Do you have concerns about getting a parakeet as a pet, even if you are about to parent one?
It’s easy to see why parakeets are loved. They are beautiful, intelligent, and tiny little creatures, and they aren’t costly as some other pets are.
But what are the pros and cons of owning a parakeet? Should you really get one for yourself?
To find out the answer to these questions, keep on reading.
First, let’s learn more about parakeets.
Parakeets: A Brief Overview
Parakeets, also known as budgies or budgerigars, are not a parrot species exactly, rather a type of small-sized parrot with long tails. There are many types of parakeets; in fact, there are more than 115 species that belong to the parakeet family only. There are European parakeets, American parakeets, lovebirds, budgerigars, cockatiels, and many more. The one we are talking about is referred to as American or Australian Parakeet, called budgerigar or simply parakeet.
The word Parakeet is derived from the French word perroquet, and it means parrot. Originally, they belong to Australia, where they live in flocks while making shallow trees their home. But they aren’t confined to Australia only, they are present all over the world.
Due to their small size and low maintenance requirement, they’re trendy and readily available at pet stores.
Pros of Having Parakeets as Pet
Parakeets are among the most popular pets. Here are some reasons that make parakeets a great pet.
Parakeets are Beautiful and Bright-colored
The first thing that catches your attention about parakeets is their color. They come in bright, vibrant colors like green, blue, yellow. You may also see white and grey budgies. You will always see them looking fresh and full of life no matter what color they are.
Their overall appearance is strikingly similar to big parrots as the nose, and their physical appearance is very much the same. The only difference is, they are small and similar to a miniature size of parakeets. They’re adorably tiny, weighing only 30 to 40 grams.
Parakeets are Intelligent and Responsive
If you are looking for a pet who can communicate with you, parakeets are the right choice. They are really keen on interacting with you and picking up cues. Their intelligence means that you’ll have to keep them busy with games and toys. So get ready to buy a lot of toys.
A surprising ability in them is to mimic different sounds. In addition to human voices, they can also imitate ordinary sounds such as squeaky chairs, notification rings, and loud thumping. Learning or mimicking human language is not difficult for them, and they’ll easily memorize more than 100 words. You can teach your parakeet to talk, mimic words, and understand your commands.
Parakeets are Very Social
Budgies don’t like to be alone; they’re usually either busy with their fellows, or they would be bonding with their owner. They would love you being around and will show it by mimicking your sound or tone or by singing as you go close to them. A fun fact: parakeets love music.
When in the wild, they live in flocks to stay close to each other. So, they definitely enjoy the company. If you are new to parakeet-parenting, consider adopting two instead of one because if somehow you aren’t around, they will have someone to interact with.
Parakeets Require Less Attention and Supplies
The maintenance of budgies is comparatively simple, requiring only a well-ventilated cage, a few toys, a mineral block, and enough parakeet food and water.
The most important thing would be the cage after buying a bird. They would need some toys to entertain them. Pick the toys that have the least probability of hurting them in the cage. Ring bells, mirrors, swings, and ladders are their favorite toys.
They can survive even if you have a 9 – 5 job as they aren’t one of those pets that need to be attended to all the time. For families with kids, they are perfect, as kids will love someone who matches their energy levels.
Parakeets are Good for Your Health
Having pet birds, especially parakeets, is good for your health and overall well-being. They help in alleviating depression and lowering your blood pressure significantly. As parakeets are happy chirpy birds, we assume that they won’t bring any dull moment in your life.
Having pet birds like parakeets triggers healthy brain activity. Talking to them and engaging yourself in their care routine can be a hobby, especially in old age. What’s more, you always have something to talk about—your budgie friends. So, it is a win-win situation.
Without owning a parakeet, it is difficult to imagine how they will change your life and reward you.
Cons of Having Parakeets as Pet
Despite the alluring features we just mentioned, there is a flip side of owning parakeets as well. Keeping budgies as pets might not be for everyone. There are some potential issues you’ll have to face while owning a parakeet. Here are some.
Parakeets Need a Lot of Cleanliness
One thing is for sure, they will require a lot of cleanliness. In fact, their system requires them to relieve themselves after every 10 to 15 minutes. So, they are going to create a lot of mess. And you will find droppings everywhere in the cage, even in water and their food plate.
