Considerations Before You Buy A Bird

Children and Parakeets:
Many children already have a pet parakeet or wish for one. There is nothing wrong with that as long as the parents know that the responsibility for the well-being of the pet cannot be left entirely to the child. With parental guidance most children will soon understand that an animal needs daily care and regular play time. But the parents still have to be prepared to take over when the child "doesn't have time right now" because there is urgent school work to be done or because playing with friends is much more attractive than cleaning the dirty bird cage. If you are considering getting a parakeet for your child, please remember that children often are inconsistent and may quickly lose interest in the pet they welcomed so ardently. When that happens they will not only grow neglectful of the chores but also stop spending time entertaining the bird. If you cannot revive the child's interest, perhaps by discussing the matter or by joining the child to observe and play with the bird, you yourself will have to take over the responsibility for the pet.

If your child wants an animal to hug and pet and is pleading for a dog, perhaps, please don't get a parakeet as a gesture of compromise. Even the tamest of parakeets that likes to have its head scratched cannot possibly satisfy a child's need for physical contact with an animal. It is right and important for children to be around animals while growing up. This is the best way for them to learn love for animals and responsibility for another creature. But don't get a parakeet (or any other pet) just for the child; it should be a "family bird," for whose well-being all members of the household feel responsible.

Parakeets and Other Pets:
A well-behaved dog that truly obeys its master will usually accept a parakeet as a new member of the family, unless the dog is being neglected in the general excitement over the newcomer. It is practically impossible, however, to get a cat and a bird to coexist peaceably, even though reports to the contrary suggest that in exceptional cases some animals learn to overcome their natural instincts. Other furred animals, such as hamsters, guinea pigs, or dwarf rabbits, do not make good company for parakeets because these animals, if kept in the same room, could harm birds by biting them and transmitting parasites to them. If you keep your parakeets in a large aviary you can combine them with cockatiels, canaries, Java sparrows, or cordonbleus. (Introduce the new birds in a separate compartment at first; don't overcrowd the aviary with birds.) Another suitable combination is a parakeet together with a cockatiel or a grey parrot.


E-Mail: berniehansen@sympatico.ca



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Hamilton & District Budgerigar Society Inc.