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My son got a parakeet 4 days ago and the weird little thing will not get on a perch. It just sits on the bottom of the cage all day long. I am not sure it is eating but I put a spray of millet on the bottom and I know she ate that and it looks like she drank some water. How can I get her to perch? She appears to be healthy. I already tried putting my hand in there and she went ballistic and got out---I had to catch her with a dish towel and an oven mitt. Any suggestions would be helpful!

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Asked by Adria71 at 12:52 PM on Feb. 11, 2009 in Pets

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Answers (10)
  • All I can tell you is that birds needs A LOT of attention on a daily basis, or they will never become friendly, I know from experience. My older brother had a bird, and he was with her all the time and let her roam around his room as she pleased. She was the SWEETEST little bird. About half a year later he moved out and didn't take her with him and she never got attention any more. She turned into a completely different bird and all she would do is bite people or go crazy when they got near the cage. So if you don't have the time to devote to the might want to second think your choice. =\ Good luck with your new little birdie!

    Answer by SandraB383 at 1:07 PM on Feb. 11, 2009

  • Are her wings clipped? Can she reach the perch? It takes them a while to get used to a new place. We have two , I’ve heard they tend to do better in pairs. One trick to get them used to you is slowly put your hand in the cage, maybe with some bird seed in it, and just leave it there for 10 minutes. Do this every day for a while and they will not see you as a threat. Good luck.

    Answer by Bear777 at 1:50 PM on Feb. 11, 2009

  • I have a couple of questions for you..
    1.) When the bird is sitting on the bottom of the cage, is it "puffed up"? as in the feathers make it look fat? If so, the bird is too cold.
    2.) What kind of food do you have in there?
    3.) Where did you get the bird?
    4.) Are the nose, and vent clear? If the eyes appear to be runny, it has a cold.. if there is poop on the vent, the keet has digestive issues.
    5.) When looking at the bird straight on, is the chest "caved in"? If so, the bird may have a respiratory infection.

    Birds need to be kept at approximately 76 F at all times. Do not put it under a vent, around a window,etc..
    The bird may be too young and not have learned how to perch yet. Most birds sold in stores like Petsmart are about 5-6 months of age and should know how to perch already.

    Answer by mcginnisc at 3:52 PM on Feb. 11, 2009

  • Continued...
    Also, if you wish or rather your son wishes to bond with the bird, do not get another bird. They mate for life and will not bond with you if there is another bird in there. When hand training a bird it is essential that you do so slowly. It is also advisable to clip the bird's wings so that it is easier to begin the can always allow them to grow back after trained.
    Make sure the bird gets fresh fruits and veggies daily. Baby carrots, romaine lettuce, kale, collards, strawberries... they love them. Stay away from: Alcohol, junk food, caffeine, chocolate, avocadoes, onions, tomatoes, and dairy. They are lactose intolerant, avocadoes are poisonous, choc. is deadly, onions/tom. are too acidic and the others are just as bad for them as it is for us. :-)
    If you have any questions let me know.. I used to breed birds...

    Answer by mcginnisc at 3:58 PM on Feb. 11, 2009

  • The bird appears to be perfectly healthy. We got her at Petco and I do take time with her. She has parakeet food in there--the same as I fed our other parakeet---and also fresh water. I am aware of what and what not to feed them. Yes, her wings are clipped and yes she would be able to reach the lowest perch. I have also had parakeets before and have never run across the problem of them not wanting to perch.

    Answer by Adria71 at 4:12 PM on Feb. 11, 2009

  • That sounds odd. I've had parakeets in the past and never had a problem with them not getting on the perches. It's possible she's just afraid since she was taken out of a cage with lots of other birds, and now she's all by herself. Maybe she's lonely. I think I would get another one...I always had 2 of them together and never had any problems with that. Yes, I think another trip to Petco is in order. At least that's what I would do. :)

    Answer by summerdayz at 5:25 AM on Feb. 12, 2009

  • It sounds like the bird is very frightened. Are there a lot of things going on above and around the cage? Birds have a natural fear of things going on above their heads. Try putting a towel or blanket on the cage so that it covers the top, sides and back of the cage. This will help him/her feel more secure and safe. Other than that it sounds like you are doing great, making sure the bird is eating and drinking.

    Answer by jamesmommy12 at 2:28 PM on Feb. 12, 2009

  • The cage is covered on three sides. She is starting to get used to my hand in the cage but still won't get on a perch! I am at a loss for what to do! She did get on a perch for a couple of minutes while my hand was in there but as soon as I took it out she dropped right back down to the the bottom.

    Answer by Adria71 at 8:26 AM on Feb. 13, 2009

  • Is there something wrong with her feet? Some parakeets have deformed nails that do not allow them to perch properly.

    Answer by jamesmommy12 at 1:59 PM on Feb. 13, 2009

  • Perch problem solved. I went back to the pet store and checked out the perches they sat on there and bought one just like them and up she went! Thanks for all the help girls!

    Answer by Adria71 at 10:46 AM on Feb. 14, 2009

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