Adopt : Birds : Parakeet Fact Sheet
Keet, American Parakeet, Shell Parakeet, English Parakeet, Budgie,
and Budgerigar, are all the same species
Bird experts prefer that these birds not be called parakeets,
for there are a large number of other parakeets found in Australia,
South America, and the Indian Sub-Continent. "Parakeet" is
simply a common term for a small parrot-type bird with a long
tail. In the United States, the term "Budgie" is thought to
refer only to the English exhibition or show Keet.
"Budgerigar" is an attempt to translate an Australian Aborigine
phrase. When asked by a European explorer the name of the
little birds that lived in huge flocks, the reply sounded
like "Budgerigar" to Western ears. It really means something
like, "tasty snack"! It was easy to hunt the birds by throwing
a boomerang into the flock.
How long does a parakeet live? The average life span
of a keet is 5-7 years.
What kind of cage do I need? There are many different
types/brands of cages out there. The Cage should be a minimum
size of 12" by 10" for one or two birds. (It's a good idea
to take out the bottom base grid then it can hurt their little
feet, and it is hard to clean) The size of the cage is important.
Your keet needs enough room to exercise in. Naturally the
bigger the better. It depends how much you can afford. DO
NOT get a wicker or bamboo cage. The Keets will quickly chew
their way out.
The spacing of the bars are also important make sure they
are not more that ½ inch apart. If bars are two far apart
they have been known to squeeze there head thought the bars
What items and accessories do I need to buy?
dishes normally come with the cag; it's good to get one
with a cover on it. It keeps the food clean.
bottle - Make sure in the beginning you place a water dish
on the bottom to the cage, until your Keet learns to use
the water bottle.
- Keets love mirrors and bells.
swings - These sometimes come with the cage.
Buddy - If your keet is going to be living alone, it's a
good idea to add a fluffy bird buddy.
- Keets love to take baths, you can either buy a regular
water bowl or a birdbath to insert on the cage.
- Never use wood shavings (Cedar or Pine) for your keet.
They are toxic and can cause both respiratory and liver
problems. Two most common and safe bleedings to use are
Aspen and Carefresh. ( Anything made from recycled newspaper
are safe too) A good idea is to just put plain newspaper
at the bottom of the cage.
Case - It's important to buy a carrying case, incase you
need to go to the Vet. The most inexpensive ones are the
Rectangular Kritter Keepers.
-You can use most pet store seed diets. Pet shops have parakeet's
diets. Refrigerating the food will prevent seed moths.
- A cuttlebone should be placed in every cage.
- Can be added to the water. Directions are on the bottle
- You can give your Keet small amounts of fruits, Veggies
on a daily basis.
Budgerigars, like many other species of birds, can carry
Psittacosis, which can be fatal to people, and Coccidiosis,
a protozoan parasite that can also attack people, cats, and
dogs. It's a good idea to get your Keet tested at your vets.
Two male or female Keets can live together. If you get a
male and a female Parakeet they will breed. You can distinguish
the males, for the cere, that fleshy area over the beak, around
the nostrils is bright
What's involved in daily care of a parakeet?
Keets are relatively low maintenance animals. That does not
mean he/she does not crave attention and lack of proper care.
It's important to clean water and food dish daily. Make sure
your Keet is living in a clean cage. Every week or twice a
week the cage should be cleaned thougholy.