Buying a parakeet is a big commitment seeing as these little critters can live for as long as 15-20 years. They are friendly birds that make great pets for adults and children alike. With that said, adding a new member to your family is never easy and our list below will guide you through some of the factors you need to consider when choosing your first parakeet. Personality Getting a pet is not like buying a toy that you can throw away once you get bored with it, and the most important rule when getting one is never buy on impulse. You should take the time and weigh all your options carefully and assess the personality and behavior patterns of parakeets to decide if this pet is right for you. Parakeets are very smart and can have different temperaments and behavior depending on the situation. Some can adapt quickly to their new environment while others can get moody and ill-tempered. It can take a while for a new parakeet to get used to your home environment so try not to lose your patience. Locate a reputable seller You can find parakeets for sale online, in pet stores, newspapers or from your local shelter. Whichever place you prefer, you should make sure that the seller has treated the birds humanely and that they are healthy. For online sellers, you should look at the reviews that customers left to see if the birds have satisfied their expectations. If you have friends that own bird pets you can ask them for places where you can get a good parakeet. When you go to a retailer you should keep both your eyes and ears open and listen to what the seller says and the parakeet’s behavior. You should also look at the cages that the birds are in. Parakeets need large ones that offer plenty of space to play. The beak and feet of a healthy bird should not be crusted and the feathers should be shiny, sleek, and smooth. If you want a bird that is easy to tame and train, you should choose a hand-raised parakeet. They tend to be more expensive but they adapt easier to a new owner since they are already accustomed to human affection and caring. Appearance You can easily tell the age of a parakeet by the black bars on its forehead. A young bird that’s under 4 months will have black bars down to its cere, namely the fleshy part above its beak. Specimens that are older won’t have those bars. You should look for young budgies since they are easier to train. The sex of the pet only matters if you have a specific preference in terms of color or personality. For the males, the cere is blue while for females it is a light blue, brown or beige. Male parakeets also tend to be slightly better talkers but young and healthy birds of either sex can become great talkers with the right training. If the person you’re purchasing the bird from has a wide variety of healthy and active pets then you can pick whichever bird looks best to you based on appearance. Since parakeets come in a huge array of beautiful colors, it is easy to find a color combination that will look good to you. They’re not cheap Taking care of a parakeet is not cheap since they are high maintenance pets. Before purchasing the pet you’ll need to take into consideration the price of a comfortably large cage as well as entertainment paraphernalia such as toys, play gyms, swings and more. Getting this pet can be quite expensive in the initial stage but after the first month, you’ll only need to account for food and medical expenses with the occasional toy here and there. You do get a whole life of fun in return and for most pet parents this is a fair deal.