Last Updated on June 24, 2022 by Ali Shahid
The selective breeding process has led to the creation of many interesting varieties and colors of birds, and lutino parakeets are one of them. Despite belonging to the green series family, it does not have the pigmentation characteristic of the series.
Because of the Ino mutation, Lutino parakeets have no green pigmentation. The Ino gene makes the body color of these parakeets yellow instead of green. There are no markings on this bird, in addition to white cheeks, pink eyes, and an orange beak.
However, he may also have gray or light green spots on his back, chest, stomach, and arms. It’s more likely that females will display the lutino coloring, while males will generally carry the gene, but will not display it.
Hence, lutino budgies are not easy to breed reliably, and this can, in turn, lead to inbreeding in the population of the species.
History Of Lutino Parakeets
A majority of parrots in the wild possess green or yellow coloration. An explorer had first noticed these parrots back in 1805, but it was not until the 1840s that the normal-colored parrots were introduced to England.
Parakeet enthusiasts began breeding these birds with unusual color mutations a few years after traders began selling them as pets so that they would produce feathers with more colors and patterns.
During the 1930s, the first lutino birds appeared in avian circles. Nevertheless, the lutino parakeet rarely survives in the wild because of its bright colors, which are easily spotted by predators.
It’s been found that lutino budgies are affected by the ino gene, which causes them to lose their pigmentation. There are two types of budgies: green and yellow budgies.
Although budgies are from the green series, genetic mutations have removed the color green from their feathers, turning them yellow.
It also removes the dark shading from the beak and feet of the budgie, which is why the bird will have an orange beak and pink feet.
Lutino budgies, unlike other budgies, do not have any markings on their heads or wings. Rather, the area remains clear yellow, with no visible markings or spots.
If you are looking for an adult male lutino, then you will find that he has a pink or purple cere. Females can have either a tan, white, or light blue cere.
In male lutino budgies, the eyes depict a red or ruby color, while in female lutino budgies, the iris is predominantly white.
In terms of companion birds, the parakeet is by far the most popular bird and there is a good reason for that. There is no doubt that lutinos like other species of parakeet are curious, active, and sociable birds that make excellent pets.
It is also essential to provide the animals with ample attention since they will become bored easily if they are left alone for an extended period.
As playful and friendly as they are, they are also capable of being trained relatively easily.
Despite their size, these parakeets are friendly, social, and capable of learning how to communicate. A lutino has a high-pitched but sweet voice, which you will notice during their daily interaction with one another.
Diet and Nutrition
Lutinos prefer a diet that varies from day to day. To make sure that your bird is receiving the best nutrition, be sure to provide them with a variety of nuts, vegetables, seeds, and fruits along with their regular bird feed.
You can, for instance, offer dark leafy greens and fruits such as berries, papaya, and melon regularly.
Honey sticks or spray millet may also be included in the list of treats. In addition, it is recommended to provide them with plenty of fresh water at least once a day.
Make sure your bird’s daily food bowl is topped up with its pelleted food and keep it at about 3/4 filled. Alternatively, you can also offer a bird seed mix.
It is not the type of bird that will be content staying in its cage all day and is one that is very likely to become restless. Despite their affection for their owners and their desire to climb, a daily chance for them to enjoy the outdoors is essential for their optimal health.
Common Health Problems
Though the lutino is not necessarily associated with any specific diseases, it can suffer from the same health conditions as often impact parakeets.
A list of these conditions includes fractures, mites, asthma, bronchitis, epilepsy, paratyphoid, and inflammation caused by catarrh.
Many of these conditions can be avoided by keeping your bird in a clean and dust-free environment and by feeding and providing fresh water throughout the day.
There are two Z chromosomes in male parakeets, while there is one Z chromosome and one W chromosome in female parakeets.
It is known that the lutino mutation is carried on the Z chromosome, which is also known as the “Ino gene,” and is, therefore, a sex-linked trait.
It is considered that lutino babies can only be produced by two non-lutino birds, and therefore this phenotype is recessive. If the bird breeder wishes to guarantee that a pair of parakeets will produce lutino, the birds must exhibit the traits of lutino.
It is worth noting that lutino doesn’t require extra care despite its unique coloring. The Parakeet variety also enjoys flying and climbing, so you will need a large cage to accommodate your birdy.
It is important to keep the cage away from the doors and windows of your house since these birds are really scared of cold drafts. Make sure to provide your lutino with clean water and it is important to give him seeds, nuts, vegetables, and fruits on top of their bird food to ensure he gets a varied diet.
I recommend that you spend 30 minutes interacting with your bird every day, as affectionate birds enjoy bonding with their owners. If they receive proper care, Lutino can live until the age of 10 to 15 years old.
How rare are Lutino parakeets?
It is unlikely that you will find lutino parakeets, especially male lutinos, in your neighborhood. To breed lutino budgies, you need to understand genetics, so the price of lutino, albino, and creamino birds is higher than for other birds.
In other words, when it comes to parakeets, the American Federation of Aviculture has pointed out that there is a wide range of color mutations to be found within them.
The lutino budgie colors have increasingly caught the attention of breeders.
Is every Lutino Parakeet female?
A lutino budgie is not always a female, but there are a lot of lutinos that are female. The lutino mutation is a sex-linked mutation that is only visible in female budgies when the ino gene is present.
There is, however, a requirement that a male budgie has two copies of the ino gene to be visible. A male budgie can have one of the lutino genes, but the gene itself is not visible.
Consequently, breeders are not aware of the presence of these genes in their birds. An ino gene can cause this type of mutation if one of the ino genes exists on the Z chromosome of the female budgie.
Sexing a Lutino Parakeet
By looking at the cere, you can easily determine whether a lutino parakeet is female or male. There is a lumpy, fleshy membrane located above the beak near the nostrils of a bird. It is called cere.
The color of the cere of the male lutino parakeets is pink or purple. While the color of the cere of the female parakeets is light blue, white, or brown.
Lutino Parakeets Breeding Expectations
A recessive gene, ino, is linked to the possibility of being sex-related. There’s a 100% chance that the offspring of two lutino parakeets will inherit the gene if they are bred together.
You might think that this is an easy concept, but it is not so simple until you realize that not all Lutino males carry genes. Maybe you don’t know that you own a lutino male and it’s right under your nose.
Some breeders believe it to be a calculated risk to place a normal male with a lutino female. Some breeders will match their lutino males with lutino females to ensure that they have a guaranteed lutino male available.
Unfortunately, parakeets can be fanatical when it comes to choosing a mate, which leads to problems. In most cases, a pair of normal parakeets don’t result in a lutino budgie, since the lutino male has to be split for lutino.
What Is the Cost of Lutino Parakeets?
A Lutino parakeet will not be too expensive for you, and they are readily available due to selective breeding in recent years. Pet stores typically sell Lutino parakeets for $25 or less.
Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.