Do Parakeets Need a Friend?

Do parakeets need a friend despite being considered self-sustaining? Well, parakeets still require a good amount of companionship. Here is why.

The majority of bird lovers begin with just one budgie with a lot of thought going into it.

You gained information, purchased a cage, fun toys, and got the best bird food you could find.

Next, you take your cash to the pet shop, bought your very first bird, and go home happy!.

And now, you are wondering…should I get a second bird?

Maybe you’ve noticed that your budgie seems lonely, or you’ve heard that budgies flourish when in a group, so they deserve a friend.

It may just be that you want more of the same thing with your tiny friend.

All are good reasons to get another, or even third or fourth, budgie.

In this post, you will be learning everything you need to consider before getting a companion for your budgie.

Let’s get started!

Does my parakeet need a friend?

Parakeets need at least one friend as they generally do better being in the company of smaller birds as they are social creatures. Keeping a parakeet alone might cause loneliness and isolation in your pet.

Budgies, in particular, require companionship if they are left alone at home for parts of the day while you are out.

Budgies are used to preening, serenading, and playing with one another because they are social birds.

Remember, in the wild, they move in a flock.

They also require a lot of activity to avoid becoming overweight and to maintain their health.

Do parakeets do better in pairs?

In general, a pair of parakeets will be happier than a single parakeet as they are sociable birds that naturally live in a large flock.

For parakeets in captivity, the contact and sounds of a flock will be recreated using two birds and a pair of mirrors.

It’s simple to say “the more, the better,” but it implies that the enjoyment of your birds rises in proportion to the size of the flock.

Well, this is neither accurate nor realistic (for most of us).  

All your bird requires is a friend, and its social needs will be met.

If you only have one bird, you’ll have to supply it with all the social stimulation it requires.

Ideally, this would mean spending as much time with it as possible which is an ideal opportunity to teach it a few words and phrases, as well as finger-training.

What birds can live with parakeets

You don’t need to choose another parakeet as your second bird.

Parakeets get along well with other small birds, such as cockatiels, as well as many other small parrots like lorikeets.

Generally, parakeets and zebra finches get along fine.

All parrots larger than cockatiels, love birds should not be kept with budgerigars as they have been known to bite chunks out of other species.

Examples of such popular pet birds are; the Common Mynah bird, and canaries (unless you have a large aviary).

When it comes to maintaining different species together, one of the most important considerations is space and the locations to escape the noise and activity.

The birds will also require enough space to fly around the cage without colliding or snatching each others’ limited perching space.

Any disturbed bird requires a safe space like a box, a quiet corner, or a high perch until the heat drops.

A spacious cage is needed for this, but space will be less of an issue if your birds are kept in an outdoor aviary.

Food is also a significant consideration.

Budgies and other cage bird species have different food requirements.

There must be enough food for all of the birds in the cage or aviary.

You’ll have to keep a close eye on them to make sure that a greedy cockatiel isn’t snatching one of the budgie’s food items.

For example, cockatiels require a lot of fatty seeds like a sunflower in their diet.

So, while a few bites won’t hurt your budgie, you’ll want to make sure he doesn’t consume too many of them.

The dangers here are obesity and liver disease.

When the birds are nesting, tempers tend to flare.

An easily intimidated budgie sharing a home with an intimidating parakeet is a frightening scenario.

You will have to intervene under these conditions for the sake of both.

So, have a few extra cages on hand.

The truth is that you are unlikely to have any cohabiting issues, but it never hurts to be prepared.

What is the best pairing for budgies?

Now you may be asking, which genders complement each other the best?

The truth is every budgie has a distinct personality. As a result, not every bird will fit the description.

So, what’s the standard?

Generally, while the female is seen to be more aggressive, the males are more friendly and social.

Now, let’s have a look at all of the possible budgie combinations.

A male and a female

When choosing a pair of budgies, this is the most common combination.

Budgies enjoy having a partner, so this pairing makes sense.

A male and female will groom and feed each other continually as a mated pair.

This combination is healthy, with very little risk of aggressiveness.

Even two males and a female can be kept together.

A male pair

In most cases, keeping two males together does not present issues.

As previously said, the boys are naturally less aggressive and friendlier with their fellow budgies.

If you want two budgies, but you don’t want to deal with the female budgie laying eggs I recommend getting two males as dealing with eggs is difficult.

You can also keep a small flock of males together.

A female pair

Keeping two females in the same cage is not a good idea because females are more aggressive.

While there are exceptions, a hen’s aggressiveness is typically directed at other females.

It’s difficult to tell whether a budgie is male or female.

When you’ve decided to purchase two budgies of the same gender, ask the pet-shop clerk or the breeder to assist you in selecting two male or two female budgies.

