Squawking Budgie - To Seperate or Not?
Hi everyone, I'm looking for some advice about my noisy budgie, Freddie.
A bit of background information, I got Freddie (male) three years ago, when we lived in our old house. I got him really tame, and he still is. He used to come out for large periods every night with us, sit with us and sing with us, all seemed fine. After several months, I felt guilty that he may be lonely during the day when my partner and I were at work. We then added a second male, Roger, about six months later. We kept Roger in a seperate room for a few weeks, then allowed them to meet. They seemed to hit it off straight away, and after a few meets Roger decided to jump in Freddie's cage and they have lived together since.
Now we get to the debate me and my partner have about where the squawking began. In my mind, they were fine in our old house sharing a cage. To me, it was only when we moved house that Freddie became a squawker. In my partner's mind it was an issue in our old house once they had got moved in.
Freddie now squawks at him almost constantly, and it is driving me mad. Any time Roger goes to eat, he squawks. Every time Roger goes near any of 'Freddie's' toys, he squawks. Sometimes it seems he just squawks at him for being in the cage. I feel like there is just a constant noise whenever I am home, and it is really getting me down. I started hand feeding Roger which worked for a while, but now Freddie just bullies his way onto my hand and stops him eating. Roger, bless him, snaps back at Freddie and stands up for himself when he can, but Freddie is the bigger and more dominant bird and will always win.
Roger can't fly so I do not let him out of the cage (the cage is a good size). Freddie will come out and play still, and does not tend to squawk when out playing. I use this time to hand feed Roger. I just don't know what's happened to my lovely bird whose company I used to enjoy so much. Sometimes I have to move the cage into a different room just to get some peace.
I have seperated them once a few months back, but I felt awful. At first, they were in seperate rooms. Freddie still squawked a bit, so I decided to put their cages next to each other. It seemed the whole time they were trying to get to one another, and of course, if Roger went to his own food bowl Freddie made a hell of a noise. When seperated, they would sleep on the side of the cage so they could be next to each other. When together, Freddie feeds Roger, they give each other head scratches and seem to get along. But then they do bicker from time to time to but it's never anything that looked worrying.
With Roger being the new younger bird I'm not sure whether Freddie thinks he has to control him, and whether Roger just accepts that of him. I felt so bad seperating them because as we got Freddie first, Freddie is all Roger has really known for the past couple of years.
My question is, should I seperate them for good? If so, should they be in seperate rooms where they can't hear each other and I can just get them a mirror each? Or to keep them in the same room and I can let Freddie out on an evening and he can go and visit Roger if he wishes. My concern really is for Roger as I do not want to cause him distress, if he's so used to Freddie being around even if he is a bit of a pain. Perhaps it's a case of there is always one dominant one.
I need to do something about the squawking. It's causing me and my partner so much distress that it's not nice to be in our house anymore, you can hear it from every room. I have tried removing toys once it starts, talking calmly, leaving the room, tapping him gently with every squawk, even shouting when it's really driven me to boiling point and nothing seems to work. Would it be better to seperate them into different rooms while I work on Freddie's squawking? Or is this too much stress for Roger suddenly being alone? Does Roger's disability play a part in this dominance?
I just want to have happy birds and I never imagined it would cause me this much stress. We got Roger because we didn't like the idea of Freddie being alone all day. Now this squawking his gone on for over a year since we moved house. I don't know what to do, all I want is what's best for the birds health and wellbeing and for us to all live in harmony!
Any advice is very, very much appreciated!
Thanks for reading.