Blue parakeets are easy-to-keep, beautiful birds.
They make great first pets. Even if you have no experience with pets before, you can make a good parakeet parent.
And there are a number of perks to owning blue parakeets that we’ll discuss below.
But first, let’s clear up some terminology.
It’s easy to wonder what you’re reading when you’re reading about blue parakeets. All parakeets are small parrots.
That includes blue parakeets. Not all parrots are parakeets.
In Commonwealth countries (such as the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand), you may hear and see parakeets referred to as “budgerigars,” or “budgies,” for short.
They are also called English parakeets (this is a term just for blue parakeets), paroquets, and parquets.
That sticky semantic point aside, there is one great reason to own a blue parakeet.
Blue parakeets are small enough to keep in almost any home
Unless you live in a pup tent or the tiniest of all tiny houses, and maybe even if you do, blue parakeets are small enough to keep inside your home.
You just need a space of about 1-1/2 square feet (a little less than 0.2 square meters) for a parakeet cage.
Blue parakeets like to fly around once in a while, so they are actually easier to keep in a small home than in a large home.
Blue parakeets are easy to feed
Blue parakeets love whole seeds. They enjoy raw vegetables like thinly sliced carrots and broccoli florets. They enjoy fruits.
Don’t just give your blue parakeet seed pellets. Give them lots of seeds but balanced by fruits and vegetables.
Blue parakeets love bird toys
Your blue parakeet will spend most of its life in a cage.
Providing it with toys in a variety of shapes and colors gives it something to do in its cage and keeps it active.
Blue Parakeet is safe outside its cage several hours a day
Blue parakeets like to get out of their cages now and then. There are a couple of ways to keep your blue parakeet safe outside its cage:
- First, keep your blue parakeet and your cat in separate rooms. You don’t need to play out the adventures of Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird in real life.
- Bird-proof your home. This means removing dangerous obstacles to your blue parakeet’s flight. We will discuss parakeet-proofing your home in more detail in the next section.
- Clip your blue parakeet’s flight feathers. Blue parakeets need certain wing feathers for take-offs and landings. Trimming their feathers is like giving them a haircut, and keeps them from flying around for a few months. Don’t trim your blue parakeet’s feathers unless a vet or a bird groomer has taught you how. it’s better to let a pro trim your bird’s feathers, so they are the bad guy, and you are the rescuer.
Clipping your bird’s feathers (not its wings!) is a must for taking your parakeet outside unless you fit it with a flight harness.
Blue parakeets need safe spaces
Bird proofing your home is a lot more involved than baby-proofing your home.
Keeping your blue parakeet safe and sound, if you let it fly around your home, requires a number of precautions.
- Air fresheners, scented candles, and potpourri. Anything with scents from chemicals or essential oils can be dangerous to your bird.
- Boiling water and hot pots and pans. A bubbling pot of boiling water or a hot pot or pan could look like a great landing site for your blue parakeet. Keep blue parakeets out of the kitchen while you are cooking.
- Ceiling fans. Either take down your ceiling fan or make absolutely sure it is turned off and no one will turn it back on while your blue parakeet is out of its cage. Yes, blue parakeets can fly that high!
- Glass and mirrors. Your blue parakeet can think that clean glass and mirrors are empty space and fly into them. Put stickers on windows and mirrors, so your birds will realize they are there.
- Standing water. A blue parakeet can drown in a dog’s water bowl or a glass of water. It’s important to remove all possibilities for your bird to drown when it is out of its cage, including toilet bowls (keep the lid down), Jacuzzis, and fish tanks. Don’t let dishes in the sink to soak while your blue parakeet is out of its cage.
- Teflon. Non-stick cooking utensils emit fumes that are toxic to blue parakeets when they are heated. Before you use a non-sticking cooking pot or pan, make sure the kitchen vent is on.
- Wires. Cover extension cords and all wires. Blue parakeets will chew on them.
Blue parakeets may sometimes need first aid
From time to time your blue parakeet will have a health issue that doesn’t require a trip to the vet but does require your help.
Here are three common situations when blue parakeets need first aid.
Exposed to Fumes
Have you heard the expression “canary in the coal mine”? Blue parakeets are also sensitive to fume.
Maybe you’re lighting the fireplace or turning on your furnace for the first time in the season.
Maybe you sprayed some air freshener, or you lit a scented candle.
In these situations, a blue parakeet may have a seizure. It may pass out. Take your bird out of the room at once. If it doesn’t come around, take it to the vet.
It can be a fatal mistake to assume that just because parakeets frequent tropical places, they can stand the heat of direct sunlight on hot days.
Blue parakeets can overheat if they are left in the heat. Signs of heatstroke in blue parakeets include panting with the bake open and holding wings away from the body.
Blue parakeets that are having heatstroke will stand on two legs instead of one.
Gently put a few drops of cold water on your bird’s beak. Keep your bird in a cooler and quiet place until it recovers.
Oil or grease on feathers
It’s not unheard of for blue parakeets to fly into an open container of cooking oil or cold cream.
Oil and grease on feathers make them poor insulators. In cool or cold surroundings, blue parakeets with oil or grease on their feathers can suffer hypothermia.
Wash your bird’s feathers in warm, soapy water.
Take care not to dunk your blue parakeet’s head. Then dry off your bird with paper towels. If this doesn’t move the oil or grease, see your vet.
