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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > African Parakeets

African Parakeets

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Traits & behavior
 

Social
Parakeets love to be stroked and held and want to interact with their Pet Parents as much as possible. They require at least one hour or more of daily interaction.

Intelligent
Smart and easily trained, these birds should be taught basic commands such as "step up" onto your hand and "step down" when putting them back into their cage. This will ensure easier handling.

Great disposition
Their friendly, loving personalities make these parakeets great companion pets.

Speaking ability
With practice, you can teach an African or Asian parakeet to say a variety of words.

Messy eaters
Your parakeet will drop a lot of food while eating.

Things to remember

Supervision
Don't forget that children, pets and unfamiliar guests should be supervised when interacting with your parakeet.

Long-term companions
Before purchasing, be aware that a parakeet requires a long-term commitment of approximately 25 years.

Safety & cleanliness
Please remember that all pets may bite or scratch, and may transmit disease to humans. Keep your pet's home clean and wash your hands before and after handling your pet or cleaning his home. Infants, young children, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and the infirm or elderly are at greater risk of infections and should use caution when in contact with the pet or its habitat. Consult your doctor for more information.
 

Nutrition

Staple diet

Feed her 3-4 teaspoons per day of a pellet or seed-based, fortified parakeet diet.

Fruits & vegetables*
About 5-10% of a parakeet's diet should be bite-sized fruits and veggies like oranges, melon, apples, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, mustard greens and shredded carrots. Offer daily or every 2-3 days.

Supplements
Be sure to provide a cuttle bone or mineral block in your parakeet's cage at all times.

Water
Parakeets should always have access to clean, fresh water in a bottle or bowl.

*Remember that fresh food requires its own dish and should be removed from the habitat within four hours to avoid spoilage.

Health

Signs of a healthy parakeet:

  • Clear, bright eyes
  • Clean, smooth feathers
  • Eats throughout the day
  • Normal droppings that are not runny for more than a couple of days
  • A curious and active disposition

Things to watch for:

  • Decreased appetite; weight loss
  • Decreased activity and grooming behavior
  • Change in droppings in excess of two days
  • Droppings that have red streaks
  • Sitting at the bottom of cage
  • Discharge from nose or mouth; sneezing
  • Feathers fluffed for prolonged periods of time

If you notice any of the signs described above, consult an Avian Veterinarian.
 

Habitat

Housing
An African or Asian parakeet's cage must be large enough for her to comfortably stretch her wings, climb and play with her toys. The bigger the cage, the better. Minimum cage size for small species is 18"W x 22"L x 24"H. For species 18" or larger, minimum cage size is 32"W x 32"L x 36"H. The cage should provide a secure area where she feels
safe, but she should also be allowed out of the cage for socialization.

Perches
Place two perches at different heights, so your parakeet will be unable to soil her food bowls. Provide perches of differing widths, diameters and textures to help keep her feet healthy.

Cage placement
Place your bird's cage at or below eye level, away from drafts, open windows and the kitchen. Be aware that parakeets are sensitive to smoke and strong odors. Cover the cage at night to prevent drafts.

Toys
Give her at least 2-3 toys to keep her busy. But, not too many--she should be able to move about freely without bumping into any in the cage. Rotate toys often to keep her interested.
 

Baths
Provide a birdbath 2-3 times per week. You can offer a warm water bath or gently mist her with warm water from a clean spray bottle.

Food & water containers
It is important to clean your bird's containers every day, even if the bowl or bottle looks full.

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