Parakeets Were Once a Popular SouthCoast Pet
Remember parakeets? Whatever happened to them? It almost seems every kid had either a small shell turtle or a parakeet, and perhaps even both.
The tiny turtles that roamed around in those little clear plastic environments with the green plastic palm tree were actually banned by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention in 1975 to prevent the spread of salmonella. Pethelpful.com says the ban remains in effect to this day.
But parakeets threatened no one with disease, and other than being noisy and spilling seed all over the floor, they were pretty cool pets. Granted, you couldn't take a parakeet for a walk or play Frisbee with it, but you could teach it a few words and how to ring a little bell attached to the mirror above its feeder.
In order to chill the chirpy little parakeets out and get them to sleep at night, owners would cover their cages with a cloth.
There was an aviary at Ashley Boulevard and Deane Street that sold parakeets. Department store pet aisles and mall pet stores had them as well. It seems parakeets were easy to find, inexpensive to buy and maintain, and quite popular pets in the 1960s and '70s.
Then just like that, they disappeared – or so it seemed.
Wikipedia states, " A parakeet is any one of many small to medium-sized species of parrot, in multiple genera that generally has long tail feathers." A small parakeet has a life expectancy of between five and eight years while a medium-sized bird could live as long as 12 years.
Birdcagesnow.com says parakeets have 'relatively fragile health" and can easily become sick.
As it turns out, some people still have parakeets as pets. As a matter of fact, I found a display of them at the Petco store in Dartmouth along with all of the supplies one would need to keep a parakeet happy. Let me warn you, though, they ain't cheap!
Did you have a parakeet as a kid? Would you have one now?