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Understanding Parakeet Behavior?

April 3, 2021

I have 7 parakeets, but my blue parakeet is coughing for over one minute multiple times a day (over and over again). And it's just getting worse. She's flying outside her cage all day, has three different types of expensive seed brands like Zupreem Sensible seed, Kayette Egg flavored seeds and Gourmet Parakeet food that she loves and eats all together everyday. She also eats Zupreem fruit flavored pellets everyday. Also, she gets fruits and veggies everyday. I put three drops of small bird Vita-drops in their water everyday.

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I see that she is bonding with one of the males and I'm having the idea that she is close to mating with him. She nevers stays fluffed up, and there's no discharge from eyes or nose. I just got her a few months ago from the worst conditions their possibly is. Her poop showed she lacked in vitamins but within a few days she was completely full of health and happy. I have two flavored cuttlebone in their cages and one normal one. I also have a mineral block. I'm just saying this stuff because I don't understand what's wrong with her.

Right now I'm stuck, I can't go to the vet because I don't have bird insurance and getting insurance for 7 birds that have never gotten sick in their whole lifetimes is crazy as one bird per month is 20 dollars. My other one (green) that came with the coughing blue (they were in the same place and I got them a the same time). She has been vomiting clear substances on the bars and on her coconut toy (to be clear in random places). She stays fluffed up most of the day but eats and drinks. These two birds fly like crazy around my house. They like bathing in their catit fountain. But, this green one has stopped vomiting from what I see and only fluffs up throughout the day.

What should I do? Has anyone else ever gotten parakeet symptoms like these? I already lost a parakeet from unexpected reasons a while back and I really don't want another one to die.

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April 10, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

Take the sick parakeets to the vet, most can offer payment plans but then again vets are greedy and they may not. It could be something that is passed to other birds and then you could lose them all.

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Taking care of birds is expensive so always make sure you have a way to afford their vet visits if they need it. I know you said that they've never needed it before. However, maybe set a savings for the birds and gradually add money to that savings for emergencies. Adding just 10 dollars a week could be a start.

This may or may not be what is going on with your birds but I will say it just in case. I once had a bird many years ago. I saw a large spider crawl into the cage but before I could react, my bird ate it (it was that fast, like 3 seconds). My bird was fluffed up for days with its eyes closed most of the time (it wouldn't hardly eat or move around). It didn't vomit, not that I could remember (could have). Whatever poison the spider gave my birdie passed and my bird was fine after 2-3 days.

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Anyways, I hope your birdies will overcome whatever is making them ill and wish you and your babies all the best!

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11 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 8, 2020

Why do my two parakeets sit and stare at one another?


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Gold Answer Medal for All Time! 617 Answers
March 15, 20200 found this helpful
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In many animals, sitting and staring at each other can be part of aggression play, or sizing each other up. It can be a prelude to a fight for dominance. Even amongst humans it is seen as vaguely hostile or unsettling behaviour.

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They either like each other well enough or they're trying to figure out if they like each other.

active signs of liking each other are preening, picking at each other, or singing in unison and bobbing their heads.

active signs of disliking each other are occupying opposite ends of the cage, avoiding each other, NOT looking at each other, and, if forced to be in the same space, actively fighting.

parakeets are social animals, and so unless under environmental stress (IE you are not feeding them enough or they don't have adequate space) they should get along well.

animals.mom.me/two-parakeets-like-other-4891.html

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January 2, 2007

My parakeet seems to be gagging herself and vomiting. She positions herself under her perch, one foot on the bottom of the cage, one on the perch and she sticks one 'toe' down her throat until gooey half digested food strings out of her mouth. Has anyone else experienced this?



Deb from Kauai, HI

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
January 2, 20070 found this helpful

Chickens do this when they need to eat pebbles or calcium. Do parakeets have to eat something like that as well to help break down their food??

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By Michawn (Guest Post)
January 4, 20071 found this helpful

A bulimic parakeet, now I've heard everything! Seriously though, sounds kind of like the behavior when cats eat grass. But I'd Google or call the vet. Hope she feels better soon.

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January 4, 20070 found this helpful

I'm not sure, but don't they regurgitate their food to feed their babies? Could she be having a false pregnancy?

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By Carol (Guest Post)
January 4, 20070 found this helpful

This person needs to have gravel in the bird's cage to help the bird be able to digest her/his food. You can go to any pet shop and ask them what they have...Good Luck.....

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By Debra (Guest Post)
January 4, 20070 found this helpful

Thanks for the feedback...especially the bulimic parakeet bit! LOL
It is really the strangest thing. I have googled like crazy getting all kinds of possibilities...but nothing that fits this picture exactly. We live on Kauai and there are no avian vets here.

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She really doesn't seem sick/ill...it almost seems like a nervous/emotional behavior/habit she's formed. She's very sensitive and we've had lots of visitors/guests staying with us over the holidays so maybe she's just way too over stimulated...I know I have been!
Thanks for the comments!

