Parakeet Books for Beginner Bird Owners

When my son first became interested in getting a pet bird, he read a lot online. Now we are talking about a kid that WILL NOT read. Show him a book, magazine, website or anything else you can think of; he simply says I hate reading, I am not reading that.

Well that kind of changed the day he decided he wanted a pet bird. He read for days and days online about all different kinds of birds and what kind of bird is best for him to get. He shared all of what he learned with me and his dad. He finally came to the conclusion that a parakeet, also known as a budgie, was right for him and a great introduction to birds.

We went to the local pet store and inquired about the parakeets to make sure it was the right choice. My son interacted and quickly became friends with the lady at the store, in fact, that was about 9 months ago. He still goes to the store to visit with her and discuss birds.

She confirmed with us that it was a great starter bird. She told him everything he needed to know to get started such as picking the right cage, accessories and food. He then picked the bird he wanted and we decided to get the wings clipped. She explained to us that it would allow my son to get closer with the bird because he could not fly away. She even showed him how to clip the wings.

So after getting the first bird home safe and sound we decided to get him a book about how to care for parakeets. We purchased the following two parakeet books which he easily read in a few days.

Starter Parakeet Books

parakeet books

parakeet books

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you get a chance to devour these books as my son did and learn all there is to know about caring for your parakeets.

A Trip to the Bird Veterinarian

Our household owns 3 birds, one cockatiel and 2 budgies (parakeets).  One evening after settling down from the afternoons activities, my son comes to tell me that the parakeets “just don’t look right.”  By this time it is nearing 7 o’clock and about the time most veterinarians would close up shop for the night. After taking a look, the birds look a bit lethargic and seem like they have lost weight. So, as the bird owner, I told my son to call the bird veterinarian. He did, they were about to close but said to bring them by. This trip to the veterinarian was very enlightening. We both learned lots, and even watched a rooster get an x-ray.

bird veterinarianThe first thing after introductions and paperwork was for the veterinarian (by the way this was a strictly bird clinic, which is luckily pretty close to the house) to watch the birds to see how they acted.

Next it was time for blood work. Do you know how they take blood from a bird? This was the first thing I learned that night. I now understand there are a few ways blood can be taken from a bird. It is a very sensitive procedure and should only be done by a veterinarian experienced with birds. Our bird veterinarian took the blood sample by clipping the birds toenail. If you clip the toenail too much it will bleed. He then used a small tube to collect a very small amount of blood. He explained to us that the procedure may make the bird seem more tired and lethargic than usual. Since our birds were not feeling well to begin with, they were not any more tired than they already were. The doctor smeared some of the blood on slides and also did a CBC on it.

The following information about a birds blood is taken from The Bird Channel website (http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-diet-and-health/blood-loss.aspx). This site is a great site for all kinds of bird information.

A complete blood count(CBC) can give us invaluable information, and testing the plasma (or serum) can provide us with information about the kidneys, liver, blood sugar level and many more functions. The difference between plasma and serum is that with serum the clotting factors are removed by allowing the blood to clot first before spinning the sample down to separate the liquid from the cells themselves.

After review of the blood samples, the doctor said that it looked fine. He wanted to do some x-rays of the birds to make sure there was nothing going on inside. This was the second thing we learned about. My son of course asked if he could watch the birds get the x-rays. The doctor told him of course but he had to stand behind the screen. It takes two people to get the x-ray, 1 holds opens the wings and the other holds the tail and legs while on the x-ray table, and click the picture from a pedal on the floor. Then we got to look at the x-rays while he examined them. My son asked all kinds of questions about the innards. Everything seemed good there too.

So everything tested out ok, but they just were not acting right, the doctor decided to give them both some antibiotic. That was the next lesson since my son would have to give it for the next 3 weeks twice a day. He was given a choice of giving it via a shot or orally. He chose to do it orally. They first showed him how to easily catch the bird in the cage. To do this they shut the lights in the room. The bird cannot see as well in the dark which makes it easier to catch him. Next he learned how to hold the birds properly to give the medicine, thumb around the neck, he cannot choke the bird. Next stick the medicine dropper into the birds mouth and push the medicine in.Then lift the birds beak with the dropper so it would swallow the medicine. My son has now become an expert at all of this and gets it all done within just a few minutes with both birds.

The last suggestion from the doctor is to use a heat lamp. He said the birds like it about 85 degrees. So we purchased an inexpensive lamp that we now use each night.

The birds do seem to be getting better, but still more time is needed. We have about another 1.5 weeks of medicine to go. Although going to the doctor is never a cheap experience. We did learn a lot and hope that the birds will fully recover from their illness.

