Have you ever wanted to get a parakeet? Do you even know what a parakeet is? Well, you’ve come to the right place. A parakeet is a small bird with long tail feathers. They can be almost any color and the average lifespan of 8 years. First, we will be talking about how to choose the right parakeet, then how to prepare for getting a parakeet, and lastly, how to do successfully take care of the parakeet so that it can live a long life. The first step to getting a parakeet is deciding which kind of parakeet you want! What is most important to you? Size, lifespan, color? These are all things you should think about when deciding which type of parakeet you want. A budgerigar parakeet is the classic parakeet and has a lifespan of 5-8 years, weighing anywhere from 1-4 ounces. Budgerigar parakeets are from Austrailia. Other parakeets are from South America, Africa, and Asia. If you are going for lifespan then the monk parakeet would be the best choice for you, they can live for 15-20 years! The monk parakeet weighs around 4 ounces on average, just like the budgerigar. When you go to the pet store, you should look for a bright-eyed and lively bird. You should make sure that there is no crusting around the cere (which is just above the beak). You also should check to make sure that the vent is clean. The vent is the place where the parakeet poops. If the vent is messy then that can be a sign of digestive problems. You should also make sure not to choose a parakeet that is lethargic and doesn’t move around. After you get your new friend, you should take them to the vet, parakeets don’t show symptoms of illness until they are very sick, it is a good idea to have the parakeet checked out for parasites and other bacterial diseases that could spread to you and your family if not disposed of quickly. Before you actually get your parakeet you are going to need a cage. The cage should be at least 2 feet in height and 2 feet in length and width. If you have to choose between vertical and horizontal space, choose horizontal. Parakeets fly horizontally, rather than vertically. Your cage should be made of stainless steel, as cages made of other ingredients like zinc, brass, or lead can be toxic and cause your parakeet to get very sick. The cage should also have horizontal bars, which allows the parakeet to climb (which they love). You should also attach a water drinker and a one or two bowls for food. If you have more than one parakeet in the cage you should have more than one bowl of food so that the parakeets don’t fight over the food. In the cage, you should have a perch and some toys. The perch should be made of an orchard wood like plum, apple, cherry, or pear. Orchard wood is typically is very safe for the parakeet and will naturally clip the parakeet’s toenails. The best toys have ladders to climb and bells to ring. Be forewarned that mirrors may cause the bird to get selfish and be aggressive toward humans. If the bird gets ‘s bored it can lead to screaming! The diet of your bird should be about half regular pellets and half seeds. Pellets are packed with grain, fruits, and vegetables, which makes your bird happy and healthy. You also do not want to give your bird all seeds as seeds are a source of many different bacterial infections. You do not want to let the parakeet eat so much seed that their immune system can’t handle the number of germs. A little bit is okay though. On special occasions, you can give your bird actual fruits and vegetables like pear, carrot, kale, and peas. Most foods are safe but there a few exceptions. Things you should never give your parakeet includes avocado, eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes but you should look it up before feeding anything to your parakeet. You should change the water a food daily. You should also lay down paper towels on the bottom of the cage and change these every day. You also need to clean the entire cage weekly. What about treats? Parakeets love millet springs but they should not get too much of it, as it is fattening like Oreos. Parakeets also love lots of space to fly around, and their cage might not be enough 24/7. Let them out once a day to fly around, make sure that all the windows are closed, fans turned off, and potentially dangerous items like lit candles and knives are put away. You will need to spend around 90 minutes a day with your parakeet, these 90 minutes could be spent reading, singing, or just playing with it. If you do not spend enough time with your parakeet they will most likely forget you and not talk to you at all. A parakeet will sleep an average of 10 hours a day, most of that is at night but they occasionally take naps during the day. During these times, you should try to be quiet, as if a baby was sleeping. At night, you should cover the cage with a sheet or drape, parakeets will feel much safer in these conditions. Once your parakeet has warmed up to you, you can teach them various tricks and some even talk. Much of what they learn is based on your behavior. Overall, parakeets are definitely a project and require daily attention, but they are very affectionate and funny.