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Help first time bird owner

5188 Views 18 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Mygala
I just adopted 2 parakeets from my neighbor who is in the hospital.don"t know the sex but they are in a large cage and get is 2 or 3 years old the other is about 6 months old. how long do they live? they came with food the brand is hartz bonanza parakeet diet tropical blend compete nutrition is this OK to give them. it looks like mostly seed.I think this is all they have been fed.why I say this is because the person is elderly and has home health aides with her and her son gets the bird food for her. they look healthy to me they have been chirping.all advice welcome sorry for the long post.
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Budgies are seed eaters, so a seed diet is a good thing. Just don't buy the cheapest diet you can find. I'm not a fan of Hartz Mtn.

Good good and clean water are the main things. Keep them at room temps, out of drafts and you should find them to be sweet, entertaining pets with loads of personality.

I've never know a budgie that didn't learn to speak a few words and phrases.

I read something about the fumes from ovens harming birds- don't know if this applies to parakeets. I would maybe sanction a room for free flighting. I would just feel bad about caging a naturally free flying animal, my friend has(d) cocketeils or something which were trained to poo in one corner of a room over newspaper and the owner of the small animal rescue here has an aviary in her home with free flying birds.

Congrats on the addition though! pictures would be great
Parakeets (budgies) are awesome! Having grown up with them, I can tell you that they're some of my favorite types of birds... and I've been around most domestic and exotic species. On average, they live between 5-8 years... Anyway, parakeets can be super friendly and playful (if they are socialized properly) and it's always a treat to hear them speak! They have a tendency to mimic particular words and phrases after a while-- it's hilarious!

As for food... I agree with Mygala in not being a fan of Hartz. We have always used fortified blends from Kaytee, like Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Parakeet Food and Kaytee Fiesta MAX Bird Food for Parakeets because fortified blends include fruits, nuts and veggies in addition to the types of seeds that parakeets like. I'm not sure how big their cage is, but I hope it's big enough for them to stretch their wings as well as move about from perch to perch. Otherwise, they might not get enough exercise to stay healthy. BTW, it's important that they receive plenty of physical and mental stimulation on a regular basis so that they don't get bored... so, be sure they have more than one perch as well as some toys (mirror, dangling toys, a swing and ladder) to keep them occupied. Boredom is NOT good for birds-- it not only stresses them out, but it lowers their immune system and causes them to become aggressive.

One more thing... Parakeets LOVE attention! Be sure to give them plenty of attention!
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As loud as they can be, put them in a room where everyone frequents. I just met my bf's school friend who keeps their budgie down in the basement O>o
keep the advice coming

:wavey:thank-you everyone for the advice.OK let me give you all a little back ground info.I live in a 1 bedroom apt.with two poms so free flight is out. there cage is about 17x13x17 it has 2 perches and a swing.I got them a cuttlebone yesterday. as for food they are eating hartz parakeet diet how do i go about changing there food to kaytee without getting them sick I've only have had for two days and harts is all they have eaten.
With any animal accustomed to one diet, start slowly introducing the new food. Add it as a ratio of like 3:1 (3=old food, 1=new food) and every few days gradually increase the amount so that in about 1-2 weeks they're fully switched to a new food. ^^

If you cannot allow free fly, maybe (*shudder*) clip their wings and allow them to explore the couches or something? And train the dogs to keep back (after initial figuring them out is done)
Good points about the cooking fumes. Don't use non-stick cookware if you have birds in the house. Look Here

No free flying. Indoor flying is dangerous. Never allow it. Clipping should always be done. I've seen folks whose birds have flown into windows, mirrors, toilets and pans on the oven. Birds are fragile, they can't stand impacts. If they live or fly outside and are accomplished flyers, they should fly. If they live indoors they don't have the skills to accelerate, stop and dodge the obstacles.
Some birds can adapt, but you are always risking death anytime a bird flies indoors. Why risk the birds life for something that is not necessary for it's survival. In the wild, birds don't fly for "fun". Food, Fear or Sex are their motivations. A well fed, confident bird will happily play with it's toys and not miss flight.

