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How to Keep Parakeets Warm: 6 Vet-Approved Tips

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

couple of Parakeet birds perched on a branch

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Dr. Alice Athow-Frost

Veterinarian, BVM BVS MRCVS

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We all love our parakeets because they’re so cute and funny to watch. But since they are significantly smaller than their larger parrot counterparts, they get cold more easily. For the purpose of this article we will be looking specifically at Rose-Ringed parakeets (Psittacula krameri).  These tropical birds are native to Central Africa and some parts of Asia, and prefer a consistently warm area to thrive. However, they have made their homes all over the world, as far north as the United Kingdom, where temperatures can get quite cold, so they are very adaptable to cooler climates.

In this article, we will go over different methods to ensure your pet parakeets are cozy and warm year-round. So put a few measures in place for your parakeet today.

bird divider

The 6 Tips to Keep Parakeets Warm

1. Keep the Cage Away from Windows

Temperatures can drop significantly beside windows when the weather is chilly. Our birds love to bathe in the warmth of the sun and take in the sights around them, so window positioning is often used when considering placement.

However, in the colder months, it can get extremely cold, dropping your parakeet’s body temperature. You won’t want to leave them by a window, particularly at night when temperatures plummet.

2. Look for Drafts

There can be drafts in certain areas of the home, even those that aren’t close to windows. Lots of things can create a draft in a home, such as door placements and blowing vents. It is critical that you keep them away from drafts to avoid chilling issues.

Respiratory diseases are one of the most common illnesses seen in domestic birds. Your parakeet is no exception. Respiratory diseases can be anything from mild to life-threatening illness, and much of this can come from their environment.

Luckily, drafts are not among the causes of respiratory disease in birds. It’s a myth that drafts can cause respiratory infection in birds, as birds are very tolerant to slight temperature changes. However, rapid changes in temperature from hot to cold can challenge a bird’s immune system and make them more susceptible to succumbing to illness.  Generally, your bird is much more likely to suffer with an upper respiratory disease due to viral infections, dusty or dirty conditions, inappropriate diet, or chemicals in the air. However, they can still get cold in drafty areas.

Red Black Colorful Parakeet bath water splash
Image Credit: Oqbas, Shutterstock

3. Maintain Humidity

Humidity might not seem like a big deal to us, but it’s a huge deal to parakeets. Parakeets thrive in a tropical environment, in which climates are very humid. So, you’ll want to avoid dry air at all costs. Parakeets prefer a home humidity of between 40-60% which is not so high that mold will form but high enough to keep our feathered friends comfortable.

You could always invest in a humidifier. Brand new they can be expensive but you could try looking for a second hand one to save some money.

Other ways to increase humidity in the air include:
  • Boiling water
  • Leave the door ajar when showering
  • Drying clothes in the house rather than outside or in the tumble dryer
  • Adding houseplants

4. Fleece Blankets

Fleece blankets make excellent insulators, and they are breathable. If your bird needs a little extra warmth at night, toss a fleece blanket over the entire cage, ensuring all areas are covered.

You could even have a few at home already that you don’t use, so you can make use of them for your birdies. If you don’t have any on hand, these types of blankets are usually only a few dollars and easily accessible.  You can also get cage covers that will keep drafts at bay.

colorful cotton fleece blankets
Image Credit: Prezoom.nl, Shutterstock

5. Heaters

Believe it or not, they make bird-safe cage heaters that heat a small area of the cage closest to the heater where your bird can sit and get warm.  They are thermostat controlled, designed to create a place for your birds to snuggle up if they are feeling chilly.

Ensure you are aware of signs of heat stress in birds if you are adding extra heat to a cage.  This can include drooped wings and panting.

You can buy heated perches on pet sites like Chewy.

6. Heated Perches

If you look online, you’ll be able to find heated perches. These are explicitly designed for birds because birds can lose a lot of heat through their feet. This perch gives them a warm base in colder temperatures to keep them comfortable. It is a simple way to keep your bird snuggly. It is important that there should also be non-heated perches available to your bird so that they can choose when they want the extra heat and when they don’t.

couple of parakeets perched on a branch
Image Credit: I Wayan Sumatika, Shutterstock

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Now you understand there are several methods you can use to keep your parakeets warm year-round. Birds are good at adjusting to small temperature changes but if you feel they need some additional heat, there are some options here for you.  Stopping drafts is most important, and placing the cage away from the window is a good way to stop your birds getting too cold.

Now, hopefully, you can keep your little guys nestled safely and comfortably in their cages this season.

Featured Image Credit: Fernando Calmon, Shutterstock

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