Paula Jan shares her experience with Cracker and Peanut with AvianWeb visitors:
Well we have had Cracker for approximately 2 and a half years.
Originally on her own. I tried to train her and interact with her as much as possible and she seemed fine at first but then got very withdrawn and I asked the pet shop if we should get another one, as I had read they do not like being on their own. They said I had had her too long on her own, which was 10 months then. I read again on the net that if you try to train your parakeet and they do not talk after 12 months then they are likely to be female and to get them a another parakeet to live with. (Doesn't matter which sex they are).
So when Cracker didn't speak we decided to get another parakeet and have it next to her in another cage and see if she took to it. Right away she was curious to who this other bird was in the cage next to her. (I call them both female as they do not speak and the colouring looks female) After only a few hours they were trying to get to each other through the bars so the next day we bought a bigger cage, big enough for a parrot and tried putting them in it together. Thinking that Cracker wouldn't be territorial as it wasn't her cage from the start and they would both be entering new surroundings at the same time. We also chose one that looked like her because we had tried her with a mirror at first thinking that would help her to be less lonely, and thought she would take to it better if it looked like the one in the mirror.
Anyway this seemed to work as they love each other. They preen each other all the time and even though they have their quarrels they soon make up with each other.
They are quiet birds except for the odd little whistle and squeak here and there, when you talk to them. They love to climb on their rope type toys in their cage. They are not too fond of flying and when they do come out of their cage they sit on top of a nearby cupboard and preen themselves. If they are apart though they cry out for each other until they can see where the other one is.
They love to have a spray bottle shower and hang upside down and open their wings to get the full impact of the water.
They enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables, especially grapes, which I peel for them first. (So spoilt ha!) They are comical to watch and have different personalities. Cracker (the fiesty one) will try to bite if your hand enters the cage whereas Peanut (the shy one) runs out of the way. Cracker doesn't hurt if she catches you with her beak, it is her way of warning us that it is her home and she could even be protecting Peanut with her being the younger one.
We put two of everything in the cage as the experts suggest but most often they will be found in the same bowl of food, eating from the same fruit stick etc; they just love to be together. Cracker seems a lot happier now she has someone to share with, and I would recommend two together when purchasing these lovely birds.
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