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


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Old 07-28-2017, 08:01 PM
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Default Budgie Behavior Changes

Ok so I got a handtame 5 week old budgie from a breeder a couple of months ago. It was incredible friendly and only wanted to snuggle in my hair the first few days and took a while to get it used to going in the cage. So suddenly I started seeing a change in his behaviour. He was bonding with certain toys and when I removed them he seemed to just choose another one. He spends most of the day outside his cage and is only in it at night and a few times in the evening.

I figured maybe he was lonley (this was my first budge and I got kinda worried) so I went to the pet store and got him a friend. Another baby boy (I think) very small and looked super happy in the pet store. He was the most playful one and answered when I whisled. I put him in his own cage next to the other one (I didn't know at the time I should have quarantined him for a month) and my old budgie instantly became very aggressive with him. Landing on his cage and biting his feet and showing signs of territorial aggression.

I kept them apart in their cages for a few days and finally let them both out at the same time. My old budgie instantly claimed all the toys and all the food his own, which I read is normal. But the problem is that he has gotten aggressive with me as well. He will fly to my finger and suddenly I can se it in his eyes that he is aiming in and he jumpes and bites me in the face. We used to spend every day for weeks just playing and cuddling. He would bite then to, but not hard. He doesn't break the skin but sometimes brings tears to my eyes when he grabs the skin where it's really thin and twists and pulls.

My old budgie does seem to be moulting as well. I see a lot of loose feathers but he won't let me scratch him anymore like I could before. Maybe it hurts? I wish there was like a holy book of budgies with every information possible so I didn't have to write such a long post. But well.

So I've tried reading online but nothing seems to be the exact same situation so I have to ask for advice. I've had them out of the cage together every day for about a week now, it is going a little better. They are eating together sometimes and my old budgie will try to play and kiss and will sing and jump around the new budgie, but the new one just stands there completely stiff and stares at me. Then he will peck at my old budgie to go away and go back to staring.

So that is the other thing. My new budgie is scared to death of me. I know that happens with pet store birds but I thought it would be ok since my old one is so tame. Whenever I put the new budgie inside its cage it will constantly fight to get out of there. Even if I put treats in. And when he comes out his one and only mission is to stare at me no matter what I do. So when my old bossy budgie actually is trying to bond, the new one just seem to perceive him as a distraction from his main mission of staring. While my budgie then goes on to chew on his wings and tail.

So what should I do? Continue letting them out together? Seems my old budgie is getting less tame every day.. If I put them in different rooms they will just shout through the walls at each other. I could try keeping the new one inside its cage more for it to get used to it, but when it goes insane mode in there for hours and hours I nearly loose my mind and let him out. How do I make him less scared of me?
And how do I get my old budgie to stop biting?
I've mostly had cats and dogs before so I don't know how you disiplin a budgie.. I've read I should ignore the biting but I've already done that for a while and nothing's changed.

Sorry for the long post and all the questions but I just feel like I'm feeling my way through the dark with this.. I love my budgies so much.
Even though one of them has turned evil.

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  #2  
Old 07-29-2017, 09:47 AM
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Hi! to Talk Budgies
Let's start from the beginning and try to address each of the issues.

It would be helpful to have names in order to refer to the birds rather than "old" and "new"
I'm going to refer to your birds as #1 and #2 in this post.

The budgie you got from the pet store (#2) should have been quarantined in a different cage in a different room for 45 days before being introduced in neutral territory to the first budgie (#1).

What made you think #1 needed a friend?
Was he acting depressed, or lonely or was he happy and engaged with you and his toys?

Since #1 is molting he is uncomfortable and itchy.
He is also hormonal right now and going through his adolescent period where he's becoming independent, territorial and aggressive. This is normal.
There are several budgie articles and stickies in the forum with regard to molting.
Are you offering him bathes to help alleviate the itching?

https://talkbudgies.com/budgie-behavi...ggressive.html

With regard to #2. You never really gave the budgie a chance to acclimate to its new environment.
The budgie's cage needs to be moved into a different room of the house and you need to start from the beginning with gaining the budgie's trust.

