Parakeets make great pets – and blue parakeets are no exception. Parakeets, otherwise known as budgies, require a little preparation, and TLC once they are in your home. But if you can take care of them, they will take care of you! They are great fun, intelligent, and beautiful birds. Here’s all you need to know.
Blue parakeets are not to be confused with blue-winged parakeets, also known as Malabar parakeets (Psittacula columboides). Blue-winged parakeets are a species of parakeet endemic to the Western Ghats of southern India. On the other hand, ‘blue parakeet’ describes a range of color morphs of the regular budgie parakeet.
Parakeets are typically small, slender and colorful. Classic, or ‘common’, parakeets are bright green. But there are many color variations, or ‘morphs’, out there.
Blue parakeets actually have a white ‘base color’. This base color is recessive to the yellow base color (which exhibits as green), which is why most parakeets aren’t blue. There are several genes that cause a parakeet to be blue. The resulting phenotypes, or color morphs, are known as skyblue, cobalt, mauve or violet. Each of these distinct morphs is a different shade of blue.
The majority of blue parakeets have thinly striped black and white plumage, which runs from their lower back to around their eyes. The crown of the head is covered in delicate white feathers, and the bill is stout yet sharp, with a hook. They are approximately 7 inches tall and weigh a little under 25 grams.
The life expectancy of a blue parakeet is 15-20 years. This means that owning a blue parakeet is quite a commitment! It is important that you understand this before taking one on as a pet. Can you love your parakeet for 20 years? If the answer is yes, you’re in the right place!
Are they good pets?
This is a tricky question to answer quickly. There are pros and cons, which are relevant for different people. But here’s a quick breakdown:
- Long lifespan, so you can bond over many years;
- Small, so they don’t take up much space, or require much food;
- Intelligent, so you can really feel connected;
- Playful, so you can really enjoy your time together.
- Require specific conditions, which can be tricky to set up if you’re a first-timer;
- Not exactly ‘cuddly’, so if you want a pet you can cuddle up with, go for a dog!
If you think a blue parakeet is for you, great. Read on to find out how you can care for your blue parakeet in 5 easy steps.
#1 How to handle a blue parakeet
Blue parakeets are lively and highly intelligent birds. As such they require stimulation, both from objects and from you. They are social creatures, and benefit hugely from spending lots of time with their owners. They are also much happier with parakeets for company, than being alone. If you are able, it is highly recommended that you adopt at least two parakeets and house them together.
If parakeets are not given adequate attention, they can be driven to such behaviors as biting and screaming. Avoid this by spending at least an hour a day in close company with your parakeet. Ideally, spend a few hours per day in the same room as your parakeet. Talk to it and play with it – but do so gently.
How to handle/hold them safely
Parakeets cannot be petted like some other pet animals can. However, they do require attention, and social interaction. Your parakeet will probably enjoy sitting on your shoulder, or perching on your finger. Be very gentle with it, and never apply more than a tiny amount of pressure to its body.
Fundamental to parakeet happiness is being comfortable with you and your voice. Talk to it regularly – you may feel silly or self-conscious, but you are doing the right thing. Keep your voice at a moderate level with a normal speaking tone. Talk about anything you want to, just make sure you talk to it.
How big does a blue parakeet get?
Blue parakeets grow to the same size as a regular parakeet – about 7 inches in height. Its wingspan fully stretched should be between 10 and 14 inches. These are not large birds, but try to give them a lot of space. Remember, in the wild they would have a great deal of space, including trees, shrubs and woodland, to roam.
#2 Blue parakeet cage and enclosure setup
The best parakeet birdcages provide ample space for parakeets to spread their wings and fly.
There are a few things to think about when choosing the best cage. The first thing is to get one big enough. Next, only buy a cage that is of solid build. Your cage should last the lifetime of your parakeet. Wire cages are appropriate for birds, and the taller the better. A deep, sturdy base is ideal for placement of seed and water cups. A debris guard will help to keep waste and debris inside the cage.
Here are some cage ideas to think about…
- Hagen Vision Bird Cage Model M02 – medium, suitable for two or three parakeets
- Prevue Hendryx Flight Cage – a bit bigger, suitable for 2-5 birds
- Yaheetech 69-inch wrought iron bird cage – this larger cage is suitable for multiple parakeets
When it comes to providing toys and play-things for your pet parakeet(s), the sky really is the limit. Here are a few ideas to get your brain going:
- Perches, for example…
- Perches that are attached to mirrors can also provide extra entertainment for your parakeet. They come in natural and fake wood, plastic and other materials. Most perches are very affordable.
