Thursday, October 29, 2009

Learn about parakeets

About Parakeets
Read on for parakeet history, etymology, characteristics, how to tell female and male parakeets apart, color mutations, personality, vision, habitat and behaviour, in captivity, parakeet reproduction, parakeet breeding, parakeet development, breeding difficulties, parakeet speech, and more.

The Parakeet

Yellow Face Blue Parakeet. The Parakeet (Melopsittacus undulatus, nicknamed budgie), the only species in the Australian genus Melopsittacus, is a small parrot belonging to the tribe of the broad-tailed parrots (Platycercini); these are sometimes considered a subfamily (Platycercinae). In the latter case, the Parakeet is sometimes isolated in a tribe of its own, the Melopsittacini, although it is probably quite closely related to Pezoporus and Neophema. Though Parakeets are often called Parakeets, especially in American English, this term refers to any of a number of small Parrots with long flat tails. The Parakeet is found throughout the drier parts of Australia and has survived in the inlands of that continent for over 5 million years.

Parakeet Etymology
Several possible origins for the English name Parakeet have been proposed:

* A compound of budgery, "good" and gar "Cockatoo". Parakeet means "good eating" or "good food" in some Australian Aboriginal languages. This is supported by the Oxford English Dictionary. The word budgery itself, also spelt boojery, was formerly in use in Australian English slang meaning "good".
* An alteration of Gamilaraay gidjirrigaa, possibly influenced by the slang word budgery mentioned above. This is supported by the American Heritage Dictionary.

The genus name Melopsittacus comes from Greek and means "melodious parrot". The species name undulatus is Latin for "undulated" or "wave-patterned".

Parakeet Characteristics

Female Parakeet: brown cere, Male Parakeet: blue cereAdult females display beige to brown ceres while adult males typically have blue ceres or purplish-pink in Albinistic and recessive-pied varieties.

Parakeet Appearance
Parakeets are about 18 cm long and weigh 30-40 grams. Wild Parakeets display a green body colour (abdomen and rumps), while their mantle (back and wing coverts) is black edged in yellow. The forehead and face is yellow in adults, and barred black with yellow in young till they change into their adult plumage at 3-4 months of age. Each cheek has a small dark purple patch (cheek patches) and a series of 3 black spots across each sides of their throats (throat-spots) of which the outermost spots are situated at the base of each cheek-patches. The tail is cobalt (dark-blue); outside tail feathers display central yellow flashes. Their wings have greenish-black flight feathers and black coverts with yellow fringes along with central yellow flashes which only becomes visible in flight and/or when the wings are stretched. Bill olive grey and legs blueish-grey, with zygodactyl toes. Wild Parakeets are noticeably smaller than those in captivity. These parrots have been bred in many other colours in captivity, such as white, blue, and even purple, although they are mostly found in pet stores in blue, green, yellow and occasionally white. Parakeet plumage is known to fluoresce under ultraviolet light, a phenomenon possibly related to courtship and mate selection.

The colour of the cere (the area containing the nostrils) differs between the sexes; royal blue in males, pale-brown to white (non-breeding) or brown (breeding) in females and pink in immatures of both sexes (usually of a more even purplish-pink colour in young males). Young females can often be identified by a subtle chalky whiteness that starts around the cere nostril holes. Males that are either albino, lutino and/or recessive-pied (aka Danishpied aka Harlequin) always retain the immature purplish-pink cere colour their entire life.

Parakeet Color Mutations
There are presently at least 32 primary mutations in the Parakeet, enabling hundreds of possible secondary mutations (stable combined primary mutations) & color varieties (unstable combined mutations). Each of these primary mutations falls into one of four basic groups:

* Albinism : where eumelanin is either partially or completely reduced in all body tissues & structures.

* Dilution : where eumelanin is partially reduced in only feathering.

* Leucism : where eumelanin is completely reduced from total or localized feathering.

* Melanism : where eumelanin is increased in the feathering.

Each of these mutations is inherited via one of the following dominance relationships:

* Autosomal co-dominant
* Autosomal complete dominant
* Autosomal incomplete dominant
* Autosomal recessive
* Autosomal polygenic
* Sex-linked recessive

Because birds have a ZW sex-determination system, sex-linked recessive traits are more common in females than in males, rather than the reverse as is found the more familiar XY determination of humans and other mammals.

