How Long Can Parakeets Live without Food and Water [Helpful]

How Long Do Parakeets Live without Food and Water

If you are thinking of traveling or for whatever reasons you are leaving your parakeet alone at home, you should consider how long they can last without food and water. If you are wondering what can cause you parakeet to refuse to take food or drink water you’re not alone, we found ourselves in such a situation and we decided to do some research on this.

So How Long Can Parakeets Live without Food and Water? Well! There is no specific answer to how long parakeets can go without food and water since it depends on the health history and condition of the budgie. A healthy parakeet will last an average 3-5 days without food and water. But an unhealthy one might starve to death within 48 hours or less.

It’s not enough to just know the average length your parakeet will live without food and water, you need to go deeper because sometimes parakeets just refuse to eat and drink even in their perfect condition.

There are several reasons why a parakeet will refuse to eat or drink water.

Reasons why parakeet won’t eat or drink water

As I mentioned above in my introduction, there are several reasons why a parakeet won’t eat or drink. Even in their best most expensive cage or best expensive bowls and water bottles, parakeets have some weird behaviors. Here is a list of some common reasons which I will cover in detail in this article.

  1. New Environment 
  2. New Diet 
  3. Dirty Water
  4. Lonelyness 

Wondering what fruits and vegetable dogs can eat or not eat check our 85+ list

New Environment

It’s common for a parakeet not to eat for the first few hours or even days in its new home. A new home tent to intimidate and stress the Burgie.

If you bought one from a pet store and before you picked it, it was all happy and noisy, don’t freak out when you notice him not eating or looks lonely when you get it home, this is normal. However, make sure you put enough food and water in the cage.

Below we have shared with you some tips to motivate them to eat.


  • Ensure that you have a good cage that has enough space for the bowl and water bottle.
  • Pay close attention to the behavior to know if they need vet attention.
  • Play some music [ you can talk to the store owner and get some of his music genres]
  • Create a familiar environment [ Colors & shape of the Cage, water bottle and bowl ] People have said this helps a lot.

New Diet

It’s very hard to change diets for both humans and pets and birds are no exception. Changing diets somehow throws them off and they lose appetite. If it’s your first time taking care of a parakeet or you have had one for so long and are looking to change their diet this is our suggestion.


  • Mix the old and the new diet to help the bird adjust to the new taste and smell. The mixture should be 70/30 ratio for a start, then adjust slowly to 50/50 then 40/60 you get the point. This should be done gradually over a period of days or even weeks for sensitive ones.
  • Replace the food daily and check to see if the bird has consumed anything.
  • Some parakeet will want only seeds which are not healthy in the long run, try to mix the food including some fresh vegetables and millet.
  • Try to put the food in the middle of the cage and try changing the bowl and water bottle colors. Sometimes the parakeet doesn’t recognize that is food especially if it was used to a certain setup in the pet store. Some people have shared that changing the setup and size of the cage helped. The parakeet feels safer in a bigger cage than a squeezed one.

Dirty Water

Parakeets have a weird relationship with water, you put water in the bowl and they will be all playing with it. Then once the water is dirty they tend to refuse to drink it. We recommend these few steps to help motivate them to drink water.


  • Replace the water bowl with fresh water once a day.
  • If you put vitamins or medicine in the water and the bird is not taking it, it’s time to get a vet. Vets have a way of getting birds to drink their medicine.
  • Introduce your parakeet to the water source if its a bottle or a bowl some birds find it hard to recognize the water source.


Parakeets generally live in large numbers in the wild. If you’re looking to get one you need to be willing to put in the work especially in keeping them company. If you just picked a parakeet from a store where they were many then be sure that the parakeet will be so lonely in its first few days in their new home.


  • Give it attention every single day, keep him company.
  • Parakeets are affectionate the best thing you can do is to get him a companion.
  • People use mirrors in their cage to give them a sense of company.

Even with their average life span of 5-15 years, most parakeet dies due to starvation and this is why we think it’s important for you to know how to motivate them to eat when they refuse.

How to Motivate parakeet to eat and drink in a new environment

If you recently acquired your first parakeet try and replicate the setup including colors of the food bowl and water bottle to the one he is used to. If you haven’t bought one you can check some of our recommendations on amazon both the bowl and water bottle.

If you’re using a small cage consider upgrading to a bigger cage that will give the bird some room to explore.

If you only have one parakeet consider getting another, one parakeet doesn’t do well alone especially in a new environment.

Play some classic music. If he starts joining in the music then he is adjusting well to the environment.

Try mixing the old diet and the new one to help them transition with the taste. For easy transition include millet in the diet.

Some parakeets won’t recognize food if it’s in a bowl try spreading the food on the cage floor and see if they will respond.

Try to clean the water bowl once a day and refile the bottle with fresh water once a day.

Some Proven Solutions

  • Train your bird to recognize its food and water containers.
  • Watch and observe your bird routines and behaviors.
  • Avoid food mistakes with birds. Check the Parakeet handbook on Amazon.
  • Clean thoroughly the water bottle and bowl using vinegar and detergents then rise properly.
  • Observe your bird closely and pay attention to new behaviors and routines.

Final thoughts on How Long Can Parakeets Live without Food and Water

As we have outlined in this article, the answer to this question depends entirely on the health history and condition of your parakeet. The healthier the parakeet is the better chance it has to live longer especially in extreme conditions. We, however, recommend you to take good care of your parakeet because different people have a different experience with their pets.

A healthy parakeet is a happy parakeet. Below are some frequently asked questions about keeping parakeets.

Let us know from the comment what surprising thing you have learned from this post, is there something that you agree with or disagree with. Leave a comment below and we will respond as soon as we receive it.


Can I leave my parakeet alone for 3 days?

A healthy parakeet can survive 3 days with enough food and water. It’s however not advisable especially cause most parakeets don’t like dirty water, they might end up refusing to drink their water and starve themselves to death.

Will a parakeet starve itself?

Yes, a parakeet can starve itself especially if they don’t like the food, they don’t recognize the food and water bowl and if the water is dirty.

How long can a parakeet live without water?

With fresh vegetables and a healthy diet, a parakeet can live for approximately 3-4 days without water. After that, it will start to experience dehydration.

Do parakeets die easily?

Yes, parakeets tend to die easily due to starvation, dehydration, and some rare occasion in loneliness.

Can I feed my parakeet seeds only? 

Parakeets love seeds however feeding your parakeet seeds only is not healthy and might cause some health issues and reduce the lifespan drastically.

Can a parakeet die of loneliness?

Parakeets are social birds and are not meant to live alone. If a parakeet was used to a company of other then you buy it and keep it by itself chances are it will not survive.

Retriever Pets

I'm a dog expert and nutritionist. I help people choose the best food for their dogs and make sure they're getting the nutrients they need. I also offer advice on obedience training, exercise, and everything else dog-related. Follow me for tips on keeping your furry friend happy and healthy!

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