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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > General Budgie Talk > Budgie Behavior


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Old 02-09-2016, 09:48 PM
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Default Is it possible for female budgie to be an "alpha"?

Hi Everyone,

The new budgies I bought at a local pet store claimed my birds were both male. Turns out, they're not. One is definitely a female with a cere changing from light blue to tan to dark brown. The other has a light blue cere with tan showing. The female with the dark brown cere has behavior of an alpha nature, bossy and squawking louder than my other bird. Both have been found playing and preening each other but there sure seems to be an alpha behavior that I've noticed with some fighting. Can a female budgie be an alpha bird?

Both were purchased at the same time, both about 5 months old, and both had identical ceres of light blue with white rings around their nostrils. I'm still waiting to see if the other bird is male or female. Does anyone know of a similar situation? Its funny but the young employees in pet store chains seem so sure of the sexes of birds they're selling but I know when a budgie is young, you can't tell visually what their sex is by their cere. I wish mine were male and female but with all the squawking while I type this, I'm afraid they're both female.

If anyone has heard of an alpha female bird, let me know. Thanks!

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Old 02-09-2016, 10:45 PM
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Can you post some pic's. it does sound as if both are hens according to your description. Yes, even with two hens, one will be dominant. It sound's like they get along good enough. My two hens will squabble a bit but they really love each other....
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:51 PM
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Actually, those who are familiar with budgies can tell the gender of budgies at a very young age.

Most pet-store employees, however, do not really know how to tell budgies' gender and quite frequently give customers mis-information.

If you post full-frontal pictures of your budgies taken in natural light, we can let you know the gender.

To upload full-sized pictures with the proper orientation, please use a photo-sharing service such as PhotoBucket and follow the steps in these instructions:
https://talkbudgies.com/how-guides/17...otobucket.html

Examples Of Pictures To Post And Not Post - Talk Budgies Forums
https://talkbudgies.com/mutations-gen...tion-help.html


To answer your question regarding "alpha" females, the answer is "absolutely".
I'm sure you've must have heard the term "hen pecked" before?

Female budgies can be quite dominant.
If you have two budgies in the same cage, you are going to want to watch to be sure one is not overly aggressive with the other.
Some bickering is normal but bullying can not be tolerated.

With two budgies, it is very important to have a cage that is, at the very minimum, 30" x 18" x 18" 9,720 cubic inches
Bigger than that is always better. Be sure the width of the spacing between the bars is no greater than 1/2".
Have two food bowls, two water bowls, two swings, two perches up high at the same level, etc. to help prevent squabbles.

I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of your budgies and cage set up!
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:02 AM
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Female budgies can certainly be alphas and take on a leadership role, whether on a big flock scenario or during the normal, everyday close interactions with their respective male mates.
Personality plays an important role here and so does the bird's strength of character and this is regardless of gender.
More often than not, the females are the rulers of their birdie households and the males are usually compliant to this and will do their best to treat their mates well.
On a same gender scenario and depending on the bird's personality, one can stand out more than the other and this can be seen when having 2 males or 2 females.
This is why it's important to be acquainted with each bird's personality, especially on a bigger flock scenario (4+ birds). To closely watch how the birds interact amongst themselves and to be able to identify when there are two or more dominant birds that may cause trouble and to intervene when the flock's harmony is put at risk.
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Old 02-10-2016, 11:26 AM
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Ok question. with my two females they both want to be dominate....how do I handle that? I cant have one constantly pecking on the other.

Slate has his first vet apt today I will ask her also.
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Old 02-10-2016, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by KathyP View Post
Ok question. with my two females they both want to be dominate....how do I handle that? I cant have one constantly pecking on the other.

Slate has his first vet apt today I will ask her also.
Hi Kathy,

If both of your females are constantly bickering on a daily basis and you notice an escalation in terms of fighting, then the safest option would be to house them on separate cages permanently.

This is why on a bigger flock situation, it's best to house each pair per cage (this is regardless of gender as long as the budgies get along well).
By doing so, each budgie has a chance of further developing the bond with the chosen mate and the chances for a fight are greatly reduced if not even completely put to a stop.
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Old 02-10-2016, 02:38 PM
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My female is definitely an alpha.....she tries to be the alpha over everyone in my household. Before I got my male I had a feeling she would try to be the dominant one over any bird I brought home that's why I always planned to house them separate. They have out of cage time together but bed time is always in their own cages and it works out great.
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Old 02-10-2016, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
Can you post some pic's. it does sound as if both are hens according to your description. Yes, even with two hens, one will be dominant. It sound's like they get along good enough. My two hens will squabble a bit but they really love each other....
I would but I don't have any way of doing so. I think mine both are hens but one has a cere that is light blue and tan, not sure why its not an even color like my other bird. They actually get along in spite of the squabbling. When I bought them they were the only two blue keets left and from my observation, they were cooing while sitting next to each other. I'm not surprised one is dominant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FaeryBee View Post
Actually, those who are familiar with budgies can tell the gender of budgies at a very young age.