Parakeet Personality
Care should be taken when placing several female budgies together, as they can do serious harm to one another if they do not get along. It is easier and often more convenient to either keep either an even number of both males and females or to only keep male birds altogether as these generally get along with each other without any problem. Contrary to historical beliefs, modern literature agrees that Parakeets should never be kept single as this can cause serious harm to the bird both physically and psychologically.[citation needed] They are relatively easily tamed.

Bird lovers often comment on the differences in personality in each individual bird. Parakeets each have their own unique ideas about how much they like to be handled, which toys are their favourites, and even what music they like or are indifferent to.

Parakeet Vision
Like many birds, Parakeets have tetrachromatic color vision, but all four classes of cone cells operating simultaneously requires the full spectrum provided by sunlight.

Parakeet Habitat and behaviour
Parakeets are nomadic birds found in open habitats, primarily in Australian scrubland, open woodland and grassland. The birds are normally found in small flocks, but can form very large flocks under favourable conditions. The species is extremely nomadic and the movement of the flocks is tied to the availability of food and water. Drought can drive flocks into more wooded habitat or coastal areas. They feed on the seeds of spinifex, grass weeds, and sometimes ripening wheat.

Feral birds have been found since the 1940s in the St. Petersburg, Florida area of the United States, but are much less common than they were in the early 1980s. Colder than normal winter temperatures in some years and increased competition from European Starlings are the main reasons for the declining population.

Parakeets keep themselves clean by preening. They do it very often to remove dirt and dust from their feathers which are important for flight. Parakeets show signs of affection to their friends by preening or feeding one another. They help clean each others hard-to-reach spots. Parakeets feed one another by eating the seeds themselves, and then regurgitating it into their friend's mouth.

When budgies sleep, they often fluff up their feathers, trapping in warm air, and making themselves cozy.

Parakeets in Captivity
The Parakeet is one of the two Parrots to be genuinely domesticated as a species along with the Peach-faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis). Believed to be the most common pet Parrot in the world, the Parakeet has been bred in captivity since the 1850s. Breeders have worked over the decades to produce a wide range of colour, pattern and feather mutations, such as blue, white, violet, olive, albino and lutino (yellow), pied, clearwing, spangled, and crested.

Modern show Parakeets, also called English Parakeets and/or Standard-Type Parakeets are larger than their wild-type (natural form) counterparts, with puffy head feathers, giving them an exaggerated look. The eyes and beak can be almost totally obscured by feathers. Most Parakeets in the pet trade are not of the show variety (Standard-Type aka English Budgies) and are similar in size and body conformation to wild Parakeets and thus aptly called wild-type Budgies.

Budgies are not expensive, which is another reason to why they are very common pets. They are usually found between 10 to 30 dollars, but some breeds can go up to 50.

Parakeets are intelligent and social animals and enjoy the stimulation of toys and interaction with humans as well as with other Parakeets. A common behaviour is the chewing of material such as wood, especially for female Parakeets.

Parakeets can be taught to speak, whistle tunes, and play with humans. Both males and females sing and can learn to mimic sounds & words. Both singing and mimicry are more pronounced and much more perfected in males. As a whole, females rarely if ever learn to mimic more than a dozen words or so. Males can very easily acquire vocabularies ranging between a few dozen to a hundred words. Generally speaking, it is the pet Budgies and even more so the ones kept as single pets which talk the best and the most.

In captivity, Parakeets live an average of five to eight years, but are reported to occasionally live to 15 if well cared for. The life span depends on the Parakeet's breed (show Parakeets typically do not live as long as wild-type Parakeets) and on the individual bird's health, which is highly influenced by exercise and diet.

Female parakeets love to chew on anything they can find in their cage, which comes from their instinct to build nests for their eggs. Since in captivity parakeets don't have as many things to gnaw on as they do in the wild, cuttlebone is often placed in their cages to help them keep their beaks clean and trimmed.

Although wild Parakeets eat grass seeds almost exclusively, avian veterinarians recommend captive birds' diets be supplemented with foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouted seeds, pasta, whole grain bread and other healthy human foods, as well as pellets formulated for small parrots. Adding these foods provides additional nutrients and can prevent obesity and lipomas, as can substituting millet, which is relatively low in fat, for seeds mixes. Parakeets do not always adapt readily to dietary additions, however. Chocolate and avocado are recognized as potential toxins.

