How Is a Parakeet as a Pet?

Updated on March 15, 2013
S.H. asks from Kailua, HI
16 answers

Anyone have a Parakeet?
Good pet, yes? No?
Was thinking of getting one, a family pet.
We have another bird already, but it would be in a separate cage and we already have an extra cage.
I saw Parakeets at the pet store and they are so cute.
My son had a baby bird he was caring for, a fledgling we found outside. We couldn't find its nest and the parents
were not around. The baby bird died.
It was just not in good health etc. though we tried our best and knew how to care for it.

Thanks for any feedback!

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answers from Minneapolis on

Noisy and messy, but can be fun if you spend time with them. They can be trained. They need to be handled frequently to be comfortable with people. They can learn simple tricks and can mimic people. It's not as clear as a parrot, but they can definitely mimic simple words and phrases.

They chirp a lot so can be noisy. They drop the shells from their seeds and the bottoms of their cages and perches need regular cleaning. They need a varied diet.

I haven't had one for years, but I had some as a kid. One of mine would sit on my shoulder and would say, "Hi Nicky" (his name) and "Pretty Bird." My mom had one as a kid that she trained to pick up playing cards and drop them off the table by command.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I have a friend who has parakeets. They are very cute, and she really loves them as pets. She has one who is not really that pretty, but it sings really well. She runs a daycare, and whenever the bird sees kids, he sings. So cute.

I just wanted to say, though, that in case you are tempted to get a parrot at the pet store... don't. I grew up with one, and that thing was the worst pet EVER. She had a beak the size of my dad's thumb, and used it on us frequently. She was a good talker, and learned to call the dogs in my mom's voice. The dogs would come running, and she would leap off of her perch and attack them (they never learned). Nasty bird. Then she'd leap back to her perch, chortling, "No, no, no! Bad bird! Hahahaha!!" She totally knew she was being vicious, and actually seemed very pleased with herself. Also, at dusk she would screech... repeatedly... for about 30 minutes. There was literally nothing you could do to stop her. Ugh. One day, she got outside and flew away. Nobody was sorry to see her go.

So, parakeets, yes. Parrot, no. :)

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answers from Minneapolis on

I second noisy and messy. I like birds, but I like them outside. I tried Parakeets and Finches and I found they are way more messy than any other little animal pet.

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answers from Redding on

I actually love parakeets. I've had them all my life. My grandfather had them, my mother had them, my kids and I have had them.

They really aren't that messy. You have to keep their cage clean. You can buy a thing that goes around the outside of the bottom of the cage to help keep their seed hulls from getting tossed out.

My birds were definitely pets and part of the family. We were very interactive with them which takes patience and training.
They also sing and chirp a lot, so if you aren't up for hearing that, you might want to rethink it. My birds loved music and the sound of running water and that would set them to chirping and singing. My parakeets loved to be on my shoulder when I did dishes.

I, personally, think they make great pets, but they are fragile so you have to keep that in mind. And, they might bite until they are finger trained.
It never bothered me, I quite liked having a bird singing or chirping in the house, but it annoys some people. My birds definitely had different personalities and that's what we loved about them. We had one that would whistle at us, we had one that would ring her bell in her cage if she wanted food, water, or attention. Our parakeets lived fairly long lives, 8 -15 years. want to be prepared for the duration.

I'm biased. I had birds before my children were born and they just grew up with them. They make great pets for kids who have the capacity to be gentle.

Read up, then consider a reputable breeder.

Just my opinion.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

A parakeet can be a wonderful pet if you do your homework before you get one.

Parakeets are very social creatures. They need attention as well as care. They need your company. Our parakeet enjoyed flying around the room (we had a sign at the front door to remind everybody to check where the budgie was before opening it, so it wouldn't fly outside). My daughter (the owner) learned how to clip his wings, and would do it once in a while; then he couldn't fly, but he was happy to sit on her finger and talk to her.

