Thinking of owning a small to medium-sized pet that is playful, outgoing, and with a tremendous personality? Then the Parakeet is for you!
This graceful bird originates from Australia, Asia, Africa, Central, and South America. It has a feather which is naturally yellow and green. At present, you can find many variations through captive breeding.
To know its gender, just look at the section above its beak, which is called a cere. A mature, male parakeet will have a blue cere, while a grown female will have brown.
Parakeet Price and Other Immediate Costs
The price of a Parakeet depends on the age, color, and breed you’re interested to purchase but typically within a wide range starting from $10 up to as high as $1,800, cheaper compared to Lovebirds.
Looking at birdbreeders.com, you will find different ranges of Parakeet prices. For Budgerigars, you can buy these birds as low as $17.99 while the most costly ones are estimated at $90.00. You can also find the same species at Petsmart and a single parakeet’s price is at about $19.99.
If you’re interested in owning more exotic parakeets, the Finchfarm.com has a wide array of available exquisite types. The Blue Ringneck Indian Parakeet sells at $338.99 while the green and gray kinds come at $609.99 each.
The site also offers the Bourke Parakeet at $154.99. However, it also has the more expensive types such as Rosy Bourke Parakeets at $200.99 and Rubino Bourke Parakeets at $453.99 each.
Alternately, if you’re saving money, you can likewise adopt these playful birds thru Petfinder.com or your local Humane Society for free or for a minimal adoption fee.
The cost to take care of a parakeet does not end on its purchase price. Some other items to be included in the one-time expenses are the following:
A recommended good shelter for one parakeet is approximately 18”Wx18”Dx18”H, as much as possible, metal bars should be no greater than ½” apart.
Keep in mind though that it is always best to arrange for the widest shelter possible. If you’re looking for a conservatively-sized shelter like the Prevue Hendryx Clean Life Series Bird Cage, it will cost you $82.79.
On the other hand, if you’re ready to spend the big bucks and you want to go large and roomy, then you’ll want the Prevue Hendryx Signature Series Deluxe Cage with Playtop Area. This dome top and durable wrought iron cage is priced at $444.49. This brand of cages includes free perches and water cups.
To select a safe and quality shelter for your lovable pet, make sure you choose a habitat with no lead, zinc, lead-based paints or galvanized parts on it. These types of substances when ingested can induce severe medical issues.
With your parakeet’s habitat set-up, place it in an area in your home with an average temperature, well-lit, and far-away from drafts.
Bird shelter normally comes with one or two perches. These freebies are usually made of plastic or smooth dowel wood. It is advisable to provide at least a 4” long and 3/8” in diameter perch for the shelter.
You can leave in place the free perches. However, it is highly suggested to add a couple more with different sizes, shapes, and textures. A variety of perches will enable nail maintenance, foot exercise, chewing, and mental stimulation. It can likewise minimize arthritis.
You can choose from an assortment of natural, fun, and chewy perches. A sensible choice is the You & Me Natural Hardwood Bird Perch which you can buy at $2.79. If you want something fun, you can get your playful bird the Booda Comfy Perch which comes at an affordable $8.89. The colorful, cotton-covered perch can be twisted to varying loops and curves to encourage play and exercise.
If you notice that your parakeet’s perch is already worn or broke, replace it immediately to avoid injury. Moreover, always periodically rotate perches for variety. Besides that, avoid situating food and water containers beneath your pet’s perches to prevent dropping’s contamination.
In setting up your cage, it is tremendously vital to include toys in them. If your new feathered friend is going to be confined in a cage for the majority of the time, it will definitely need a mechanism for physical activity, mental stimulation, and active chewing.
One of the safest and earth-friendly choices is the Wesco Bird Kabob Toy. It only cost $5.19 and is 100% biodegradable product that promotes natural chewing and preening.
Another great option is the JW Pet Insight Activitoys Olympia Rings Bird Toys which is priced at $1. 99. It is a fun trinket for playful birds which has five rings spin and chime plus a bell for your pet’s pleasure and stimulation.
- Cage Liners
To ensure your feathered friend is away from droppings, there should be a metal grate over the shelter’s droppings tray. In addition to that, place a habitat paper or any proper substrate on the droppings tray for quick cleaning. A number of bird lovers use newspaper with black ink pages only or paper towel as lining material.
If your budget allows it you may want to purchase Bird Cage Liners (with no wax) which are 100% biodegradable. They are light brown in color which make monitoring bird droppings easy compared to using white paper. A 150 count, 40-pound paper will cost you $35.96. Remember to replace this liner every week or as often as needed.
What are Included?
Perks or freebies depend on where you purchase your parakeet. In birdbreeders.com, some sellers or breeders offer free shipping fees while others may charge you for it. Some also provide a warranty while several forego this item.
In purchasing in finchfarm.com, it provides free shipping plus a Live Arrival Guarantee. In case your parakeet perishes while being transported, the site will present you a coupon the same price you paid on the lost bird.
Similarly, in Petsmart.com, the website features a Vet Assured Promise that offers a 14-day guarantee. Basically, it assures buyers that if your purchased parakeet becomes sick within 14 days or if you’re not contented with the provided bird, Petsmart will replace it or reimburse the paid amount.
Still, after all this, you will need to purchase your pet’s various supplies such as food, toys, perches, and other health-related items.
Cost of Maintaining a Parakeet
When you buy your new parakeet, make sure to confirm the bird’s habitual diet. It is common for small birds bought at pet stores to be on a seed-based diet. This basic type of feed essentially provides the needed nutrition of your pet. A high-quality seed-based diet like the Kaytee Supreme Daily Blend will cost you $6.79 for 5 lbs.
