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Parakeet Keeping Tips For Beginners

This at-a-glance checklist is a great way to get started, and everything here is covered in much more detail elsewhere in this guide.

  • Buy from a reputable breeder if possible.
  • Don’t buy parakeet chicks younger than eight weeks.
  • If buying from a pet store, ask how old the parakeet is. If they don't know, maybe you should shop around. The birds might have been in the cage a long time, and birds more than six months old get ‘set in their ways’, meaning they're trickier to settle in and hand-tame.

Budgies in a pet shop
Do these store birds look young and happy? Or just overcrowded?

  • You'll need a cage ready and waiting back home, containing the basics:
    • Food bowls
    • Drinking water
    • Perches
    • Cuttlefish bone
    • Mineral block
    • A bell
    • A mirror
    • A swing
    • A supply of parakeet toys, to be swapped regularly
    • A bath
    • Something to chew – balsa wood is good

  • Do you want a talking parakeet? You'll have a better chance if you choose a male bird. More than one bird, though, and you'll struggle to teach the birds human speech - it will all become part of their multilingual parakeet chatter! The main point is, you can never guarantee that a parakeet will ever talk.

  • Be confident and gentle. You will need to put your hand in the parakeet's cage for finger-training. In the early days you may get a peck on the hand, and although it won't hurt, it's worth bearing in mind - especially if children are going to be going the finger-training. Nervous hands won't get very far.

  • If choosing two birds, you're generally fine with any combination. Males sometimes fall out when their bird brains think it’s mating season, and females get defensive if they think it's nesting time. And, of course, cocks and hens do what males and females of all species do, given the chance!

  • Feed your parakeet every day, with a mixture of seeds and fresh food (not just millet). Easy on those treats!

  • There's gonna be a bit of mess - seed husks and molted feathers, mainly. That's part of the deal, and it's easy to sweep up each day.

  • These are birds. Parrots, no less. So there's gonna be noise. Most parakeet chatter is gentle, conversational twittering, but there are also a few squawking sessions. Hens are said to squawk more than cocks, but we have parakeet keepers here at Omlet who say their male birds are the noisiest ones, so maybe there's a bit of old-fashioned sexist stereotyping going on here!

  • Keeping a parakeet is a long-term commitment. Your pet parakeet is likely to be with you for at least seven years, up to 15, and on some rare occasions even more.

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Comments Leave a comment

Rebecca, 15 March 2020

My budgies wont eat fruit or vegies only seeds is that okay?


Brooke, 29 December 2019

Im looking into getting a budgie and am not sure where the best spots to keep it is, and if you have any tips for me that would be AMAZING! Pls and ty!


Sue, 26 November 2019

Hi, I have two rainbow budgies aged just over 2 years who have just produced and raised their first two chicks. All seem healthy and happy to be together. The chicks are just over 6 weeks old. I have read that they should be separated from their parents at 7 weeks old. Is this right? and if so why? Any help would be much appreciated


Maurice, 23 September 2019

I would like to know the mixture & amounts to make up calciam blocks .


Peter, 14 April 2019

our budgie has pecked feathers from under his wings