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


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Old 02-12-2017, 05:55 AM
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Default Random budgie observations

It must seem that Jakob and I have been missing in action for quite some time; rest assured, Princess Jakob is doing just fine, her mum has just been too pre-occupied to write about it!

Jakob is about 2,5 years old now. Time flies when having fun (no pun intended). She's my third budgie, but my first girl. Over the time I've had this little girl, I've learned so much from the forum, but there are also still a lot of mysteries. Advice and suggestions are always welcome.

Jakob has a pretty decent size cage. She's in the cage when I'm not at home and at night. My other budgies used to play in the cage - everywhere. This little one doesn't. She doesn't go near the buttom of the cage unless she has to, so I don't use the built-in food dishes for that very reason. If I leave treats on the floor, she'll leave them alone. Is there anything I can do to encourage her to use the full cage? Or should I just ignore it?

Until about a month ago, Jakob would wait for me to bring her to the cage for bed-time. She did know there was a door, because when she was minded by others (not here at home), she would fly back to the cage on her own after very little time out flying. I think it was a comfort thing. The last time I attempted to feed her pellets, she also eventually flew over to her cage where she could find seeds. So she always knew. Strangely enough, about a month ago she changed the "ready for bed" routine. Between 8.30 and 9pm she'll now fly over to the cage on her own. No prompt. She'll mill about for a little while, at at 9pm I'll say goodnight and cover her cage. Is it not a bit strange to suddenly change a routine like that?

Out of cage time is always fun. Jakob has lots of energy in the mornings, but by early afternoon she'll generally take a nap before it's time to play again later in the afternoon. When she naps, she'll either bury her head in the feathers on her back, or she'll lie almost flat on a perch with her head on the pearch. When she sleeps at night she's on a swing, but that's never the case for nap time.

She'll chew on any wood that belongs to her (playground, toys, play tree), and that's fine with me. It's probably about 6 months ago she decided it would be fun to fly on to the CD/DVD shelves right beside her play area. The shelves with space are fun, as she can walk in there and hide. Little did I know she'll actually picking the cardboard boxes apart. She doesn't seem to eat any of it, as it's everywhere afterwards, so hopefully it doesn't pose a risk for her. As for the CDs... the game seems to be to find one and drag it out until it ends up on the floor. I could have told her no when she first started playing on the shelves, but I didn't see any harm, so I let her. Now it's a game.

Princess Jakob isn't particularly vocal. My previous two were VERY vocal. They were single birds as well. Is that just a random thing? My first budgie was a great talker. He knew many words. This one has said her name very quietly, but won't do it on command and it's been a long time since I heard it. Guess not all budgies talk? It's not for lack of encouragement

Then there's the mystery of breeding condition. She didn't go into condition until she was 1.5 years old, but then it's been almost constant since. It doesn't seem to change her behaviour at all, and there's finally some blue visible over her beak right now, but it sure has been a long time...

Two things I always associated with budgies was their ability to fly to me and, unfortunately, biting. Jakob is happy to sit on my shoulder, but she never flies over and lands on me herself. She'll fly over to where I am, but never lands. It puzzles me. I wish I could teach her to land on me. I'm happy she doesn't bite, but isn't it a bit strange?

I've had NO luck getting Jakob on a healthy diet. Her weight is thankfully very stable and she gets lots of exercise, but she's all about seeds. She was only about 8 weeks when I got her. Did she simply not learn enough from others before moving in to know how to handle other food? She chews on parsley, but no other veggies, and to be honest she's more intersted in licking the water off the parsley, than actually easting any of it. I'll never stop trying, but I somehow doubt I'll ever succeed in changing her diet.

My first budgie was happy to step up and loved to sit on my head or shoulder. But you didn't want to try to touch him. This little girl loves being petted. She'll pose for kisses. Two such contrasts. Boy Jakob didn't like water. Girl Jakobs takes a bath almost every day, splashing around as much as she can.

Boy Jakob used to "feed" everything. He would put seeds in my ears! Girl Jakob has never done that. She has 2 mirrors. One in her cage - she'll stay quite close to it when she's in the car, but otherwise ignores it. The other one is behind her food tray in her play area. She makes it rattle, because it has a small bell on it. Boy Jakob definitely though there were birds in the mirrors, as he used to feed them as well!

My little princess did go through a phase of feather plucking. She can still be a bit rough when preening, but she has not damaged any new feathers, and I got her plenty of toys to shred.

I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful little budgie than Princess Jakob. Sure, there are so many things about her I don't understand, but that's part of the fun too.

Here are a few pictures too, so you can see for yourself:

Hiding on a shelf:


Almost out of breeding condition:


Decent looking feathers (at the monthly weigh-in):


Jakob's parsley dish:


Waking up from a nap:

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  #2  
Old 02-12-2017, 07:14 AM
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Welcome back Dorte and Jakob!

It's really great to see that your Jakob has been doing so well and her feather plucking issue is under control.

If you want her to use the bottom part of the cage, you can encourage her by placing a favourite treat there and even a couple of her favourite toys.
You can participate on the playful activity and entice her to use that part of the cage.
As for the slight change in the going to bed routine, it's not that weird, Jakob is perfectly aware of the time to go back to the cage and in a way she's showing you that she's a big girl and can find the cage on her own.