Parakeet Reproduction
The male will stand on female's back while some beak contact is made between the mates. The male will then wrap his tail under the female's raised tail, place his cloaca (most male birds have no penis) against hers and rub it back and forth to stimulate ejaculation. The male may move away for a moment before returning for another session.

Parakeet Breeding
Parakeets are easily bred. In the wild, virtually all parrot species require a hollow tree or a hollow log and because of that, they naturally require nest boxes for breeding. Female Parakeets will still lay eggs without a partner ; but they'll be unfertilized, this is just like the eggs that hens lay, which are later sold at supermarkets. A hen will lay her eggs on alternate days; after the first one, there is usually a two-day gap until the next. She will usually lay between four to twelve eggs, which she will incubate (usually starting after laying her 2nd or 3rd) for about 19 days each. Parakeet Parakeet hens only leave their nests for very quick defecations and stretches once they've begun incubating and are by then almost exclusively fed by their cocks (usually at the nest's entrance) Depending on the clutch size and the beginning of incubation, there can be anywhere from 5 to 15 day age difference between the first and last hatchlings.

Parakeet Development
The eggs will take about 18-20 days before they start hatching. When they start to hatch, the hatchlings are totally helpless and their mother feeds them around the clock day and night. Around 10 days of age, the chicks' eyes will open, and they will start to develop feather down, which typically indicates the best time for adding closed bands to the chicks (These rings should be about 4.0 to 4.2 mm.)

They develop feathers around 3 weeks of age. (One can often easily note the colour mutation of the individual birds at this point.) At this stage of the chicks' development, the cocks usually has begun to enter the nest to help his hen in caring and feeding the chicks. Some Budgie hens though totally forbids their cocks from entering the nest and thus take the full responsibility of rearing the chick. Depending on the size of the clutch, it may then be wise to transfer a portion of the hatchlings (or best of the fertile eggs) to another pair. The foster pair must already be in breeding mode and thus either at the laying or incubating stages and/or rearing hatchlings. In about 4 weeks the birds are ready to survive on their own.

By the fifth week, the chicks are strong enough that both parents will be comfortable in staying more and more out of the nest. The youngsters will stretch their wings to gain strength before they attempt to fly. They will also help defend the box from enemies mostly with their loud screeching. Young budgies typically fledge (leave the nest) around their fifth week of age and are usually completely weaned a week later. However, the age for fledging as well as weaning can vary slightly depending on whether it is the oldest, the youngest and/or the only surviving chick. Generally speaking, the oldest chick is the first to be weaned. But even though it is logically the last one to be weaned, the youngest chick is often weaned at a younger age than its older sibling(s). (This can be a result of mimicking the actions of older siblings.) Lonely surviving chicks are often weaned at the youngest possible age as a result of having their parent's full attention and care.

Parakeet Breeding difficulties
Often males will show courtship with males, and females will court females. It is easy to mistake them for opposite sexes, so you can't differentiate them by this behavior. Breeding difficulties arise for various reasons. Some chicks may die from diseases or attacks by their parents (virtually always hens). Other Parakeets (virtually always hens) may fight over the nest box, attacking the hen while she is laying her eggs. Sometimes parakeets are not interested in the opposite sex, and will not reproduce with them. Another problem may be the birds' beak being underlapped. This is where the lower mandible is above the upper mandible.
It is very important to realize that most health issues and physical abnormalities are genetically inherited and are thus consequence of high inbreeding frequencies. Parasites (i.e. fleas, mites, worms...) and pathogenes (bacteria, fungi and viruses), however, are contagious and thus transmitted between individuals through either direct or indirect contact.

Parakeet Speech
Male Parakeets are considered one of the top five talking champions amongst Parrot species. That is alongside

Every Psittacus erithacus ssp. (Congo/Cameroon/Ghana/Princep's &/or Timneh African Grey Parrots)

Every Amazona spp. (Amazon Parrot species)

Every Eclectus ssp. (Eclectus sub-species)

Every Psittacula spp. (Afro-Asian Ringnecked Parakeet species)

MALE Melopsittacus undulatus (Parakeet Parakeet)

A Parakeet named Puck holds the world record for the largest vocabulary of any bird, at 1,728 words. Puck, owned by American Camille Jordan, died in 1994, with the record first appearing in the 1995 edition of Guinness World Records.

