Aggression to be concerned about, or normal teenage moodiness?
Hi all, my 2 budgies Peanut (male) and JoJo (female) are about 5 months old now. I got them from the same breeder at the same time, but they're not related. They've always shared a large cage and got along extremely well. Lately, JoJo has become a lot more aggressive towards Peanut and I don't know whether it's something I should be concerned about, or if it's normal puberty behaviour that is harmless and will pass.
I have plenty of food bowls, toys and perches etc. yet JoJo likes to chase Peanut away from whatever he's on. When they're out of their cage, she will follow him wherever he goes (which she's always done as he is more confident than she is), wait for him to land on something, then chase him off. He will then find something else to go play with and she will repeat the whole thing. It's the same with food bowls and treat sticks etc. Even if JoJo is doing her own thing and not interested in something, as soon as Peanut shows an interest, JoJo goes and chases him away so she can take over. JoJo has never actually hurt Peanut or even bitten him that I'm aware of, but Peanut knows when he sees her coming to move his little feathered bottom quick smart.
Peanut is the sweetest little guy and I feel absolutely terrible for him. He isn't scared of JoJo and still sits beside her, feeds her, sleeps next to her etc. but I hate to see him treated like this. Is this something that will pass or do I need to intervene?
Thank you FaeryBee. I thought that was likely what is happening but wanted some expert advice. This is probably a very silly question, but is there a general set amount of time that a hen remains in breeding condition or moody or does it all depend on the bird and the conditions? I know that limiting sunlight hours and protein etc contribute, but will doing those things help a birds mood/behaviour to return to normal any quicker, or us that something that needs to run its course?
Some budgies do remain in condition longer than others.
You are correct that limiting the daylight hours and protein in the diet will help to bring budgies out of condition more quickly.
I personally recommend you limit the daylight hours and protein in her diet.
The sooner JoJo comes out of condition the sooner she is more likely to be less aggressive. JoJo isn't getting ready to molt at this time as well is she? (Some budgies become more aggressive during their molts as well.}
I have two females and always limit their daylight hours as soon as they begin to come into condition. Doing so has made a world of difference in their behavior.
JoJo has been moulting for the last few weeks. She looked like she'd been through the wringer for awhile there and was covered in pin feathers. She's back to looking 'normal' again and I can't see any pin feathers but she's still scratching herself on the trapeze mat and I'm still sweeping up lots of little feathers. Her cere hasn't changed at all either. She still has the pale blue cere with white rings.
It's possible that the aggression she's displaying is coming from the fact that she's uncomfortable with her molt.
Unfortunately, it's hard to tell for sure with budgies. One of my females was extremely aggressive with the males for a period of time. Now, she acts completely normally with them and there is no trouble whatsoever with aggressiveness.
I wish I had a cut-and-dried answer for you. All I can suggest at this point (other than limiting her daylight hours) is to keep a close eye on her to be sure the aggression doesn't escalate.
Thank you FaeryBee for your thoughts on the matter. I'll continue to keep an eye on things and intervene if necessary. Hopefully this isn't a permanent change to JoJo's temperament and she will soon be back to her mellow self. I feel so bad for poor little Peanut.