Yesterday was a big day for AJs. I posted a first time species we were handfeeding and announced that they were available for deposit! 3 baby parakeets, sweet as pie, tame, and $100 each. “”WHAT???!!! What a joke!!” Was the typical response I recieved, and to my surprise (and disappointment) this response was not from the general public, but from avian breeders themselves. – THIS is what motivated me to write today’s blog. Many avian breeders, avian stores, and hobbiests passionately claim that all birds have amazing personalities when raised right, that their intelligence level supercedes our human expectations, and that small birds are just as important as the bigger more expensive birds. Is this just a scheme, a facade to make the general public believe that they are passionate about these babies to make a sale ? Why have parakeets become a joke in the avian world? Lets explore this just a bit to get some insite. Parakeets are prolific, breeding almost all year long if allowed. They wean fast, and many allow them to be parent raised to make a quick profit selling them by the dozens at one time to pet stores all across the country. Typical price of a budgie is 20-30 dollars. And why are they one of the most frequently bought bird ? Because of the PRICE. Nothing else. The general customer then brings this 20-30 dollar parent raised parakeet home thinking that they will get a true bird experience only to feel the wrath of a parent raised parakeet’s beak digging into their soft hand skin, and drawing blood as this is the first time the baby has ever experienced human touch and it is TERRIFIED. This now makes the general customer claim that the bird is “”evil”, makes a joke about it, and maybe after a few more feable attempts, deams the parakeet a “no touch”” bird, and this is the first day of the parakeets life where its fate is to never be taken out of its cage, and to live forever on its general cage one size perch and a plastic mirror toy. The parakeet is not completely ignored of course. It might get a little conversation from passerbyers, its food and water will be changed hopefully every day, and maybe someone will open a window in the summer time so he or she can get some fresh air. The light in the room the bird is in will come on and off most likely at the same time every day. So life is not so bad. But what happens when a customer buys a “cheap” bird ? Ninety percent of the time their is no motivation to study on what their avian friend needs for stimulation, or what is harmful to him. Unfrotunately, it is not an uncommon situation that a general parakeet dies from simple negligence from having them too close to toxic fumes, to forgetting their small cage outside in the summer where they either die from heat stroke, or from another animal getting to them. The cycle then starts all over again; going back to the petstore to replace the 20-30 dollar bird with another since it wasn’t such a “big loss””. – Thus lessening the value of yet another small creature. DID YOU KNOW? A parakeet can learn to talk. Males are known to learn up to several hundred words, and females are known to learn up to 100. There is a European parakeet that has a record of learning over 2000 words. Parakeets, when hand raised and taught to trust humans, love human companionship, affection, and will bond as strongly with you as any other more expensive parrot. So why is it that people don’t buy the play top for their parakeet? Why are parakeets only good enough for Walmart brand seed and not the more expensive brand that has the dried fruits and vegetables like the bigger more expensive birds do? Why can’t the parakeet get different size perches to exercise his feet that are stiff and tired from standing on the one size generic stick that came with his small cage? – The answer is because breeders, customers – people in general have DEVALUIZED the small bird because of his price. The 20-30 dollar bird that won’t effect the budget much if it dies. – and THIS is what motivated me to write this blog. Laugh all you want at my hand tame parakeets for $100. As far as I’m concerned, by hand raising them, and putting a little more value to their worth, I am giving them a real chance at human companionship, and I’m giving my customers a real chance at experiencing the amazing personality a budgie can have.