Australian Grass Parakeet – What Is It?

The Australian Grass Parakeet is the most widely kept aviary bird out of the entire group of Australian parakeets. This is probably due to the fact that they are small and have quiet natures. They are also easy to accommodate even in a fairly small garden.

They are the most commonly kept pet of all the grass parakeets because they are sweet-natured and gentle with children. Because of its bright colors, the scarlet-chested parakeet is sometimes kept as a pet as well, though it is better suited to aviary life.

Australian grass parakeet

All About The Australian Grass Parakeet

The Australian Grass Parakeet is an attractive bird and they have some beautiful color mutations that have been established over the years. Because they are so attractive, they are a great choice for an outdoor aviary.

The other name for the Australian Grass Parakeet is Neophema Splendida and include the following variants:

  • Blue-winged parakeet (Neophema Chrysostoma)
  • Elegant parakeet (Neophema Elegans)
  • Rock parakeet (Neophema Petrophila)
  • Orange-bellied parakeet (Neophema Chrysogaster)
  • Turquoise parakeet (Neophema Pulchella)
  • Scarlet-chested parakeet (Neophema Splendida)

Although the Australian Grass Parakeet is a hardy bird, it can be vulnerable to intestinal roundworms. This is most probably due to the length of time that they spend foraging for food on the floor of the flight, and they tend to pick up microscopic roundworm eggs. They do need a well-lit aviary shelter and can suffer respiratory problems during foggy weather.

The cock bird has a bright scarlet area on its chest, offset against the brilliant blue coloration of the head. Hens, in comparison, have green chests.

The most well-known mutation is the sea-green or dilute blue, in which the scarlet of the cock’s breast is transformed to a salmon shade, with the green areas having a decidedly bluish hue.

The pure blue form, with a white breast in the case of the cock, has also been established. It is less common than the greenish variant. The turquoisine grass parakeet originates from the south-east of Australia. Sexing these are easy as the cocks have red patches on their wings.

Australian grass parakeetThese birds are approximately 20 cm long. Their Incubation period is 19 days and the fledgling period is 30 days. They normally lay between 4 and 6 eggs.

Pairs should be housed separately for better success with breeding. Grass parakeets are happiest when kept as a single pair in a large flight cage or housed in a large community aviary with other peace-loving smaller birds, where they are just wonderful to observe.

Compared to other pet birds, grass parakeets are a bit fragile and need special care to live their full life span of about 10 years.

Great car needs to be taken when these birds fledge as the youngsters are very nervous and injure themselves easily by flying int the aviary mesh, not quite appreciating the presence of a barrier yet.

It may help to put climbing plants such as nasturtiums to highlight the obstructions.

Their trusting nature and their natural curiosity leads even non-handled breeding pairs to become friendly towards humans.

As pets, they are quiet and are ideal birds for apartments. Their tiny beaks do little damage, unless they are housed in a planted aviary in which case they will reduce the greenery to a bunch of sticks.

They don’t talk very well, and if they do they twitter very quietly so you have to listen carefully. Pairs do not preen each other, which doesn’t make them naturally affectionate pets. If someone is looking for an extroverted, chatty, demonstrative pet bird, then the cockatiel or budgie are better choices.

Grass parakeets do best with full flight, so it is not a good idea to trim their wings if they are kept as pets. They have disproportionally short legs and small feet which are not suitable for lots of climbing. Their tiny beaks are also not big enough to have a good grip on anything bigger than a toothpick. Since these are ground-loving, small birds, a wing-feather trimmed grass parakeet will often end up on the ground where it can easily be overseen and stepped on, or hurt by a pet dog or cat. It is always preferable to keep them in full flight and give them supervised flight time or house them in large cage.

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