To build your budgie’s trust, sit by his cage and read, talk or sing quietly to him for a period of at least 10-15 minutes, 3 or 4 times day. After the 2nd or 3rd day, rest your hand on the outside of the cage when you talk to him so he'll learn that your hand is safe and will not hurt him .

After a week, rest your hand inside the cage when you talk.
Don’t make sudden moves, don’t try to touch him .
Let his get used to the idea that the hand is now in his safe place and not harming him .

After 2 weeks, begin moving your hand slowly toward your budgie. If he becomes agitated, stop moving your hand and just hold very still until he calms down. When he's comfortable with your hand near him , you can offer him a bit of millet or a few seeds. In a few more days, you can begin your taming and bonding sessions.

Always work at your budgie's pace.
Move slowly and talk reassuringly and calmly whenever you interact with him .

Most budgies once they pass the "baby" stage, do not like to be petted or touched.
If your budgie does like to be petted, you should only ever pet his head, neck or chest area.
Stroking a budgie's back and/or tail stimulates its breeding instinct. Bonding means allowing them to choose to be with you.

After a month or so, then move #2's cage into the same room with #1.

Re-introduce the two budgies in neutral territory and work from there.

With regard to the noise from the two birds, you may need to buy disposable ear plugs. You are going to need to tough through the hard part of owning the two budgies while you work to get them to the point where you can properly introduce them.
Play music in each of the rooms where the two cages are. Doing so will help the budgies feel less alone and will help to muffle the noise as well.

You are going to need to have a scheduled routine where you spend individual one-on-one time with each of the two budgies on a daily basis for the next few months. Doing so will help you reconnect with #1 and build trust and camaraderie with #2.

You NEVER "discipline" a budgie. You use positive reinforcement.

https://talkbudgies.com/articles-budg...-training.html

https://talkbudgies.com/articles-budg...-behavior.html

#1 did not "turn evil". He is simply behaving normally as a budgie. It is up to you to learn to read budgie behavior and work within the parameters necessary to tame and bond with your birds.

https://talkbudgies.com/budgie-behavi...ad-thread.html

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Old 07-29-2017, 08:41 PM
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Hi there and to the forums!

You've been given extremely good advice by FaeryBee and I agree with her 100%. If you make these changes to the situation, it will help you proceed with your birds.

Meanwhile, you've come to a great place to learn even more about budgies!

Be sure to read through the forum's many Budgie Articles and "stickies" (threads "stuck" to the top of each subform for easy reference) to ensure you're up to date on all the best practices for budgie care!

If you have any questions after reading through everything, be sure to ask as we'd love to help

We look forward to seeing you and your budgies around the forums! Good luck

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  #4  
Old 09-06-2017, 06:06 PM
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My old budgie is named Ghost and my new pet store bought is named Taru.
Ghost refuses to bathe no matter what I do. He only drinks from baths and won't get in. I've tried getting him in with millet, his favorite toy and putting greens in the bath. I've also tried a variety of bathing dishes in size and shape and tried with running water. He just won't. He has stopped biting as much though, but still loves getting scratched around his head.
He was very happy with me and his toys but he acted weird one night, his legs were stiff and he was all puffed up.
I was scared he was depressed because I read budgies can die from it and I got really worried. So I bought him a friend.

I am honestly running out of patience. I have done everything you said, put them in different rooms, play music and have short interactions with them several times a day. Ghost is playing and singing constantly while Taru is only calling for Ghost. It's been going on for three weeks now with no change. He screams the same note over and over as loud as he can while he tries to push his own body out of the cage. All day every day. He doesn't show any natural budgie behaviour to me. He sits completely frozen while I'm near, and looks almost psychotic trying to get out of the cage when I'm not.