Trimming your Blue Parakeet’s Beak
Here’s what you need to know about trimming your blue parakeet’s beak:
You can trim your blue parakeet’s nails with a guillotine-style nail trimmer. This is the same kind of nail trimmer used for cats.
Be sure not to cut your bird’s nails to the “quick.” They can bleed and become infected.
Signs of Illness in Blue Parakeets
If you have never raised blue parakeets before, you may not realize your bird is sick before it is belly up in its cage.
Symptoms of avian illness in blue parakeets are subtle, and you have to be on the lookout to get your bird to the vet on time.
Signs of illness in blue parakeets include the following:
Being picked on by other birds in the cage
Blue parakeets will sometimes harm or even kill another sick bird in their cage.
Bubbles from the beak
This is a sign of a respiratory infection.
Change in demeanor
A normally playful bird may just crouch at the bottom of its cage.
This is a sign of illness or that the room is too hot or too cold.
Discharge from the nares
Mucus coming from your blue parakeet’s “nostrils” is a sign of a bacterial or viral infection. Birds can get colds and flu.
Sleeping too much
A change in your bird’s sleeping habits may be a signal of infection.
Sleeping with feathers fluffed up is a sign it is struggling to stay warm.
Healthy blue parakeets preen their feathers regularly. A blue parakeet that has raggedy feathers is sick.
In blue parakeets, regurgitation is a natural function. Parent birds regurgitate “milk” from their crops to feed their young.
They do this neatly and almost always drop the nourishment directly into the chick’s mouth.
Vomiting, on the other hand, is a sign of gastrointestinal illness. Blue parakeets will get vomit on their feathers.
Any of these symptoms is a reason to take your bird to the vet right away.
You need to know the signs your blue parakeet has been injured
One of the best indications that your blue parakeet has been injured is seeing it sitting in the bottom of its cage with its feathers fluffed up.
Any bleeding injury is a signal to take your bird to the vet right away because blue parakeets don’t have a lot of blood.
So is a dangling leg or a toe that has been torn off by a toy or another bird.
When your normally sweet bird becomes aggressive and tries to keep you and other birds away, consider the possibility of injury.
Broken Blood Feathers
Most of your blue parakeet’s feathers won’t have a blood supply. However, new, growing feathers do. They will bleed when they are broken.
A blue parakeet’s feather may bleed if they fall or thrash in their cage, or if they have a close encounter with an aggressive animal.
It sounds harsh, but you need to pull out a bleeding feather so it won’t get infected.
Restrain your bird so it won’t escape or scratch you, and pull the feather out quickly. Make sure your bird can breathe while it is being restrained. Of course, you can get your vet to do this.
Quarantine New Blue Parakeets
After you have had a great first experience with your first blue parakeet, it’s natural to want more.
But you need to quarantine new arrivals for six weeks so they don’t give your existing birds diseases.
It’s best to keep new arrivals in a separate building, if possible. They at least need to be kept in a separate room, preferably with their own ventilation system.
Don’t bring any toys, perches, or feeding dishes from the new bird’s cage to the existing birds’ cage until you are sure the new bird isn’t carrying an infection.
Other pets usually don’t get along with blue parakeets, or only get along with them until they become a meal.
Blue parakeets need to be separate from cats, snakes, iguanas, snapping turtles, ferrets, and any kind of hunting dog.
Some dogs will treat a bird as a member of the family, but many won’t.
Blue parakeets won’t be eaten by hamsters, rabbits, or guinea pigs, but these furry animals carry Pasteurella bacteria, which can be fatal to birds.
Fish aren’t a problem. The water in the aquarium is. Keep a cover over your aquarium to make sure your blue parakeets don’t fall in and drown.
Have you ever wondered why some people cover their bird-cages at night? Or in the late afternoon?
Blue parakeets need 12 to 13 hours of uninterrupted sleep every day to keep from going into breeding mode.
Birds are photosensitive. This means that if they see light for more than 11 hours a day, their reproductive hormones are activated.
Make sure your bird’s cage is placed somewhere it will not be disturbed at night (unless you are breeding birds). Stick to a routine. Put your bird to “bed” at the same time every night.
Blue parakeets will take naps when they are tired. You give them good sleeping conditions not so they will have energy, but so they won’t breed. Unless you want them to.
You will need an avian vet if you are keeping a blue parakeet
It’s always a good idea to know where you can take your bird for emergency veterinary care. Not all veterinarians, however, are trained in bird care.
Most avian vets have a board certification from the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV), but you may hear of a great avian vet who doesn’t.
Make sure your vet has experience with parakeets. Ask if there is a quarantine area for sick birds in the vet’s waiting room.
And be prepared to pay for vet care. A visit to the vet usually costs $150 to $500.
Frequently asked questions about blue parakeets
Q. Should I buy one blue parakeet or more?
A. Blue parakeets love company. They do better when they have cage mates.
However, if you have never taken care of birds before, get to know all about taking care of one bird before you take care of two or more.
Q. How much will a blue parakeet cost at the pet store?
A. Blue parakeets are usually available for $25 to $50.
Q. What is it that makes blue parakeets blue?
A. There are 32 possible color variations in parakeets. Blue parakeets have to get four out of four genes for blue feathers.
Even one gene for any other color will cancel out the light blue gene. That’s why blue parakeets are relatively rare.
Q. Can I breed blue parakeets?
A. Light blue parakeets mated to light blue parakeets will have light blue chicks. Mating dark blue to mauve will result in cobalt blue chicks.
Mating cobalt blue to white will lighten the feather color.
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