Parakeets are such wonderful birds that it seems like any bird lover has had at least one at a time. Raised in captivity since the 19th century, they remain very popular pets, being found all over the world today.
The parakeet is, without hesitation, the most common pet parrot from the southern hemisphere, more precisely from Australia, being widespread throughout this continent. There are over 5 million specimens of parakeets worldwide. In some parts of Australia, parakeet populations are so large that they severely affect cereal crops, having a destructive effect on them.
How much does a parakeet cost?
A parakeet is a great pet to have that provides hours of fun and entertainment. The price range for a typical parakeet can vary between $25-$420, so it’s important to research the specific breed before purchase or inquire with your local pet store; however, most birds are less than $75 at local stores.
Taking into consideration the species you want to adopt and the time of the year, you can buy a parakeet from Petco for $7 to $35.
One way to make your pet bird unique is by purchasing a rarer species that costs more. For example, while most parakeets are priced at $130 – $625 depending on the color of their chest feathers, a rosy Bourke can cost anywhere from $80 – $120 and its rarity will be reflected in this price range. Adding an even rarer Rubino female into the mix could result in it costing upwards of $850.
A visual representation of the most popular species and their prices is available in the table below:
|Blue Parakeet||$10 to $60|
|Budgerigars||$70 to $175|
|Purple Parakeet||$15 to $60|
|Monk Parakeet||$50 to $200|
|Bourke Parakeet||$100 to $300|
|Grass Turquoisine Parakeet||$275 to $400|
|Indian Ringneck Parakeet||$225 to $550|
|Lineolated Parakeet||$150 to $300|
|Canary-wing Parakeet||$275 to $400|
|Mustache Parakeet||$400 to $550|
|Grass Scarlet Chested (Splendid)||$225 to $350|
|Red Rumped Parakeet||$400 to $600|
|Rosella Northern Parakeet||$500 to $700|
What are the extra costs?
Experts recommend that a bird’s diet consist of high-quality pellets, fruits, and vegetables. It is important to provide the right mix of green leafy veggies like broccoli or lettuce in addition to seeds for an optimal health regimen. Birds should not be fed fruit seed as this can cause serious medical problems. A bird eats approximately two to four teaspoons per day which amounts to about $55 – $80 annual cost.
Being very lively and active birds, parakeets need a cage as spacious as possible. In the cage, there must be as many supports as possible, on which to climb and rest. The cage must be at least 35 cm long, 20 cm wide and at least 40 cm high. Any smaller size will be to the detriment of the tenant.
Being bathroom lovers, it is good to insert in the cage of parakeets a tray close to 3 inches deep, full of fresh water, which is not too cold. In this way, the birds periodically satisfy their need for nesting and can nibble and plow their feathers, which are still getting dirty, even if they are in a cage. The cage must be cleaned periodically by the crane that falls on the floor, as it can harbor a lot of bacteria. For this reason, it is good for the cage floor to be covered with a metal grid, so that the parakeet does not have access to altered food scraps, which could affect its health. A good quality home for your beloved feathered friend will cost you $60 to $780.
Birds are not just for singing and looking pretty. They need to have their own toys too, like any other animal. If they’re bored or lonely then there’s a chance that will turn into aggression towards you, so expect to pay around $35 to $60 to keep them happy.
Perches are one of the most important aspects for a healthy bird. They should be four inches long and placed in different areas so that your feathered friend can get to them easily, as well as take off from them. Often these are included in the price of the cage but if they do not, it will be an additional $8 – $15 each purchase.
A substrate is a must-have for the metal tray that sits under your cage as this will help you clean up quicker. You could use anything from shredded newspaper to some of those substrates you can find online.
Parrots need annual veterinary inspections just like any other household pet does. Since they are not as easy to notice small changes in behavior or appearance the way you might with your cat or dog, it is even more important that these regular appointments happen on time. Expect to pay around $50 to more than $230 for this.