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January 5, 20070 found this helpful

Your parakeet is showing signs of love. They do regurgitate or (gurge) to show affection. That is how they feed their young and will even feed one another. I've seen a bird nurse a mate back to health by feeding. We run a rescue for domestic and exotic birds. We have birds that try to 'feed' us. As disgusting as it sounds, it's the ultimate sign of love for them. ha ha Diane http://www.LaziBirds.com

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By (Guest Post)
January 5, 20070 found this helpful

Is it normal for the parakeet to use it's toe/foot to gag itself? She does it repeatedly throughout the day.
If my parakeet was really vomiting and not regurgitating, would she gag herself or would the vomit spew all on it's own without her gagging herself for assistance?

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Ewww...sorry, I know that's yucky!
Thanks for your comments...

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January 5, 20070 found this helpful

Parakeets need to eat gritty stuff to "chew" their food. Do you have that in the cage?

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By Deb (Guest Post)
January 5, 20070 found this helpful

Yes, we have grit...however we hadn't been using it for awhile because she seemed to use it only as confetti and never actually ingested any of it. When we'd put it in the cage she would have all of it dumped out within one minute! It did occur to me that this may help so we put some in this morning and she devoured it! Obviously she needed that!
Also we noticed that she was trying to 'feed' her little toy parakeet last night and this morning and was using completely different 'language' with the toy than usual. I guess her mothering instincts have kicked in big time! I took the toy out just to see if the gagging/gurging behavior lessens as a result.
She's always seemed perfectly happy with just us as her family...do you think she wishes she had a mate now?? I'm not sure we're ready to go there!

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March 27, 2018

My female parakeet started kicking the food out of the container just because. I got them millet and she just destroyed the whole thing. What could she be trying to say?


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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 226 Feedbacks
March 28, 20180 found this helpful
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It may just be her style of eating. I have known some pretty messy birds. Be sure she has an enriched environment, plenty of toys, room to exercise, an interesting view, maybe a buddy. With other things going on, playing in her food may not seem like so much fun.

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May 24, 2006

I have a parakeet that just recently started acting funny... climbing and clinging to the side walls of the cage and the top of the cage, picking at it's back side like there's no tomorrow. It sometimes seems hyper. It's feathers are a little ruffled, but it's been eating like crazy and drinking like crazy. It doesn't seem to be pooping as much as it should... Any ideas?



Only1 from Rochester, NY

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Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,317 Feedbacks
May 24, 20060 found this helpful

GET IT TO A VET, IT COULD BE SERIOUS!!!
My friend tried to fix her bird alone and it died
so go to a vet or at least call a vet or 24 hour
animal hospital for tips or idea of what it could be.

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By Rosa (Guest Post)
May 24, 20060 found this helpful

You did not say if your bird is a male or female, if it is a female she could be egg bound, Please take her to a vet a s a p

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By only1 (Guest Post)
June 7, 20060 found this helpful

Thanks everyone, I brought him to a vet, said everything appeared to be OK except he needs iodine... seems he has a goiter because he doesn't eat his veggies like he should. Also, I found out that parakeets can act funny during or after molting and if their wings aren't clipped, they can suddenly act as if they're the boss.

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August 14, 2010

Our 2 year old, male parakeet has been holding his wings slightly away from his body. It looks like he's warm, but the house is 75 degrees. Vet states that all looks okay. How can we tell if he has a heart ailment? What else might be causing him to do this? We are very worried.

By JillyD from Sacramento, CA

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February 20, 2010

My budgie has become very angry with me and I don't know why.

By Bianca from Chicago, IL

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December 11, 2009

While I was away, for 6 weeks, my male budgie stayed with a friend whom he knows and who loves him. He was molting and it was suggested to my friend that she sprinkle a few drops of flax seed oil in his seeds about 2 times per week.

Before I took him home, yesterday, my friend told me that he has almost stopped singing and talking. This began about 3-4 weeks ago, she thinks.

His "nose" has changed color to 2-tone colors of bright blue by his nose air vents and the rest is now an off-white color and almost appears (this could be my imagination) to be a little swollen or protruding.

Is any of this normal? He's 3 1/2 years old.

By Gerry from Las Vegas, NV

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August 21, 2011

I just got two parakeets, one girl and a boy. My girl parakeet bites herself; why does she do that? I also noticed that my boy bird puts food in my girl bird's mouth. Then he rocks back in forth like he's dancing. Why do they do that? This is my first time having birds.

By Paulina

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April 19, 2011

Why is my parakeet biting?

By elizabeth

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May 23, 2013

My boy parakeet seems to be feeding the girl. What does that mean and is she getting all her nutrition she needs?

By Michy from Chicago

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February 12, 2012

My budgie keeps throwing her eggs out. What do I do?

By stephen j from Manchester, Lancs

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