Aside from this, you can nourish your favorite parakeet with pellet foods. These kinds of feeds are flavorful seed mixes ground up and baked into nuggets. You can start your pet with the ZuPreem Natural with Added Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids Small Bird Food which comes at $15.00 for 2.25 lbs.
Separately, you may give your bird fresh vegetables and fruits for a healthy, well-balanced diet. It is preferable to dispose of these goods not consumed within a few hours. When it comes to water, it is best to provide the filtered, chlorine-free, fresh kind for your pet.
In any case, avoid feeding your parakeet avocado, fruit seeds, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol. When ingested, your bird may suffer severe medical condition. Take note as well to not give sugary and high-fat treats. These goods should only be below 10% of your parakeet’s total food intake.
One good example of a parakeet treat is a cuttlebone. These treats keep your bird’s beak trim and sharp. What’s more, the treat is healthy for your pet since it is a source of natural calcium and minerals. A single twin pack of Living World Cuttlebone is around $3.03.
- Shelter Cleaning and Maintenance
As a responsible pet owner, don’t forget to regularly clean and disinfect your pet’s shelter. While it is highly recommended to use natural products, household bleach is a product that is conveniently accessible at home.
Sanitizing your pet’s cage monthly with a 3% bleach solution is sufficient. Remember to transfer your bird to another cage or room while using the disinfectant. Ordinarily, cleaning agents contain fumes that can harm your parakeet.
Furthermore, it is advisable to sweep or vacuum around the area to get rid of seeds, shells, and feathers. A number of bird owners have a dedicated vacuum in their home to clean up bird mess. One practical product is the Bisell 9595A Cleanview Bagless Vacuum which cost $79.99. It has a lightweight design but boasts a powerful cleaning system.
- Veterinary Care
Yearly veterinary care is highly advised so that an aviary doctor can perform health tests and examine for preliminary signs of illness.
We have established that parakeets are active and sociable birds. If you notice your pet losing appetite, having plucked or soiled feathers, showing red or swollen eyes, and eye or nose discharge, then immediately seek proper veterinary attention. Health issues such as Chlamydiosis, feather plucking, and mites are common with birds.
Thus, a routine exam is suggested to monitor the health of your parakeet. The annual cost of care and diagnostic tests is around $100 to $200.
Types of Parakeets
Let us briefly clarify the Parakeet Tribe and its subspecies:
- Tribe Arini (American Parakeets)
These types of birds are located in Mexico, and spanning through areas of Central and South America. A few species under this tribe are Quaker or Monk Parakeet, Barred Parakeet, and Grey-cheeked Parakeet.
- Tribe Psittaculini (Asian and African Parakeets)
This tribe is comprised of Asian, African, and Madagascar birds. Some of the species under this tribe are Derbyan Parakeet, Plum-headed Parakeet, Alexandrine Parakeet, Indian Ringneck Parakeet or Ringneck Parakeet, and Long-tailed Parakeet or also known as Malayan Red-cheeked Parakeet.
- Tribe Platycercini (Australasian Parakeets)
This group can be described as broad-tailed birds from Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia plus its adjoining islands. Typical birds of this type are Budgerigar, Bourke’s Parakeet, Red-rumped Parakeet, Elegant Parakeet, and Golden-mantelled Rosella or Eastern Rosella.
Owning a Parakeet – How Many Do You Need?
These types of birds, which belong to the parrot family, are also called Budgies, Budgerigars, or most notably Parakeets in the United States. These active and sociable birds love company. If you stay at home most of the time and can give lots of attention to your pet, then a single budgie will do just fine.
On the contrary, if you’re out most of the day, then consider buying a pair of parakeets.
Factors that Can Affect the Parakeets Price
If you are keen on pursuing the affordable route, you may want to source out second-hand birds. These are the type of parakeets that are cultivated entirely in a different environment. What’s good in buying second-hand parakeets is that you don’t have to spend too much time on training and taming them since they are already familiar with human voices and gestures.
Ironically, this may also become a drawback for you because it will be difficult to introduce new habits and behavior patterns to your recently-bought friend.
Meanwhile, a hand-raised parakeet can be simply taught and tamed, however, this type may be priced a bit more than its counterpart. Reason for this is that hand-raised birds are accustomed to human techniques of caring and affection.
More than that, the breed also is a factor that affects the bird’s price. Parakeets from the Tribe Platycercini or parakeets native to Australia are the most common and affordable types. On one hand, you’ll find its exotic counterparts more often expensive.
Age as well is another factor to consider when it comes to pricing. You will find younger birds a bit more costly since it is easier to teach and quick to adapt.
The source and location where you purchase your parakeet is another. There are different price ranges when you look at pet stores, bird specialty stores, breeders, or even online shops. In acquiring your pet from an online shop, some sellers may charge shipping fees.
Caring Tips and Additional Information
Now if you’re determined to be a full-time parakeet owner, take heed of our valuable tips:
As mentioned initially, parakeets are social pets and these types crave companion. Make sure that if you are away from home most of the time, acquire more than one parakeet for companionship. Incidentally, keep in mind that if you own another kind of birds it should not be housed together.
Remember that owning a parakeet is a longtime commitment. These sociable birds’ lifespan can reach up to 10-25 years or longer.
Additionally, parakeets are skilled mimics and certain variety may even learn to speak some words or phrases. One famous parakeet known as Puck was documented as the bird with the widest vocabulary in the world. In 1995, he was in included in the Guinness Book of World Records for having known 1,728 words.
Other times, these intelligent birds may also sing, chirp, and screech. If you favor a silent companion, a cheerful parakeet is not for you.