• Welcome to Avian Avenue! To view our forum with less advertisments please register with us.
    Memberships are free and it will just take a moment. Click here

Which Australian Grass 'Keets make the best pets?

Hedgehog25

Meeting neighbors
Joined
8/10/14
Messages
42
Unfortunately, my budgerigar recently died at just over 9 years of age, and I am looking to buy a new bird. I really enjoyed my budgie's companionship and personality, and since he was handfed as a baby, he really enjoyed human interaction & company. I have considered getting another budgie as my next bird, but I really love the plumages of some of the Australian Grass 'Keets, such as the scarlet-chested, red-rumped, and turquoisine parakeets. However, I have heard mixed anecdotes regarding their suitability as pets, so I was hoping that some of you guys who have had experience owning these birds could chime in here.

In your experience, do the above-mentioned parakeets, if bought from a breeder who handfed them as babies, make good pets? Do they have comparable personalities to budgerigars in the sense that they enjoy being let-out of their cages to fly around, dote on humans, etc.?

Also, is there any one particular species of super-colorful grass parakeet that you guys would recommend purchasing as a pet?

Thanks in advance!
 

CheekyBeaks

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
2/20/13
Messages
1,856
Location
QLD, Australia
Real Name
Ann-Marie
As far as I am aware I don't think any of the three species you mention are known for having good pet qualities and are usually best being kept in pairs @Stormcloud should be able to help you as he has several species of Aussie grass parrots.
I have heard Bourkes can make nice pets when handfed and the larger princess parrots are also lovely.
 

MyAussieFriends

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Joined
5/27/13
Messages
3,326
Location
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Real Name
Alyssa
Bourke's are a grass keet that is known to be a good companion parrot. They come in some pretty striking mutations too!
 

Stormcloud

Squawk Talk!
Avenue Veteran
Joined
7/19/12
Messages
5,772
Location
Melbourne Australia
Real Name
Gerard
If you're wanting a bird that's highly interactive then I'd suggest sticking with a budgie. While Bourkes, Scarlet-Breasted Parrots and Turquiosines can occasionally be purchased as hand-reared babies, they generally don't provide the same level of interaction as a budgie. Psephotus grass parrots such as Red-Rumps, Hooded Parrots, Mulga Parrots and Golden-Shouldered Parrots don't generally make good pets (there may be the odd rare exception) and are really birds for specialist Grass Parrot Keepers. The humble budgie is a fantastic little bird and simply make awesome pets.
 

Hedgehog25

Meeting neighbors
Joined
8/10/14
Messages
42
Thanks to those who have posted responses so far!

If you're wanting a bird that's highly interactive then I'd suggest sticking with a budgie. While Bourkes, Scarlet-Breasted Parrots and Turquiosines can occasionally be purchased as hand-reared babies, they generally don't provide the same level of interaction as a budgie. Psephotus grass parrots such as Red-Rumps, Hooded Parrots, Mulga Parrots and Golden-Shouldered Parrots don't generally make good pets (there may be the odd rare exception) and are really birds for specialist Grass Parrot Keepers. The humble budgie is a fantastic little bird and are simply make awesome pets.
Thanks for the info and suggestion!

Just out of curiosity, can I ask what the primary differences in personality and care requirements are between budgies and scarlet-chested/turquoisine parrots? Are the latter two birds just more reserved, quiet, and not really interactive towards humans (I.e., timid/shy), or are they actually outwardly aggressive?

Also, I only recently discovered grass parakeets in general and was surprised to learn that there are such richly colorful small birds out there, so I'm wondering if there might be another species of colorful small-ish bird that would make a good pet that I'm not aware exists. With that being said, can you recommend or suggest a bird I might not be familiar with is similarly well-suited to being a pet as a budgie is, but with more rich and varied colors? Maybe something that looks similar to an eastern rosella but with more of a "pet" suitability?

