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Monk parakeet

Although the monk parakeet is usually a bird that many have called “one of the heaviest animals,” there are few who wish to have it as a pet. Is it your case? Because if so, you should learn a little more about this animal.

Types monk parakeets

What is known about the monk parakeet

The monk parakeet, better known as Colita, originates from Argentina, but habitats of this bird has also been found in countries such as Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay and southern Brazil.

It is an animal that usually lives in forests and mountains, as well as in more open spaces. It is one of the few birds that are able to adapt without problems to sudden changes in temperatures. In some countries colonies have formed in the cities, which has been a great problem for residents due to its strong chirping.

How is a monk parakeet?

It is a bird cataloged as medium size, having a length of about 29 centimeters from the head to the tail. It usually has a weight that is around 600 – 900 grams depending on the species.

It is characterized by having a round head with a curved beak and a stepped tail, which helps differentiate it from the rest of its distant relatives of monk parakeet. The plumage is very showy, with green as the predominant color, but it is also possible that there are variants with turquoise tones. Their legs are strong and their nails are adapted to be able to climb trees without any problem.

Since it does not has big differences between male and female, it is very difficult to differentiate one from the other except for a DNA test. Some breeders say that males are larger than females, but in some subspecies ofmonk parakeets it is the opposite, so using this technique to differentiate them is useless.

I want amonk parakeet, can I have one?

There are few who have chosen to have a monk parakeet at home as a companion. It is not a bad companion, on the contrary, it is the ideal pet thanks to its loving nature and the ease it has to adapt to different environments. In addition, it knows how to live with other companions of the same species and even with other birds.

They are big talkers, since they has a great ability to remember words and even whole sentences. They are very fun in daily life and can sing and imitate sounds. But for those who like animals that only speak “once in a while”, perhaps this bird will be a real headache.

How long does a monk parakeet live?

That is a good question. Everything depends on the type of species, but the general life expectancy of a monk parakeet ranges from 15 to 20 years living in captivity, although some specimens have been seen, such as the Argentine monk parakeet, which have reached 30 years.

Being birds that adapt easily to the conditions of the environment is not complicated to has a good life expectancy, but requires much care so that it is as long as possible.

I want my monk parakeet to trust me, what do I have to do?

It is true that the monk parakeet is a very affectionate bird and that it immediately gains confidence with the human being. But, this does not mean that the first day and go closer to the owner so that this caresses.

No, the first thing that is needed is to establish the first contact. Given that it will be in a strange environment, it will be normal for it to be a bit nervous, so you have to leave it alone for a couple of days so that she gets used to seeing people pass near it cage. Locate it in the center of greater activity of the house, where you spend more time. This way it will get used to the presence of the different members of the family.

After a couple of days you can get closer little by little to itq cage, not only to feed it, but also to tell it something, like its name. This way you will get their attention. Little by little, it will react when you see it and show signs of being happy because you are near the cage. With the passage of time, something that can take a week like a month, will approach the bars when it see you appear for you to pay attention.

This is only the first step. If what you want is to be able to leave it with total calm, here you will have to work a little more. The first thing is to open the cage and put your hand with one of its favorite sweets. The most likely thing is that the first time it departs. Stay about 5 minutes and if it do not pay attention to you, take your hand out with the snack and close the door. Repeat the process every day until it finally approaches. Once the snack is eaten for the first time, repeat the process a few more days, until finally you can caress the back.

With this, you will only have to push it a bit with your finger so that the monk parakeet leaves its cage and goes to rest on your finger. With this you can get it out of the cage. Although you may want to leave it on the ground. In that case, it is better to leave it in the cage at the moment.

I want it to be out of the cage, is it possible?

Nothing forces you to have the monk parakeet locked in a cage. In fact, there are many who end up living in freedom all their lives without any problem and only need a hanger on which to sleep at night.

But keep in mind that you may have problems if you have to get it in a cage to transfer it to the vet. In the case of wanting to let it out of the cage, whether it is little by little, then it does not get used to it much.

Then, you can leave it more and more time, as long as it understand that afterwards it has to go back into the cage, for lunchtime or bedtime. It is not good to get used to eating out of the cage, since then you may not want to go back inside.

Remember that birds are much more susceptible than cats and dogs, so if the bird does not pay attention to you, do not shriek or try to catch it. Let it move quietly around the house and then carefully tuck it into the cage. He will appreciate it.

Of course, we must bear in mind that it is a bird that can take off if it finds an open window, so in the case of wanting to live loose around the house, it will be necessary to make a cut of wings, even if it is cruel. But it is the only way to prevent it from escaping.

I’m going to buy a cage for my monk parakeet, but which one?

Actually it is very easy to choose the monk parakeet cage. In the stores there are several models, but if you follow a series of guidelines you will not have many problems to choose the indicated one.

