One of our parakeets became a bully, and we had to put an end to it! He terrorized his cage mate almost to death. Here is our story and the strategy we used to stop our parakeets from fighting and got them to become friends.
My son Maxwell loves all animals. If it were up to him, our home would be a real zoo! We do have a dog, a sweet 15-year-old King Charles. As a senior dog, she doesn’t look forward to playing fetch with a six-year-old. I can’t recall the many possible pets he has asked for, from cats to snakes to chameleons, and the list goes on. For his sixth birthday, we agreed to get him a pair of parakeets. I had parakeets when I was young and didn’t feel the pet care would be too much. I had a blue one and a yellow one both in one cage and don’t recall them ever fighting. In fact, they would play and sing all day and lived for over ten years! Those parakeets were good friends.
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How to Tell the Age of a Parakeet and Why it Matters
We went to the pet shop and had him pick them out. He wanted to make sure they were very young not only so that he can have them longer, but because we read that the younger they are, the higher the chances the parakeets will become friends. Per my research, there are a couple of tell-tale signs to determine the age of a parakeet. Here is what to look for:
Feathers – Parakeets younger than 8 months still have stripes on their foreheads. Those first feathers are replaced by solid colored feathers, usually white or yellow, when they go through their first molt at about four months of age.
Eyes – Baby parakeets have black eyes. By 8 months of age, the iris begins to show a brownish or light gray color.
Cere – This is the strip where the bird’s nostrils are located. The color of the cere also tells you the gender of the bird. Males are bluish-purple, and females tend to be lighter with pink or beige hues or even light blue. It deepens in color after the year. I am having difficulty determining the gender of our two parakeets as they are both under a year of age.
Band – Some parakeets are registered, and the band on their legs will tell their birth year. Only useful if you know from the signs above that the bird is clearly over a year.
Pick the Proper Cage for Parakeets
Maxwell picked a blue and a green one he named Blueberry and Limaberry. Our two new gorgeous pets were both under 4 months old. We put them in a large vertical cage which we thought was appropriate for two small birds. For the first two months, they were best friends! They would perch on the cage as if they were attached to each other. They spent all day and night together. About 3 months later Limaberry lost the stripes on his forehead and his irises started showing. He was clearly older than Blueberry. At first, we started noticing that they weren’t together anymore. Then Limaberry would chase Blueberry off the perch and try to bite him. We thought they were playing until one day we found Blueberry puffed up on the bottom of the cage. We rushed to the vet.
Blueberry had lost 4 grams of weight and was literary starving to death. Because they are both under a year, it is impossible to tell their gender. The vet suggested that they are both males, and with Limaberry being older, he was dominating the cage. Blueberry was so scared and stressed he wasn’t eating. The vet suggested we separate them. My main concern was the safety of the birds, but I was still not happy with having to keep them separate when parakeets are social birds, who live in flocks and like to have a companion with wings aside from humans.
One thing the vet said that I kept thinking about was that Limaberry was dominating the cage. I did a little more research and realized that I had bought the wrong cage. A tall vertical cage is not appropriate for parakeets. Birds on a cage still need to fly. Flying is crucial to strengthen their pectoral muscles and keep their lungs in shape. Also, they fly horizontally and forward not up and down. The cage should be wide with perches to allow them to fly back and forth. They are literary called “fly cages”.
Keep Parakeets in the Same Cage without Fighting
This is what I did to keep the parakeets in one cage without fighting and got them to become friends. I bought the fly cage. In my opinion this is the best cage for parakeets even if you only have one. It is big enough but not too big. I got this cage and am so glad I did.
Because the vet said Limaberry was dominating the cage, I put Blueberry in the new cage first. I did separate them with the goal of reintroducing them back together as soon as Blueberry was eating and gaining weight. I kept them separate for about a month. During that month, Blueberry got stronger, got used to his new home, and had the whole cage to himself. My strategy was to get Blueberry comfortable in his space. Since Limaberry was apparently the more territorial bird, he would be the one coming into another bird’s space. I wasn’t sure if that would actually work, but it did!
After I introduced Limaberry into Blueberry’s cage, I kept a very close eye to make sure they wouldn’t hurt each other. Also, since the cage is big, I was able to put several bowls with food and water for each to have their own space.
We are still not sure what gender they are. Perhaps they are a male and a female or two males as they say females are more aggressive.
This cage is great for parakeets even if they do not fight. They are so happy in there. I gave them several toys they love. I will add the links below. They particularly like sports toys. The bowling, the basketball, and the rings. Success! Our parakeets are now friends, and teammates!
Read our posts on facts about wildlife
Items I recommend for Parakeets
The Best Cage for Parakeets:
My Parakeet’s Favorite Toys:
My Parakeet’s Safe Place – They love it in there. They each have one and they go in their tikis when they want to be left alone.