Parakeet Care

Parakeet Health

Read on for signs of a healthy parakeet, tips to ensure a healthy parakeet, what to do in case of an emergency, parakeet signs of illness, how to remove a broken blood feather, how to assemble a parakeet emergency first aid kit, and more.
Keep a close eye on your parakeets health. A healthy parakeet has bright clear eyes, a shiny non-flaky or crusty cere and beak, strong shiny bright feathers, will chatter and fly about happily. If your parakeet is huddled and fluffed up on the floor of their cage - get them to an avian vet immediately. Parakeets are prey animals and will conceal any sign of illness for as long as possible so they will not be cast from their flock or picked out by predators as weak. If they are showing signs of illness - you know it's very bad.

Be sure to weigh your parakeet regularly as weight loss is the easiest way to know your parakeet is sick.

When you bring a new parakeet into the home and you already have birds, be sure to put the new bird in quarantine for a minimum of 30 days to be sure they are not carrying any illnesses that could be passed on to your current birds. Keep them in a different room and always wash your hands after handling them.

If your parakeet has been caught by another animal (such as a cat or a dog) get them to an avian vet asap.

Emergency: If your parakeet has:

or shows any of the following symptoms, get them to an avian vet immediately. Be sure to take your parakeet to an avian vet and not your regular pet veteranarian as bird vets require special vet training.

Parakeet Signs of Illness

In an Emergency

Key: Stay calm.
Gently restrain bird with a small towel or washcloth.
If bleeding, gently apply pressure to wound with serile gauze square.
In case of broken/fractured bones - place bird in stockinette to keep wings still.
Place bird in small hospital cage with heating pad or hot water bottle under half of the cage. Cover cage with warm blanket.
When transporting bird to the avian vet, make sure the hospital cage is secure and covered for warmth and darkness.

How to Remove a Broken Blood Feather

Stay calm. Gently restrain the bird with a small towel, taking care not to restrict breathing by constraining around the chest. With a hemostat or tweezers, firmly grasp the broken bleeding feather at the base and pull in one swift motion in the direction of feather growth. After the feather has been removed, apply moderate pressure with a serile gauze pad to stop bleeding for one minute then apply flour or corn starch.

Parakeet Emergency First Aid Kit

Parakeet First Aid Kit
Parakeet First Aid Kit

First Aid For Birds: An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy PetFirst Aid For Birds: An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet
In case of poisoning: call National Animal Poison Control Center Hotlines 1-800-548-2423 - $30 per case 1-900-680-0000 - $20 first 5 minutes, plus $2.95 per additional minute AND see your avian vet.

Avian Vets International Directory.

Parakeet Moulting

Cobalt Blue Male Parakeet with pinfeathers
🔍 Click to see close-up 🔍

Several times a year, parakeets will moult. This means that they will loose their old feathers and new feathers will grow in. When the new feathers begin to grow in, they look like pointy little porcupine-like needles. The feathers are coated in a waxy sheath. When the feathers are ready to come out of the waxy sheath, you may see your birds preening one another or see them rubbing their heads on things to remove the wax. Some, but definitely not all, parakeets will let you help them with their pinfeathers. When they are ready, if you very gently roll them between your thumb and forefinger, the wax will flake off. If they are not ready, this will hurt your bird and they will scream and let you know.