hi all.. has been a while since i've been here but I am in a total dither... I have 4 untamed budgies that have coexisted niceley for a couple of years in a large aviary. One.. Kiwi, is older.. he is about 6 years old.. the other three we got at the same time as babies and they are about 2.5 years. We.. as they aged we realized we had one girl.. to three boys. ... Well, we have noticed that the two young boys (Apple and Ollie) are always trying to court the female.. Mozie. Kiwi seems to sort of stay to himself like the grandpa of the three.
about a month ago I found Apple Pinning Ollie to the ground.. swatted at the cage and it stopped. .. I noticed it again a couple of weeks later.. it concerned me so I kept an eye on him and nothing happened again so I figured they resolved whatever. .. Well two days ago I go to pull their cover by to find Kiwi sitting there with blood on his face (he also happens to be moulting).. He lifted his wing and to my HORROR was COVERED IN BLOOD. we panicked, got him out and examined him, thinking he had popped a blood feather, cleaned him up but after we cleaned the blood off we could not determine where a blood feather was!?.. so we separated him, kept him warm all day.. next day moved that cage next to the big aviary and they all kept coming to look at him and he acted like he was doing much better and wanting back in so we put him in.. he looked fine yesterday morning..but suddenly he is doing this crazy head bobbing and spitting a seed up... well my old love bird used to do this for me all the time, but I've NEVER seen KIWI do it. ???? So I thought, well maybe he was feeling better and telling me thank you or something.. but as the day went on I noticed he is sitting fluffed up alot.. and eating alot. So anyway, we decided to keep an eye on him, .. wake up to some noise go in and look and that Dang Apple had Kiwi PINNED TO THE FLOOR.. so now I'm thinking that little nasty guy injured kiwi the other day.. so we broke it up and observed for a half hour to notice Apple just seemed to be driving poor Mozi nuts... so we just caught him and moved him to the other cage... as you can imagine, with four untamed budgies, everyone got a little wild in there while we got apple out and poor kiwi looks so tired. .. we live in a remote area.. there is no avian vet for miles and miles.. and now here it is Thanksgiving.. We are flying out in the morning for two days... I've left them for two days often with plenty of food and just had a neighbor peek in on them to make sure they had clean water. .. but I just am beside myself.. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO????.. I can't NOT go to Thanksgiving because of this.. there is no vet to send them to. And what do I do with apple??? He is in the other cage now next to the big aviary.. looks like he is giving me the stink eye. .. I just looked in on Kiwi and while he is still looking a bit fluffed and disheveled he doesn't look as puffed up as he did last night.. (perhaps because Apple is gone from the cage??).. but Is hard to tell what is going on with him now.. there has been no more bleeding since we cleaned him up..and he IS molting, and has now been in another fight albeit quite brief.. he's flying around a bit and eating.. but I suppose it would be normal under all circumstances to look disheveled???? .. So please.. what do I do.?? I have to be gone 48 hours.. starting tomorrow around 10 am. .. I'm assuming it is a must that Apple stays in another cage. Do I keep him Next to the big cage? or move him all together. Do I ever put him back? I mean now that I have seen him pin birds down three different times..(and now wondering just how ofter that little bully has been doing that!?) and kind of feel like all that blood wasn't a blood feather but probably something done by him.. does he just live alone from now on?.. I'm so upset!!!! and feel quite helpless as to what to do in light of HAVING to leave them!
I can understand why you are upset. You definitely have to keep the birds separated from now on. An uneven number of males and females often does not work in a flock. I don't see why the cages can't be next to each other though. Be sure the bird that is moulting gets plenty of good nutrients. I am not an expert on that part, but you can look under the budgie health category and there are stickies that address moulting.
As for leaving for Thanksgiving, ultimately that choice is up to you. Now that the birds are separated, if Kiwi's issue is just from moulting and being attacked, I would think the birds will likely be ok. However, if Kiwi is also sick, he could get sicker and even get the other birds sick. Can you get to a regular vet today? Members who don't have an avian vet anywhere near often go to a regular vet and then have them call and consult with an avian vet.
That is my best advice in the moment. I know others can probably give you more information.
Thanks for the Response golden wing. I'm just so unbelievably upset over this. Staying home isn't really an option at all, I have my whole family coming from two states to MY rental that I'm hosting for this... Kiwi is just pitiful looking, all disheveled and fluffed, and napping a lot, but he has been through the ringer apparently.. I just can't believe what a jerk Apple has turned out to be! I really do not think he was sick to begin with, if he is sick now it is from being stressed out.. not something that would spread??.. I think he got the crap beat out of him the other night... then got put back in with us not realizing we were putting him back in with a total bully!!!! .. then got beat up a second time. .. He is eating and drinking, but napping a lot, but he is sitting up high in the aviary and he makes sweet little chatter noises at me when I talk to him...
