Parakeets make excellent pets. They are small, pretty, and come in a lot of different colors. I wanted to learn more about buying a parakeet because I didn’t know anything about it.
Here’s what I found out about buying a parakeet from Petco, one of the best pet stores.
9 Facts to know before buying a Parakeet at Petco
It might be scary to buy a parakeet if you’ve never had one before. If you want to learn more about any of these things, keep reading.
1.The Age of Parakeets at Petco Ranges
People often want the cutest pet they can find when they go to a store to buy one. The younger an animal is when it moves to a new place, the easier it is for it to adapt. Parakeets, on the other hand, are harder to tell how old they are than dogs and cats.
Even though it would be very hard to figure out how old your parakeet is if no one kept track, there are a few things you can look for to get a good idea.
First, look at the forehead.
The first thing you can do to figure out how old a parakeet is is look at the stripes or bands on its head and all the way down its neck.
When a parakeet first comes out of its egg, it has stripes on its forehead. The parakeet moults for the first time around 4 months of age, shedding many of its feathers. After this, the bands on its forehead fall off.
Parakeets with stripes on their foreheads are 4 months old or younger. Parakeets without stripes on their foreheads are older.
The colour of their eyes is the second thing to think about.
When parakeets first come out of their eggs, their eyes are all black. making it hard to tell the difference between their iris and pupil. As they get older, their eyes will get lighter.
Parakeets with light colours are older than eight months, but those with dark or black eyes are younger than eight months. The colour shows how old something is.
The band on their leg is another thing to look out for.
If you buy a bird from Petco, it might have a band on its leg. If the band’s name starts with “ABS,” it means that they are part of the American Budgerigar Society.
The band is like a birth certificate for the bird, and the colour of the band shows when it was born.
|Year||Color of Band|
Last but not least, take them to the veterinarian.
Take your parakeet to the vet if you’re still not sure how old it is. When your vet looks at your bird, they should be able to give you a good idea of how old it is.
2. Parakeets at Petco Do Not Come Trained
Do the parakeets from Petco come trained? This is a question that most people who buy parakeets ask. The answer is no, they don’t.
Petco gets its parakeets from a breeder and then puts them in its stores. Before they are put on the floor, the parakeets are not touched or trained in any way. Petco is not the place to go if you want to buy a trained parakeet.
If your parakeet is used to living in a small cage with a lot of other parakeets, it may take a few weeks to train it to be a pet that you can hold, not bite, or even do tricks.
Here are some tips for teaching a new parakeet how to do things.
- Give them some time to settle in. They won’t know what to expect when they get to their new home, so they will probably be worried and scared. Give them a few days to get used to their new home and settle down before you try to take care of them.
- Start hanging out with your bird. Bring them treats and sit outside their cage to show that you can be trusted.
- Don’t try to train them too quickly or get mad if they don’t fall in love with you right away. It takes a little while.
3. Parakeets from Petco May Take a While to Adjust
As we’ve said before, it’s normal for your parakeet to take a little while to get used to their new home. Since parakeets can live up to 18 years, there is no need to hurry them into their new home.
Everything must be shared, even food and toys. People always look at them, bark at them, and shake them. They work in places with a lot of stress and noise.
When you bring a parakeet home, it may be scared, nervous, and aggressive. They won’t know where they are or what happened to everything else.
They will also need some time to get used to having an owner because they are not used to being handled or having time spent with them.
This is why you should buy your parakeet when it is still young. When they are younger, it is easier to get them used to a new place. They’ll be more likely to trust other people and stop being so defensive.
Don’t worry if your bird doesn’t trust or love you right away. It takes time for a new parakeet to bond with its owner. They just need time and the ability to figure out what’s going on.
4. Parakeets at Petco are Cheaper
Petco’s prices for parakeets are much lower than those of a private breeder. Petco only sells common breeds of parakeets, and they don’t do much to make sure they have the best ones.
Private breeders have a much larger variety of parakeet species that are carefully bred with much more care and quality.
This means that the price of parakeets at Petco will go down. Even though Petco might not give you as many options or information about breeding, you will still save a lot of money.
