If you are searching for a small pet that is low maintenance in terms of care, then you can choose to care for a parakeet bird. This is a wonderful pet for families who live in a small apartment and for those who have kids at home. How long do parakeets live will depend on how well they are cared for.
We know that it is impossible not to have an emotional bond with your pet. Perhaps you are curious to know how long do parakeets live so you can more or less prepare yourself and your loved ones about the general care and the lifespan of the pet that you will get.
In this article, we will enlighten you on what to expect and what are the things that you need to do to prolong the life of your pet parakeet.
What is the Lifespan of Parakeets in the Wild?
Parakeets originate from different areas in the world but most are from Australia. They thrive well as part of a colony in the wild. But, the question is if the wild is the best place for these colorful and cheery creatures? As with other living creatures, the natural habitat of parakeets has an important role in determining how long would they live.
Although parakeets have lived a long and fruitful life from where they originally come from, issues like extreme weather conditions in the wild and improper diet are sure to affect their lifespan.
Each of them has an average lifespan of 7 to 14 years in the wild for as long as there is no interference. They never go beyond that age because they are prey among the larger bird species.
In addition, the shortened lifespan in the wild is also caused by different factors which will be discussed later.
How Long Do Parakeets Live in Captivity?
To start, there are many types of parakeet species with differing lifespan. Actually, the term parakeet is used to describe a category of birds that are small in size, have slender bodies, and have long tails.
For example, there are parrots that are referred to as mustache parakeet. There is also the grass parakeet, Monk parakeet or popularly known as the Quaker parrot, and the Budgerigar (budgie in short). Each of them has different lifespans as itemized below:
- The Budgerigar can live between 5 and 10 years while in captivity. This parakeet species is native to Australia. It is considered as one of the smallest species of parrot in the world.
- The Monk Parakeet has a lifespan of 20 to 30 years. It is native to the temperate to subtropical areas of Argentina and South America.
- The Plain Parakeet can live up to 15 years. This parakeet species is native to Brazil.
- The Grass Parakeets have a lifespan of 10 years and they originated in Australia.
- Barred Parakeet average lifespan is 10 years. They are native to the forests of Southern Mexico, Panama, Andes, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, and Venezuelan Coastal range.
- Mustache Parakeet can live between 20 and 30 years. These birds originate from the Andaman Islands and countries in Southeast Asia.
- Rose-ringed Parakeet can live between 20 and 30 years. There are some reports of rose-ringed parakeets living up to 50 years!
- Green-cheeked Parakeet is native to South America and has a lifespan in captivity for 30 years.
- Golden Parakeet is a native to Amazon Basin and has a lifespan of up to 30 years in captivity.
But, with the right care, their lifespan can increase up to 20 years in captivity.
The Lifespan of Parakeets in the Wild vs Parakeets in Captivity
As mentioned earlier, parakeets in the wild have shorter lives because of their exposure to many elements. The factors that affect the lifespan of parakeets in the wild include danger from large birds in the wild. Then, there is the problem of diseases that are transferred from one bird to the other.
Calamities like bushfires are also dangerous for the survival of parakeets. Fumes are toxic to them.
Environmental destruction is another factor that can affect the lifespan of parakeets in the wild.
On the other hand, those birds that are being cared for at home like yours can live longer because they are not exposed to the elements in the wild. The probability of getting eaten by predators is very slim unless if you have unfriendly cats in the house.
Plus, they are provided with the necessary veterinary care and proper nutrition. In fact, you as your pet caregiver play a huge role in determining how long do parakeets live in captivity.
Factors that Affect the Lifespan of Parakeets as Pets
We know that it is your intention to prolong the life of your much-loved pet. In this section, we will give you valuable tips on how to improve the life of your bird so it will sing longer and happier under your care.
1. A Hearty Diet
Are you tempted to feed your parakeets with just bird seeds? We strongly advise you not to limit their diet with seeds as these do not contain nutrients to make them strong.
What do parakeets eat in the wild? Fruits, veggies, and grains. Though, yes, it is perfectly fine to give them bird seeds every day but you have to supplement their diet with fruits, veggies, and grains like cooked rice.
Safe examples of fresh produce that are good for them include mango, grapes, bananas, and spinach. In case you want to give them cooked food, a hard-boiled egg is acceptable but limit it to once a week only.
A parakeet pellet is also good for them and must be available all the time.
Also, make sure that when you are introducing new food to your parakeets, do it gradually and watch out if they can tolerate the food or not.
Do not forget to replenish the water bowl daily.
