Parakeets make for very lively and cheerful pets. Over time, they become a part of our families. And following the rule of life, they also grow old one day. If you are unsure how long do parakeets live, you should watch for some signs of ageing. That will help you monitor their health better, and you could be more mindful about their health needs in their advanced years. Here are a few signs of ageing you should look out for.
- Behavioural Changes
Parakeets are social birds, and over time, they also learn to pick up certain words from their humans. However, when they start ageing, you might find them reluctant to interact much. They might want to stay by themselves for the better part of the day and sleep more extended hours.
On the other hand, if your bird was highly energetic before, always screeching and calling out, you might find them growing mellow. Parakeets have strong personalities, so how they change when they start ageing will be difficult to tell at first. However, these changes will come about as there is a change in hormone levels as they start growing older.
- Physical Changes
Even if a parakeet is ageing, but is healthy enough, you might not notice any significant difference in their appearance right at the beginning. However, you might notice that their feathers will eventually start to look dull. This will be noticeable if your parakeet has exceptionally bright feathers.
You might find them slowing down while preening and might not do it as frequently as they did before. You might also notice feathers falling out at times. There could be other kinds of feather damage too.
- Dim Vision
Yes, with advanced years, parakeets too might suffer from reduced vision. Eye disorders can be changed in eye colour, loss of tone in the lids and changes in the uveitis. You might also see them bumping into the small branches in the cage. You could also notice droopy eyelids.
Cataracts are prevalent in the family of parrots and many older birds suffer from them. In that case, you will see the pupil colour change to opaque white. You will find them squinting, or even redness around the eyes. If the cataract progresses quickly, the bird might also soon turn blind.
- Weight Gain or Loss
If you notice significant changes in their weight over a period, it could be a sign of ageing. It could happen both ways. The parakeet might start gaining weight because of slowing down and reduced exercise.
On the other hand, it could also start losing weight because they start losing their muscle mass with age. Geriatric birds also frequently lose appetite in their food, so they might have to add supplements to ensure maximum nutrition.
Although parakeets are quite colourful birds, they can lose their feathers while ageing. The exposed part of their feet and the patches could start wrinkling. Pigmentation and blemishes might appear, or they might become scaly and dry. The feet might take on a gnarled appearance as well.
- Heart Diseases
Birds from the parrot family have been known to develop heart issues. They might also develop respiratory problems. If you find them slowing down, or you hear a rasping noise when they take a breath, then you should consult your vet. Thankfully, advanced veterinary techniques are now being able to detect these issues very quickly. However, if diagnosed, they will need monitoring. They might develop pulmonary hypertension, as well.
Arthritis is prevalent in old parakeets. You will find them becoming less active. In some cases, you might find them changing feet while perching because the arthritic pain might make it difficult for them to perch for too long. You can consult your vet and change the perch that would be best suited to their condition in such cases. The nails will help them to hold on firmly to their grip if allowed to grow. You can use anti-inflammatory medicines to help with the pain and swelling.
If the parakeet has been with you for some time, you might already have some idea about its age. If you want to know exactly how long do parakeets live, here’s your answer. These birds live for about ten years, so they enter their midlife as soon as they cross five.
Keeping a close watch on their health from this time will help you avoid many issues and delay the onset of many diseases that come with old age. Yes, your parakeet will eventually grow very old and fly to their happy place one day, but you will be able to ensure that you have given them the best possible life.