Private breeders can charge anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars for a parakeet, but Petco only charges $21.99.
5. Parakeets Need Extra Accessories
The first thing you need is a big cage.
You can’t just let your parakeet fly around your house, no matter how much you want it to.They might run away, get hurt, and throw your things away. The first and most important thing you need is a big cage.
Parakeets need a lot of room to fly around and have fun, so the bigger it is, the better. Because you can buy these cages at Petco, you can get everything you need on the same day.
To make the cage dark at night, you can buy a cage cover, but a blanket will do.
- These cages cost about $40 at Petco, but if you find one you like better, don’t be afraid to shop around or even on Amazon. I linked to the cages at Petco and to a similar one on Amazon.
Also, you will need bird toys.
Parakeets spend a lot of time in their cages by themselves, which can get boring if they are the only bird. Bird toys are an excellent way to keep your parakeet happy and entertained throughout the day.
Buy them toys they can climb on, take apart, or peck at.
Make sure the toys you choose are made for small birds and don’t have anything that could hurt them, get stuck in them, or cause them to choke.
You can also buy different kinds of toys for your parakeet at Petco. A person who works at Petco should be able to tell you which toys are good for your bird and which ones aren’t.
6. Parakeets Need a Clean Environment
Parakeets need to live somewhere that is clean. The majority of their time is spent in a cage, which can get dirty quickly. If a parakeet has to live in a dirty place, it is more likely to get sick. This is why it is so important to keep its living space clean.
To make sure your bird’s cage stays clean, put something absorbent on the bottom. Wood chip shavings (link) or even newspaper can be used to make this.
Another thing that needs to be kept clean is their water. They don’t just drink it; they also take baths in it. This makes it get a lot dirtier, much more quickly.
They should be able to get clean, fresh water every day. This means that their water needs to be changed at least once or twice a day, and maybe more if needed.
7. Petco Only Sells Certain Breeds of Parakeets
There are more than 30 different kinds of parakeets that have been found. It’s important to know that Petco only has three kinds of parakeets for sale.
Some of these breeds are blue parakeets, green parakeets, and fancy parakeets.
The blue parakeet’s body is light blue, and its head is white. Their necks are covered with black bands or stripes. They also have black spots on their wings and tail.
The Green Parakeet looks like the Blue Parakeet, but it is green and yellow instead of white and blue. The Green Parakeet has a lime green body and a golden head.
Their necks are covered with black or dark brown bands or stripes.
They also have black or dark brown spots on their wings and tail. This bird is darker around the edges than the blue parakeet.
There are white, blue, and yellow fancy parakeets. Like the green and blue parakeets, they are all one colour with no dark spots. They still have light grey bands on their head and neck, but they are less obvious.
8. Parakeets Have a Specific Diet
Parakeets have to eat only certain things. Even though they can survive on birdseed alone, it’s not good for their health. They need different kinds of food.
They need birdseed first and foremost. This should be their main food, and you can get it at Petco. Every day, they need about 2 tablespoons of bird food.
This can be changed if your bird is bigger or smaller than average. If you are worried about the amount of food, you should talk to your vet.
This will give them something different to eat and help them stay healthy by giving them the vitamins and food they need.
Here are some fruits and vegetables that your parakeet will like:
They can eat other fruits and vegetables, and they do. They are not only allowed to eat what is given.
9. Parakeets Make Better Pets When They Live Alone
Parakeets can live with other birds, but when they are the only bird, they make great pets.
Typical parakeet appearance and behavior
- Parakeets are happy, friendly birds that are easy to train.
- They know who their caretakers are and react to them.
- They have small bodies and long, thin tails. Most of the time, they are gentle and easy to take care of.
- Budgies that are raised in homes can be yellow, blue, white, grey, or a mix of these colours, but native parakeets are always green.
- The word “parakeet” means “songbird with wavy lines,” which refers to the black lines on their heads and bodies that look like waves.
- When they are born, the black lines of feathers (called “bars”) across the tops of their heads reach all the way down to the tops of their beaks. These bars slowly go away, and by the time they are 3–4 months old, after their first moult, they have been replaced by solid-colored feathers on their heads.