(Actually, if there's just one thing I don't like about budgies, it's that they don't like to be petted, cuddled, etc. But now I realize I'm just being picky :)
 

CheekyBeaks

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
2/20/13
Messages
1,856
Location
QLD, Australia
Real Name
Ann-Marie
It may help to know to know what country you are in, as some species common here in Australia may be rare in other countries
 

JAM

Biking along the boulevard
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Joined
12/2/12
Messages
5,670
Location
Australia
Brightly coloured? Check out lorikeets, however they come with projectile poop, noise and specialised diet so if they tickle your fancy do plenty of research! :)
 

Stormcloud

Squawk Talk!
Avenue Veteran
Joined
7/19/12
Messages
5,772
Location
Melbourne Australia
Real Name
Gerard
I should add that Grass Parrots and/or Rosellas are definitely not cuddle-bugs and if cuddlability is to be used as a measure of desirability then they won't be a good fit. While lorikeets/lories would seem to be a good fit they require a lot of work to maintain hygienic environment for them to thrive and remain healthy. I'm talking daily full cage cleans at least once per day, and with Lories/Lorikeets doing everything in their power to thwart these efforts, it takes a particularly dedicated bird keeper to manage them. You could look at a Princess or a Regent Parrot. They're much bigger, but would be suitable.
 

Hedgehog25

Meeting neighbors
Joined
8/10/14
Messages
42
Thanks for the responses and for providing additional suggestions! CheekyBeeks, I am located in the southeastern US (GA), but there are a few breeders on the west coast that breed Grass 'keets and ship them.

I think I will pass on the lorikeets -- they really are great-looking birds, but I think dealing with the projectile poop would be biting off more than I can chew (not literally). :wtf:

I'll definitely take a closer look at Princess and Regent Parrots; I just did a quick Google search, and Regents look very nice! Lovebirds could also be a good choice.

Can anyone provide some information regarding the bathroom habits of the Regent Parrot? Do they have solid poops, or are they liquid/projectile?

Also, there are a couple breeders in California that breed handfed Scarlet-Chested Parakeets, but as you noted above, they aren't quite the same (personality-wise) as budgies. If you don't mind, could you elaborate a bit on how they're different? Would a handfed Scarlet-Chested still enjoy being let out of his cage to fly around, land on my shoulder, etc.? Also, if I had the option of choosing between a Scarlet-Chested or a Turquoisine Parakeet, and they were both handfed, which one would probably make the better pet?

Thanks again!
 
  • Like
Reactions: JAM

JAM

Biking along the boulevard
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Joined
12/2/12
Messages
5,670
Location
Australia
I think I will pass on the lorikeets -- they really are great-looking birds, but I think dealing with the projectile poop would be biting off more than I can chew (not literally). :wtf:
I don't blame you much as we love ours, I am not a huge fan of the constant cleaning, especially when I have just cleaned and apparently that signals bathing time. :shifty:
 

Hedgehog25

Meeting neighbors
Joined
8/10/14
Messages
42
I don't blame you much as we love ours, I am not a huge fan of the constant cleaning, especially when I have just cleaned and apparently that signals bathing time. :shifty:
LOL, I'm sure it must provide for some laughs! It often seems like the bigger a bird is, the more "high maintenance" it is....
 
  • Like
Reactions: JAM

JAM

Biking along the boulevard
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Joined
12/2/12
Messages
5,670
Location
Australia
LOL, I'm sure it must provide for some laughs! It often seems like the bigger a bird is, the more "high maintenance" it is....
I guess that is the trend, lories and lorikeets are the exception as they range from very small to medium size. Their high maintenance areas are the hygiene requirements, dietary requirements and need for constant training/attention otherwise they may end up sick or seeking attention and they do love to seek attention! :rolleyes:
 

Hedgehog25

Meeting neighbors
Joined
8/10/14
Messages
42
So at this point, I think I've narrowed my options down to:

1.) Another budgie (handed)
2.) A handfed Scarlet-Chested or Turquoisine parakeet
3.) A handfed lovebird

I have also considered a parrotlet, although much of what I'm reading suggests they can be rather aggressive and difficult birds to own....