- Ladders come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Here are two examples:
- Large, colorful rope ladders, like this Littlegrass 12 Step Bird Ladder.
- Regular, wood-color vertical ladders, like this Penn Plax 9-Step Wooden Bird Ladder.
- Ropes also come in many different colors, shapes and thicknesses.
- Jungle gyms—Jungle gyms can be big and ambitious, or modest and endearing. You could even have a go at making one yourself! Here are some ideas, for inspiration…
- Parrot playgyms, stands and perches at Puppes Are Prozac
Parakeets, along with many other birds, are sensitive to changes in temperature. Their small bodies and fast metabolic rates mean they are vulnerable to the cold and hot.
Parakeets thrive in moderate climes, with an ideal temperature range between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. That being said, they can withstand heat of up to 85 degrees without getting uncomfortable.
These birds can handle a nighttime low of around 40 degrees. When temperatures fall below 40 degrees or exceed 90 degrees, a parakeet will become uncomfortable, and potentially unwell.
How, and when, to clean your parakeet’s enclosure
You should clean your parakeet’s cage fully once per week. Make this easier by layering the bottom of the cage with newspaper. That way, you can simply remove it when the time comes, and hey presto! If there are bits of debris or waste stuck to the cage itself, spot clean those with a cloth. Wear gloves if it makes you feel more comfortable!
While you’re at it, spray down your parakeet with Bird Spray. This will cool it off, and can be a fun game to play with your pet. Bird Spray is available here.
Parakeets typically poop a few times per hour. So if you have several parakeets, you will probably need to clean your parakeet’s cage more than once a week. Remember, a clean cage makes for a happy bird.
#3 What to feed a blue parakeet
Birdseed is not enough. It provides basic sustenance, but it should only form a sixth of your parakeet’s overall diet! Why? Birdseed alone does not contain all the nutrients your parakeet needs to live a healthy and happy life.
Build the rest of your parakeet’s diet from a combination of fresh fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, boiled eggs, shredded cheese, and other mineral-rich consumables such as cuttlebones or mineral blocks.
Here is a short list of some fruits you can feed your parakeet:
And here are some suitable vegetables:
- Sweet potato
Do not cook fruits or vegetables before feeding them to your parakeet. Other than that, feel free to experiment. Mix it up a little!
Here are the foods you SHOULD NOT feed to your parakeet:
- Caffeinated foods
It is easy to set up a pellet-dispenser in your parakeet’s enclosure. This will ensure they never go hungry. But it’s recommended that you feed your parakeet from your hand regularly. This will boost the trusting bond you share with your pet.
As a general rule, follow these guidelines on how to distribute your parakeet’s food over the week…
- Everyday foods: some sort of seed/pellet mix
- Every other day foods: fruits, vegetables and other soft foods
- Once a week foods: boiled eggs and shredded cheese
#4 Exercise and activities for bonding with your parakeet
To prevent muscular atrophy, parakeets need to be able to fly around. Confining them to cages all day everyday will reduce your parakeet’s lifespan. Whatever your cage size, you must let your parakeet out of its cage at least once a day.
Beyond that, walk around with your parakeet in the room. Encourage it to explore within the confines of the room, or the house – as long as it is safe.
#5 Blue parakeet health
If they are not properly looked after, parakeets can fall ill. It doesn’t take much to push their fragile metabolic systems over the edge.
Watch out for…
- Abnormal breathing—especially quick breathing
- Discharge from eyes or beak
- Mucus on feathers
- Abnormal behavior—unusually erratic or subdued behavior
- Loss of weight—monitor your parakeet’s eating habits fairly closely
- Obesity—if your parakeet loses its streamlined look and becomes obviously lethargic, this can be a cause for concern.
If any of these symptoms present themselves in your pet parakeet, take it to your registered vet immediately – or at least call them for some advice. You can’t catch illness too soon!
How much do blue parakeets cost?
Owing to their soaring popularity, there is a steady supply of blue parakeets on the pet market. You can get your very own for as little as $25 dollars.
Are they good pets?
Parakeets are fantastic creatures, and make great pets. Treat it well, and your parakeet could give 20 wonderful years of life. Good luck!
Has this answered all your questions about blue parakeets? If so, you’re well on your way towards owning your very own parakeet. If not, leave your questions in the comments below!
Do you have any pro tips for other bird keepers? Feel free to add them to the mix. Share this guide with your bird-loving friends and family.