- Male and female parakeets can be told apart by the colour of the skin around their nostrils, called the cere. At about 10 months of age, the cerebrum of males is blue and the cerebrum of females is brownish pink.
- Some of the sounds that parakeets make are chirps, clicks, trills, whistles, and chatters.
- People who keep parakeets as pets can keep them alone to bond with them or in groups to bond with other parakeets. Different types of birds should not be kept together.
|Average Life Span||10–12 years with proper care|
|Average Adult Size||7” long, from head to end of tail|
|Minimum Habitat Size||18” W x 18” D x 18” H|
- Appropriately sized habitat
- High-quality parakeet food
- Millet spray as a treat
- Cuttlebone/millet holder
- Habitat paper or litter
- Food and water dishes
- Variety of perches
- Variety of toys
- Bird bath
- Grooming supplies
- Play gym
Make the space your parakeet lives in as big as you can. One parakeet needs a home that is at least 18″ wide, 18″ deep, and 18″ high, with no more than 1/2″ between the metal bars.
Building your habitat
Parakeets adapt well to ordinary household temperatures, which should not go below 65°F or exceed 80°F; excessive temperature changes should be avoided. The habitat should be off the floor, away from drafts, and out of reach of other pets.
Make sure there are no habitat parts or toys that include lead, zinc, or other potentially poisonous heavy metals, as well as lead-based paints or galvanized parts, as they can cause major medical problems if birds consume them.
- Perches: Perches should be at least 4″ long and 3/8″ in diameter; a range of perch diameters is essential to exercise your bird’s feet and avoid pressure sores on their soles from developing. Sandpaper covers on perches are rough on the feet and should be avoided.
- For the habitat liner: A metal grate across the bottom of the habitat will let droppings fall away from your bird’s feet, keeping the habitat clean. For easier cleaning and less dust, line the tray in the bottom of the habitat with habitat paper or something else made of paper.
- Feeders: There should be separate dishes for dry food, fresh food, and water. If more than one parakeet is living in the same habitat, there should be more than one feeding station to avoid competition.
- Do not put food or water containers right under perches to keep droppings from getting into food dishes.
- Water dishes should be big enough for birds to bathe in. Birds that don’t bathe often can have their feathers kept in good shape by misting them with warm water from a plant mister a few times a week.
- Toys: Because birds are smart, they need to be able to look for food and other things on their own and play with toys to keep their minds and bodies active. If they can’t do either, they might get bored and start plucking their feathers or doing other bad things. To keep from getting bored, switch toys often.
- Birds need ultraviolet (UV) light to make vitamin D in their skin, which helps them absorb calcium from the food they eat. Because window glass blocks UV light, it’s not enough to put the habitat near a window. UV lights made just for birds should be on for 10–12 hours a day and should be replaced every 6 months because they lose their power.
Cleaning your parakeet’s habitat
At least once a week, or more often if needed, replace the substrate or habitat liner. This is especially important if the habitat is for more than one bird. Regularly clean and disinfect your pet’s space and perches by:
- Moving your bird to a safe place (like another habitat or a travel carrier) in a different airspace
- Wash the cage, perches, and toys with a bird habitat cleaner or a 3% bleach and water solution, making sure there are no traces of the cleaner or bleach left behind that your bird could be exposed to.
- You shouldn’t use cleaning products around your bird that don’t say they are safe for pets. Birds’ respiratory systems are very sensitive to anything aerosolized, and the fumes from cleaning products can be dangerous.
- Dry out the habitat and everything in it.
- Change the substrate or liner, the perches, and the toys.
- Once the bird is dry and no longer smells like cleaning products, you can put it back in its home. Replace perches, bowls, and toys that are broken or worn out. Add new things to the habitat often to keep the birds from getting bored.
What Do Parakeets Eat
A parakeet’s diet needs to include:
60–70% pelleted food made just for parakeets that is nutritionally complete and balanced, plus small amounts of fresh vegetables, fruits, and seeds that have been fortified as a treat.
Clean, fresh water is changed every day.
Avocados, fruit seeds, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol are all toxic to birds and can make them sick or kill them if they eat them. Avoid foods that are high in salt and fat.
