Budgerigars are one of the most common companion domestic birds to have at home, for their beauty, how relaxing their singing is and how easy it is to care for them. An animal with a lot of history with the human being.
Types of budgies
What are the most common characteristics of the parakeet?
The parakeets, as a rule, measure 18 cm from the head to the tip of the tail , although there is some variety a little larger, and weigh around 35 gr . The wild variety, the best known, has smooth light green underparts, with a yellowish head and a black listing on the back of it. However, his throat and forehead have a smooth yellow color with a purple spot on the cheek and three black specks framing each side of the base of the throat.
In the center it has black spots, which are only visible when it unfolds the wings. Its beak curved downwards is of a greenish gray color and its legs are of a bluish gray tone, with two fingers forwards and two forwards. This makes it easier for them to stand on the branches of trees, cables and feed on seeds.
What is the behavior of the parakeets?
Unlike other birds, the parakeets are very sociable animals . They usually live in flocks, although they are quite territorial even among their own kind. With humans do not usually have many problems of sociability, being able to get used to being with these and treat them as one of their own.
When the parakeet lives in captivity, there are a series of guidelines that help the owner to know what the status of his parakeet is. For example, when grooming and cleaning the plumage with the beak, placing each pen in its place, the animal will groom itself, a sign that it feels comfortable in its cage. Of course, the beak will also be cleaned and it will emit its classic gorgojeo, its song. Although some parakeets are shy and it costs a bit to sing.
It is not the only sign that this animal will make. The position you take is also a message to your owner. If it is on one leg it means that it is resting , but if it stretches one wing and one leg at the same time, it means that it needs exercise, but the cage is too small for it or feels quite imprisoned.
In the case of raising the plumage , giving your body the shape of a ball, it is a sign that the animal feels cold and needs heat . In these cases you have to move it to a warmer place in the house or where the sun can shine. Not enough, in the event that it separates the wings of the body, with the beak slightly open, it is a sign that they are very hot. In these cases it is best to put a cup of water in the cage so that they can bathe and cool down.
If they get scared, these animals stick their plumage to the body , keeping it stiff and breathing quickly. It is normal to stretch the neck upwards. They may have been frightened by something they heard outside the cage or because they did not wait for their owner. In the case of leaving it free, it is not advisable to chase it back to its cage. It will come back on its own.
Unlike other animals, budgies love noise , especially the environment in general. So if you turn on the television or radio where there is one of these copies, it would not be strange to see him looking at it. Interestingly, although they love the noise, they are very scary, so you have to be very careful when dealing with them.
How do the parakeets act when they share cages?
The parakeets are sociable animals, but also very territorial . In the event that you are going to have more than one copy, it is essential that they live together from the beginning.
Two males will fight each other to see who owns the cage . Who will eat first, who will drink before, who gets on a stick … they will not kill each other, but they will do a lot of damage. In the case of females, it is normal for them to fight each other , since it is in their nature, especially if there is another male in the cage.
For this reason it is that these animals have to live together from an early age or buy a cage large enough so that they can move freely and each have a territory.
Distinguish the age and sex of a parakeet?
Although it may not seem like it, distinguishing a budgie’s age and sex is very simple. Age is determined by the lines on the forehead . The young parakeets have their foreheads covered with lines, while the adults have smooth lines. In addition, young people have less intense feathers. Another form is the color of the eyes; young budgies have a completely black eye, while adults have a white hoop with a black dot.
As for the way to differentiate a male from a female, the key is in the wax , or what is the same, the top of the beak around the nostrils. The males have this zone completely blue, whereas the females have it of a white tone to cream color, except in its stage of estrus, that they have it of brown color.
What cage do you have to buy for a parakeet?
The most important question when it comes to taking care of one of these animals is: what cage to buy? Yes, it is possible for the parakeet to get used to living with a bit of freedom around the house, but most of his time will be spent in a cage. That’s why it’s important to choose it well.
The minimum size of the cage has to be 50 cm wide if it will accommodate a single parakeet. In the case of housing two, it is best to be one meter wide. Now, why so wide? And high? In fact the height will oscillate by about 30 cm, but this is not so important. The reason is because the parakeets take more advantage of the horizontal space than the vertical to move. It is ideal that the cage has horizontal bars, since these animals like to climb the walls of it to take a look outside.
Now, what about the shape of the cage? Many make the terrible mistake of buying a round cage or that simulates the shape of a mansion. Buying this type of cages only causes the parakeet to be disoriented. Therefore, it is best to buy a square or rectangular . It is also not recommended that the bars of the cage be white, since this makes the view of the parakeet very difficult. The separation between the bars must be at least 1 cm , because if it is smaller, the legs or the beak could be hooked. And how much more doors have better, so you can put the sprue and the feeder.
