Ask a Question forum: Non-toxic plants for parakeets?

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Name: Caroline
Oregon
Keeper of Poultry Spiders! Herbs Bee Lover Farmer Ferns
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Oregon Dog Lover Birds Cat Lover Critters Allowed
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JuniperVenus
Feb 2, 2016 9:22 PM CST
What are some non-toxic, outdoor plants for parakeets that are sold at stores? I have a good list of plants, but I would like to find larger plants that can be perched on, and some vivid colors for the parakeets enjoyment.

These are the two cute little guys (they're mates):


Thumb of 2016-02-03/JuniperVenus/19b186

Bogi in the front, Mika in the back. Mika is two years old, almost three, and Bogi's about a year now.

The more you garden, the more resources you have and therefore, the more independent you are.
Name: Critter (Jill)
Frederick, MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Feb 2, 2016 9:50 PM CST
Millet is the first thing that comes to mind, especially ornamental varieties like 'Purple Majesty' and 'Purple Jester'. Similarly, there are some varieties of corn that might be suitable -- look into popcorn varieties (there's one with cobs that resemble strawberries) or ones used for "baby corn." Can parakeets eat amaranth seeds? What about Celosia? ornamental grasses? Echinacea, Heliopsis, Sunflowers... Trying to think of other plants I've seen birds noshing from at the end of the season.. I know that the seeds being edible doesn't mean the whole plant is safe, but it seems like a reasonable starting point.

For perching, how about some of the newer Crepe Myrtle cultivars, with purple foliage and bright blooms? Many of the new ones are compact, too, including some true dwarf varieties. I know the goldfinches in our yard love the seeds, but you might want to check into whether the leaves are parakeet-safe. I think people can eat hibiscus blooms; are they on the list of safe plants for 'keets?

interesting question! I'm looking forward to seeing what folks come up with...
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Feb 2, 2016 9:58 PM CST
How sweet. Budgies are such social birds. Below is some info for you about outdoor and indoor plants.

This lists both toxic and nontoxic plants in alphabetical order.

http://budgieplace.com/plants....

this from the link below:

Safe Houseplants
Nibbling on houseplants can provide nutrients for budgies, so all the plants in the home should be nontoxic to birds. Common houseplants that show up consistently on “safe-plant” lists for birds include African violet (Saintpaulia inonantha), which is hardy outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 11 and 12; jade plant (Crassula argentea), hardy outdoors in USDA zones 10 and 11; spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum), a perennial in USDA zones 9 through 11; and peperomia (Peperomia spp.), hardy outdoors in USDA zones 10 and 11. These plants are of course grown indoors across all zones.
http://homeguides.sfgate.com/k...

These are flowers that Budgies find tasty...and they are safe.

http://www.birdchannel.com/bir...

Hope this helps.
Name: Caroline
Oregon
Keeper of Poultry Spiders! Herbs Bee Lover Farmer Ferns
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Oregon Dog Lover Birds Cat Lover Critters Allowed
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JuniperVenus
Feb 2, 2016 10:08 PM CST
Thanks! I'm making a large outdoor walk-in cage, so I'm looking for many plants that they can nibble on, and perch in. Smiling
The more you garden, the more resources you have and therefore, the more independent you are.
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Feb 2, 2016 10:46 PM CST
If you have a branch that run from floor to top, you can drill a few holes in it, run dowels through the hole and plant hanging baskets with budgie safe plants and hang them from the dowels.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
Feb 3, 2016 12:34 AM CST
We built a formerly 14'x4' play structure fir our parrots from local grapevine. I say former because over the years the size diminished to 8 ft to 4ft. long. But the various levels of mature grape vines provided the thick perches for our macaw as well as thinner perching for our parakeet and cockatoo. Grape vies are non-toxic. Manzanita is a very hardwood and non-toxic. There is a nother wood whose name ecapes me. It is hollow with many holes Iwill try to find a pic of my play structure and post it next...
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Feb 3, 2016 12:37 AM CST
Thumb of 2016-02-03/ShadyGreenThumb/437748

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Critter (Jill)
Frederick, MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
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critterologist
Feb 3, 2016 8:23 AM CST
What a great play structure! Way better than the usual T-shaped perches.

I noticed that the safe flower list included a lot of herbs... maybe your walk-in cage could include an herb garden, inside and/or around the edges... something for humans to enjoy as well. If you put salvias, monarda, flowering chives, etc. inside, you'll get butterflies and bees as well, depending on the size of your cage mesh. Are bees a concern, do you think?
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Name: Caroline
Oregon
Keeper of Poultry Spiders! Herbs Bee Lover Farmer Ferns
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Oregon Dog Lover Birds Cat Lover Critters Allowed
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JuniperVenus
Feb 3, 2016 1:24 PM CST
critterologist said:What a great play structure! Way better than the usual T-shaped perches.

