Do you guys have tips for taking care of parakeets? I’m not really a pet person.
I love budgies! I haven’t had any for a long time, and I miss them.
This is a good starting point for learning more about their care: http://www.budgerigar.com/
New information about how to properly care for birds comes out all the time, and a lot of books you get at the pet store can be filled with information that people came up with fifty years ago. It’s a good idea to be involved in a budgie community, maybe like this one: http://talkbudgies.com/
Other folks have been giving you some pretty good advice. It looks like you have a male and female, so be on the lookout for eggs (it’s pretty cool to hatch birds for the first time, but like someone said, you can quickly end up with dozens of them and no way to find homes for them. Pet stores won’t always take them).
Even without a box or nest, they may lay eggs on the floor of the cage, so keep an eye out for them and remove them if you don’t want babies. You can also get fake eggs that are meant to discourage them from laying more. This is a pretty good idea if you’ve got a female who wants to lay constantly, because that takes up a lot of energy and nutrients.
Make sure to offer millet and lettuce in small amounts. The birds will probably love both, but they will eat millet and ignore other food, and lettuce isn’t super nutritional. But variety in their food is important. When I was last keeping budgies, a pellet diet combined with fresh fruits and veggies and the occasional seed treat was considered ideal. However, I’m not certain about those pellet diets any longer. They seem to be highly processed, and may have fillers the birds don’t need. The selling point of those diets is that the birds don’t have the ability to pick and chose what seeds they eat (because they need a variety of seeds to get the proper nutrition). So, you may want to research that more.
Everybody keeps mentioning cuttlebone, which literally come from the shellfish called cuttlebone. It is fun for them to play with, and gives them extra calcium. If you have an issue with using that for any reason, there are other calcium supplements out there (which look like blocks or other shapes that they can chew on just like a cuttlebone).
To help keep birds entertained, replace their toys every now and again. But don’t get rid of the old toys. Just pack them away for a few weeks, then switch them out with the other toys. They’ll be interested in them again like they were new!
If it’s not an option for them to fly around the house, you can clip their wings to keep them from flying all over. They still can hop off things and glide, usually. Their feathers grow back when they molt, requiring they get clipped again (or you can clip them for now and let them grow back later, just while they’re getting used to the place). It’s not hard to clip wings. There’s lots of youtube videos and sites that go over it.
Some people consider clipping the wings cruel. It doesn’t hurt the birds, it doesn’t permanently maim them (like declawing a cat or something), and it can help keep them safer while they become adjusted to your house and you hand train them, so that usually outweighs the fact that they can’t fly for a few months. But it’s a personal decision.
I hope that’s helpful! They’re beautiful birds. I wish I had room for them in my life, but I’m going to have to settle with hanging out with my new neighbor’s chickens.