Right now I have two budgies: Jimmy (about 3 months old) and Kimmy (about 5 months old), and I have some questions about their behavior towards each other, especially from Kimmy to Jimmy.
Jimmy was my first and I got him when he was about 8 weeks. He is very chitty-chatty, sweet and social. He loves to come to you, talk to you, preen you, etc.
Kimmy came from a friend. I've been with Kimmy for about a month now and noticed a few things. Kimmy isn't too interested in humans, which is fine. She is tamed but just doesn't come out of her own interest (unless you have a nice printed shirt on, or interesting earrings). But what is noticed too is that she isn't really into Jimmy all that much either.
I guess it could be because they are still young and haven't spend that much time together of course. There is occasional preening of each others head, and Jimmy dances a lot for her, bobbing his head and singing his songs (which he also does to my face and hands, which Kimmy doesn't always like, jealous?). But Kimmy doesn't give it too much attention usually and just goes on and plays with a toy.
The only thing that Kimmy really seems to be interested in is to take away what Jimmy has. When Jimmy plays with a toy, she HAS to scare him away and play with it. If Jimmy then goes somewhere else, another toy for example, she does it again. When Jimmy eats, she comes down at scares him away and eats from the feeder he started on, then Jimmy proceeds to the other feeder and she will leave him alone. The only thing that she actively seems to be interested in is taking what Jimmy has. Yesterday me being one of those things too. Jimmy came to me and sat on my shoulder, I talked, he chittered back, all fine. Then Kimmy comes and scares him off my shoulder, to my head. Then a few seconds later she proceeds to scare him of my head. I offered Jimmy my hand and Kimmy went straight after him and landed almost on top of him, making sharp chirps and scaring him away. Jimmy went to the cage and tried to come back to me, but as soon as Kimmy would see that he wanted to come back, she would fly straight after him or immediately snap at him before he could land on me. Kimmy seemed to get agitated and started snapping at me too if I'd move my head, so I made her step up a finger and then made her step on another and repeat, no vocal response and preventing her from biting me (in Dutch we call it 'laddering', like making them climb a ladder of fingers) and she cooled down.
I'm wondering if I should do something. Jimmy doesn't seem to be too bothered by it. There is no fighting or biting, just annoyed loud chirps when Kimmy wants Jimmy to move and he will just move in response. He is the sweetest little thing and still cuddles with her, dances for her and likes her, even though she doesn't do a lot in return.
I think Kimmy might be reaching her teenager stage and is just a bit agitated by that. She is going through her first big mold and I think she just needs time, but I'm asking here to make sure this is the case. She is pushing borders and her behavior changes rapidly. One day she is sweet and peaceful, the other day she claims everything Jimmy touches and snaps at everything.
Is there a specific way to deal with this? I try to give her space and freedom, but it is hard to let her just be when she is on my shoulder biting me when I move because it annoys her. The laddering is a trick I used with one of my previous budgies, that had a biting problem when I got her and it helped me stop that behavior. Should I keep doing this when Kimmy crosses the line with me? And should I do anything when she is bothering Jimmy like that (or maybe only if Jimmy seems to be actually bothered)?
Another thing I want to ask his how I can motivate a budgie like Kimmy? She doesn't respond much to treats (unless she sees Jimmy wants it) so learning her something is hard, since she responds to Jimmy, instead of making a link of behavior -> food. What can I try instead?
Any tips and tricks are very welcome, I want to deal with this as good as I can.
Lovely nibbles from Kimmy and Jimmy!