I noticed that the safe flower list included a lot of herbs... maybe your walk-in cage could include an herb garden, inside and/or around the edges... something for humans to enjoy as well. If you put salvias, monarda, flowering chives, etc. inside, you'll get butterflies and bees as well, depending on the size of your cage mesh. Are bees a concern, do you think?


Bees aren't much of a concern for me. I enjoy them, they aren't too aggressive unlike yellow jackets and such. Though, the mesh will be small to prevent the parakeets from escaping. They like to be around me, but they aren't tame, so if they left there would be no chance of them coming back. I will add many herbs, since they're not hard to find, they taste good, they're very healthy, and my parakeets are very energetic so they could use some calming down from chamomile and such. Hilarious!
Do you think the cold in Oregon could be dangerous for the parakeets? I'll provide them with many fuzzy beds and at least one nesting box, so if they get cold enough they can find warmth. And if I can somehow find heating pads that don't need to be plugged in, they'll get those too.
The more you garden, the more resources you have and therefore, the more independent you are.
Name: Critter (Jill)
Frederick, MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Region: Maryland Bulbs Amaryllis Tropicals Cottage Gardener
Critters Allowed Birds Butterflies Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bee Lover
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critterologist
Feb 3, 2016 1:35 PM CST
I don't know enough about either Oregon weather or parakeets to answer. I was assuming your birds were only going outside some of the time.. The Catoctin Zoo, north of Frederick MD, has an enclosure full of 'keets. I know they aren't out there in late fall and winter, but I don't know at what temperature / forecast they are taken into their shelter. You might get in touch with them for advice, if you can't find a local person with experience... hmm, maybe there is an aviary near you that could help?
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Feb 3, 2016 1:45 PM CST
Budgerigars are from the Australian outback originally, where temps get up to 120F. Most of what you see now are far removed from the wild budgies, but they still require warmth. Unless your winter night time temps stay at or above 60F, your budgies will not be happy. They can not handle cold drafts or extended temps below 58 F to 60F.

http://www.budgie-info.com/bud...
Name: Caroline
Oregon
Keeper of Poultry Spiders! Herbs Bee Lover Farmer Ferns
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Oregon Dog Lover Birds Cat Lover Critters Allowed
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JuniperVenus
Feb 3, 2016 1:52 PM CST
[quote="Moonhowl"]Budgerigars are from the Australian outback originally, where temps get up to 120F. Most of what you see now are far removed from the wild budgies, but they still require warmth. Unless your winter night time temps stay at or above 60F, your budgies will not be happy. They can not handle cold drafts or extended temps below 58 F to 60F.

]http://www.budgie-info.com/bud...

Okay, thank you. Hmm...It says that they can be kept in an outdoor aviary when it snows, and that they're hardy little guys. There's defiantly no snow here, and it'll have a roof so they don't get wet unless they take a bath. I'll try to keep their bath water warm, so they don't risk getting cold. I'm a little worried about warmth. I'll have to seriously think about this.
The more you garden, the more resources you have and therefore, the more independent you are.
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Feb 3, 2016 2:06 PM CST
I followed that line of thought with Admirable Bird, we were out of town over night and the power went off. The temperature in the enclosed porch dropped down to the 30's and I lost A Bird two days later. Perhaps if he had been acclimated to cooler weather it may have made a difference. If you have a zoo in your area you may want to contact them about best winter housing for your birds.

There has been quite a bit of breeding since budgies came from the wild, so maybe you can talk with your local pet store and see if they can give you contact info for a local breeder.
Name: Caroline
Oregon
Keeper of Poultry Spiders! Herbs Bee Lover Farmer Ferns
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Oregon Dog Lover Birds Cat Lover Critters Allowed
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JuniperVenus
Feb 3, 2016 2:12 PM CST
Moonhowl said:I followed that line of thought with Admirable Bird, we were out of town over night and the power went off. The temperature in the enclosed porch dropped down to the 30's and I lost A Bird two days later. Perhaps if he had been acclimated to cooler weather it may have made a difference. If you have a zoo in your area you may want to contact them about best winter housing for your birds.

There has been quite a bit of breeding since budgies came from the wild, so maybe you can talk with your local pet store and see if they can give you contact info for a local breeder.


That's terrible!

