A Guide to Parakeet Health
One of the most critical elements of parakeet health is the attentiveness of the owner to the daily activities of his or her parakeet. If you are a parakeet owner, you will become familiar with the many idiosyncrasies of your own bird, and be better able than anyone else to judge if something in his or her behavior is a little off or not.
Parakeets are not good at telling us if they are in pain or feeling sick. Frequently, they will even try to cover up any sign of illness. This is instinctual behavior based on living in the wild, where a bird who is ill will be the first one to become prey to its predators. That means that by the time your bird starts to act differently than normal, he is already very ill.
If you want to maintain good parakeet health, one of the first things you should do is to find a veterinarian who specializes in bird care. That way, when your bird is ill, you will be able to get a good and timely diagnosis from someone familiar with the specific illnesses of birds.
Most parakeets live to be around ten years old, and some live much longer, even up to twenty years of age. The better care you take of your parakeet, keeping his cage clean, feeding a good diet supplemented with fruits and vegetables, and giving him plenty of attention and exercise, the more likely the chance that your parakeet will live to a ripe old age.
With a parakeet, there are many things you can observe, which will indicate that he is sick and in need of a vet. One of these can be a change in droppings, which may become more or less frequent, and have a different color or texture than normal. A change in sleep patterns is also an indicator of something being amiss. Not eating or drinking too little or too much can be cause for concern.
Any sort of hunched-over look, a runny nose or eyes, any noticeable lumps, or looking untidy are also indications of parakeet health problems. Any losing of feathers at times other than during molting is a sure indication that something is wrong as is any sort of bleeding. Sometimes just an attitude change, such as not chirping or not wanting to play can indicate that your parakeet is ill.
If your parakeet has any of these symptoms, it’s time to get the bird to an avian vet or bird doctor. Parakeet health is also dependent on feeding your bird just the right foods and letting him out every day for exercise. You can find excellent seed mixes for your parakeet at any pet store and even some feed stores. Your best bet is to purchase fresh food frequently, rather than large bags, which will sit in storage. Try to avoid feeding hulled oats as they can cause your parakeet to gain weight.
The one thing that will ensure parakeet health is that you really need to supplement mixed parakeet foods with fresh vegetables and fruits every day. This is often neglected by many parakeet owners. Parakeets like such fruits and vegetables as apples, carrots, grapes, celery, strawberries, bok choy, peas, pears, silverbeets, peaches, lettuce, sweet corn, plums, oranges, mangos, kiwis, spinach and watermelon, among others. You can even feed your parakeet such backyard favorites as dandelions and clover.
Don’t forget to provide extra calcium, iodine, a mineral block and cuttlebone, and to add vitamins to food or water once a week. If you do, you will have a very healthy parakeet, indeed!