Female blue shell parakeet. Also called a budgerigar, parakeet, or budgie.

How to Take Care of a Parakeet

How to Take Care of a Parakeet

Budgerigar, parakeet, shell parakeet, budgie. A native Australian. Their color combinations are gem quality. Their personality quality, best of friend. They have no idea they are small. They assume you know they are giants in the parrot world.

Their size and ease of breeding created misunderstandings in the pet store world. They are not a starter bird. They are not easier than any other parrot. Their size and eagerness misdirect. Parakeets are jewels in the companion parrot lifestyle. They pack personality punch. Because they are a parrot. A smaller parrot needing smaller accessories and smaller amounts of food. And that's where their size ends making a difference.
  • They need the largest cage you can provide, with appropriate bar gauge for safety.
  • They need toys, perches, fresh water always, fresh foods, and parrot mix.
  • They need bathing bowls, privacy.
  • Flight time. Your shoulder and your company.
  • They can learn to speak IF they are interested in the idea.
  • They have opinions, big opinions in demanding voices.
  • Budgies are ground and grain foragers. Set up an aviary or cage floor foraging option. A happy parakeet is a chicken scratching parakeet. 
  • They need yearly veterinarian visits.

I've written about cages and cage setups. Relationships and expectations with companion parrots. Everything I've written applies to a parakeet. They are a parrot. They are a jewel of a companion with one side dish secret. If you love a budgie, you know the secret. It's a parakeet thing.

They have the metabolism of an Olympic triathlete. Their food needs are not to be underestimated. All parrots have impressive metabolisms and need healthy foods. But budgies, they burn fuel like hummingbirds. Poor nutrition or not enough food is deadly in a short amount of time. Their eating habits are chaotic and messy. Very messy. Flocking in huge numbers, foraging constantly leaving behind aftermath farmers curse, they have one way of operating. Full tilt. All or nothing. In it to win it. Parakeets are extra. They make up for their size with all their extra.

A single parakeet puts a lot of pressure on herself. In the wild their flock numbers in the hundreds, if not thousands. Their brain is hardwired to give and receive information. A single parakeet talks to himself, and that leads to what seems like a parrot you can't please or appease. Two parakeets are better than one. Same gender. Coloring is irrelevant. A pair of parakeets are calmer than one. Nobody likes being alone. Particularly a parakeet.

Here's a little trick from me to you. When you bring home your budgie or budgies, and are working on building a relationship and trust, wear shirts the same color as your birds. It matters with parakeets. It's a budgie thing.

There's a lot going on in the brain of a parakeet. You'll have to work at keeping up.

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.


  • Powerhouse is the word that comes to mind, all packed into that tiny body. And that tiny little heart has so much love to give you back!❤️

    Nancy Alexander on

  • Very well written, thank you! So many people view these sweet, intelligent creatures as “just a bird” or worse yet as throw away birds.

    Tanya on

Leave a comment

* Required fields