The Parakeet will typically speak words in the context to which he or she is accustomed to hearing them. For example, if the bird owner says "up" every time the bird is picked up, the bird may say "up" when it is picked up, or wants to be picked up.

Many Parakeets prefer non-verbal communication, such as stomping on their food dish and shrieking when they want fresh seed, rather than asking for it.

Parakeet health

Parakeet Health
Read on for signs of a healthy parakeet, tips to ensure a healthy parakeet, what to do in case of an emergency, parakeet signs of illness, how to remove a broken blood feather, how to assemble a parakeet emergency first aid kit, and more.

Keep a close eye on your parakeets health. A healthy parakeet has bright clear eyes, a shiny non-flaky or crusty cere and beak, strong shiny bright feathers, will chatter and fly about happily. If your parakeet is huddled and fluffed up on the floor of their cage - get them to an avian vet immediately. Parakeets are prey animals and will conceal any sign of illness for as long as possible so they will not be cast from their flock or picked out by predators as weak. If they are showing signs of illness - you know it's very bad.

Be sure to weigh your parakeet regularly as weight loss is the easiest way to know your parakeet is sick.

When you bring a new parakeet into the home and you already have birds, be sure to put the new bird in quarantine for a minimum of 30 days to be sure they are not carrying any illnesses that could be passed on to your current birds. Keep them in a different room and always wash your hands after handling them.

If your parakeet has been caught by another animal (such as a cat or a dog) get them to an avian vet asap.

* Emergency: If your parakeet has: ingested/inhaled poison
* fallen into water (toilet, etc)
* electric shock (biting electrical cords, etc)
* stepped on
* door closed on
* hit by ceiling fan
* flew into window
* bitten/clawed by another pet
* burned

or shows any of the following symptoms, get them to an avian vet immediately. Be sure to take your parakeet to an avian vet and not your regular pet veteranarian as bird vets require special vet training.
Parakeet Signs of Illness

* poop change, runny/lack of droppings
* decrease talking/activity
* picking/plucking at feathers (not regular preening)
* feathers dirty/stuck together/ratty
* discharge from eyes/nose/beak
* abnormal breathing
* dull/swollen/runny/cloudy eyes
* falling off perch
* hunched over
* lumps/bumps/sores or swelling
* weight loss
* not eating
* weak/fluffed up
* tail bobbing
* bleeding
* convulsing
* runny/inflamed cere
* vomiting (not the regurgitation they do as part of bonding)

In an Emergency
Key: Stay calm.
Gently restrain bird with a small towel or washcloth.
If bleeding, gently apply pressure to wound with serile gauze square.,br> In case of broken/fractured bones - place bird in stockinette to keep wings still.
Place bird in small hospital cage with heating pad or hot water
bottle under half of the cage. Cover cage with warm blanket.
When transporting bird to the avian vet, make sure the hospital cage is secure and covered for warmth and darkness.

How to Remove a Broken Blood Feather
Stay calm. Gently restrain the bird with a small towel, taking care not to restrict breathing by constraining around the chest. With a hemostat or tweezers, firmly grasp the broken bleeding feather at the base and pull in one swift motion in the direction of feather growth. After the feather has been removed, apply moderate pressure with a serile gauze pad to stop bleeding for one minute then apply flour or corn starch.
Parakeet Emergency First Aid Kit
Parakeet First Aid Kit
Parakeet First Aid Kit

* Always keep an emergency first aid kit with your your parakeet. This should include the following items: styptic powder/flour/corn starch to stop bleeding (Quik Stop causes soft tissue damage) for broken feathers and nails
* heating pad/infrared lamp
* bandage/roll of gauze/gauze squares
* hospital cage
* avian vet number/hours
* towel/washcloth if you have to towel them
* bird nail clippers
* tweezers
* scissors
* hydrogen peroxide
* neosporin (creme not the oil-based)
* charcoal capsules (to absorb toxins - only on advice of poison control)
* grapefruit seed extract (anti-microbial disinfectant)
* sterile saline solution (for cleaning wounds and flushing eyes)
* pedialyte (for rehydration)
* betadine disinfectant
* aloe vera gel
* wire cutters
* masking tape
* cotton swabs

Favorite parakeet toys

Parakeet Toys

Read on for parakeet toy safety tips, what to look for, what toys parakeets love the best, recommended parakeet toys and more.