This social business is very important. Without company and stimulation, these birds (as well as other pet birds) can become fearful, depressed, or even mentally ill. My daughter would take the cage to her room when she studied so he would have company. She even took it outdoors (in the shade, with the door closed!) in summer for short periods. We would keep our radio on when we were away from home. It was set to a classical station, and the bird sang along.

Their houses need regular cleaning, and the area around the floor will need cleaning, too (just like kids and their rooms).

They need toys. They need to keep busy (again, just like your kids). If you put a mirror in the cage the budgie will talk to its reflection. If you have another bird, you are right not to put them together, but it will enjoy seeing another bird. (When my daughter had a parakeet, we bird-sat for two other parakeets, and those birds loved talking up a storm together!)

Find a vet who takes care of birds. Parakeets can become ill. Learn what they need nutritionally. We made the mistake of thinking that ours needed a diet of primarily bird seed (that's what Big Bird ate on Sesame Street). He would have lived longer had we fed him properly, and we felt pretty bad about it.

Parakeets, cared for well, can live as long as fifteen years. Are you ready to make a fifteen-year commitment?

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answers from New York on

We have 2 parakeets. I love them! They are very sociable birds and I would suggest that you get two so that they can keep each other company.
the way they interact with each other and play with each other is so cute. It is fun giving them treats such as strawberries, spinach and othe fruit. They are also very smart birds.
We let ours out regularly and they fly around the house, ours are just starting to learn to let us hold them and one of them is getting used to sitting on our shoulder. (We have had them since last Aug) it takes awhile to train them, but they are fun. They have great personalities and each of my birds have very distinct personalties from each other. One is very friendly, curious and sociable, the male is more reserved, shy and cautious

They chirp, but it hasn't been too much - they are not as noisy as I heard that they would be. I clean the cage once per week - you could probably go longer, but I am a neat nik and I enjoy cleaning the cage while they sit on the top of it and watch- every time I clean it I rotate their toys and perches, so they have a new environment - they have come to expect this and seem to get excited on cleaning day- when I am done they fly back into the cage and explore. Our cage is bigger than most parakeet cage, so the seeds and mess tend to stay contained in the cage., if you have hand held vacuum you can vaccum the seeds aroud the cage when every needed, mine are not afraid of the vacuum.
Good luck with your new pet!
PS: we have cats - they leave the birds alone, sometimes they sleep on top of the cage and it is so funny to watch the female bird fly close to the cat and peck at it through the bars on the cage. (we have a big cage)

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answers from Dallas on

i had a parakeet when i was a teenager and i loved her! Keeping the cage clean involves a little work, but not prohibitive. I used to take my bird out of the cage and let her fly around the room. She sat on our finger and ate toast at the kitchen table (I know.... sounds gross). She loved us and we loved her. You can pet her just like a dog if your kids are old enough and gentle.

Find a good bird vet and read up on ways to protect your bird from illness. only possible downfall is that Parakeets seem to not last long.....

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Parakeets can be very sweet birds, as can budgies. I recommend that you find a reputable breeder and purchase a hand-reared bird who has been fully vetted. It's impossible to know where the birds in the pet shops came from and you don't want the bird you bring in to your home to make your current pet ill.

We had a hand-reared budgie who loved to be petted, bathed, and talked to. Her name was Sweet Pea and she lived for a LONG time!

Best of luck!

C. Lee

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answers from Chicago on

We had one and loved him! We played with him a lot and let him out of his cage. He learned many phrases. I heard that if you get two,they don't learn to talk and are focused on each other but they are good company for each other. Just remember not to ever cook in nonstick cookware around them. It emits a gas that kills them. That's how ours died and we were hear broken.

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answers from Baton Rouge on

If you already have a bird, you know how much work they are. If you're into birds, go for it - they're too high maintenance for me.