Out of all the different species I've listed above, do you guys think one would be a better choice over the others? I really want to convince myself that a handfed Scarlet/Turquoisine would be a good choice, but it seems like that might not be the case. :(

:cautious: (I posted this smiley by accident and can't seem to delete it! LOL)
 

CheekyBeaks

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
2/20/13
Messages
1,856
Location
QLD, Australia
Real Name
Ann-Marie
I personally would steer clear of the Scarlet or Turq if you really want a pet you can interact with and handle, from what I have heard they just don't make great companions. Here is Australia they are really only kept as aviary birds by specialist aviculturists. I don't think I have ever heard of anyone keeping one as a pet due to their natures.
So I think you are better looking into another budgie or a lovebird. And just to throw in another option have you considered a Greencheek Conure? They can be nippy but are fantastic little birds, full of mischief and character and many love cuddles and scratches. Have a look at the 'Good Bad and Ugly' sticky in the Conure section if you are interested in them.
 

Hedgehog25

Meeting neighbors
Joined
8/10/14
Messages
42
I personally would steer clear of the Scarlet or Turq if you really want a pet you can interact with and handle, from what I have heard they just don't make great companions. Here is Australia they are really only kept as aviary birds by specialist aviculturists. I don't think I have ever heard of anyone keeping one as a pet due to their natures.
So I think you are better looking into another budgie or a lovebird. And just to throw in another option have you considered a Greencheek Conure? They can be nippy but are fantastic little birds, full of mischief and character and many love cuddles and scratches. Have a look at the 'Good Bad and Ugly' sticky in the Conure section if you are interested in them.
Thanks for the suggestion; I checked out the "Good, Bad, and the Ugly" sticky for GCCs, and they definitely sound like interesting birds. I'm not sure if I'm up for the ear-piercing noise, but I'll consider one!
 

Hedgehog25

Meeting neighbors
Joined
8/10/14
Messages
42
Here's the thing -- my budgie was never really hands-on and cuddly, so I guess it's not really a requirement that my next bird is. This is usually how it worked: I would let him out of the cage, sit down, and he would typically fly to my shoulder (if he he felt like it), step up on my finger, etc., but he NEVER liked to be "petted," stroked, or held in any restrictive manner. So basically, he seemed to enjoy human company, but he enjoyed it on HIS terms. So really, I would be satisfied to have another bird that enjoys the same medium-ish level of interaction.
 

CheekyBeaks

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
2/20/13
Messages
1,856
Location
QLD, Australia
Real Name
Ann-Marie
Thanks for the suggestion; I checked out the "Good, Bad, and the Ugly" sticky for GCCs, and they definitely sound like interesting birds. I'm not sure if I'm up for the ear-piercing noise, but I'll consider one!
I don't find GCCs noisy at all, I hardly know I have them they are so quiet and I have 5 here at the moment. With any bird if they are happy well adjusted birds and are occupied with toys and foraging opportunities they shouldn't be overly noisy at all.
 

Monica

Cruising the avenue
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
5/18/10
Messages
10,791
Location
Hell, NV
Real Name
Monica
If you are looking for a hands on/cuddly bird that enjoys being petted, grass keets are not the birds for you! As much as I love bourkes, and they are considered to be one of the best grass keet species, they are not known for talking nor petting/cuddling.

If you are fine with a quiet bird that enjoys flying around and perhaps even landing on your shoulder, but doesn't like petting or cuddling, then grass keets might be right up your ally! I *do not* recommend clipping grass keets, *EVER*! Unlike many parrot species, they don't use their beaks much to climb. Instead, they flit from place to place more like a finch. They *can* learn to climb, but it's not in their nature to. (at least not the bourkes or the turq that I've had ever did that kind of behavior) My bourke hen isn't tame, nor have I ever tried to tame her, but in her younger years (she's 17-19 years old now!) she was very inquisitive, would run back and forth along the cage bottom wanting to get out and enjoyed flying. In her older years she has become feisty with age and does not like living alone. She likes to try to leave her cage and join the cockatiels. The only reason she's not living with them is because of her health. (her cage is set up with a heat lamp on 24/7 - she wont use it if she's with the cockatiels!)