Parakeets need many different kinds of toys! Look for toys with bells, spinning things, anything with mirrors, swings, ladders, and soft wood or paper that they can chew or shred.

We have bought nearly every parakeet toy in existence. Some the birds love and play with incessantly and some they just ignore. Here we have listed the bird toys that the parakeets really loved and played with constantly. We think your parakeets will have as much fun with these bird toys as our parakeets did playing with these!

Don't just give your parakeet the tiny bird toys made specifically for parakeets - some of the bird toys made for larger parrots can be just as fun for parakeets!

Also, remember, parakeets love to chew and need to chew to keep their beaks healthy! They need toys that they can shred and chew on and destroy! We've heard horror stories of poor little parakeets who spent their days without toys to play with because "they just destroyed them"! Well, yes, they should! That's what they do! A parakeet without different toys to play and engage their intelligent mind with will quickly become bored and may turn to destructive behavior like destroying furniture or feather plucking.

    Parakeet toy Safety Tips:
  • Make sure to trim any frays or strings from toys so that budgies don't get their toes caught in them.
  • If you have a happy hut, inspect the inside frequently to be sure the bird is not chewing/injesting the fur on the inside. This could cause crop impaction.

Here are our parakeet flocks' favorite parakeet toys: Click on the image of the parakeet toy for ordering information.

How to train a parakeet

Parakeet Training

Read on for how to teach your parakeet to talk, teach your parakeet to step up, how to tame a parakeet, teach your parakeet tricks and games and more.

Teach Your Parakeet to Talk
Parakeets can be taught to speak, whistle tunes, and play with humans. Both male and female parakeets sing and can learn to mimic sounds & words. Both singing and mimicry are more pronounced and much more perfected in male parakeets. As a whole, female parakeets rarely if ever learn to mimic more than a dozen words or so. Male parakeets can very easily acquire vocabularies ranging between a few dozen to a hundred words. Generally speaking, it is the pet parakeets and even more so the ones kept as single pets which talk the best and the most. - modified from the Budgerigar article on Wikipedia

Our parakeets love this toy! Mirror Mate Recordable Training Mirror and Feed Cup Combo You can record words you want your parakeets to learn and the mirror is motion-activated so that when the parakeets land on the mirror perch the mirror plays the sounds you recorded. Click the image for ordering information. Mirror Mate Recordable Training Mirror and Feed Cup Combo

As with foods, the key with parakeets is persistance. Repeat the words you want your parakeets to learn over and over every day. Soon they may pick up the words and incorporate them into their everyday speech. This works best with male parakeets and when you have just one or two parakeets. You are their flock so they will learn your words and will make up new sentences and word combinations with the words. If there are many more parakeets in the flock, they tend to revert to parakeet speech and forgo the language you have taught them.

How to Tame a Parakeet
I've said it once, I'll say it again: persistance! When you first bring home your parakeet, for the first few days just sit beside the cage and softly talk to the parakeet, sing songs, read from books, make eye contact. Let your parakeet get to know you slowly. When you change out the food and water, speak softly to your parakeet and tell them how pretty they are, how glad you are that they are going to share your home, introduce them to your home and to you. Then, begin just placing your hand inside the cage - don't try to touch the parakeet, just place your hand inside and let it rest there so your parakeet can see that the hand is not a danger. Then go to the next step down - teach your parakeet to step up. Once you have your parakeet stepping up you can then do more bonding rituals like holding a piece of millet on your chest and let them fly to you and land on your chest and eat the millet. Once they come to know that you are not a threat, they will land on your head, play with your jewelry, sit on your shoulder and step up on your finger when you provide a finger and ask them to step up. Always appear sure and confident. Don't hold your finger too far away from them - they shouldn't have to step too far to get on. Never draw your finger away when they are stepping up or they will lose trust in you. If they are unsure and want to test the safety and sturdiness of your finger, they may first reach out with their beak to test. Do not be afraid. They are not going to bite, just touch with their beak. If they do ever bite, whatever you do - don't respond. If you yell or scream or flail they may get excited and think it a fun game and continue to bite you. One way to get them to stop biting while on the hand is to shake your hand gently like an "earthquake". Never ever hit or yell at your bird for any reason. They are sensitive and will lose their trust in you and only react scared and defensive and will fly away from you and not want to be around you. This is exactly the opposite of what you want. It is important to always approach them as happy and loving and non-intimidating. As they are prey animals and you are a predator with 2 eyes looking forward, at first - just look at them with one eye - so they will not be afraid. For your first attempts of bringing your parakeet out of their cage - a small safe parakeet-proof room is best - like a bathroom - with the toilet lid down and the mirror covered - someplace where you can easily retrieve the parakeet if he flies away.
Teach Your Parakeet to Step Up
One of the first things you should teach your parakeet is how to step up. When the parakeet is in their cage, hold a wooden dowel gently against their belly - just above their legs and say "Step up". Be sure to say "step up" each time so that they learn the command. Be consistent. Use millet to lure them onto the stick. Be sure they get a treat each time they do what you are trying to get them to do and praise them in a happy high pitched voice. They will hop onto the dowel and you can move them to a different perch in the cage. Practice this over and over every day until they are unafraid. You can then bring the dowel out of the cage (in a safe room - free of parakeet dangers like open windows/doors, un-curtained windows, open bowels/pots of water, other pets, etc) and practice step-ups there.