So I guess I'm trying to understand, what do you think would be less stressful for him... to leave him in his big aviary with ollie and Mozie, where he is familiar with his surroundings? they all seem to be getting along fine... in fact all three are bunched together quiet right now I've put on some soothing music in here and they all seem to like it!.... or put him in a third cage all alone?.. (the thought of catching him again is very stressful to me, since they are not tame they all just go crazy when they see us coming in to get them... that seems like that would be stressful) OR put him in a small cage, cover him and drive him to a friends that can keep watch, not that she could really do much for him..(but that seems stressful too again, catching him and moving him when he is stressed out to a place he doesn't know alone) I called the vet here, they were truly useless, I knew more than they did.
I think that as you have to be away from your bird’s, your best option, at least for the time away, would be:
Apple in a cage alone
Kiwi in a cage alone
Ollie & Mozie in together
I personally wouldn’t leave Kiwi in with Ollie & Mozie whilst you’re away. You said that both Apple & Ollie were competing for Mozie’s attention, if Kiwi’s attack was the result of him also making advances with Mozie, then Ollie & Kiwi could become aggressive to each other.
You’re still trying to piece together the sequence of events, even though Kiwi ended up worst off, he might have ‘started it’ so to speak.
You can keep the cages in the same room, so they can still have sight and sound of each other, but safely split apart. When you return, you can reassess the situation.
Best of luck
*Actually, rethinking things, maybe it would be better to leave Ollie and Kiwi together and have Mozie in a separate cage - less extra trauma for Kiwi and it IS Mozie who is (inadvertently) the source of all the competitive drama.
Thank you JRS! .. I did just that a few minutes ago. fortunately we had 3 cages. Apple has a big one to himself next to the big aviary and he is a little perturbed I think..but I went and bought him new toys.. Kiwi, Is snuggled in the smaller one but we have the heating pad under and heating blanket over 3/4 of it right now .. and even though he is a bit fluffed, he is not AS fluffed, he is chattering occasionally and eating like a PIG!.. bless him. but he seems calm and happy.... the two lovers Ollie and Mozie are making out and preening non stop. I think SHE seems MUCH happier and while there is some chatter going on my goodness it is so much quieter in here.. that cage has always been SO NOISY, but I think it now it was because Apple was in there causing ruckus and we just didn't realize what was going on. ..
I feel much more at ease about leaving, we will see how KIWI is in the morning but EVERYONE including Mom and Dad (myself and husband) are much more relaxed. .My Teenage kids will come home on Thursday so they can check in on them and turn on soft music etc so they don't feel alone.... Just not sure what we are going to do when I get back, we had this incredibly beautiful aviary made out of a large amoire for them.. . all these cages everywhere kinda ruining it LOL. but hey..I guess I'll just need more BEAutiful ones. ... Do I ever put them back together or is this how it will be forever?... I think Kiwi may need to be on his own but in their company,.. but poor Apple.. he just wants a girlfriend..
oh.. JRS.. I didn't read the "Second thought" till after I wrote all that.. I went to the woman I bought these birds from years ago. .. We thought about that too..but Geoff said he saw Ollie Peck Kiwi's head a couple of times.. nothing crazy but enough to decide that Kiwi was better off just trying to recover. .. and who wants to break up a good love story ... seeing how relaxed mozie is with Ollie Preening her all over is really quite sweet.. I always had a suspicion she preferred him to Apple.. just apple was so aggressive it in his hoochy coochy dance on the rope .. I think he was stressing her out too! I kinda feel sorry for him, but after what he's done he deserves a time out (and I did catch him pinning Ollie down Twice before so I really doubt Kiwi started this though possible. )
The general rule is that bickering is to be expected, but once a fight progresses to one bird pinning other down they must be separated permanently. So, no, it would not be safe to ever put the birds all back together.
It is quite possible that the cause of Apple's aggression was the presence of Mozie and that he and Kiwi would be fine without her in the mix, but I wouldn't risk it. The potential for disaster is too high.
So glad that your birds are doing better. Julia and Lbeckman have given you great advice! You really do need to keep the birds separated but there are a variety of ways that people arrange the separate cages. Sounds like the birds are much more ready to be left alone for a couple days. Good luck!