Once the cage is chosen, the real headache comes: the accessories. By default, the cages already have a series of accessories such as the feeding trough, a perch or toy. But many fail in one thing: the feeder. As a general rule, the feeders are hung outside the cage and are transparent. They are not recommended for the parakeets, since he is forced to put his head through a hole to feed. As if that were not enough, being transparent, they make the parakeet believe that there they can escape, so they will empty the feeder to try it.
For this reason, the best feeders are those that hang inside the cage , removing the exteriors and covering the holes that are left exposed. They fill easily and are easy to clean. With the drinker, there are fewer concerns. It will be enough with choosing a drinker of tube , of dark plastic, and to place it so that the parakeet drinks.
Many choose to leave the hangers that the cage brings, but they make a terrible mistake. These are made of plastic, white shades with grooves. These striae cause wounds in the potatoes of the parakeets and are not very good so that these animals can be placed on them. It is best to change these bars for some natural branches . It is not necessary to buy it, since any tree branch, properly cut, can serve.
They offer a better place of attachment for the parakeet, they are more resistant and do not produce wounds on the legs. In addition, these same branches serve to clean the potatoes and the beak when you want to preen.
Like other animals, the parakeets love toys, because it helps them get away from their monotony. The one they like most is the swing, but having a rope or a ladder also they like. It is not necessary to fill the toy cage, as this will stress the animal. In addition, it is necessary to avoid mirrors or toys that can reflect the light at all costs , because this will be annoying for the parakeet and will stress it.
At the base of the cage it is advisable to place newspaper, which will make cleaning easier. In summer, it is good that inside the cage the parakeet has a cup or a glass of water, where it can be refreshed, but it must be removed once it has finished.
Where to place the cage of the parakeet?
Another very important question, where to place the cage of the parakeet? The biggest mistake that most owners make is to place them in the kitchen, an area where they are exposed to fumes and vapors that are deadly to them. Nor can they be placed near a television or under fluorescent tubes , since the vision of the parakeets detects rapid flashes that are annoying and could end up driving them crazy.
So, where to place the cage? The living room, near some window and away from the television is a good place . It is one of the most frequented rooms in the house and allows you to hear the noise from outside, as they love noise. At first they may feel scared, but little by little they will get used to the environment and they will love that area. An area where the sun rises in the morning but that is dark at night is perfect. In addition, they can be helped to sleep better by covering them at night with a dark blanket, taking care to leave a space for the air to pass through and thus not suffocate.
In the case of choosing to hang the cage, it must be at least as high as our eyes . This helps them see everything from above, which is what they are used to. In the case of placing the cage on a table or on a special foot, they have to be high so that the animal does not feel weird.
Although the sun turns out to be very beneficial for these animals, it is necessary to take special care to leave them under the direct contact of the sun’s rays . Nor can they be in an area with many drafts, as this causes them to catch a cold. You have to try different areas of the house to choose the best place for the parakeet.
It is not usually highly recommended, but in reality there is no problem moving the cage from one place to another. During the day you can leave the parakeet in a sunny area, but at night in a dark area where the animal is comfortable to sleep. Of course, you have to avoid sudden movements so as not to wake them during transport.
What happens if you decide to have the parakeet’s cage outside?
Whoever has a garden and a lot of free space is not strange that he prefers to have the parakeet out of the house. In these cases the cages have to be large, so you can move freely without any discomfort.
It should not be located in a place where it receives the sun directly without having the possibility of being protected, as well as where there are strong currents of air . You also have to take into account that it has protection against rain, like a roof over the cage and inside it a shed in which to shelter.
Once they are located outside the house, in this case you do not have to move them from there. In an apartment they are accustomed to how the territory is, so there are not many problems, but when it is outside, they do not like the changes very much . That is why you have to choose a place where you can be well all year round or acclimatize it to them. Unlike those that are purchased or brought from outside, the parakeets that are born in the cage will not have problems to acclimate to their new environment.
The big problem of having them abroad are predators like rodents . You have to protect the cages well so that they can not get to them, and monitor well that there is not one in the area. Or this could not only cause the death of the parakeets, but also have a huge plague in the house.
What can you feed a parakeet?
The seeds are the basis of their diet , especially those of oats, but they also eat birdseed, wheat and millet. However, there are other types of foods that they like. An example is lettuce , which should be given in small portions. A good food to give them in summer, since it contains water and that helps them hydrate.
Other vegetables that can eat are carrots, spinach and Swiss chard , which provide them with vitamin A for their development. The apple is very good for its high water content, although the parakeets prefer the banana for its flavor. In other words, look for foods that are rich in vitamin A while they are growing, that are rich in calcium and especially in iodine.