Going from one seed diet to another shouldn't be a problem as long are both are basically the same content. In the wild, changing locale or seasons can be causes for drastic changes in their diets. It happens and they adapt and survive well.

Budgies are hardy, flexible little birds that can adapt to a wide variety of homes. They can live a long time for such a little bird, don't risk all that needlessly.

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update on adopted parakeets

hi everyone,O.K. yesterday I went to petco and got them kaytee fiesta max parakeet food and a toy.they have not played with it yet.Its a mirror the turns around I have seen them use the cuttlebone.I tried some of the new food mixed with the old I think they like it. How much food do you fed the birds the bag said 1-3 tbsp.the store said that was per bird so that would be a bout 6 tbsp. is that to much? I gave them 2 tbsp. and they did not eat it all. they are a girl and boy.What time of year do they breed? Will they breed if there is know nesting box,I don't want babies.
Kudos to Bob! Thanks for clearing up my info!! I gues that's why I don't have birds!! :p
Sounds like you have it all in hand.

Don't offer a nest box or nesting materials. That's no guarantee they won't lay eggs, but it's unlikely you'll get them or the incubation. If you do find them, just dispose of them. Budgies aren't normally likely to become compulsive egg layers.

Have fun!

update on keets

today when I uncovered the birds cage the female was chasing the male around the cage and trying to bite him why? she has done this all day.she has eaten half of the cuttle bone in just 2 days. she won't let him eat .if he is at the food dish she will come after him with her beak open or she will peck he ,he just jumps to the top perch.I'm afried she is going to hurt him ,will she?I called a pet store and they said she was going to lay eggs soon is this true?
It's not uncommon for some birds to guard the food bowl. It's usually solved by putting in more than one food container. That way she can't prevent him from eating.

It's possible she could injure him, but not likely. There are many possible stressors that could cause this behavior, egg laying/nesting is just one of them.

If they have not had cuttle bone before, or have been a long time without it, they can sometimes gorge themselves on it. She doesn't need that much to be healthy.

What you can do is offer it to them once or twice/day and then take it out again. You can also offer other treats, like Nutri-berries. Either of these might serve to distract her from the chasing behavior.

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thank-you bob yesterday I took the cuttle bone out of there cage for awhile and I found 2 hamster food bowls not used that I had and put them in the bottom of the cage.then later in the day I ran into a friend that had parakeets before,I told him what was going on and he said he could help,I said great.We then went to the pet store and he got them a cuttle bone holder that screws on to the cage and you put the cuttle bone inside it.and a toy,and millet spray and kaytee fiesta treats. He told me to put the cuttle bone holder on the back of the cage or any were a way from the food bowl.So when I got home I put the holder on the back of the cage,and added the new toy know more chasing,eating out of the same bowl peacefully.I plan on getting 2 more bowls.Question the cuttle bone holder has a perch should this be above the cage perch or below the cage perch ? for them to stand on right now they are hopping over it.
Glad things are working better.

The perch should be at the bottom of the cuttle bone if I'm picturing the kind you have correctly.

cuttle bone holder

Hi bob yes the perch on the holder is on the bottom but I meant in the cage ,ware should I put the holder above the cage perch or below the cage perch.I would just have to slide it up or down.which way do I put it thank-you for all your help.
Awesome! Sometimes, females tend to be more dominant with males- especially when it comes to food, so I'm glad you were able to give them more than one food bowl and other treats. I'm glad that things are working out and that they're now getting along.

yes things seam to being well now.I have a question,I read on a web page that if you had a female keet and didn't want her to lay eggs ,when she was in breed mode to feed her a seed diet only.why?what does this do?I'm still trying to figure out how much seed to feed them,they don't eat the whole bowl,they just pick out what they like and leave the rest,I feed them 3 tbs.for the two of them. I tried them on some veggies,they ate them yesterday but not to day why?should I give them vitamins,I do put skin and plumage daily liquid supplement,in there food everyday.
A seed diet is not going to stop a female from laying. If that were the case, there would be no Budgies, because seeds ARE their natural diet.

Here is a site you should check out:

Particlarly under Birds, look at the article on Small Parrot Diseases.

There are a couple of paragraphs on Nutrition and Obesity that you might find interesting.

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