To Use A Bird Cage Cover Or Not…That Is The Question

A controversial topic in the bird world is whether to cover your bird cage at night or not. As you would assume, the answer is not a simple yes or no; it depends. It really does depend on your bird and the location of the bird cage. If the bird cage is set in a location that is lit and/or noisy late into the night, its probably best to cover its cage. A bird needs approximately 12 hours of sleep. If its sleep is interrupted your bird may begin to display bad habits or seem sluggish and tired. I’m sure you would not feel great either being woken up while trying to sleep. In that case a bird cage cover will really help the bird to get its sleep. However, you may also consider changing the birds location to a quieter place for nighttime. Sleep is really important for your bird to keep it happy and healthy.

When choosing a bird cage cover there are a few things you want to think about. The first is of course the size of the cover. Make sure the bird cage cover will fit your cage type. There are some covers that are made to fit a specific size cage and then there are adjustable size covers. The adjustable size cage covers are made to fit a variety of different sized cages and use a drawstring type pull to fit your cage.

Second, you want a material that is breathable but heavy enough to block out the light so they can get their sleep.

Here is a variety of available cage covers you might consider:

prevue_bird_cage_coverPrevue Bird Cage Cover
JT Industries Adjustable Bird Cage Cover
Adjustable Bird Cage Cover

Search over Bird Cage Covers

We’d like to hear from you! Do you cover your bird’s cage at night?

Bringing Home Your First Bird – What You Need To Get Started

Getting your first pet bird is a big step. Just like giving birth to a baby, you want to make sure you have everything you need to take care of the baby…uh, bird and that it is comfortable and happy.

The first most important thing you need is a cage for your bird’s new home. Numero uno on your list!

Bird Cage

Be sure to choose the proper size cage for your new bird. Here is a list of birds and approximate size cages they will need.

Type
Min Cage Size
Bar Spacing
Finches18"x30"x18"1/4" to 1/2"
Canaries18"x24" x18"1/4" to 1/2"
Budgies18"x18"x24"1/2"
Cockatiels
20"x20"x24"1/2" to 5/8"
Lovebirds
Parrotlets
24"x24"x241/2"
Ringneck Parakeets24"x24"x36"1/2" to 5/8"
Conures
Poicephalus
24"x24"x24"5/8" to 3/4"
Caiques
Pionus
Jardine's
24"x24"x36"5/8" to 3/4"
Amazons
Mini Macaws
Goffin's Cockatoos
African Greys
24"x36"x48"3/4" to 1"
Large Cockatoos36"x48"x48"1" to 1.5"
Large Macaws36"x48"x60"1" to 1.5"

Parakeet Bird Cage with Stand

The other thing you want to know about choosing a bird cage is what else comes with it. Do you need to purchase perches and food dishes? Does it come with a stand and/or rolling wheels. Wheels make it easier to move the cage around for cleaning as well as to give your bird a new view from time to time.

Is it easy to clean? Most cages have a bottom tray that pulls out for easy cleaning. This tray should be cleaned daily to remove the fecal and hence odor. Not only that but a dirty cage can lead to serious health issues for the bird. You can use prepared cage liners, newspaper or paper towels to lay out on the tray. A larger door or lift out bottom grid is also helpful for cleaning. A larger door will help you to get your hands into the cage easier. If the bottom grid comes out, you will have a much easier time cleaning up.

Toys

birdtoy

Birds love bright colorful things. So any toy with bright colors will be sure to spark an interest. They also love mirrors. Sometimes they may even talk to themselves in the mirror. Depending upon the size of your bird cage you will need a few toys to keep your bird busy. You do not want the bird to feel bored in his cage. A ladder is another fun toy to have in your cage and also bells. They love to hear the noise.

Accessories

bird swing

Other necessary items for your bird cage are perches and food cups. You should have at least one cup for food and one for water. Of course these should be changed daily.

You should have enough perches to enable the bird to access all the fun toys you put in the cage and allow him to access different views from the cage. Again its all about stimulation. A bored bird makes a noisy bird, squawking for your attention.

Another fun accessory to have in your cage is a bird swing. Your bird will get tons of enjoyment sitting on his swing.

Food

Make sure you bring a bag of food home for your new bird. Decide if you want to feed him a pellet diet or seed diet. Birds also eat lots of fruits and vegetables just be sure not to feed him avocado.

 

Disco Makes People Just Plain Feel Good!

Have you heard about Disco? NO, not that Disco!!! Disco the Parakeet! This is some fun stuff and you can call it pet therapy as it brings joy to so many fans!