Bourkes also make a sound when they fly through the air... if you've ever heard a pigeon fly, well, same concept! And, bourkes are more beautiful than they appear at first glance!
"Bourke's Parrot" by Andrea Searle | Redbubble
Bourke Parrot Stock by Charlie-Lang on deviantART


I kind of equate bourkes out to between a cockatiel and a finch. Very laid back but inquisitive personality. Loves to forage on the ground or just get low, while also being very flighty. Their chirps are also more soothing than annoying!






If my girl ever passes away, I'm going to have to get another bourke! And someday, I wouldn't mind breeding some blue bourkes! :D

Bird Species - Bourke's Parrotlet (skip to the very end of the page!)
The Splendid Bourke Bird Blog: Avian Genetics, Bourke Parakeets by Su Yin
Eric Gennissen - Untitled Album | Facebook



You might also want to look into kakarikis and brotogeris species (or "brotos" for short, aka "bee bee" parrots)
 

Hedgehog25

Meeting neighbors
Joined
8/10/14
Messages
42
If you are looking for a hands on/cuddly bird that enjoys being petted, grass keets are not the birds for you! As much as I love bourkes, and they are considered to be one of the best grass keet species, they are not known for talking nor petting/cuddling.

If you are fine with a quiet bird that enjoys flying around and perhaps even landing on your shoulder, but doesn't like petting or cuddling, then grass keets might be right up your ally! I *do not* recommend clipping grass keets, *EVER*! Unlike many parrot species, they don't use their beaks much to climb. Instead, they flit from place to place more like a finch. They *can* learn to climb, but it's not in their nature to. (at least not the bourkes or the turq that I've had ever did that kind of behavior) My bourke hen isn't tame, nor have I ever tried to tame her, but in her younger years (she's 17-19 years old now!) she was very inquisitive, would run back and forth along the cage bottom wanting to get out and enjoyed flying. In her older years she has become feisty with age and does not like living alone. She likes to try to leave her cage and join the cockatiels. The only reason she's not living with them is because of her health. (her cage is set up with a heat lamp on 24/7 - she wont use it if she's with the cockatiels!)


Bourkes also make a sound when they fly through the air... if you've ever heard a pigeon fly, well, same concept! And, bourkes are more beautiful than they appear at first glance!
"Bourke's Parrot" by Andrea Searle | Redbubble
Bourke Parrot Stock by Charlie-Lang on deviantART


I kind of equate bourkes out to between a cockatiel and a finch. Very laid back but inquisitive personality. Loves to forage on the ground or just get low, while also being very flighty. Their chirps are also more soothing than annoying!






If my girl ever passes away, I'm going to have to get another bourke! And someday, I wouldn't mind breeding some blue bourkes! :D

Bird Species - Bourke's Parrotlet (skip to the very end of the page!)
The Splendid Bourke Bird Blog: Avian Genetics, Bourke Parakeets by Su Yin
Eric Gennissen - Untitled Album | Facebook



You might also want to look into kakarikis and brotogeris species (or "brotos" for short, aka "bee bee" parrots)
Thanks for the info! I realize that Bourkes can be very nice-looking birds, especially those with the "rainbow" mutation. Honestly, based on your description of the Bourke personality, it doesn't sound like Bourkes are really much different (personality-wise) than budgies. Mine also loved to be let out of his cage and fly around and land on my shoulder, but he NEVER would stand to be petted or cuddled. Honestly, I think he exhibited the perfect blend of personality and independence, but without coming across as being too needy. :)

I have also been hearing good things about Princess/Regents parrots. So at this point, it looks like I've narrowed down my choices to:

1.) A bourke with the "rainbow" mutation
2.) A Regents or Princess parrot
3.) Another budgie

Have any of you guys ever owned a Regents/Princess parrot, and if so, would you mind briefly discussing your experience with owning & caring for them? (I couldn't find a "Good, Bad, & Ugly" stickie for these birds, so feel free to create your own :D )
 
Top