Once your parakeet has mastered step-ups onto a wooden dowel, you can move on to teaching them to step up onto your finger. Hold the dowel with your finger pointing out onto it, getting your finger closer and closer to the parakeet's feet each time you do it. Once the parakeet is getting onto your finger on the dowel, you can begin trying to get them onto your finger, holding out your index finger in a point just as you did with the dowel.

Choosing the best parakeet cage

Parakeet Cages

Read on for parakeet cage requirements, what to avoid, and recommended parakeet cages.

    Parakeet cage Requirements:
  • The cage should not be made of toxic metals such as zinc, lead, or brass (wet brass tarnishes - this tarnish is toxic). Stainless steel is best or powder-coated.
  • Do not put your parakeet in a cage that is rusted or has chipping paint.
  • If you find an old cage in the attic, basement, trash-picking, or at a yard sale that only has a few rusty patches or a little chipping paint and you want to re-paint it for your parakeet - DON'T. Throw it out and get a new cage on eBay. The cost of getting a cage sanded down and then powder-coated is more than you would pay for a new cage on eBay.
  • Big enough for the parakeet to not only fully turn around and spread out their wings, but to fly from one side to another - a absolute minimum of 18x18x24.. Buy the biggest cage you can afford. Parrot cages are MUCH cheaper online than they are in the pet store. Please check ebay for new parrot cages at great prices!
  • Horizontal bars because parakeets love to climb!
  • Width is more important than height as parakeets fly horizontally.
  • Bar spacing should be no wider than 1/2 inch so that the parakeet doesn't get their head stuck between the bars. Their heads are smaller than they look!
  • No round cages - a parakeet doesn't feel safe in a round cage - there is no back wall to retreat to. Along the same lines, be sure there is a wall behind at least one side of the cage.
  • A good size rectangular cage is best - the palace shape or house shapes actually restrict the room the parakeet has to fly and play and create a mess of poop and food the others do not.
  • Do not place the cage next to a window. Drafts can cause the parakeet to become sick. Keep the cage out of direct sunlight.
  • Place the cage in a room you spend alot of time in (though not the kitchen - because of fumes and hot unsafe surfaces) but that will be quiet at night.
  • Parakeets require alot of mental stimulation. Be sure they have lots of fun toys and that you rotate the toys frequently so that they do not become bored and so they get used to change.
  • Parakeet-proof the room the parakeet will be flying in by making sure no open water surfaces, open windows/doors, uncurtained windows, other pets, etc will harm them.
  • Be sure to cover the cage at night to provide darkness and a secure cover to prevent night-frights.
  • Several perches of varying widths are necessary to promote healthy feet and legs and to prevent foot sores caused by plain wooden dowels. We recommend the wood branch perches and rope perches.
  • Avoid: sand perch covers (cause foot sores), mite protectors (cause respiratory illness), bedding (breeds fungus and can cause crop impaction when injested) - paper towels or plain newsprint are best so you can watch poops for health.
  • Covered food and water dishes so parakeets don't poop in them and get sick.
  • Cuttle bone to chew on. It's good for their beaks and provides needed calcium.
  • Use pipe cleaners or twist ties to secure all cage doors and windows. Parakeets are smart little buggers and can quickly and easily figure out how to give themselves some unsupervised out time!
  • Place the best wood perches up high - and the stone ones that are good for toe nail health down low. Parakeets like to be up high and will spend most of their time on the nicer perches that are good for their feet. We don't recommend using the wooden dowels that come with cages for anything other than step-ups and collecting parakeets from around the room to return to their cages.
  • Make sure there is a food bowl for each parakeet in the cage so that they don't have to fight over it or the dominant parakeet doesn't let the other parakeets near the food.
  • If you are going to have several parakeets in the same cage - it's better to move them at the same time rather than moving a new bird into another bird's cage to avoid territorial issues. />