Size: Given that the monk parakeetare medium-sized animals, their cage does not need to be so large, such as a macaw or a cockatoo. The cage can be about 60 centimeters wide, about 60 centimeters high and about 45 centimeters deep. With this, the bird will has more than enough space to move. If you have chosen to have two birds, double the dimensions so they do not has movement problems. In addition, the distance between the bars should never be more than 2 centimeters, preventing you from putting your head between them.

shape: The shape of the cage is very important. Although in the store many sellers will try to convince that the cages in the shape of a house or circular are the best, they must be avoided at all costs. The reason? According to veterinarians and experts in the world of poultry farming, these cages cause psychological stress in the bird. The best thing is square or rectangular cages, which have some horizontal bars so that they can be placed on the walls.

Drinker and feeder: Although the monk parakeets has not shown many signs of “escapism”, it is recommended that the feeder and drinking fountain be placed on the outside, and the only door there is for you to touch when you have confidence . If you try to escape using the trough door and the sprue could get stuck and hurt a lot, and you do not want that for your petbird, right?

Toys: The monk parakeets also like to have toys, such as stairs or a rubber toy that can bite. But in any case you have to put a mirror, because they can become attached to him and then feel very depressed when you take it off.

Hangers: With two or three hangers the monk parakeet will be happy. Of course, avoid plastic, metal or fake wood at all costs, because they are not good for your legs. The hangers have to be made of natural wood so that you can sharpen its nails when you climb on it.

Lock: Yes, there have been no signs that parrots escape on the side of food, but there are many occasions that the owners have taken the surprise that their beloved companion it left the cage by itself. The reason? They are quite intelligent birds, and to open a door that only has a latch is not a problem for them. You have to find a lock for the door that has a better security measure and avoid that they can escape so easily.

I have the cage, but now where do I put it?

Although the cage of the monk parakeet is not large, it can be a real headache where to place it. As previously stated, the cage must be in the same place as the one where the greatest social activity is carried out, for example the hall. This is done so that it is accustomed a little to human contact.

Now, exactly what is the best place in the room to situate it? Well when it comes to locating the cage, you have to take into account:

The cage should be at the same height as your eyes, since this way the bird will not feel intimidated when seeing you nor superior.

Avoid at all costs areas of the room where there are enough air currents, for example a window, since in summer it is normal to open them and the monk parakeet could catch a cold.

It is not good to get the sun directly for many hours. Find an area that only receives the sun for half an hour at the most.

Two of the walls of the cage should be attached to the wall, so that the petbird sees you arrive, which makes it easier to establish a link with it.

Unlike other more sensitive animals, it is not all bad for the monk parakeet to face a television. In fact, this could help you learn some words over time.

Clean the cage of a monk parakeet, what do you have to know?

It is not very difficult to clean the cage of a monk parakeet, since it is done the same as with the rest of the birds. You just have to clean the base a couple of times a week to be able to remove feces and food debris and the whole cage once or twice a month, it all depends on how dirty the bird is.

At the time of cleaning, if the parrot is already used to move around the house, it can be left free. Otherwise, it must be transferred to another cage while the cleaning task lasts so that it does not become contaminated with the products you are going to use.

The first thing to know is that it is better to use bleach diluted in water, since it is a good disinfectant and thus you can clean the bacteria that there are by the bars, using a brush. Then soak and dry with a dry cloth. You can also let it dry a bit in the sun.

Some breeders use brighteners for the cages, but it must be borne in mind that these are very toxic products for these birds, so they must be avoided. Some are a little more compatible, but you have to be careful that the bird does not breathe them

And what do I feed my monk parakeet?

The general diet of monk parakeets is based on seeds, shoots of branches, insects and pieces of fruit. Thanks to this, it is not a big problem to be able to feed it properly and it is not difficult to find a product in the stores that it may like.

With this , keep in mind that this bird will consume two types of food: dry and wet. In stores you will find many types of feed, so you will not have much trouble feeding it. There are all kinds of maintenance feed, low fat feed to avoid fattening or a combination of seeds, mainly sunflower which is one of the foods that have been fed the most. Although you have to keep in mind that there are very fussy cockatoos, and you may just want to eat seeds or other food.

You can also give them legumes such as beans, chickpeas or lentils, as long as they have been previously soaked during the previous night so that they are softer and do not has so many problems to be able to eat them.

Give soft food is essential, although the parrot may not want it, it has to eat about 120 grams a day of this type of food, as it helps it receive nutrients it need to survive. You have to give a fruit and vegetable salad every day, so it has a varied diet. It is beter to use apple, pear, kiwi, grape, orange, strawberry and red fruits, although you can also give peach. As for the fruit, it is beter to opt for lettuce (without going over it can cause diarrhea), zucchini, carrot, green pepper or arugula among other foods so that you eat everything you need every day.

My monk parakeet does not feel good, What happens to it?

No bird can get rid of falling sick at some point. Some diseases are very easy to treat, but there are others that can be fatal, so you have to pay special attention to their symptoms.

The most common diseases in monk parakeet are:

Feather plucking: It is a behavioral disorder, but one could say that it is like a disease since normally plucking the feathers is a sign that it has parasites. Although it is also possible that it does so out of boredom or lack of attention from its owner. It can also be due to a lack of minerals in the diet.

