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Pros and Cons of Owning a Parakeet

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Pros and Cons of Owning a Parakeet

We blogged about the African Grey earlier this week, revealing some of the characteristics and traits that make it such a desirable pet. This week, we're going to discuss another popular type of pet parrot, the parakeet.

According to many professional bird breeders, parakeets make awesome pets. If they are trained while they are young, you can easily teach a parakeet to socialize with others, by simply setting aside some time during the day to hang out with them. If you feel that you will not have the time to devote to your parakeet every day, then you should plan to get two or more of these birds to keep each other company. Remember that parakeets thrive when they have regular companionship.

First and foremost, it's important to note that parakeets aren't a specific parrot species, but rather a term used to describe any type of small-sized parrot with long tail feathers and a slender build. According to some estimates, there are around 115 species in the Psittacinae (family Psittacidae) which are given the label "parakeet."

The Budgerigar

The most popular type of parakeet is the budgerigar. According to some estimates, the budgerigar is the world's third most popular pet of any variety. Also known as the shell parakeet, this colorful small-sized parrot features a light green body with pitch-black mantle marking and yellow undulations. In the wild, the budgerigar lives exclusively in Australia, where it roams the wooded forests and coastal areas to forage on various seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetable.

Parakeet Pros:

  • Parakeets tend to eat less than larger parrots like the African Grey, which means owners will save money on food.
  • Parakeets are loving creatures that crave the attention of their owners.
  • Due to their small size, parakeets can comfortably live in small cages.
  • Make wonderful pets for families living in small homes and apartments.
  • Smaller parrots like the parakeet are easier to transport.
  • Excellent choice for families with small children and other pets.
  • Parakeets produce less mess than larger species, making their cages and surrounding environment easier to clean.

Of course you will need to get a cage for your parakeet, and the cage should be completely set up before you bring your “budgie” (as called by the Aboriginal people of Australia) home. Cage quality and size is extremely important since this is your parakeet’s home. Do your research and comparison shop before purchasing. Your parakeet’s cage will most likely be your largest expense.

It is highly suggested that your parakeet’s cage should be quite roomy; at least 1.5 feet wide, 1.3 feet tall, and at least 1.3 feet in depth. Parakeets are very active, as we mentioned before, so they need a cage with ample space to be able to spread their wings. For safety reasons, be sure that the cage bars are no more than ½ an inch apart; curious “budgies” may find a way to get out, get stuck, or fall out of the cage if there is too much space between the bars.

Purchasing a very tall bird cage is usually not a good idea; width is better than height. Parakeets, need wingspan space; and a tall bird cage may turn out to be a waste of money. Most birds, including parakeets, feel safer when they are perched higher, so if you buy a very tall cage, your “budgie” will most likely stay at the top of the cage, wasting all the space at the bottom.

A lot of parakeet owners love the smaller, more oval, traditionally designed parakeet cages, but make sure that the cage is not too small. You don’t want your parakeet feeling constricted, and unable to spread his or her wings, or move comfortably around the cage. Starting off with a very small cage may be fine, but it is wise, and kind, to upgrade as soon as possible to a larger, roomier cage.

Your parakeet’s cage is their home, and it is vital that they feel safe, comfortable, and have room to exercise and grow. Its also important to regularly clean your pet parrot's bird cage. Just as you would not want to be living in a cramped space that does not allow for stretching and movement, your parakeet requires the same consideration. Take pride in the cage you purchase, and make it a real home for your new family member. Here's an article explaining why choosing the perfect bird cage is important. Enjoy the fun and cheerfulness your parakeet will bring into your home. Their playful nature is what makes parakeets popular as pets.

Parakeet Cons:

  • Don't let their small size fool you into thinking these parrots are quite. Parakeets are often louder than some of the larger parrot species.
  • Short lifespan.
  • Require regular exercise to remain healthy and ward off disease and illness.
  • Parakeets don't exhibit the same high level of intelligence as some of the larger species.

Parakeets are playful birds, pretty smart, and also very popular as pets. Many are able to form a vocabulary of over one-hundred words. If your plan is to get only one parakeet, you should be willing to be a good daily companion for your pet. Since parakeets are naturally flock birds, they are physically and mentally healthier and happier, if you socialize with them.

Should I Own a Parakeet?

Is the parakeet the right parrot for you? Are you still wondering why you should own a pet bird? It really depends on your current lifestyle and how much time you are willing to invest into raising your new parrot. Individuals and families who are looking for a small-sized, fun-loving parrot will likely find the parakeet to the be the perfect fit, whereas people looking for larger parrots should probably stick with a Macaw or African Gray.

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