There are food choices that are toxic for them and these are:
- Fruit pits
2. It Takes Two to Tango
Parakeets are social creatures. They are at their happiest mode if they have a partner to sing with, to dance with, and to ‘talk to’. In fact, the more, the merrier is their motto in life.
Thus, getting two or more parakeets will have a positive effect on their longevity.
3. Perfect Lighting
Parakeets will sing happier tunes if you will place them in a location with the perfect lighting. By this, it means that they prefer to live in a room where the room is perfectly lit. Take note though that the cage must not be placed in a direct sunlight area. Why? Because too much exposure to UV lighting is detrimental to their health. Parakeets have a thin layer of skin and this is why controlled lighting is of utmost importance for their longevity.
We cannot stress enough the importance of proper lighting for your birds’ good health. In the wild, they are used to getting long hours of natural light which the captive birds do not have access to. But, you can structure their environment so they can enjoy the health benefits of right exposure to light.
Allow us to itemize for you the benefits of UVA and UVB Lighting:
- Strong bones
- Healthier immune system
- Better sleep quality
- The successful laying of eggs
However, if you fail to provide the correct lighting, your parakeets will suffer from the following:
- Plucking of feathers
- Problems in the reproduction system like producing soft eggshells
- Bone deformities
So, now you are asking, how much light do your parakeets require?
Expose them to outside light for about 15 to 40 minutes three times a week. Natural sunlight is where they get UVA and UVB lighting. UVA is essential for their eyesight while the UVB is needed for vitamin D.
12 hours of daylight and another 12 hours of darkness are the amount of light they need.
4. Clean Cage
A clean cage makes your parakeets happy and happy parakeets make a happy tune. Since it is normal for them to poop every so often, you should make an effort to clean the cage at least twice a week.
Also, parakeets love to play with water so we recommend that you place a small container with water inside its cage. You may also mist them using a spray bottle. They love water activities and it helps stimulate their grooming behaviors.
A clean cage is one of the things that you can do to increase the lifespan of your parakeets.
Yes, you read it correctly. Parakeets need toys, too to be happy and live longer. Since they spend a significant amount of time inside the cage, they need toys to keep them active and fit. A parakeet lifespan also depends on the number of cardio exercises that they do.
If they are idle all the time, they can suffer from muscle dystrophy. Exercise through the use of toys keeps their heart in good condition. What are the toys recommended for parakeets?
- Jungle gyms
When choosing toys, look for those that have shiny colors and those that make noise. Just take care that there are no tiny parts that can be choking hazards and decrease their lifespan.
6. Proper Size of Bird Cage
Parakeets are meant to fly and if you will restrict their movements in a small cage, then do not expect them to sing songs for you for so long.
Length is more important than the height of the cage. Why? Because parakeets fly horizontally than up and down.
If you have one parakeet (which we do not recommend), the ideal size of the cage is 20 inches in length, 18 inches deep and 18 inches wide.
For a pair of parakeets, provide them with a cage size of 30 inches long with the same depth and width dimensions.
For more than two parakeets, the cage should be 40 inches long, 18 inches in depth, and a height of 32 inches.
If your parakeets are happily flying in their huge cage, expect them to live and sing for you longer.
7. Do Not Grab Your Parakeets
For small birds like parakeets, it can be a terrifying experience if you will reach out and grab them against their will. The trust that they have for you will simply evaporate once you attempt to scare them.
Our tip is to do it slowly. Offer your hand and allow it to sit on your fingertip voluntarily. But, always resist the urge to grab the bird.
8. Veterinary Care
By monitoring the health of your parakeets regularly, you can expect them to live longer. If you begin to notice any changes in the behavior like low appetite, listless behaviors that come with fluffed feathers, sneezing, and abnormal feces, then it is best to take them to the Vet.
As much as you can, avoid introducing your parakeets to other birds. Diseases like avian bornavirus, psittacine beak, and feather disease are highly contagious that can shorten the lifespan of your pets.
Other Tips On How You Can Prolong the Lives of your Parakeets:
- Give them freedom. Clip their wings so they remain safe and be sure to bird-proof your home.
- Do you know that your saliva is bad for your parakeets? So, even if they sing lovely songs for you, avoid showing your appreciation through kissing.
- Place the cage in a safe area away from the air conditioner, from the draft, and from pets like cats.
- Do not place the cage in the kitchen because the fumes can make them sick.
Parakeets are great pets. You will not spend too much money on their proper care and increased lifespan. How long do parakeets live under your care? By following the tips that we have outlined above, you will have parakeets who would not think twice about singing lovely melodies for you and your loved ones for a long period of time.