Albino parakeets have all white feathers with pink or red eyes and pink feet. This unique coloring is due to a rare genetic mutation in parakeets known as the “Ino” (short for Albino) gene which removes all dark pigmentation from their plumage and skin, leaving behind pure white feathers. Albinos also possess red eyes due to a lack of melanin that would normally be responsible for black eyes in most parakeets.
The unique look of an Albino parakeet can make them very popular pets among bird lovers. If you have your heart set on one as your first parakeet just be aware that their rarity puts them at a higher price than most. Other than this, Albino parakeets require the same level of care and commitment as other types. Read on to learn about their breeding, lifespan, and more.
Do Albino Budgies Have Health Problems?
Albino budgies or parakeets are no less healthy than other more colorful types. All parakeets are vulnerable to certain health issues such as lameness, frayed feathers, allergies, kidney disease, and reproductive tumors.
Some parrots with the Albino mutation have been reported to have eyesight issues, such as being sensitive to bright lights or struggling to bring things into focus, but this is not thought to be very common. As long as an Albino budgie has not been inbred or has a history of disease in its bloodline, they should be perfectly healthy birds – provided they are fed a well-balanced diet.
Are Albino Parakeets Rare?
True Albino parakeets are considered to be very rare, as are any parrot species with the “Ino” genetic mutation. Since birds can be easily bred for certain colors, most of the pure-white parakeets you come across will likely be bred from an albino pair, rather than a pure-born Albino.
How Do You Tell if an Albino Parakeet is a Boy or Girl?
It can be difficult to determine the sex of Albino parakeets because they both lack the pigmentation that make color characteristics obvious in other birds.
A very subtle sign can be in the coloring of their ‘cere’ (the fleshy covering above their beak where the nostrils are located) – both parakeet sexes have a pinkish-purple cere, though avian experts have noted that a female Albino’s cere can sometimes turn brown or white.
Also, male parakeets are generally more vocal than the female so you may be able to determine albino parakeet gender by their temperament. If in doubt, your local vet will have the answer (or the requisite DNA test!).
Are Albino Parakeets Blind?
No, it is a misconception that Albino parakeets are completely blind, based on the fact that Albinism in birds and mammals is often accompanied by vision problems. Albino parakeets simply may not see as clearly or in focus as other parakeets and may sometimes be sensitive to light.
How Much are Albino Parakeets Worth?
Due to their rarity, Albino parakeets can be priced much higher than more common color varieties, and certain breeders may price them as high as $200-300. However, you may come across some all-white parakeets at the pet store that cost no more than $25!
This is because the true worth of an Albino parakeet can depend on factors such as its age (young, hand-reared birds will be much costlier than adults), and whether or not the parakeet is a pure-born Albino due to genetic mutation or a commonly bred ‘white’ parakeet passed off as Albino.
How Long Do Albino Parakeets Live?
Like most parakeets, the Albino variety can live between 7-10 years on average. They may live longer than this if they are well cared for (provided with a balanced diet, adequate exercise, and regular vet check-ups to pre-empt the above-mentioned health conditions).
Can Albino Parakeets Breed?
Yes, Albino parakeets can breed just as well as any other parakeet pair if they share a close bond with their cage fellow. They will normally produce a clutch of 4-6 eggs of smaller than average white chicks with pink eyes.
Parakeet breeders commonly breed Albinos together, even though Albinos share a trait known as “suffusion” which – when bred to another Albino – results in a tint of blue/gray coloring where pigmentation would normally be on the chest and rump. Since the effect of breeding will not always result in a pure-white ‘Albino’ plumage, suffusion is often looked upon as a poor breeding quality.
How to Breed Albino Parakeets?
It’s important to note that Albinism is a recessive gene mutation, meaning it can easily be dominated by the typical coloration found in common parakeet genetics, so two Albinos will not necessarily produce fully Albino chicks.
If you’re interested in breeding Albino parakeets together, the following steps need to be considered:
- Pair parakeets that are at least 1 year old (age of sexual maturity) and give them a roomy cage to share and become acclimatized to living in each other’s company. Provide each with adequate food, water, and their own ‘portion’ of the cage with puzzles and feeder toys.
- Ensure their cage is kept clean and tidy for their well-being and the arrival of their eggs. Also, provide them with full-spectrum lighting to help them form Vitamin D metabolism.
- Once you have established a comfortable environment for both parakeets to thrive, they may begin playing, singing to each other, and sharing a perch. These are signs they are receptive to mating, so you should add a nesting box in their cage.
- Place a concave wooden block inside the nesting box to help the chicks develop naturally and avoid splayed legs. And be sure to clean the nesting box regularly once the chicks begin growing their feathers.