Canary Parakeet Cockatiel LoveBird Finch Bird Cages - 18"x14"x35"Canary Parakeet Cockatiel LoveBird Finch Bird Cages 18"x14"x36"

Canary Parakeet Cockatiel LoveBird Finch Bird Cages - 18"x14"x60" *Black*

Caring for your parakeet

Looking for more information on caring for parakeets? You have come to the right place! We have years of experience raising and keeping parakeets and have put together our knowledge to share with you. We have alot of information and recommendations on the care of parakeets, including: food, housing - cages, training to talk and to play games and do tricks, toys, pictures, health, and more...

Parakeet Food
Parakeet Food
Includes health requirements for parakeets, list of foods *not* to give parakeets, parakeet food recipes, and recommended seed mixes, cooked mixes, pellets, and more...
Parakeet Cages
Parakeet Cages
Includes parakeet cage requirements, what to avoid, and recommended parakeet cages...
Parakeet Training
Parakeet Training
Includes how to teach your parakeet to talk, how to tame a parakeet, teach your parakeet to step up, teach your parakeet tricks and games and more...
Parakeet Toys
Parakeet Toys
Includes parakeet toy safety tips, what to look for, what toys parakeets love the best, recommended parakeet toys and more...
Parakeet Pictures
Parakeet Pictures
Includes many large cute pictures of parakeets...
Parakeet Health
Parakeet Health
Includes signs of a healthy parakeet, tips to ensure a healthy parakeet, what to do in case of an emergency, parakeet signs of illness, how to remove a broken blood feather, how to assemble a parakeet emergency first aid kit, and more...
About Parakeets
About Parakeets
Includes parakeet history, etymology, characteristics, how to tell female and male parakeets apart, color mutations,personality, vision, habitat and behaviour, in captivity, parakeet reproduction, parakeet breeding, parakeet development, breeding difficulties, parakeet speech, and more...
Parakeet Links
Parakeet Links
Includes links to other great parakeet-related websites.
Contact Us
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Healthy Parakeet feed, food

Kaytee Exact Rainbow Parakeet - KAYTEE EXACT RAINBOW PARAKEET 2 LB

* Your Parakeet will get ultimate nutrition in every bite
* Helps produce better feathering and brighter colors
* No hulls or shells means less mess in and around your bird's cage
* Contains DHA Omega-3 to support heart, brain, and visual functions

Grab your Parakeet's attention with an enticing rainbow of colors in a variety of shapes and textures... Exact Rainbow Complete Daily Diet is dynamic food for the mind as well as for the body. This bird food was developed and tested by the experts at Kaytee and has all the nutrients necessary to produce better feathering, brighter color and, most importantly, excellent health. Formula also contains DHA Omega-3 to support heart, brain, and visual functions. Vitamin and mineral fortified with delicious natural flavoring and naturally preserved to keep your bird coming back time and again.

Main Ingredients: Ground Corn, Ground Wheat, and Ground Oat Groats.

Conversion and Feeding Instructions: When introducing a new food begin with a mixture of "old and new" food; gradually increase the amount of new food over a 7 to 14 day period. For best results, discard any uneaten portion and clean food dish before next feeding. Fresh water should be available at all times. The following feeding amounts can be used as a starting point for one bird. Adjust the portions to maintain proper weight or if additional birds are being fed.

Daily Feeding Amounts: On average, your bird will consume the following amount in one day: Parakeet: 2 Tablespoons; Lovebird: 3 Tablespoons.

Feed Exact Rainbow Parakeet Pellets every day in a clean food cup. Adjust to your bird's actual needs and spillage. Kaytee Exact Extruded foods have been proven to provide superior 100% complete nutrition. Extruded foods combine quality ingredients and nutrients to produce a processed nugget that contains precise levels of each required nutrient. This ensures that no matter what your parakeet chooses to eat, each nugget contains exactly the same amount of proper nutrition.