Do not simply request two budgies.

Why? They may sell you both a male and a female budgie, especially if they are baby parakeets.

What size cage do I need for 2 budgies?

A size of 39 by 20 by 32 inches is recommended for two budgies. The cage’s bars should be horizontal and no more than 1/2 inch apart.

If it’s any wider, your small bird can get stuck while attempting to flee.

Budgies require both vertical height and width for hopping and flying, so get the largest, safest cage you can afford.

Even if it says “your entire parakeet needs,” don’t buy the first cage you see at the pet store.

Will budgies talk if you have two?

If you have two budgies in a cage, they will most likely interact with each other instead of with you.

This means you’ll need to work with them individually, away from their cage companion if you wish to train any of them to talk.

Keep in mind that the more they engage with one another and make budgie sounds, the more difficult it will be to train them to talk.

If you want to educate a budgie to talk, having only one budgie in the house is best.

Is it ok to have 1 budgie?

It is ok to have just 1 budgie as long as you give him plenty of attention every day.

Budgies are social animals, so alone budgie needs to be out of his cage daily associating with his human “flock.”

Budgies can be kept alone, but you will have to interact with them as often as possible.

So, hand-trained birds should only be left alone if their owner is prepared to spend most of the day with them, playing with them.

Where you force your bird to live alone, it may suffer severe effects. For instance,

  • He will become depressed and unhappy
  • He’ll begin plucking his feathers, which is a form of self-harm.
  • He may eventually die of boredom

This makes it better to keep them in pairs and provide them with lots of toys to play with.

It is just not natural to keep them alone.

Is it better to have one budgie or two?

You can get one or two budgie(s) depending on your budget and the amount of time you have to spend with them. However, two budgies are generally better.

Budgies enjoy receiving attention from other budgies as well as their human companions.

If you only have one budgie, it will become lonely if it does not receive enough attention and playtime.

So, spend more time with your bird and provide them with different toys to play with.

You’ll never have to worry about your birds being lonely if you acquire more than one budgie.

Your birds will bond and play together, freeing up your time to focus on other important things.

Can a parakeet live alone?

A parakeet cannot live alone and may eventually die of loneliness and depression especially if you have a hectic schedule or are frequently away from home.

This is because parakeets are sociable creatures and leaving your bird alone all day will make it get lonely.

Nonetheless, one parakeet might be a good choice for you for several reasons.

Perhaps you believe you can only care for one pet at a time. Or maybe you’d like to see your birds show more affection.

The chance is that a parakeet that lives alone will treat you as if you were a member of her flock and will show you greater attention.

Single parakeets have a better temperament and are more sociable with humans.

And because they don’t have a friend, they seek out greater physical contact from people.

It will also be much easier to train and educate your parakeet to communicate or do tricks if you only have one bird.

This way, your parakeet will develop a stronger bond with you and become more responsive.

If you want to socialize with your parakeet and teach her tricks, buying one bird at a time is a good idea.

You can raise them individually and bond with them before combining them.

If your bird has a buddy, he or she will spend more time interacting with them than with you.

Will a parakeet die of loneliness?

Parakeets will die of loneliness if their basic social needs are not provided. Where a companion is not provided, the human will have to fill in that position. This means being around to keep the bird’s company for several hours every day.

If deprived of interaction with a fellow member of their species or, at least, a small bird from another species, parakeets face major mental and physical consequences.

Remember, humans held in solitary confinement for lengthy periods commonly show signs of mental illness.

Well, isolation and loneliness affect pets as well.

If deprived of constant interaction and stimulation, a parakeet may fall into poor health or even die.

What is the best age to get a budgie?

The best age to get a budgie is when it’s 10-12 weeks old. It will be weaned and ready to leave its parents at this age, but still be young enough to bond and train.

At this age, budgies find it easier to train and learn tricks quickly. 

They’ll become even more attached to you.

Note however that getting a budgie at a very young age might lead to illness and personality problems.

Older budgies can still be trained and bonded. It will however require extra effort.

Avoid budgies under the age of 10-12 because they may not have been weaned yet or were weaned too early.

This might result in behavioral issues as well as other problems.

So, learn about the pet store you’re purchasing from and how to tell a budgie’s age.

Conclusion

Budgies are generally friendly and will immediately make friends with another parakeet or any small bird of different species.  

As any parakeet owner will tell you, budgies have distinct personalities.  

They are happier and more active when they have a friend or companion around them especially when you are always away from the house.

Even when you are always around, it still won’t hurt to find a companion for your bird.

Also, ensure you choose the right companion to avoid constant clashes from time to time.

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