I must admit, even my bedroom gets freezing cold sometimes, and they don't seem to care much. Though, I'll still make sure they have more than enough to stay warm. I'd feel completely heartbroken if one died because of my choice. Do you think that if one got cold, they'd go into something like this?:
http://72jin.com/src/p/2/40008...

(They don't like beds much, but then again they never seem effected by the cold enough to care for them. I think if I decorated a bunch with flowers and such they might go in.)
The more you garden, the more resources you have and therefore, the more independent you are.
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Feb 3, 2016 2:27 PM CST
I think as long as there is a place that is dry, protected from drafts and on the warmest side if your yard (sunny south side) it just might work. They may prefer a more open bed as in the last link here. You could maybe enclose a small area to protect them from winter winds?


http://www.cutelittlebirdiesav...


http://www.amazon.com/Vktech-P...
Name: Caroline
Oregon
Keeper of Poultry Spiders! Herbs Bee Lover Farmer Ferns
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Oregon Dog Lover Birds Cat Lover Critters Allowed
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JuniperVenus
Feb 3, 2016 5:07 PM CST
[quote="Moonhowl"]I think as long as there is a place that is dry, protected from drafts and on the warmest side if your yard (sunny south side) it just might work. They may prefer a more open bed as in the last link here. You could maybe enclose a small area to protect them from winter winds?


http://www.cutelittlebirdiesav...


]http://www.amazon.com/Vktech-P...

It's not too windy in Oregon. The most is a breeze, and I feel that many plants will mostly protect them. This thing must be moveable, because I will move like always and need to be able to move the cage. I'll make this thing the best it can be, while still moveable.
Usually only the rain causes chills, but I'll still get the parakeets used to it by taking them out to the walk-in cage and letting them be there for an hour or two at a time for a few times, and until they seem completely unaffected (and are used to seeing so many plants and new things) then I'll let them out.

I'm trying to let go on my helicopter mothering instincts. I just started letting my chickens free range, and it takes a lot of weight off my shoulders knowing that they're happy. And I think that having the parakeets in an outdoor place where they'll be happiest will really make me and them happy. Of course, I'll still visit them very often, for I'll need to care for the plants and Mika wouldn't be able to live without listening to Micheal Jackson or watching me Skype Rolling on the floor laughing .
The more you garden, the more resources you have and therefore, the more independent you are.
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Feb 3, 2016 5:14 PM CST
Birds gotta have their music.... and Babies gotta fly Thumbs up Do keep us posted.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Feb 3, 2016 5:41 PM CST
A friend in Milford, CT read about a crate that was dropped in a nearby airport, releasing some tropical birds, I think parrots. They all escaped and apparently they found their way to the marsh in Milford.

(This was many years ago - 1980s? 1990s?)

There was 100% agreement that every parrot would die that same winter, "since they could not tolerate the cold".

There was a thriving tropical parrot colony a few years later. In Milford, CT. I hope they chnaged the reference books to reflect reality.





Name: Caroline
Oregon
Keeper of Poultry Spiders! Herbs Bee Lover Farmer Ferns
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Oregon Dog Lover Birds Cat Lover Critters Allowed
Image
JuniperVenus
Feb 3, 2016 5:50 PM CST
RickCorey said:A friend in Milford, CT read about a crate that was dropped in a nearby airport, releasing some tropical birds, I think parrots. They all escaped and apparently they found their way to the marsh in Milford.

(This was many years ago - 1980s? 1990s?)

There was 100% agreement that every parrot would die that same winter, "since they could not tolerate the cold".

There was a thriving tropical parrot colony a few years later. In Milford, CT. I hope they chnaged the reference books to reflect reality.






Wow...Imagine seeing that on a trip to the park. Hilarious! Parakeets are a lot smaller than a standard parrot, though. But hummingbirds are tiny, way smaller than parakeets, and they manage quite well. I don't know, I'll still make them a walk-in cage and they'll live in it anyway, it'll just take time to get them used to the cold. Smiling
The more you garden, the more resources you have and therefore, the more independent you are.
Name: Caroline
Oregon
Keeper of Poultry Spiders! Herbs Bee Lover Farmer Ferns
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Oregon Dog Lover Birds Cat Lover Critters Allowed
Image
JuniperVenus
Feb 3, 2016 5:53 PM CST
Moonhowl said:Birds gotta have their music.... and Babies gotta fly Thumbs up Do keep us posted.


I will! Yes, they must. They've actually changed my preference in music. It used to be country, now I dislike country and usually only like 80's pop music. Also, given that parakeets dislike light when they sleep, I can't have one tiny light in the room if I want to be able to sleep easily Hilarious! .
The more you garden, the more resources you have and therefore, the more independent you are.

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