Anyone have parakeet experience? I need advice....


10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
Long story short, my parakeet is scared to death of coming out of his cage, and I know he's not getting the exercise he needs, so I really want to move him to a bigger cage. What is the least-stressful way of doing this? He's had this cage for a while and I know he really loves it, but it's much too small for his exercise needs. I was thinking of putting familiar toys in his new cage and keeping him in the new cage in a dark, quiet place for a day or two. Am I going in the right direction?

Thank you for any advice you can give. I've had him a while, but I'm not a very experienced parakeet-owner yet.
I had a parakeet growing up and we had her in a typical parakeet cage - relatively small. She had lots of toys, mirrors etc, and was fine being brought out of the cage/handled. You can get some cages with a perch on top - maybe that would work so she is still associated with the cage but able to fly around more if she wants/if that's something you're willing to let her do. Maybe she's ok with the amount of exercise she's getting. If she has toys she should move around the cage a lot. You can always just transfer her to a new cage with her old toys. She should get used to it I would think. Maybe play time with you or another parakeet added on top of keeping her in the cage she likes would be sufficient. There are lots of books on keeping parakeets that you might want to just check out as far as housing requirements.
First, how long have you had the parakeet? Second, do you handle the parakeet on a regular basis? Is the bird's wings clipped? How old is it?

Without knowing the above answers to the questions I've asked I will try and help.

In general, parakeets are sort of neurotic.. can be very flighty and active. When you say scared of coming out of his cage this gives me the impression that he/she doesn't get out much. Which also means that he/she probably has their flight feathers. I used to work in a pet shop and dealt with all kinds of birds. Hand fed and raised some, so I do know a bit about them. First off I would get the birds wings clipped. This is a safety issue for the bird and you. If it flys off and panics (flys into a window or out the window) then it will be very hard to catch. Not a fun game trying to catch a paniced bird even with a net. Find a local pet shop that has experience with birds and knows what they are doing. If clipped the WRONG way it can permanently injure the birds wing (lots of pain and blood for the bird). Then after the wings are clipped find a way to leave the cage door open (a bread twist tie will work perfect). If after a day or so of this curiosity doesn't take over, grab him out of the cage and set him on top. He may flap away on to the floor, but just pick him back up, get him to perch on your hand and put him back. Yes, they can bite but it's not as bad as you would think. Besides if you let them think biting will keep you away then that will be their bluff forever! Also this will help tame him. Work with him a couple of times a day and after your session put him back in his cage to relax and realize you will put him back in his safe zone. Soon he'll be hanging on the door wanting you to take him out.
Hope this helps..
OH sorry... as far as moving him to a new cage.. don't wait for him to decide. Move his familiar thing over to the new cage and then grab him and put him in. Patially covering the cage will help.. give a feeling of safety. He'll be adjusted in a couple of days.
It sounds like you might want to get a "flight cage" meaning a cage that is horizontal rather than vertical. If he is too nervous to hand might be a good idea to get him a friend. Are you sure it is a male? The reason I ask is, if it is a female - you don't want to bring home another female.

Young, newly weaned parakeets make the best pets and can be tamed a lot easier than adults or older babies. As a rule Males are a little easier than females when it comes to parakeets...but some females can be wonderful tame, interactive little pets too. More often though this is true with males.
Thanks everyone!
I'm planning just to buck up and move him into a new cage, I can tell he's got a lot of pent-up energy and hopefully that will help.

Yes, it's a he. He has a bright blue...carun...carunc...the thing on top of his beak. I know that this isn't always the best way to tell, but it's an extremely bright blue.

I've had him for a few years now, so I'm ashamed to say that I haven't been able to tame him much. I got him from a pet shop, so his wings were clipped at first, but he would scream and panic if I took him out of his cage (I waited a week or two first, of course). So, I'm very unhappy to admit, he's been in there for months at a time. He's friendly in the respect that he'll sidle up to the bars of his cage and wait for you to talk to him, and likes to sing back to you when you whistle, and hums if you read to him, but whenever I put my hand in his cage, he takes a defensive position, no matter what I do. And he bites, no matter how much I just stand there and take the beating. I've been sticking my hand in his cage slowly and carefully for years, and he still doesn't like it. The only thing I can think to do for him is to move him into a bigger cage. From this example I can see that the only birds I do well with are chickens (though, of course, chickens will warm up to you as long as you feed and give them your leftovers

I know I'm going a little off-topic on my post here, but is there a way to tell if your parakeet would do well with a companion? He's been on his own for a few years, as I've said, but if I really can't tame him, I think he'd do much better with a buddy around. On the other hand, he appears to be around eight years old, so maybe this is a little too old to introduce a new, probably younger, bird? I don't want to end up buying him a buddy and finding out I have to keep them in separate cages because he doesn't like the newcomer.

Sorry for all the questions! This is just the first place I've found in a while where I can ask!
Does he have a mirror? If he plays kissy face with the mirror and goes on and on about it...he may accept a roommate without a problem. Or,it could stress him out. If you get a mate I would do both things at once. Large new carge (horizontal) and a new roommate. That way, if you run into problems you can still seperate them out and let them get used to each other in a more gradual way. Also, I would get a male. They are calmer by nature and two boys will get along. Hens rule the roost. If you would happen to pick a really agressive feamale he may get picked on.
Keep us posted.
I still say you could have his wings clipped again.. and just work with him a little each day. After that, you don't necessarily need to grab him all the time... just to get him out of the cage. When the wings are clipped they can't go far... flap flap flap thud. LOL.. and when you go to get them off the floor, use two hands open... put on either side of him... and gradually get him on your hand. Then move slowly with him or just stand there calmly with him on your hand. Talk to him like he's use to. The reason he's so defensive in his cage is that he views the inside of the cage as HIS territory. It's his whole world... so your hand is an intruder. It's normal that he'd defend himself. But outside of the cage is another world. So.. easier to influence him. Alot depends on if you want to be more interactive with him or not. If you do then keep working on him. If it's not a big issue for you and you're moving him to a bigger cage then sure... get him a friend. What I would do is bring him with me to pick out the bird. You want them to be compatible. Most shops will allow this. If they don't then find one that will. You don't want to bring one home that you have to end up taking back because it's tearing him up. If you do decide to get him a friend and go that route, pass on clipping his wings. You want him to be able to interact with the other birds in a natural way. It will be a sensory overload for him.. LOL.. and hopefully you have a small travel cage to take him in. Then when you get near the parakeets at the shop let him listen for a short time... aclimate to all the noise. Then bring him closer so he can see all of them. If he tries to get closer to the others thru the cage then you know he's interested. If he is totally as far away as possible.. then he's not a candidate for a friend. Once I got a girlfriend for a parakeet my family had... he'd been on his own for quite some time (like yours) and was very tame with all of us. Well... he was scared to death... and she was very pushy because she knew he was scared. So back she went. He thought he was a person... not a parakeet! Hope some of this helps~


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