Ask Lafeber


December 2, 2019

How many parakeets…?

I have recently started a charity that will focus on raising and training small birds like cockatiels and parakeets as companion pets for people suffering from depression and PTSD. My question is: I know that if I cage birds together they will be a lot less likely to be trained however if they are in separate cages yet in the same vicinity would they be easier to train? I have seen on YouTube up to 10 parakeets live in harmoniously with their owner and each other that each one can perform tricks and is easily handled by humans. Is this common?


Hi Robert,

You are correct to keep one bird per cage, but they can be in the same room. You can handle one in front of the others and this can help all of the birds. You don’t want to work with the birds together if they are not going to stay together. If they get attached to each other it can be very hard on them for one bird to leave. Please also remember that keeping a bird is a lot of responsibility and can come with a lot of expense if they need to see a Vet. They need a good diet  – not just a basic seed mix. Along with a nutritionally balanced diet, they should be offered fruits, veggies and leafy greens. They can also be very frustrating – their behavior is not consistent like a dog or even a cat. They can get hormonal and not want to be handled or they can have other behavior issues. And they need a stable environment. They are also very reactive to their owner’s moods or behavior. I’m only mentioning this so you can consider if a bird is an ideal pet for your program. Pet birds may be domestically bred, but they are still a wild species with most of their instincts intact, so that can bring challenges with it. There are tons of cute bird videos online, but remember people don’t upload videos of their birds exhibiting behavior problems. LOL So it’s not a good example of having a pet bird. Like the video you mentioned – this is likely someone with a lot of time and patience as well as experience working with and training birds. I’m not trying to discourage you, but while most people can be a good dog or cat owner, the average person does not have the patience to own a pet bird.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,





















































































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