The duration of breeding condition varies between budgies and while in general female budgies will mature and first reach breeding condition at 6 months of age, some can take a while longer to come into condition and this is not cause for concern.

It's also normal for her to have a different sleeping spot for taking naps.
Mine are the same way and will only go for their swings to sleep in for the night.
My Tito Junior will even chose the cage's bars near the main door to take his afternoon naps.

Regarding the changes between Jakob and your previous budgies in terms of amount of singing, flying and landing on you, petting etc, this mainly depends on the budgie's personality and on the type of bond shared between the budgie and their owner.

Generally speaking, having mirrored toys isn't really a good idea due to the fact that the pet bird (especially a solo budgie) can develop an unhealthy attachment to the "other bird" in the mirror and starts obsessing over it by constantly regurgitating food, mating and being extremely protective and territorial towards it. This in itself will also negatively impact the established bond with the owner.
I know that for your Jakob's case, the mirror has been helpful to control her feather plucking, and this is certainly the exception to the norm.

It's good that during play time, your Jakob didn't exhibit breeding behaviour when hiding on the shelves. This is something that should be discouraged because hiding areas can trigger nesting behaviour leading to egg laying.
While your Jakob enjoys the little game, maybe you could try to adjust it in a way that she will not spend a good amount of time hiding or even blocking the access to the hiding area.
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2017, 07:59 AM
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Thanks for all the wonderful information you were able to share with me. Yes, definitely great that the feather plucking is under control. For once, I was happy to see a wing feather fall out recently, as it was the one she'd really damaged. It also made it possible to be sure she isn't biting the feathers anymore, as there would have otherwise been a new damaged feather - and that's thankfully not the case.

I'll try to spend some time playing with her in the cage and see if I can get her to use more of it. She's only recently found a love for millet (it's a rare treat, but she LOVES it now), but if I leave that at the bottom on the cage she'll leave it alone. Same with parsley. I'll try to be more creative!

Good point about her going-to-bed routine. She isn't a baby anymore - maybe I just forget

I have been keeping a close eye on Jakob when she's playing on the shelves, as I was wondering why she wanted to hide. I'll keep observing this. It's seems to me that she just wants to tear up the cardboard and throw things on the floor. I remove all the cardboard bits every day, so nothing is left for a potential nest. If she "hides" so I can't see her, she'll stick her head out immediately when I call her name. Many of the shelves aren't big enough for her to get in there, and on those she pulls out a CD or DVD case to sit on, so it might be harmless, but I can't be sure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aluz View Post
Welcome back Dorte and Jakob!

It's really great to see that your Jakob has been doing so well and her feather plucking issue is under control.

If you want her to use the bottom part of the cage, you can encourage her by placing a favourite treat there and even a couple of her favourite toys.
You can participate on the playful activity and entice her to use that part of the cage.
As for the slight change in the going to bed routine, it's not that weird, Jakob is perfectly aware of the time to go back to the cage and in a way she's showing you that she's a big girl and can find the cage on her own.

The duration of breeding condition varies between budgies and while in general female budgies will mature and first reach breeding condition at 6 months of age, some can take a while longer to come into condition and this is not cause for concern.

It's also normal for her to have a different sleeping spot for taking naps.
Mine are the same way and will only go for their swings to sleep in for the night.
My Tito Junior will even chose the cage's bars near the main door to take his afternoon naps.

Regarding the changes between Jakob and your previous budgies in terms of amount of singing, flying and landing on you, petting etc, this mainly depends on the budgie's personality and on the type of bond shared between the budgie and their owner.

Generally speaking, having mirrored toys isn't really a good idea due to the fact that the pet bird (especially a solo budgie) can develop an unhealthy attachment to the "other bird" in the mirror and starts obsessing over it by constantly regurgitating food, mating and being extremely protective and territorial towards it. This in itself will also negatively impact the established bond with the owner.
I know that for your Jakob's case, the mirror has been helpful to control her feather plucking, and this is certainly the exception to the norm.

It's good that during play time, your Jakob didn't exhibit breeding behaviour when hiding on the shelves. This is something that should be discouraged because hiding areas can trigger nesting behaviour leading to egg laying.
While your Jakob enjoys the little game, maybe you could try to adjust it in a way that she will not spend a good amount of time hiding or even blocking the access to the hiding area.
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Old 02-12-2017, 06:48 PM
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Hi Dorte and back!

I'm so glad to hear that you and Princess Jakob are both well

You've been given some great advice in the comments above, so I will only say that I hope to see lots more of your pretty girl!
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:47 PM
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Hi, Dorte!

Wonderful update and Princess Jakob is looking quite lovely.

Since you are closely monitoring her behavior when she's playing on the shelves, I think letting her do so is just fine.
It's wonderful that she likes to poke her head out when you call her name and it must be quite funny to see her throwing the CDs onto the floor!

I hope to see more pictures of your little darling soon.
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Old 02-13-2017, 01:40 PM
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Hi Dorte welcome back! Good to see things are going well for you and Princess Jakob .
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Old 02-13-2017, 02:17 PM
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Thanks, everyone, we'll be sure to check in soon again. Might see if I can re-open Jakob's picture post and add to that again

Jakob does enjoy throwing the CDs on the floor. I think it's the noise that excites her the most. It's the same when she throws her wooden toys out of the bucket - it's best when they land on the floor and make noise!
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