Most pet-store employees, however, do not really know how to tell budgies' gender and quite frequently give customers mis-information.

If you post full-frontal pictures of your budgies taken in natural light, we can let you know the gender.

To upload full-sized pictures with the proper orientation, please use a photo-sharing service such as PhotoBucket and follow the steps in these instructions:
https://talkbudgies.com/how-guides/17...otobucket.html

Examples Of Pictures To Post And Not Post - Talk Budgies Forums
https://talkbudgies.com/mutations-gen...tion-help.html


To answer your question regarding "alpha" females, the answer is "absolutely".
I'm sure you've must have heard the term "hen pecked" before?

Female budgies can be quite dominant.
If you have two budgies in the same cage, you are going to want to watch to be sure one is not overly aggressive with the other.
Some bickering is normal but bullying can not be tolerated.

With two budgies, it is very important to have a cage that is, at the very minimum, 30" x 18" x 18" 9,720 cubic inches
Bigger than that is always better. Be sure the width of the spacing between the bars is no greater than 1/2".
Have two food bowls, two water bowls, two swings, two perches up high at the same level, etc. to help prevent squabbles.

I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of your budgies and cage set up!
Hi and thanks for letting me know about Photobucket. I've noticed bickering with my keets, squabbling too but rarely have I noticed bullying. Their cage measures: 26" x 14" x 22". They have plenty of toys, 2 swings, 4 bells, 2 mirrors, a ladder, cuttlebone, banana flavor cuttlebone, hanging millet holder, 2 tents, 6 perches, 1 food dish, 1 water dish, and a daily serving dish on the floor of the cage with fruits and veggies. I don't have sandpaper covered perches and I always remove the grate from the bottom and line it with paper towels. I feel that sandpaper and a grate are inhumane, I want them to be comfortable. I also have a hanging chew toy with beads and wood. They recently had a spider plant that they chewed up so its back to other greens.

If one was extremely aggressive, I would separate them. So far they seem to have typical bicker-type keet behavior. I thought about adding 2 more keets so no one can squabble, but I am rethinking the idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonah View Post
Can you post some pic's. it does sound as if both are hens according to your description. Yes, even with two hens, one will be dominant. It sound's like they get along good enough. My two hens will squabble a bit but they really love each other....
I meant to ask if it would be a good idea to add 2 male keets? Problem is, pet stores never know sexes and I can't take a chance of getting two more females. When I purchased mine I was hoping for 2 males or one of each, thinking there would be harmony and alot of singing.

Last edited by FaeryBee; 02-27-2016 at 07:40 PM. Reason: MERGED POSTS
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissMillet View Post
I meant to ask if it would be a good idea to add 2 male keets? Problem is, pet stores never know sexes and I can't take a chance of getting two more females. When I purchased mine I was hoping for 2 males or one of each, thinking there would be harmony and alot of singing.
Given the current issues you have been experiencing and the fact that you are relatively new to budgie ownership, adding an extra 2 males isn't the best of ideas. This is especially true when there already are issues with flock harmony, not to mention you would have to be extra vigilant and take effective measures in order to prevent potential unwanted matings/eggs.

It's best for you to stick with your 2 budgie girls, to be more involved in spending quality time with each of them and depending on their temperaments, to allow them to spend time together or not.
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:42 AM
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Hi there and to the forums!

You've already been given excellent advice and I have nothing significant to add on the matter

However, I would remove both the tents and the mirrors. Tents are known to be fatal when budgies chew on the fabric and ingest the fibres, and budgies have gotten caught in the threads, too, and unfortunately have not survived. Also, as you have two hens, they may see these as potential laying sites and could become broody

As for the mirrors, budgies can become obsessed with their "mate" in the mirror and become aggressive and territorial.

We're hoping to see pictures soon if you can get some on Photobucket!

Your two hens sound beautiful--what are their names?

If you have any questions after reading through all the links provided, be sure to ask
Hope to see you around!
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