I'm after a little bit of advice about my female budgie Nimbus. She is approximately 18 months old, give or take, and when we first got her we bought two budgies. Unfortunately her mate died suddenly about 6 months ago.
Over the last ~3 weeks, she seems to have bonded/mated with one of her toys, a star of bells that sits around one of her perches (see the photo attached). She even started laying eggs for it (5 eggs over about 14 days, they all broke at the bottom of the cage). She cuddles up to the toy (we call it her boyfriend) all the time, she won't poop while she's with that toy but she moves to another perch to toilet. She only leaves it to eat and drink and then she comes right back to it. She has also become very aggressive to us any time we have to go into the cage (changing paper, putting fruit/veg in, etc.) so we do this as little as we can. She has seen our specialist avian vet and he says she is healthy but has lost a little weight recently (I don't think she's eating as much as she used to). She is on seed, budgie crumbles, some fruit/veg and has access to cuttlebone.
We have now bought a second cage and we are aiming at getting another budgie in the next few days. They will stay separated so we can make sure neither are ill and so they can get used to each other for a few weeks before we try to cage them together.
My questions are; are we going about this the right way? Any other advice you can offer on introducing a new budgie? Should we get a male or female?
Should we be taking the toy (her boyfriend) out of her cage? Will this make her sad/angry?
I've googled and googled and nothing really answers my questions. Most things I've found are about the budgie rubbing up on the toy (mating) but she doesn't do that, just cuddles it like in the photo. Any other helpful information you could give would be great.
Yes! Take The Boyfriend out immediately . With birds, itís ďout of sight, out of mindĒ. So no, I donít believe sheíll feel bad. Regardless, you have to do whatís best for Nimbus.
Also, be sure to not give her access to any toy or bed that can be perceived as or used as a nest. Rearrange the perches and toys in the cage (doesnít have to be all of it).
If it were me, I would not rush into getting an additional budgie at this time. I would get Nimbusí hormonal urges and egg laying under control. Thatís the priority right now. Remember, any time you introduce a new bird (after quarantine) there is never a guarantee the two will get along, and you might need to keep them separately housed permanently.
I definitely agree with Julie. You need to remove the toy right away. She may sulk for a day or two but it will not affect her emotionally in a negative way. In fact, it will calm her aggressive urges and hopefully redirect her attention to a more healthy outlet.
Best wishes with her!
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
I recommend that you do NOT get another budgie to bring into the mix at this point in time. I believe doing so would simply complicate the issues you are currently dealing with.
You need to be focusing on throwing your budgie out of breeding condition. You do not want her to continue laying. Doing so creates problems for her both with regard to both her emotional and physical well-being.
This is done by limiting the hours of daylight to no more than 8 hours per day. Limit the amount of protein in her diet.
Definitely remove the "boyfriend" toy and do not re-add it to the cage in the future. Rearrange the cage every other day at a minimum. This includes everything in the cage - perches, toys, food and water dishes, etc. If you are able to, move the cage into a totally different room as well.
Mixing up the environment will help to throw her out of condition.
I would not even consider getting another budgie for a minimum of 6 months. That time needs to be spent getting the female settled and ensuring her desires to lay have been completely curtailed.
At times, this may require intervention by an Avian Veterinarian with specific hormone injections if the advised procedures for throwing her out of breeding condition are not enough.
Thanks guys! I took the toy out and she perked up almost instantly!! I put her birdbath in there and she went in and cleaned herself straight away, I rearranged everything and swapped the toys out for other ones and she was playing with them all afternoon like she used to. She's also been singing which she really hasn't done much since the eggs.
She's definitely stopped laying though, the eggs she laid were over a 2 week period and it stopped probably close to 2 weeks ago now - no eggs since. When I went to put some broccoli in her cage (her favourite) she didn't try to attack me at all, just let me put it in her bowl and then started chomping away straight away. So I'm already seeing a HUGE improvement.
I'll put off getting another budgie for a while, until she's settled and I know she's back to normal.