Apart from that, seeds, half-eaten cabbage leaves, and cucumbers will be all over the cage, requiring you to clean it daily—or sometimes, twice a day.
If you are not keeping their cage in an airy place, there can be a suffocating smell all over your place, which you may not feel as much, but those coming to your place will instantly sense it. They need fresh air to dissipate the damp foul smell. If you’re thinking of having a parakeet as a pet, consider an airy place where you can put the cage.
Parakeets Are Too Noisy
They are sweet little chirping birds, but this fact quickly turns into a con when they all are religiously making noise. You will encounter constant singing, chirping, whistling, hooting, and even screaming. If you are not in the mood or want some quiet moments, there is no way to turn them off.
Moreover, if you own a flock, the noise would certainly be an issue. You would probably receive complaints from your neighbors—in case you live in an apartment or an area where neighbors are nearby. Sometimes, all of them will be sitting in one place and quiet, still there would be some humming or beak grinding.
Often, there will be a sudden sound of them flapping feathers and some unusual disturbance. And more often than not, you may come out to see from the other corner of the house to see what has happened. That is just their way of living.
Parakeets Take Time to Be Trained
Many parakeets are trained in understanding cues and copying human voices, but it takes a lot of time to train your parakeet. You will need to engage in individual training and engagement on a one-to-one basis if you intend to see some improvement. The results are definitely worth your time, but if you have little time to invest, that’s definitely a problem.
At the same time, it is easy to train one parakeet only. If you have more or even two, it would be difficult to get their attention, as they would be spending all the time cheering, singing, playing, or even fighting with each other.
Similarly, if you own one parakeet only, it will require a lot of attention that might not be possible with a typical eight-hour job. And very soon, your chirpy bird will turn into a dull one.
Parakeets Have Delicate Health
They can be prone to different diseases and medical issues. They will quickly get ill by slight changes in the temperature. Also, they might need a few visits to the vet.
Although we said in pros that they are cheap, they can be actually deviously expensive. Buying them doesn’t cost much, but keeping them for years is certainly going to take a lot.
For instance, their healthy and balanced diet includes seed, grain, fruits, and vegetables, and buying them could be costly. Furthermore, they will require lots of toys as they quickly get bored and won’t play with the same toys. And not to forget the visits to the vet that are a must with any pet.
Should You Consider Having a Parakeet Pet?
Our extensive discussion about parakeets boils down to one point, should you own one? Now, it is not about the bird but you.
Several indicators suggest that owning budgies may not be a good idea for you. Here are a few.
If you travel a lot, it might not be practical to take the parakeets’ cage with you on every tour. And parakeets need maintenance on a daily basis and preferably some hours outside the cage. If you are someone who has to frequently travel, make sure that there is someone in the home to take care of your bird.
If you live in a small apartment, you may not have enough space for parakeets and the mess they would create. And also, your neighbors would mind the constant noise due to thin walls. You can, however, adopt only one parakeet, but that would still require constant care—attention and time.
If you are a clean freak, parakeets might not be a great idea, as parakeets are constantly creating a lot of mess with their food and water. Some may find it cute, while it may just be a turn-off for a few. Which one are you?
If you don’t like noise, you may mind their constant chirrups. Note that parakeets are loud birds, fond of singing and chirping. If noise disturbs you, parakeets are not for you.
If your finances cannot support their cage accessories, toys, or overall maintenance, parakeets are not for you. Keep in mind that all pets cost. Parakeets, unlike other pets, cost less in the long run—they won’t break your bank.
If you are a busy individual and can’t attend to them daily, we would advise against keeping them as a pet. Budgies need fresh food and water on a daily basis; it can certainly be a deal-breaker if you can’t make yourself available for them. But as we mentioned above, if you have someone who can take care of them, you are good to go with them.
That was all about the pros and cons of parakeets as pets. Just like other pets, parakeets have their own set of pros and cons. Before getting parakeets, make sure that you can handle them well.
You will certainly be a great pet parrot if you have time and patience for your bird friend. After that, it won’t take long for you to get used to them, and soon you’ll be having a ball with your new pet.