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Adopting a parakeet as a pet has its pros and cons. Parakeets make attractive pets to owners intrigued by their intelligence and inquisitive nature. A few advantages to having a parakeet are that this type of bird can be inexpensive, highly social, and entertaining to watch. Parakeets have the disadvantages of being very messy and loud, however. Before anyone decides on taking in a parakeet as a pet, the pros and cons should first be weighed to ensure adopting a parakeet would be mutually beneficial for owner and bird.
Parakeets, also known as budgies, belong to a large group of small parrots that includes ringneck parakeets, Quaker parakeets, and monk parakeets. The origin of the parakeet is traced back to Australia, where the aborigines called them budgerigar, the word budgie is derived from. Many people find parakeets visually appealing because of their patterns and bright colors, such as vibrant greens, blues, and yellows. In addition to their appealing exterior, parakeets are considered social and intelligent animals. Having a parakeet as a pet appeals to owners seeking a companion they can interact with.
A big advantage to having a parakeet over other birds lies in the fact that it can be relatively inexpensive and easy to care for. All a parakeet needs is a clean, small cage with a perch, adequate food and water, a cuttle bone, a mineral block, and a few toys to keep it happy. Another advantage is that parakeets are highly social birds that love to interact with other birds and humans. With practice, some parakeets have been known to learn vocabularies of more than 100 words. Parakeets, which can be very entertaining to watch, have an expected lifespan of 10 to 15 years.
The primary disadvantage to having a parakeet as a pet is that it can be extremely messy. It's common for owners to find seeds, feathers, and fecal matter well outside the bird cage. Also, since parakeets tend to relieve themselves of waste approximately every 15 minutes or so, their cages must be cleaned frequently. A parakeet's water supply must also be checked regularly, as they are known to contaminate their drinking and bath water with fecal matter. Parakeets also are known to be very loud and vocal, especially in the early hours of morning when the sun first comes up.
Loud is relative, I suppose. Parakeets have nothing on cockatoos for being loud birds, plus they're much more suitable as pets.
I would also recommend someone considering adopting a parakeet (or any bird) to make sure there is a veterinarian in the area who does take care of birds. Many vets don't.
Birds are often placed in the "exotic" category, so a prospective owner needs to do some research as to whether his or her bird will have good care from someone accustomed to caring for the unique needs of birds. This is just a basic tenet for anyone who wants a bird.
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