Female budgie has mated with toy - what to do?
I'm after a little bit of advice about my female budgie Nimbus. She is approximately 18 months old, give or take, and when we first got her we bought two budgies. Unfortunately her mate died suddenly about 6 months ago.
Over the last ~3 weeks, she seems to have bonded/mated with one of her toys, a star of bells that sits around one of her perches (see the photo attached). She even started laying eggs for it (5 eggs over about 14 days, they all broke at the bottom of the cage). She cuddles up to the toy (we call it her boyfriend) all the time, she won't poop while she's with that toy but she moves to another perch to toilet. She only leaves it to eat and drink and then she comes right back to it. She has also become very aggressive to us any time we have to go into the cage (changing paper, putting fruit/veg in, etc.) so we do this as little as we can. She has seen our specialist avian vet and he says she is healthy but has lost a little weight recently (I don't think she's eating as much as she used to). She is on seed, budgie crumbles, some fruit/veg and has access to cuttlebone.
We have now bought a second cage and we are aiming at getting another budgie in the next few days. They will stay separated so we can make sure neither are ill and so they can get used to each other for a few weeks before we try to cage them together.
My questions are; are we going about this the right way? Any other advice you can offer on introducing a new budgie? Should we get a male or female?
Should we be taking the toy (her boyfriend) out of her cage? Will this make her sad/angry?
I've googled and googled and nothing really answers my questions. Most things I've found are about the budgie rubbing up on the toy (mating) but she doesn't do that, just cuddles it like in the photo. Any other helpful information you could give would be great.