Unhappy Parakeet?

by Andrea
(Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA)

We bought a parakeet about 3 weeks ago, and she doesn't seem happy. She doesn't chirp often (she will a little bit if I play clips of other parakeets chirping), play with her toys, or eat her honey-treat.

She's still fairly skittish, though she will often perch on a finger. I took her out of her cage once, and she made clear she didn't like it. Her cage is labled, "Small-Med. Birds. The perfect home for parakeets, finches, etc." So, I am hoping that would indicate it's not too small.

She has a ladder, two toys, a cuddle bone and a treat. I keep the cage clean and change the food and water daily. I keep her right beside me, on the bookshelf next to my computer (where I work all day.) I talk to her, sing to her, whistle to her... The bird store owner very specifically told us to not buy her a mirror or a companion if we wanted her to bond with us.

She seems so down, it breaks my heart. What can I do to make her happy? Is she still settling in, 3 weeks later?

Thank you for your insight. ~Andrea~

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Dec 31, 2008
Unhappy Parakeet question
by: The Vet

The cage needs to be at least 18 x 18.

This is true about the mirror. She will bond with the other bird or reflection and not want to come out to you as readily. If you are not going to have time to take her out, she should have a cage mate.

The first two weeks are the hardest for a new bird. They can take up to 4 weeks to settle in. I am concerned that your bird may be sick based on your description of behaviors. I recommend that you have her examined by an avian veterinarian.


Dec 30, 2008
PS (I don't think this went through before).
by: Andrea

Just wanted to add that I've tried hand feeding millet, and she's not interested. Also, if it helps, I think she's maybe a year or two old. I didn't think to ask the store owner. She has a trace of lines above her nose and her eyes are pretty dark.

Thanks, again.

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