Per his YouTube channel:

…hear him talk, beatbox, meow, snore, bark, and, yes, even sing a few Stones songs. Disco was born in 2010, and as of May, 2013, he says about 80 phrases. For those of you doubting the veracity of Disco, he’s real all right – just ask the hosts and staff of the Today Show who met him on May 17th, 2013, at their studio in New York City.

Disco is a Parakeet who lives in New York. He has become wildly famous for his talking. Most parakeets dont even talk half as good as he does. In fact, there came a time when his fans did not believe it was he who was really doing the talking. So he got invited to be on NBC’s Today show to talk in real time. To Disco this was all in a days work.

Watch Disco on his own YouTube channel with fantastic videos, which are translated by his owner.

He is sure to bring a smile to your face or turn a bad day into a better one. Give it a shot, what have you got to lose!

Stylish Parakeet Cages

Parakeets, also known as  Budgies or English Parakeets, are one of the most popular pets birds sold in the United States today. They are part of the Parrot family and are considered medium sized.

A Parakeet was the first bird in our home. We chose a simple parakeet cage but I’m going to point out a few cages to you that you might like to consider.

Here are my choices:

Parakeet Bird CageThis is a very simple looking cage and is almost exactly like the first cage we purchased when we got Sunny, our first Parakeet. As with most cages, it has a slide out bottom tray for easy cleaning. It comes with two perches and two food dishes, presumably, one for water, one for food. There are also a few sliding doors for easy access to any part of the cage.

The cage measures 16.5″ long by 11.8″ wide by 22″ high which is plenty of room for one or two parakeets.

For the money this cage cannot be beat.

 

This next cage adds a little more style into the look of the basic cage with the look of a fashioned roof top. There are other similar and larger cages with even 2 or 3 roof tops. I love the look of these type of cages. Again simple but stylish.

Single Roof Parakeet Bird Cages

This parakeet cage also comes with similar items such as 2 perches, 2 food dishes and an easy slide out bottom tray for easy cleaning.

This also is a very inexpensive cage that gives an excellent value for the money.

We ended up opting for a two roof cage when we got our second parakeet. It gives them a little more living space.

 

For the most stylish Parakeets, this cage (which comes in several different styles) is a great look, emulating a Victorian home, BrownstoneStone Cottage and a few other styles. They are all very nice looking emulating real architectural styles.

Victorian Parakeet Bird Cages

These cages are approximately 8″ long, 18″ wide, 25″ high and have 5/8-inch wire spacing. They come with 2 perches and again 2 food bowls. Your bird will look very posh and stylish in this bird cage setting.

 

 

 

 

This next cage is also a great value for the money. This cage is another simple but stylish and functional cage. The fact that it comes with a stand greatly increases the value of the cage. Now you can put your bird where ever you want without the need of a table top.

Parakeet Bird Cage with Stand

The cage is 20″ long x 13 3/4″ wide x 20″ in height. With the stand the cage is 39 3/4″ tall.

This cage also comes with the usual 2 perches and 2 food cups along with an easy slide out bottom tray for easy cleaning.

 

 

 

 

Last but not least, here is a round parakeet cage and starter kit. This Parakeet bird cage measures 13-1/3″ diameter by 22-1/4″ height. The starter kit comes with the round cage, premium budgie mix, budgie gravel, cuttlebone, and a bird care guide. If this is your first bird, this cage would be a good choice. There are 2 perches and 2 food cups as well. It also has the easy bottom try pullout for easy cleaning.

Round Parakeet Bird Cage

Choosing A Travel Bird Cage

Besides your everyday bird cage and home for your bird, you will find that a travel bird cage is a must for your pets. Whether you are taking them in to get a pedicure (nails clipped), a  hair cut (wings clipped) or a visit to the vet, you must have something they can travel in. Now some birds are ok in the car and will just sit, but for safety sake it is better to have them in a cage. G-d forbid an accident occurs, they will be protected better than if they were out of a cage.

That’s the point we are at with our birds. We need to bring them  to get a checkup and have already taken them a few times to get their nails and wings clipped.

Here’s a few of the cages we have been looking at:

collapseable travel bird cage

 

This cage is a collapsible travel bird cage for medium sized birds. This includes Conures, Cockatoos, Amazons, African Greys and its a good fit for Cockatiels too. You may also consider this cage if you want to have more than one bird to the cage.

Its size is 24″ x 16.5″ x 20″ and comes in white color.

It collapses to a flat shape.

Comes with 2 stainless steel food cups and 1 wooden perch.

 

 

 

Petco Travel Bird Cage

This travel bird cage provides a lot of safety for your bird. It will hold an average size bird or a few small canary’s or finch’s.