If your diet is based on seeds, it should be noted that they usually leave the shell, so you have to change the food from the feeder daily or they will not want to eat. Although it is not highly recommended, you can also give them from time to time some bread, pasta or cooked rice, as well as cheese and a little egg. Some people also give them some cooked meat but it is not recommended for the animal.
What should be done to breed and reproduce a colony of parakeets?
The breeding of a colony of parakeets requires a lot of work, perseverance and effort. Especially if you want to have many or try to be born different color combinations.
Having already a male and a female, comes the important part: breeding. The parakeets can breed when they are very young, with five months, but it is best to wait until they have at least one year . The reason is simple: to raise young can suffer diseases or disorders to engage in breeding. The parakeet’s fertility begins at an early age, and can last up to six years.
Budgies can breed at any time of the year, however the best season is spring , when the temperatures are neither too cold nor too warm. They should not be changing the pen and be healthy. It is not recommended that they have offspring more than three times a year, because they may be exhausted and that their offspring may be of inferior quality.
With all this clear, what can be done to motivate the parakeets to breed? Some parakeets breed by themselves, but there are some things that can be done to help them. For example, they will need something to form their nest, which they make with non-poisonous tree wood, so leaving the twigs inside the cage will motivate them to make one. Another option is to make a homemade one, but this is something that the budgies do not like very much, so it is best to let them do it themselves.
Once they have the nest and the couple is together, during their time of heat the courtship will begin and after three or four days the copulation will begin. After that , the female will spend all day in the nest to put the first egg. The eggs are put on alternate days and demedia are about 6. Once all the eggs are laid, the female will incubate them for about 18 days. Since there has been a difference of laying between each egg, the new chicks will be born every two days.
During the time that the growth of the small ones it is normal that the parakeets are quite protective, reason why in that stage the best thing is to take care only of changing them the water and the food. They can even attack if someone gets too close to their calf.
What diseases can a parakeet have?
The parakeets are not free from diseases. Some are hereditary, others suffer from poor diet and some from the environment. The normal thing is that the parakeet feels decayed or has stopped singing, which helps to know that something is happening to him. But, sometimes, these can be seen by a change in their plumage or the appearance of spots.
- Cold: If the parakeet’s cage is located in an area with many drafts, or where there are sudden changes in temperature, it is normal to catch a cold. It is not mortal, and it will suffice to give them a little heat to recover.
- Mites scabies: In the area of the peak crusts will appear, and sometimes even on the legs. Nor is it a deadly disease but it will annoy the animal. Simply smear a cotton swab with olive oil and apply it to the affected area to recover.
- Catarrho of crop: These cases occur when the parakeet has been fed with adulterated or green food, like a lettuce, without washing it properly. The parakeet will feel sad, the feathers will stand up and the skin may turn violet. In addition, he will stop eating and drinking. The most common is that after the 3 – 5 days that the disease lasts, the parakeet will die, so you have to give it clean grains and vegetables previously washed.
- Gastro-intestinal catarrh: It is more common to see it in younger specimens when the quality of the grain is of poor quality. The parakeet gets depressed, does not eat and its stools are white. You have to separate them from the rest of the animals in the cage so that they do not get infected, placing them in an environment with a mild temperature and food with clean food.
- Asthma: Budgies can also suffer from asthma. It’s hard enough to heal, but not impossible. Luckily it does not cause death. A piece of licorice or a few drops of Tolu syrup should be placed in the drinker’s water.
- Bronchitis: Germs, gas … it is common for parakeets to suffer whose cage is located in the kitchen or near it. They breathe with difficulty, opening their beaks to suck air, and tend to be still with their eyes closed. It is best to put them in a warm but ventilated area.
- Epilepsy: It is very normal in very young specimens. The symptoms are jumping from side to side in a strange and crazy way, being at the end paralyzed. It is a disease that has no cure, although some experts say that showering them with cold water and drying them in the sun helps them relax.
- Constipation: The parakeets will not be able to make their stools, although a little lettuce can help them to heal. It is usually caused by a situation of a lot of stress.
- Fractures: Not very common, but these animals can also make a fracture in a wing or leg. In these cases it is best to take it to the veterinarian so that they take the proper precautions before it becomes incurable.
- Melancholy: Although a parakeet can get used to living alone in his cage, if he had a partner before, it is normal that after his death he feels very lonely. The normal thing is that the melancholy disappears when putting it with another partner.
- Obesity: Can a budgie get fat? Yes in the case of consuming foods with a lot of fat. It is not deadly, but the best thing is that they have a cage with devices in which to do some exercise, like the swing, and change the diet to vegetables.
- Paralysis: Sometimes some of the parakeets may have problems performing some movements. This is usually due to lack of vitamins or lack of sunlight.