- When you feed your parakeet, remember that it should always have access to fresh food and water.
- If you haven’t eaten your vegetables and fruits in the last few hours, you should throw them away.
- Treats shouldn’t make up more than 10% of all the food people eat.
- Even though birds are social and like to eat when others in their habitat do, you should never share food from your plate or mouth with them. The bacteria on human lips can make birds sick.
- Grit is unnecessary for parakeets because they remove the hulls from seeds before eating them.
Bird owners should stay away from nonstick cookware and appliances with nonstick coatings because, when heated, these items can give off invisible, odourless gases that can kill birds if they breathe them in.
- Birds need regular care, like getting their nails cut every few weeks or months. The nails should be cut by a skilled person so the bird doesn’t get hurt.
- Most birds don’t need to have their beaks trimmed often, unless they have a disease like liver disease that makes their beaks grow in the wrong direction. When birds use their beaks often, they usually keep them in good shape.
- When done right, cutting off the top five flight feathers can help you stay safe or get away. Talk to an avian vet about what is best for your bird’s environment.
Signs of a healthy parakeet
- Active, alert and sociable
- Eats, drinks and passes stool throughout the day
- Dry nares and bright, dry eyes
- Supple skin on feet and legs and smooth beak
- Clean, dry vent
- Smooth, well-groomed feathers
Red flags (contact your veterinarian if you notice these signs)
- Fluffed, plucked or soiled feathers
- Sitting on habitat floor for an extended period of time
- Wheezing, sneezing or coughing
- Open-mouthed or labored breathing and/or tail bobbing
- Regurgitation or vomiting
- Runny, bloody or discolored stools or no stool production
- Straining to pass droppings
- Favoring one foot when not sleeping
- Eye or nasal discharge
- Red or swollen eyes
- Crusty skin around face and feet
- Persistently closed eyes or sleeping during the day
- Loss of appetite
Common parakeet health issues
|Health Issue||Symptoms or Causes||Suggested Action|
|Chlamydiosis (psittacosis or parrot fever)||Appetite loss, fluffed feathers, nasal discharge, lime green feces, swollen abdomen, respiratory difficulty and conjunctivitis||Seek immediate avian veterinary attention|
|Diarrhea||Fecal portion of stool (versus solid white urine portion or clear liquid urine) is not formed; has multiple causes from diet change to bacterial or viral infection to internal parasites||Consult an avian veterinarian and ensure proper diet|
|Feather-plucking||Bird plucks own feathers; may be due to boredom, stress, poor diet or other underlying illnesses||Consult your veterinarian and help relieve boredom with attention, new toys and more stimulation|
|Mites (scaly face and leg disease)||White, scaly, crusty deposits around eyes, beak, legs and feet||Consult your veterinarian; disinfect habitat with diluted bleach and discard all porous (non-plastic and nonmental) items that cannot be properly disinfected|
How can you tell a parakeet’s gender?
Males and females can be distinguished by the colour of the skin surrounding their noses, known as the cere, which is blue in males and brownish pink in females by about 10 months of age.
How do you tame a parakeet?
You can interact and bond with a parakeet over time by speaking softly to it and carefully handling it on a daily basis, as well as rewarding them with their favourite food and goodies for stepping on your hand.
How can you tell the age of a parakeet?
When they are born, the black lines of feathers (or “bars”) across the tops of their heads reach all the way down to the tops of their beaks (the cere) and gradually recede; these lines are gradually replaced by solid-colored feathering on their head by 3–4 months, after their first moult.
What is the lifespan of a parakeet?
With proper care, parakeets can live for 10–12 years.
How do you bathe a parakeet?
Parakeets should be able to bathe in water dishes that are large enough. Parakeets who do not bathe often can be gently misted with warm water from a plant mister a few times each week to help maintain good plumage.
How do you trim parakeet nails?
A qualified professional should clip a parakeet’s nails every few weeks to months, using small nail clippers to avoid injuring the bird.
How can you teach a parakeet to talk?
When parakeets hear words repeated in the same tone, they learn to copy them. Talking to your bird on a daily basis with the same words and intonation might train your bird to mimic language.
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