I gave myself about 24 hours to make a final decision in this regard, and it would’ve made sense to take far longer… but I just couldn’t help it. I know, it’s a common excuse, for addicts and shopaholics and the like.
Is it possible to be addicted to parakeets? Maybe this’ll be a new one for the journals… but the impulse is curbable because I just spent the last of the money I could possibly spend til next year.
The main cage was about to be turned into a swinging bachelor pad.
The reason I have so many parakeets is because I was trying to get more males in the cages to offset too many females. That’s how I went from 4 to 6 to 8 so quickly, then 10. Well, the “honeymoon suites” off to the side have their pairings of 1 male and 1 female per cage (and they get along well).
What guided my decision to get some more this weekend was the main cage. I need to look it up more, but maybe it’s the respective ages of the birds also. I just noticed that the coloring of the ceres on the parakeets was coming in pretty well. One was hard to tell from my eyes, but the rest were easy. Then I realized the one I couldn’t tell had to be male (Dusty) because he was “makin’ with the lovin'” on Aqua before she passed away. Clearly male.
And yes, I’m aware that you’ll have same sex bonding and grooming and kissing going on, but not gonna have 2 males or 2 females mounting each other. THAT much I learned from a few sources.
The one I call Mellow Yellow is turning dark brown on the ceres, indicating female (and she and Stormy have a nice relationship developing–makes sense since they were bought at the same time). But the rest in the cage all had blue ceres going on, and weeks ago I wouldn’t have been able to tell so easily.
1 female, 5 males. Damn near a bachelor pad all of a sudden.
So Friday morning I realized “crap, I gotta get them some girlfriends.” I still have more males than females, but that’s generally a good thing temperament-wise.
Part of me wonders if it’s the bird body’s biological response to prepare for winter and the approaching spring (the love season) by making sexual coloring more obvious. Or, perhaps it’s the ages of the birds and it’s just their time. But even the really little birds I just got have pronounced dark red-brown going on on their beaks, indicating females, which makes me think it’s a seasonal thing, because these newbies are pretty young (the dark rings of feathers on the back of the head give it away–the older the parakeets, the more they seem to develop a “bald spot” of color over the head… for the most part).
So, I got two ladies, and they look so alike they could almost be twins. Sweet has somewhat bigger eyes and a light splash of blue right below the top of it’s head going down the back, interrupting the white and dark feather pattern.
Tweet has smaller eyes and no splash. Otherwise, they look practically the same. A bright turquoise color or Caribbean blue (some of the bright feathers almost match my couch).
Besides, if they mate and create babies, apparently the blues are most desired, so it made sense to get blues in case they have babies I can sell… though admittedly they were the only females I could see that were obvious in that little atrium, anyway. Worked out nicely. That doesn’t surprise me much because unless you want to breed them, most folks would likely want only males in their cages, so demand means more males are gonna be available and females kept to breed.
I figured the time was right because then they could get to know each other and interact before mating season kicks off in earnest, and the fact that there were quite available for the holidays. Prices haven’t gone down, but I also chose to get them Saturday because I happened to be working across the street from a pet store that say and saw their stock before I went into work. Came back later, picked them out, and brought them home. I had to add a plate with some extra food at the bottom of the cage (they also had clipped wings so they are still trying to climb and navigate the cage like the others do…can hover decently, though). And I’m making a point to change the water out one more time each day, but it’s not overcrowded and with all the treats and sprays I put in there, they should be fine for food.
I’ve got various sized clamp bowls all over that cage with veggies and seeds in each, so rarely any fighting going on for territory.
It’s been a couple of days and they seem to be figuring things out. I don’t have to worry about them starving or anything and there really haven’t been any fights or picking on each other going on. Of course, newbies tend to stick together anyway, grooming each other and being like each other’s support system til they figure things out.
So, now I’m up to a dozen parakeets split between 3 cages. That big cage could probably hold 10 or 12 comfortably max, but I’m stopping at 8 because I want them to have room to climb around and fly a bit and have fun. Can’t do that with an overly crowded cage, and then they’d get to fighting big time. And of course if babies come along, I’ll do what I did before and take them out and put them in their own little “first cage” once they’re old enough to leave the nesting boxes.
So, yeah… got an even dozen now, and those fun, lovely chirps are just fun to listen to.
Now I just gotta ensure I don’t get the impulse to look for a bigger cage and find room for the damned thing… because then it’ll be too easy to go “hey, I’ve got room for more now.”
Yeah, time to chop up my credit cards now… before I get impulsive again.