I thought the screaming would get better if I just stayed patient, but it seems to me now that the fact that they can hear each other might be stopping Taru from settling in at all. He does eat and drink though but not if I'm in the room. I don't have a big apartment. Only two small rooms plus bathroom, so I can't separate them further.

I only said Ghost had turned evil as a joke. He is the sweetest budgie I've ever met, and I worked at a pet store for years. I was surprised someone so gentle could bite so hard. I just wanted to know how to get him to stop. And when I said how to discipline, I meant how. I knew it was with positive reinforcement, but how do you use it? I didn't mean punish if that's what you thought. I read that you can remove a positive stimulant for a short amount of time, like your hand when it's biting, to discipline it. Is that possible? Or should I constantly reward it when it's not biting? How does that work?

Am I doing things right? Is it ok that I've seen no progress in Taru in 3 weeks? Ghost has calmed down with his aggression towards me and is much better. I just don't know what to do with Taru. I almost regret getting him at a pet store since I know how traumatised they get there. I didn't think it would be this bad. He is a baby who should be playing and exploring Not being shut in a cage all alone when he hates it so much.. I feel horrible for keeping him here.. His feet look red and irritated from fighting the cage so much. It's just sad.

It's actually been over 5 weeks since I separated them.

Last edited by FaeryBee; 09-06-2017 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:33 PM
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What you described in Taru is actually pretty common in new birds. Standing still when you're there because they are scared, and trying to find a way out of their cage. This happens a lot when birds come from a really large aviary and then are placed in a regular bird cage. He will get used to it. You said his feet are red and irritated, do you have a range of natural perches of varying widths? Having only smooth wooden dowels can cause pressure sores on your birds feet.

FaeryBee has given you links to articles and stickies explaining positive reinforcement. Be sure to look through all the links she provided.

Last edited by FaeryBee; 09-06-2017 at 06:47 PM.
  #6  
Old 09-06-2017, 07:02 PM
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If Ghost doesn't want to bathe that's just fine. Don't worry about it.

Some budgies enjoy bathing and others don't.
There are various things you can try. You may also find he will ignore the bath for a long time and then suddenly will decide to try it and like it!

I'd suggest you either put a shallow bowl with water in or on top the cage or get a Lix-it Bath to attach to the cage and provide him the option of bathing every few days.


You can also try placing a few fresh basil leaves or some lettuce leaves in the water. That may interest him in the bath.

Some budgies love to rub against or roll on wet leaves.
You can hang wet romaine lettuce or kale leaves in the cage or place them in a shallow dish in or on the cage to see if your budgies like them.

Some budgies enjoy being very lightly misted with room temperature water.
Do NOT squirt the water directly on the budgie.
Aim it up into the air and let the water mist settle down over the budgie gently.
You should be able to easily tell if he likes it or doesn't want any part of it.
Some budgies do enjoy playing under a light trickle of water in the sink.

Other budgies simply don't enjoy bathing which is fine as all budgies are cleaning and oiling their feathers when they preen.


The description you gave of Ghost does not sound as if he was "depressed" to me.
Bringing Taru into your home brought out Ghost's aggressive and territorial tendencies.

Flock dynamics is not always something you can control as you are now learning.

However, you have Taru now so you need to make some decisions.

You can't expect Taru to act the way you want him to.
It is going to take a great deal of time and patience to help this budgie learn to trust you.

https://talkbudgies.com/budgie-behavi...ad-thread.html

From what you've written, I doubt Taru's temperament is going to change anytime soon.
It may be better for Taru (and you) if you rehome him given your frustration level and Ghost's territorial and aggressive behavior. Taru needs someone that can spend a lot of time interacting with him one-on-one and to help him overcome his fear. He also needs a place where he can safely enjoy out-of-cage time and toys without being bullied by another bird.

In my opinion, at this time, rehoming Taru to someone who can give him the love, care and attention he needs would be your best option.

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