This carrier provides lots of ventilation for your pet and has an easy load top.

It comes with a carrying strap and a single perch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clear Travel Bird Cage

 

The Perch and Go Clear View Bird Carrier and Travel Bird Cage offers a different take on a travel bird cage. This cage is made with clear durable polycarbonate that is almost impossible to break.

It is suggested for the following types of birds: Conures, Cockatiels, Quakers, Caciques, African Greys, Amazons, Mini Macaws, small Cockatoos and other similar size parrots.

It has a stainless steel door with safety latch and stainless steel back panel to insure cross ventilation.

The handle doubles as a perch for times when the bird can be taken out of the cage.

 

 

 

 

Bird Traveler Cage

 

This type of travel bird cage is great for small car trip. Its made with a lightweight reinforced plastic shell with a cotton canvas overlay, the case protects your bird from the sun and other elements while providing cross ventilation.

Its suggested use is for a Cockatiel or smaller type bird.

Comes with 1 wooden perch.

The front entry is zippable.

 

 

 

 

Poquito Travel Bird Cage

 

This bird cage is made by Midwest Homes for Pets. This is a state of the art sturdy cage aptly named the Avian Hotel.

Its carry handle doubles as a wooden perch to be used as a play gym.

Includes 2 stainless steel food cups in addition to a cotton rope perch. These rope perches are very popular. Our Ms. Sunny loves hers.

Its size is 14″ x 18″ x 15″.

The cage can easily be built or taken apart. no tools are necessary.

A carry tote can be used to store the cage parts when not in use. This is sold separately.

Therapy Birds

I am thankful for having been able to give my son the opportunity to interact and own a bird. The therapy it provides to him, was and is, life changing.

During this time I had the opportunity to discuss therapy birds with Francis Hilario. He show, breeds and trains birds as therapy birds.

These words will, in one or another, give you an idea why having your bird as a therapy bird will make a difference in one’s life.

No one can understand how they feel unless you take them out of their cage and try to interact with them. …. since I see them having potential, I train them as THERAPY BIRDS

T – hey never talk behind our back and will offer us loyalty.
H – elp us understand our feelings and will show us pure emotions of love. They can…
E – ven lessen our feelings of isolation and loneliness.
R – educe our stress and will help us manage our anger by being more patient.
A – ccept us the way we are, don’t care what we look and poor or rich we are.
P – arrots always develop trusting relationships with us.
Y – ou will always have smile in you once you see them showing their traits and not to mention being happy and content.

B – rings out our nurturing instinct and makes us more caring.
I – n times of need, they are there for us for comfort.
R – eady to entertain even the people who don’t like birds.
D – eserve all of our love and understanding.
S – ource of comfort and will always make us feel needed, safe and special.

By Francis D. Hilario of Frandelhi’s Flyers

The Crew

Parakeet – Ms. Sunny

Yellow Parakeet - Sunny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parakeet – Mr. Blue

Blue Parakeet - Mr. Blue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cockatiel – Ms. Peaches

Cockatiel - Peaches

 

 

Choosing a Cockatiel Cage

Cockatiels are one of the most wanted pet birds. They are very social birds and that is why we chose to add one to our family. But make sure that you intend to keep the bird for about 15-20 years which is the average lifespan of a Cockatiel. When we were shopping for our bird we also had to get a new cage for it. The most important thing to know when purchasing a Cockatiel cage is that you get one that is big enough. It is recommended to get one that is a minimum of 24 inches wide by 24 inches tall, with 1/2 inch to 1 inch bar spacing. We ended up getting a larger cage for our Cockatiel just in case we end up getting a mate for it. You may want to take that in to consideration.

cockatiel cage

The Cockatiel cage in this post is the one that we ended up purchasing. It has a dome top lid that opens up. When you open it you can put a perch in between the two halves of the top so the bird can play there or just get a different view of things.

Another important part of the bird cage is cleanup. This cage has a slide out grill and seed tray. The seed tray is what catches all of the droppings and seed hulls. The tray simply slides right out and can be dumped into a garbage and washed in the sink.

A properly set up Cockatiel cage should have about 3 perches. Perches should vary in materials and diameter. This is good exercise for their feet.

Cockatiels love to play with toys. Select several different types of toys they can chew and pull and forage on. We have some that are wooden and some that have string, felt, palm leaf, shredded paper and more. There are lots of variety in toys. Oh, birds also love very bright  colorful toys. A swing is another fun toy for your bird.

Click here to see all of the different types of Cockatiel cages.

Here are some other cages that you might be interested in: