Bourke’s Parakeet Health

A happy bourke’s parakeet has clean smooth feathers, bright clear eyes, and is alert and active.

Signs of Illness in your Rosy Bourke

Signs of illness in the rosy bourke parakeet include:
crusty beak or toes
loss of appetite
fluffled up on the bottom of the cage
poop stuck to vent

A Bourke’s Parakeet will hide feeling sick

A rosy bourke’s parakeet in the wild learns to hide any sign of illness, as that can attract predators or make their flockmates chase them away or kill them.
Watch your rosy bourke’s parakeet closely to catch the first signs of failing health.
They will try to hide it and if you don’t notice it until it’s very blatent, it could be too late.

Make sure your bourke’s gets healthy bird checkups from a certified avian vet.
A regular cat/dog vet won’t have the knowledge and expertise that a certified avian vet will.

Bourke Parakeet claws

Keep your bourke parakeet’s claws trimmed.
If you are unsure how to do this, have your avian vet do it. Better safe than sorry and risk damaging your bird’s toes!


A bourke’s parrot needs cuttlebone for calcium – keep one on the wall of their cage at all times.

Bourke Parakeet Poop

Be sure to use plain newsprint or paper towels on the bottom of the cage so that you can watch their poops for signs of illness.
They should always be pretty much the same small, compact size and not overly watery.
Avoid corncob bedding or shredded newspaper, etc for several reasons: these can promote mold growth, if ingested by your bourke’s parakeet their crop can become impacted – which can lead to death, and you will be unable to watch their poops – which is one of the best ways to track the health of your bird.

When a Bourke’s Parakeet Molts… What is Molting?

A couple times a year your bourkes parakeet will molt.
This means their old feathers will fall out – it will seem like someone had a pillow fight with pillows filled with pretty pink Bourke feathers!
New feathers will grow in little spiky sheaths.
These spikes are called “pin feathers”.
A waxy sheath covers the feathers until they are ready and your Bourkes will scratch themselves against things, or scrape the wax off with their feet.
Some birds enjoy a little human help rolling the sheat between thumb and forefinger when it’s ready to go. It will crumble off easily.

Molting Bourke? Can you help?
Most Bourke’s don’t like to have their heads touched.
They will let you know if they want a little help and will offer you their head.
This comfort zone won’t be gained overnight and it could take months of patience to get to this level of comfort.
Just keep spending time with your bird, singing and talking calmly to them, feeding them from your hand.
They need to know you are a flock member and not a big predator that intends on eating them!

Baths help with Molting itchiness!
Provide them with a shallow bath and/or try giving them a warm misting with warm water. I
If they like the mist bath, they will stay in the mist, perhaps spreading their wings for the water. If they run or fly away, they don’t like it.
Be sure to buy an empty spray bottle from the store just for this purpose. You don’t want to accidently spray your bird with toxic chemicals which may harm or kill them.

Wing-Clipping: Should you clip your bourke’s wings?

Unless your bird is hurting themselves by flying too fast and out of control, never clip your birds wings, especially young birds.
Birds need to fly to maintain optimum health – both physical and mental. A clipped bird will become afraid, tentative, introverted and sad.

A Fully-Flighted Bourke is a Happy Bourke
It is amazing to watch a previously clipped bourke’s parakeet grow in their flights and suddenly be able to join the other birds, to fly where they want when they want.
Their personalities blossom – they no longer fear everything and everyone.
They sing with happiness.
Their confidence in themselves and the world around them soars.
A young bird, especially, needs to learn to fly immediately so they can explore their world and learn about it firsthand.
They should not spend their first months or years trying to fly but unable, watching other birds fly around while they cannot, afraid of everything and everyone.

Dangers to your Bourke’s Parrot: Avoid

Air fresheners
Halogen lamps
New carpet
New carpet
Scented anything
Scented candles
Space heaters
Parrot Hazards

Training your Bourke’s Parakeet

Training your Bourke’s Parakeet

Train your Bourke’s Parakeet to Talk?

I’ve never heard of a Bourke’s parakeet talking – so I’ve no advice for that. If you want a talking bird – look for a male budgie or one of the bigger birds like an African grey parrot, an amazon or macaw. I would only recommend these bigger birds to someone who has years of experience with birds.

Teach your Bourke’s Parakeet to Step Up

You can train your bourkes parakeet to pal around with you, to step up on your finger or step up onto a stick.

There are 2 secrets to training just about any bird, and this includes the bourke’s parakeet: PATIENCE and MILLET.

You need to be consistent.
Spend time with them daily and do things the same way with the same words every day.
You can start with a stick and a sprig of millet.
Put your hand in their cage and put the stick just touching the front of the lower belly of the bird, just above their feet.
Hold the millet sprig so that they have to climb up onto the stick to eat it.
When you put the stick in front of them, just touching their belly, not too far away, always say, “Step up”, and they will learn this command.
Talk to them softly while they eat.
Do not try to touch them.
After you have done this for a couple days or weeks (depending on the bird), you can inch your finger closer to them with the stick until they have to get on your finger.
Then after they are cool with getting on your finger, you can try bringing them out of the cage.
Before you do this, make sure the room is bird-safe. All doors and windows should be closed, windows covered, any other animals that could harm them should not be in the room (cats/dogs). There should be no open water, toxic plants, candles, etc in the room.

Bringing Home Your Bourke’s Parakeet

When you first bring home a bird, I’d even recommend not trying to touch them for awhile.
Let them get used to you and their new home.
They will be scared and confused so it’s important to help them feel relaxed and comfortable.
Keep them in a quiet stressful place.
Do not place them in direct sunlight or in front of a window or fan or heater.
Sit beside the cage and read to them and/or sing songs. Bourke’s like nothing better than to be sung to.

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