Where to Get a Parakeet
There are many options when it comes to buying a parakeet. Don’t rush out and buy the first one you can find from the local pet store. There are pet stores, breeders, people advertising in the paper, and parakeet rescue groups. Many of these places are well known, clean, and provide healthy parakeets.
But, there are always some places that don’t care for their parakeets the way they should. Be careful, you could be given a bird that is sick or not suitable for handling. If you visit any place to buy a parakeet that keeps the birds in cramped, dirty cages, you should probably shop somewhere else. Birds in these conditions are more likely to have diseases.
It’s hard not to walk through the pet store without wanting every animal and bird in the place. Pet store birds sit on perches in their small cages and you just want to provide them with a better place to live. Before you give in to the urge, take time to visit several pet stores and see how their parakeets are treated. Are they in cages that are the right size for them? Are the cages kept clean? Are the birds allowed to leave the cage occasionally and are they handled often enough that they are used to people?
Before purchasing a parakeet from a pet store, find out what kind of guarantee they provide. What will they do if your bird dies just a few days after you get him home? Most pet stores won’t guarantee their birds. They say they can’t be sure of the environment they will be provided with once they leave the pet store. If the a pet store tries to tell you this, take your business elsewhere.
If you are satisfied with the way the pet store has answered your questions and they way the birds have been kept, ask the store to groom your bird before you take it home. Have them clip his wings and trim his nails. The store will probably put your bird in a box with air holes for you to take him home in. Keep his time in the box to a minimum. Birds are easily agitated. Also, if it is winter when you purchase your bird, make sure his time in the cold is kept to a minimum. Warm your car before bringing your bird out of the pet store if possible.
Parakeet breeders are a very popular source of good pet parakeets. You will want to choose a breeder with a good reputation and a well-established business. Ask your friends or other parakeet owners for recommendations. A good breeder will let you visit their facility and see the birds in their cages. He will not hesitate to provide information to you when asked for it and most will offer it to you before you ask.
I won’t go into the details of choosing a reputable breeder here. I’ve written an entire chapter on it later in the book.
I wish that we didn’t need rescue groups or adoptions centers at all, but unfortunately we do. Many people get parakeets before they completely understand what they’re getting into. Instead of making the effort to learn about the bird’s needs and trying to make things work, many people just give up and take their parakeets to an adoption center.
That gives you an opportunity to purchase one of these parakeets from a rescue group at a lower cost. Just remember, your expenses will not end with the purchase.
You probably won’t get a health guarantee when you adopt a parakeet from one of these groups. So, if you decide to adopt, it’s wise to make a trip to the avian veterinarian for a checkup soon. You should factor the cost of this trip to the vet into the cost of your purchase.
Newspaper Ads or Friends
I like to call these “used birds”. This can be a great way to get a parakeet, but it’s important to get enough information about a particular bird’s situation.
There are many reasons why someone would be willing to part with their parakeet. Don’t be afraid to ask why they are giving the bird up. It could be that they are moving and feel the bird would be better off not coming with them. Maybe their lifestyle doesn’t allow them to spend enough time with their bird and they believe someone else could give it the attention it deserves better than they can. Or, it could be that something is wrong with the bird. Maybe it has gotten sick and they don’t want to mess with the cost of vets. Maybe the bird is getting old and they don’t want to have to go through the grief of watching it die.
You will need to listen to the reasons they have for selling or giving away the bird and determine if they are reasons you believe and are willing to live with. Also spend time with the bird to see if you are compatible. Understand that any changes in owners and households will affect the bird for a while and it may take time for him to warm up to you and his new surroundings.
One of hidden benefits of this method is that when people are giving up a bird companion, they often are willing to part with the cage and all the other “bird accessories” for next to nothing. Don’t forget to ask them about this. If they won’t have a bird any longer, they probably won’t need any of the other stuff either. The previous owner will often throw the other things in for free.
Again, you probably won’t get a health guarantee when you get a parakeet in this manner, so you should factor the cost of a vet checkup into the cost.