August 17, 2011

How to Care for a Parakeet or Parrot

Me and My Parrot 
A painting I had made of Me and My Pet when I was 11

I am not sure if you can keep parrots and parakeets as pets in India, though you will find that many houses do have them as pets.

They are these absolutely delightful things to have around. However, like all pets they need your undivided time and attention. On another note, somedays you will realize that it’s better to not keep a bird as a pet because a bird is meant to fly and not languish time in a cage.

Still if you do decide to keep a parrot or parakeet then be assured you will be happy and will have these super sweet soft furry companions around you who are so full of life! They will constantly give you something to look forward to. You need to take good care of them though, starting with the home you provide them. Make sure you buy a nice big cage for your bird/birds if you buying a pair. They love swings, and love to move around so get a cage with a swing or a ladder. The pair of parakeets I had, were with me since they were kids so they never actually learned to fly and I used to actually let them out of the cage most of the time. They used to just keep perched on their cage and do their thing – play with feathers, eat, sleep etc. They like to sleep at dusk and wake up at dawn. They don’t like loud noises, so try and keep them away from radio, T.V and such things as much as possible. I used to cover their cage with a shawl or chaddar so that it got dark and quite for them at dusk and they could then sleep comfortably.

Parakeets and parrots really eat and poop a lot. They just keep chewing on things and throwing it out. They love guava and corn. We even had this one parrot that used to love chopping carrots. He used to chop it perfectly fine for a Chinese dish, too bad we could never use them for that purpose! :)
Its kind of like, how you have kids who are teething, and they just need something to chew on all the time, that’s how parakeets and parrots are. I used to feed my pets chana dal or unboiled rice and water mostly in summer, and bajra and water in winters. They like seeds a lot, so you can give them sunflower seeds, musk melon seeds or watermelon seeds also. Any raw and crunchy fruit or vegetable can also be given to a parakeet or parrot. Since they keep eating most of the time, they poop a lot. I had got a round wooden patta made in the same diameter as their cage, which I used to keep below their cage. We used to wash it atleast twice a day. So the poop used to fall on it and we never had to worry about stains on furniture or floor.  Parakeets and parrots are nice but they really can chew anything given to them, so you have to be careful. As I used to keep mine out of the cage most of the time, there were times when they just walked around and chewed on our furniture or curtains. So, one has to keep an eye on them because they can resort to mischief when you are not watching.

Parakeets and parrots are both very sensitive to cold, so one needs to protect them from it.
You don’t need to give them a bath daily. Avoid giving them a bath in rains and winter unless the sun is out there. They fall sick very easily due to cold and a wet bird is easily susceptible to falling sick. Once sick, the chance of survival is very low. Its essential to keep them out daily but don’t keep them in a cold place. Also protect them from cats. If a cat even manages to scratch your pet, be certain that the bird will not survive due to fear, no matter how little its hurt. You can teach them to talk, which essentially means they will learn how to imitate your sounds. They are intelligent, they get your tone, your gestures and moods. When you try to teach them, be patient. Keep repeating the phrase or sound, however, there are some birds that will never learn; I am not sure why this happens but that’s how it is.

If you are like me, you will never have a dull moment with your parakeets whether they learn to speak or not. They are just so fascinating. You can just go on watching them doing their thing, scratching, fluffing wings, twisting neck and tucking it in to sleep. One thing to remember while keeping any pet, be it a parakeet or a dog is that a pet is a part of your family. He or she needs your love, care and attention. He or she is dependent on you for his or her well being, so don’t keep a pet as a status symbol or because it’s in. Keep a pet only if you want one and are ready to handle the responsibility. Parakeets and parrots have a long lifespan and with proper care, can be your companion for life and give you a lot of joy and happiness.

4 comments:

  1. hmm... I wasn't aware of this and it is good info..but then I don't have pets..

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, maybe if you decide to keep one in future, it'll be helpful :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have an Australian parrot (some people refer it as Love Birds).Actually, it was a pair, but one them (female) died last year, Suggest me what to do and take care of the single one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi! Since the time it died last year, has you parrot become sad or shown any changes. If not, I am guessing its doing fine. Generally, they tend to get a bit sad due to loneliness. Sometimes if we pay extra attention to them to become normal and do not really need another companion but sometimes one may need to get another companion to replace the dead one. Just observe and let me know how your parrot is doing.

    ReplyDelete