The Parakeet Rescue (A Detailed Parakeet Guide)

I just had a circumstance that I thought I would share with everyone. I got a call from a woman who had just rescued a pair of parakeets.

They reside in an apartment complex and saw that the renter was leaving. They had put their cage with two birds in the hallway. When they got home from work, the cage was still next to the entrance, but no one was there. It turned dark after a couple more hours. The corridor was growing cold…..and the birds remained. So they brought the birds inside their flat and posted a note on the door directing people to where they might pick them up.

It was clear after two days that the birds had been abandoned, and they welcomed them into their house. But what now? They have never previously had parakeets. They contacted to another Amazon owner for guidance, but the pet shop stated everything they were given was incorrect! They must go to the shop to get supplies. Grit, seed, sprays, mite repellents, and other goodies! So, on the advise of their veterinarian (they also had a dog), I received the call for assistance.

The birds seemed to be in good health, chirping and playing in their cage. So I merely instructed them to keep an eye on the birds for any health problems and to take care of them. But, having never had a bird before, they had no idea where to begin, and I was astounded by the advice they were receiving.

Forget about grit (they don’t need it) and mite repellents (dangerous and not needed). The birds arrived with a little dish of seed on the bottom, but they had no idea what kind of food they ate. What fruits and vegetables are safe and often fed to parakeets?

She was instructed to provide them with leafy greens, carrots, broccoli, and dandelions. There is no fruit! And they must be fed 12 to 1 cup of vegetables every day, with just a few teaspoons of seed. A lot of gravel (parakeets need grit to breakdown food)… and add vitamins to their drinks. A cup of vegetables? For a teeny-tiny parakeet?

She’s heard they should take baths, but she’ll drown in even a little quantity of water. How do you clean them? What is the best seed? She was advised that store-bought seeds were unsafe. They must also be given “flight time” every day in order to exercise. Isn’t it a little dangerous?

All of these inquiries just pull me back down to reality. I’ve spent so much time dealing with birds that these questions seem apparent to me, but to a novice bird keeper, they are anything but. So I spent the next few hours educating her about parakeets.

Parakeets are endemic to Australia, where grasslands abound. They have little problem hunting for food and consume fresh greens, fruits and berries, and seeds. Captive birds are completely reliant on you to provide them with a well-balanced diet.

The Association of Avian Veterinarians conducted significant research and developed these suggestions. High-carb meals such as breads, cooked rice, cooked beans, and a good quality seed diet should make up half of the diet. Parakeets are quite active and use a lot of energy. A high carb diet, like with any athlete, is required to sustain that level of activity. The remaining half is made up of vitamin A-rich foods. This includes orange and yellow fruits and vegetables like carrots and yams, as well as dark green leafy vegetables like broccoli, dandelion greens, and dark lettuce. They adore apples, cherries, and other berries. I also suggest eating high-protein foods on occasion, such as cooked meats, eggs, or canned tuna. I get a lot of funny glances when I say this, particularly when I include cooked chicken.

Seed, like any other bird, should never be the primary source of nutrition. Parakeets given such a diet will only live for a few years. I also propose a high-quality pelleted meal, which may be placed in the cage at all times. Parakeets do not sit and eat until they are satisfied. They will munch throughout the day. Fresh meals, particularly prepared items, should be removed within a few hours. Would you consume food that had been left out on the counter for 6 hours? What makes you think your bird will do it?

I then addressed the topic of bathing. I believe the folks who advised her were thinking about Finches or Canaries, who are known to have difficulty bathing in deep dishes. It’s a hit with parakeets! However, shallow bowls with approximately an inch of water should be used. There are many of bird bath types to pick from at pet shops. Also, obtain a spray bottle and lightly wet the bird. Misting parakeets is something they like.

The subject of millet was raised, as was the issue of whether it should always be kept in the cage. She was informed that it contained minerals that were critical to their health and that they would perish if they did not consume it.

My children attempted to tell me the story…about ice cream. Sorry, but that didn’t work for them either. Millet is a treat that should be served as such. Only give the bird a modest quantity in the evening.

I was apprehensive when I heard that I should let the bird fly about the house for exercise. I usually suggest that birds have their wings trimmed. Only when supervised, may the bird be allowed out of the home to exercise on the cage or the floor. Allowing those tiny fellas unfettered flight, on the other hand, is a recipe for calamity. There are just too many risks and methods for them to fly out a window or follow you out the door.

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