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answers from Atlanta on

Just depends how you feel about birds. They are work but so is everything. We use to have them and other kinds too and enjoyed them, but it could get to be a pain at times cleaning around the cage and the cage all the time. But you have a bird so you know that.

They aren't noisey, well ours weren't. It just depends how much you like birds. Once our's died we didn't get more, we had three. But it was nice when we did have them. It was mostly the kids that wanted them and when they left home I didn't get more.

Too bad about the little fledgling, we've tried that a couple times. Always sad. But you tried and that's the important thing for the child to see. Something most every child goes through. Kinda hate to see their saddness with something like that, but it's one of those things.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

We've had parakeets in the family since I was little. Many, but not all, are very social and friendly; we let them roam the house and ride around on our shoulders, or sit on our glasses to groom our eyebrows. Funny! This integrates them happily into the family, but can result, sadly, in birdies flying out open doors and never returning.

If you get them really young they will usually imprint on people as their social circle. In my experience, the males seem more likely to bond, but it's hard to tell the gender in growing-up birds (the nose turns blue when males are fully adult). I had a delightful little guy who learned to talk in a funny little metallic-sounding voice.

Negatives: Their cages do need cleaning every few days (but don't stink), and free-flying birds can leave little pellets of bird poop in various places – not for germophobes, but we never had health issues. I did get one bird that died a few days in; I ran up a big vet bill but they couldn't figure out what his problem was. Be sure to ask about any health guarantees the seller offers.

They can be noisy, but covering the cage overnight will often keep them quiet until the family is up.

Sometimes you get a clunker, such as a bird that is too frightened or too aggressive to become a pet. I've had two such birds; the pet shop was willing to trade them for a different bird each time. When selecting, look for birdies that seem relaxed and friendly instead of going for a pretty color.

Good luck!

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answers from St. Louis on

well, you have another bird you know about the mess!

my Gma was given a parakeet as a companion. Birdie was great at being loud & cheerful. But he was a sick little bird, & the vet said that many parakeets are just bred too closely & it has caused health issues for the breed. Basically if your bird makes it past the 18 month mark, then it's downhill from there. Most die from a tumor in their "throat" which causes them to not be able to swallow, etc. This was the cause of death for Birdie & my Granny still mourns him. He lived about 18 months with the total life span was about 3 years. Kinda sad. My Gma is 92 & has refused to watch another pet die. I don't blame her.

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answers from Chicago on

I too grew up with parakeets and love them as pets. From the time I was seven I was hand rearing them on my own and spent quite a bit of time with them. Many of ours lasted in the 8 to 10 year range, we had one that was 13 and a few that only made it 3/4 years- those simply must have had bad genetics as we treated them all equally. They are very social, very happy birds that will keep you entertained! I say definitely go for it if you are a bird lover! My OH dislikes birds so unfortunately no more of them for me :(

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answers from Boise on

I had two growing up, the first one my sister thought it would be a good idea to bring a stray, but friendly, cat into the house to play with the bird. Yeah, that didn't turn out so well. Then my friend got me a replacement bird, Pickles, he HATED men, he had to be caged if a man came in the house, but he was funnier then heck. He would sit in front of the bathroom mirror whistle at himself and say "Pretty Pickel" the whistle at himself some more lol

Then my DD asked for one, and of course he needed a friend so we ended up with two...not so fun. They were so, so, so LOUD. It drove the husband crazier then it did me, and messy, even with the band around the outside of the cage, but we did have them for almost 8 years, and we won't ever have anymore.

The nostalgia wore off quickly.

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answers from Chicago on

I had parakeets as a kid. I would never bring one into my home again.

In my experience: They're loud. They're messy. They don't care about you one way or another.

I've heard cockatiels are better, my friend's family had one that seemed much more intelligent than any parakeet I ever had. If you're wanting a bird, that might be a better choice. Or some songbirds, at least then the constant noise would be somewhat pleasant.

1 mom found this helpful
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