets, like most other parrot-like, can learn to imitate and / or talk sounds. In fact, the budgerigar can clearly 'talk' to all birds. It is difficult to teach him this, but the result is wonderful. It is best to start early with 'speech lessons'; male or female, that does not matter: they can both speak equally quickly and equally well. Whether they want to talk depends on the character of the parakeet.
Start by learning simple words like 'hello' or the name of the bird, if at least no longer than two syllables. The voice of a woman or child is easier to imitate because of the higher tone. Consider this when deciding who can become the speech therapist in the family. Give speech every day, preferably in the morning or at the beginning of the evening, when the bird is the most active. Make sure the bird is not distracted during the lesson by the television, the radio, or by other people and birds. It must be very quiet so that you can count on the full attention of the bird. The key to success is to keep repeating a word. Do not mix words, and only proceed with a new word when the parakeet has mastered the previous word.
Is it natural?
Is it natural to learn to talk to the bird? Finally, he only learns this because he likes to communicate, and in the absence of a cow mate, he takes pleasure in the man who takes care of him. Parakeets are pretty good imitators that can easily pick up cries from birds in a cage where they are next to, even if this is a completely different species. Parakeets that are forced to focus more on their caretakers in the absence of a partner will be tame easier.