I'm now at my wits end with Otis. He's around 5 and a half years old and has been the most sweet natured, fun and highly talkative bird. However over the past 18 months or so, we've noticed him having increasingly longer periods of overtly sexual and aggressive behaviour. It used to last for just a week or so every 3-6 months, but it's now happening about every 6-8 weeks and lasting for over a month at a time. He's a free range bird who has a ton of exercise - he's allowed to fly around a couple of rooms in our house and is only shut into his cage at night (12-14 hours) When he's got Randy Budgie Syndrome he's just mad. He doesn't talk much, just flies around landing on mirrors or any object with a reflective surface and shouts continually. He tries to **** everyone's heads and bites ferociously if he's removed. I put him back in his cage every time he does this (time out) but it makes no difference.
I wonder if the food he's on is over stimulating? He gets Beaphar Xtra Vital budgie food, which is a really good mix, with extra veggies, rice and other healthy titbits. He would rather starve than eat something he doesn't like, so food changes are not very easy to do - I know all the usual advice. I'm wondering whether to just put him back on Trill with some added vegetables? His behaviour is becoming so unbearable I'm considering a vet visit as a last resort. But not really sure whether it's worth the expense. It's as though he's on steroids! Any out of the ordinary ideas would be welcome.
To help with the continual urge to "mate", make sure he has access to lots of flight/climbing exercise. Ensure he has two or three swings to encourage him to keep moving and tire himself out. Chew toys like Kabobs and other shredding toys are helpful and you’ll want to be sure to provide plenty of wood to chew--especially when he is in condition.
Reduce number of hours of light and reduce percent of protein and other foods used to bring birds into condition.
Thanks Faery and Marya, but if you reread my post you'll see that he already gets more than enough exercise. In fact he's tiring himself out so much he's actually losing weight. He's not very interested in chewing, but all his perches are natural wood. I just wonder if anyone else has had this problem to this extent, and how they solved it?
I have very limited experience with budgies so this maybe the wrong thought. But maybe getting him a friend? Doesn't have to be a female, maybe just a male. We just got a second one and our first has come alive (in a good sense).
I think you might be on to something with your diet supposition though. I looked up the XtraVital budgie food, and while it looks like a high-quality mix, it does also look a bit dense and rich for every day. (Even though it specifically says it's for an everyday diet.) The ingredients list wasn't quite as specific as I'm used to, but it does include egg and egg product, proteins, and fats & oils. To me, that sounds more like a moulting/conditioning diet. Maybe try shifting his diet so that's a smaller proportion of the whole and see if it helps?
I also completely endorse Amdg's idea of getting him a playmate (probably a male, considering...), but that may be because I've been spending too much time with the budgieholics around here.
Just a thought but have you tried directing his "love" towards toys or more appropriate things (other than your head)? Masturbation can do wonderful things to improve his mood, hopefully, and maybe get it out of his system?
Just a thought
Thanks all. We have considered getting a second bird, but actually don't have the space or time to commit to another. There's always the risk that it wouldn't work out and also that Otis would be aggressive and really pesty with the new bird. It could make him worse. I think we'll try a dietary change first, as CP says, it is quite a rich mix. Hopefully, we can solve the problem and get him back to the sweet and happy little bird that he was.
Sounds so frustrating!! My 2 year old male was going crazy after my baby female. Things are ok now. I give them less daylght hours. I had them up 13 hours and covered up 11 as that's how it was when I had two males. Now it's closer to 10 daylight hours. I miss seeing them as much but Button's hormones have definitely calmed down. You may have tried that already but it's working here.