Types of parakeets
The green parakeet – this variety of domestic parakeets is divided into three distinct categories: light green, olive green, and dark green. This type most closely resembles wild parakeets living in Australia. They are dominated by the green plumage of the body and the light yellow hue of the wings.
The blue parakeet – this variety is one of the most appreciated by parakeet lovers. The type of blue parakeet can be divided into three categories: azure, purple, and cobalt. What differentiates them is the color of the plumage on the tail and body. The three categories are part of the most widespread varieties of parakeets and are characterized by the presence of white masks and purple spots on the cheeks, as well as the three black dots located on both sides of the neck.
Yellow parakeet – this colorful variety of parakeets is divided into three categories: light yellow, dark yellow, and olive-yellow.
The gray parakeet – this variety includes two color categories: the English gray parakeet and the Australian gray parakeet. And these varieties have white masks, the three characteristic black dots on both sides of the neck, as well as black and white stripes on the back. Both varieties have in common the black color of the tail feathers and the bluish-gray spots on the cheeks.
The purple parakeet – For a long time, purple parakeets were considered rare birds, the variety being first reported around the 1930s in Australia, Scotland, and Denmark.
Fallow parakeets are divided into two categories – German and English – and four variants: Fallow, Fallow green-olive, Fallow light green, and Fallow dark green. This variety of parakeets was observed in Australia and some parts of Europe around the 1930s.
Cinnamon parakeets – There are known as no less than 11 varieties of Cinnamon parakeets: normal, olive green, gray, gray-green, dark green, light green, light blue, purple, cobalt, purple, and light yellow.
Mottled parakeets – Known varieties of mottled parakeets include the Tufted Crest, the Half Circular Crest, or the Full Circular Crest.
The opaline parakeet – This variety was first noticed in 1930 in both Scotland and Australia. Six categories of opaline turkeys are known. All specimens have yellow masks, except the blue opaline specimen which has a blue mask and V-shaped markings on the back.
Laurel parakeet – this type of parakeet was first recognized in France in 1915 and the variety has dark blue plumage.
Important things to consider
The average lifespan of a parakeet is between 5 and 9 years, although many far exceed the age of 10 years.
They are small birds, about 7 inches long, from the tip of the beak to the tail.
In the wild, Budgie parakeets have a green and yellow striped pattern on their bodies, and the feathers of the wings are dark green, black-looking. Parakeets show sexual dimorphism, meaning the male and female have different colors. In male parakeets, the cere acquires a blue-purple color at maturity, while in females it becomes beige or brown.
A parakeet needs, on average, 10-12 hours of sleep, becoming restless if it does not get enough sleep. To help him sleep, it is good to cover his cage so that it is dark both at night and in the morning because even the slightest ray of light can wake him up.
Parakeets love to sing and whistle. While females are less talkative, they love to gnaw on wood, cardboard, or toys.
With proper training, male parakeets can learn an average of 100 words.
They need cage mates or many toys, including a mirror, to see themselves and believe they have a partner. They like monogamy and have stable relationships. When their partner dies, the parakeets suffer terribly.
One of the most common diseases encountered in parakeets is psittacosis, also known as “parrot fever”. The pathogen is the bacterium “chlamydia psittaci”, an extremely contagious bacterium. The birds most exposed to this disease are those that often come into contact with other species of animals. The symptoms of this disease are: lack of appetite for cranes, parakeets feathers come off very easily, it sleeps for longer periods of time, conjunctivitis, breathing difficulties, eye secretions, and weight loss, associated with diarrhea. However, the bird can carry the virus without showing any symptoms.
To determine the gender of a parakeet, it is best to consult a veterinarian, as this is a rather difficult process. But there are some clues that can tell you, approximately, what gender your parakeet has. The most important and safest of the indicators is the fleshy area above the beak (nostrils) which is colored in deep blue in the adult male and in beige-brown in the female.
How can I save money?
The local Humane Society or a nearby shelter has many available pet birds for you. For only $30 to $45, these are great options for anyone looking into adopting their first-ever feathered friend.