Abnormal feathers fall: The monk parakeets shed their feathers once a year and the fall is excessive, so there is no need to worry. But if suddenly begins to lose feathers in an uncontrolled way without being its time of molting, that is because it is not having a good diet or can have mites in the cage that incite.

Calcification: Usually occurs in older specimens and is to have calcium salts in the scales of the skin. They has a hard time walking and feel a strong pain. You have to smear the affected areas with specific ointments.

Deformations: When they are in their cage, the hangers have to be made of wood so that the beak and nails can be filed. If not, it is possible that they have a great deformation in the beak, especially in the offspring, as well as exaggeratedly large nails, so we must be very careful in this regard.

Obesity: Yes, parrots can also suffer from obesity if they do not eat a balanced diet. What’s more, given that many housewives cut their wings to prevent them from flying and spend most of their lives locked up, they can not exercise to lose the extra calories.

Aspergillosis: A serious disease caused by fungi, which are found in the seed or straw. You have to give seeds that are dry and have no dust or mold to fight the disease or the bird could get worse in a very short time. Among the symptoms you will detect that it has difficulty breathing and that you will be filled with air sacs of pus.

Respiratory infection: It is usually a common cold, especially when the monk parakeet’s cage is located in an area where there are strong air currents. In this case it can be easily cured with antibiotics or thanks to fruit pieces that contain a high content of vitamin C, such as orange. But there are some more serious as aspergillosis or ornithosis, in which case you have to go to the veterinarian to put a treatment.

Escherichia coli: This disease is transmitted when one of the birds in the cage is sick through the feces. To avoid the appearance of the bird’s cage, it must be clean, remembering that you have to do a general cleaning of this at least once at least. In the event that it is detected that a bird may have it, it must be separated from the rest, since it is very easy to infect.

Salmonellosis: Diarrhea, joint pain and nervous disorders are the symptoms that usually present the birds that suffer from this disease. Although symptoms may occur in other parts of the body. As with the previous one, it is a very contagious disease, so you have to separate the sick from the healthy to avoid infection.

Colibacillosis: Sweat disease is how many people know it, and the main symptom is that the bird has a wet and sticky belly area, and that its stools are liquid. It can easily be transmitted from one bird to another and is usually fatal, so you have to remove the sick specimen from the rest to try to save them.

I want my monk parakeet to learn to speak, what should I do?

You may end up regretting it later, but without a doubt listening to a talking bird is one of the best experiences you can have. The first thing you have to know is that, although they are very intelligent animals and that they are easier to talk than monk parakeets or macaws, you will need a little patience to learn to speak.

Remember, the first thing is to have won its trust beforehand, so that the bird knows that it can trust you. It is much easier for it to learn to speak when it is out of the cage than behind the bars, because it will feel freer and more confident. Distribute the training in two parts: one in the morning and another in the afternoon, in sessions of about 15 minutes maximum.

Having everything is clear, it’s time to teach your bird how to speak, for which you will need to follow these steps:

Outside distractions: The animal does not has to be distracted if you want it to learn to speak, so get rid of anything that can catch its attention, like the radio, the TV or the music.

Start with learning your name: The best thing is to start learning to say its name or that of its owner. For this you will have to repeat it, such as saying “Hi, Charlie”. Repeat the process every day. You may learn to say it in a week like a month or never do it and learn to imitate the sound of something it see on TV or another animal in the house

A reward when itdo it right: Giving it prizes is a very important part of the process, as it is a way to show it that it has done well. When you say the first word, give the bauble that it like and as you improve another one. But you have to alternate between snack yes and snack no, because if you then see that you do not give, you may not want to say the word again.

One by one: Do not confuse the monk parakeet when you are trying to teach it to speak. When you learn to say a word, let it repeat for a couple of days before moving on to the next or you may has trouble saying it.

What kind of prize to give ?: Although the best tool for the monk parakeet to say a word without problems is to use trinkets, you can also give other prizes, such as stroking the head with affection or saying positive words to reinforce their efforts, such as ” very good “,” good job “or” you have done well “.

I want my monk parakeet to breed, what do I have to do?

Perhaps one of the reasons why people prefer monk parakeets is because they are very easy to make you laugh. Because, really, you do not have to do much so that these finally has their first offspring.

Remember that there is no simple way to differentiate male and female, so you will have to resort to a DNA test to know what sex are the monk parakeets you have. Once you know you have a male and a female, put them in a separate cage, where they has enough food. The normal thing is that the male bothers the female enough, offering food, songs or squawks, as well as ceremonies to try to get her attention.

In the cage he places a wooden nest, which is the best for these birds, and once it has finished with the process, the female will settle in the nest and proceed to the egg-laying process, being able to get up to 8 eggs . Once placed, male and female can take turns when hatching the eggs, until it is 21 – 25 days after the chicks hatch.

At birth, the offspring do not has feathers, they are deaf and blind, so it is the parents who come to feed them directly. After two months, the pups leave the nest and begin to fend for themselves, so it would be the ideal time to separate them from their parents and be able to relate to other offspring of the same species and establish new relationships.