Can I Care for a Pet Parakeet?

Can I Care for a Pet Parakeet?

by Travoice Marshall
(Memphis, TN, U.S.A.)

One of the last birds I had was a yellow budgie which was not even two years old when my mom first bought him. He was very active and perfectly normal. We gave him plenty of bird toys for him and his mate, fed them fresh seeds, millet, and bread(they didn't like fruits and vegetables), and cool water to drink; plus, let them fly around the apartment.


Then, a few years later, one of my yellow budgie's feet became lame and didn't work anymore. So, he had to hop on one foot. Then, we put a couple more birds in there with them and they fairly tolerated each other. The yellow bird's mate eventually came down with an illness, so I separated her from the other birds; she died a week later.

As for the yellow bird, I separated him from the new birds to avoid corruption into a smaller cage- the same one his mate was in. I suddenly saw him lying on his belly as if something was wrong, but he was still moving around in the cage. He died the next morning. I just didn't get why they died all of a sudden. The new birds looked and acted completely healthy, so it couldn't have been from a transmitted disease.

The last bird (blue-violet), we gave him away to a neighbor of ours, because his mate died from an unknown heated condition (probably from the towel covering of the cage). Could you mind telling me what went wrong? Because I had been trying to keep pet birds healthy and long-lived, but they're all dying like flies. Including my very first ones that I had when I was 12, only at that time, I was irresponsible and wild that I mishandled my first two.

Anyway, I hope you get this message soon!

Vet Suggestion Regarding Caring for Pet Parakeets

Hi Travoice,

I’m sorry to hear about all of the problems you’ve been having with your birds. Of course, I would have to examine the animals to be able to determine why they died, so I can’t really answer that question, but I can make a few comments based on your message.

The diet that you described is less than ideal for budgies. The general consensus amongst most veterinarians who work with birds is for 80-90% of the diet to consist of a species-appropriate pelleted food. The rest should be filled out with vegetables and occasional treats such as fruits or nuts. Seeds should be avoided because they are high in fat, calories, carbohydrates and low in vitamin A and certain types of amino acids. Pelleted diets are best because birds cannot pick around and eat only what they like and avoid what is actually good for them.

Also, you made no mention of taking your birds to see a veterinarian. Regular veterinary care is important for birds just like it is for other pets. If you do not have a veterinarian who works with you and your budgies, use the “Find a Vet Near You” tool on the Association of Avian Veterinarian’s website.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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