- Paratifosis: The parakeets feel depressed, staying in their jumpers with their feathers bristling and their eyes closed. It is usually fatal but can be helped to recover with two to five grams of iron sulfate in the water.
- Pepita: Under the tongue the parakeet will get a small tumor that will prevent them from eating. But it is not deadly, since opening their beaks and grasping their tongues with tweezers can be disinfected with a liquid based on crushed onion and strong vinegar. Although the best thing is to leave it in the hands of a professional.
- Piojillo: A few small organisms that lodge under the feathers. The parakeets affected by these parasites tend to have ruffled feathers and are restless. You have to spray the parakeet with alcohol of 90º C so you can eliminate them.
What are the steps to follow to train the parakeet?
There is a big difference between the parakeet taking care of the owner and that he is trained. It is not easy to achieve, but it can be achieved. The most important thing is patience and perseverance.
The most important thing is that the parakeet is young , because they are easier to train to be more docile. It is also important that the character of the parakeet be happy and playful . This is what you have to look for when buying a budgie. Very careful to buy what is sold in stores as “trained parakeet”. These have only been cut the feathers so they can not fly and so they are forced to stand on one of our fingers so they can get out of the cage.
Once you have the parakeet, you have to wait until it adapts to your new environment , which will take a few days. You will notice that it is better adapted to the environment when you start singing or moving around the cage. Already accustomed to his new home, it is necessary to gain the confidence of the animal.
It is normal that they are afraid and that they believe that we are going to hurt them, so first of all it will be to place the cage in a place where there are usually people and get used to them. Also, you have to approach the cage at the beginning only to change the food and water, speaking with a soft tone of voice.
Already accustomed to the atmosphere of the house and our voice, it is time to climb a new step in confidence. Do not put your whole hand in the cage, as this will scare you. First of all you have to get it on your finger.
To get it, you have to offer some candy that you like on your finger , like panizo, lettuce or carrot. Day after day will get more confidence , until finally placed on the finger. Once this is achieved, we will have to caress our belly with our fingers. It requires a lot of patience, and in no case you have to force the animal to climb on the finger.
Little by little you have to take the parakeet out of the cage on your finger, but without it coming out at the beginning or it will end up flying. Which could be a big problem, since knowing freedom many parakeets will not want to return to their captivity.
What to do with the parakeet when it is out of the cage?
Making the mistake of leaving a free space for the parakeet to escape or remove it too soon from the cage on the finger will make it decide to explore its new environment. In fact it is recommended that the budgie leave the cage to exercise a little wings.
The normal thing is that it collides with furniture and walls, since it is environment that does not know well and will be a little nervous. Also, do not have sharp objects, stoves or fans that can stress the animal while exploring the area. The parakeet has to leave its own cage by itself and not by force. In these cases, the best thing is that the parakeet is accustomed to the owner’s hand, so that he can get back into the cage when he has already done enough exercise.
You do not have to chase it when you’re out of the cage or try to catch it . Simply place a bit of your favorite treat in your hand and let it go directly to your hand. Then bring it to the cage so that he only introduces himself. Since he knows that there is food and water in the cage, he may just come back to her on his own.
What do you need to know before buying a budgie?
The most normal thing is to buy a parakeet in an animal shop, but unfortunately it is not the best of ideas. The reason? In stores do not usually worry much about the health of these animals and it is not unusual for one of them to be sick or a very stressed animal to live with many others.
But if you opt for this acquisition, the ones to avoid are:
- Those that have the plumage smooth and without clear, with feathers of tail without forming the type of silhouette of the young birds.
- Have the feathers recessed and they are at the bottom of the cage, allowing to be taken out easily. It is a sign that they are sick.
- If you have feathers around the sticky or dirty anus, in addition to dirty feet and claws, they are not in good health.
- The peak has cracks and the holes of the wafer are dirty. It is possible that they emit harsh noises and gasp for breath.
- Normally, the skin is pink, but if they have yellow it is that they suffer from a fatty degeneration.
How is the budgie cleaned?
The parakeets are very clean and neat animals, but it is not enough to groom them with their beaks to keep clean. In summer, placing a cup of water helps them to cool off while they wash, but in winter it is also good to have a place to do it.
Do not worry much about how long the nails of the legs are , since with the bars of the cage and the sticks of the swings and hangers will have the reasonable size. If you decide to cut them, this should be left to a professional. That is, if you do it once you have to do it always, since the nails will grow curved after the first cut.
Cleaning the cage is important to do it a couple of times per week . Placing newspaper in the base of the cage makes it a little easier to clean. If the parakeet is a little trained, he can get used to leaving his cage during the cleaning task, so that by the way he stretches his wings. The feeder must be cleaned once a day, to remove the shells of the birdseed, while the water must be cleaned three times a week to eliminate possible microbes and bacteria.