We had two budgies, Minty and Sparky both 6 yrs old, who were very much bonded, but unfortunately we lost Sparky last week - he had a tumor on his liver so the vet put him to sleep we are sad about it but he didn't suffer at all.
Anyway Minty is now in a big cage on her own, she is OK, eating and pooping normally but she just seems a little 'out of sorts' not playing or singing very much, just sitting. We don't really want to get another baby budgie, but we don't want Minty to be lonely. We thought maybe of getting 2 babies, but the lady in the shop said that's also not a great idea - 'two's company, three's a crowd' sort of thing!
So now were thinking of trying to re-home an older budgie, or maybe trying to get her tame, however she has always been quite a nervous budgie, and not totally happy with human interaction.
We had a budgie called Speedy before we got these two and he was very tame and we'd quite like to get back to that kind of thing, but I don't think we'll ever get Minty to that kind of tameness.
I am unsure of the best thing to do for Minty, any advice would be welcome.
I’m so sorry for your loss of Sparky. It’s quite common and normal for a budgie to be “depressed” after losing a best buddy. The good news is, birds don’t really mourn for too long. Sometime within a month or less, you should see Minty start to perk up and adjust to single life. You’ll find that some budgies do just fine on their own once they adjust. Give it about a month and see.
In regard to getting Minty a friend, remember, there is no guarantee that any two budgies will end up getting along regardless of age or sex. Any time another is brought into the home, you have to be prepared to leave them in separate cages just in case. Then of course you’ll need to observe a quarantine period for any new additions for 30-45 days.
A bird is best to have a member of his species to live with. However, that depends on them getting along with each other. I have had the same situation as you, and after 2 months of the lone bird spending his time on his ladder and looking in his mirror all alone, I did buy him a budgie companion. It did work well. They got along well and were together for several years. Main point is that they get along together.
Budgies are flock animals, so they need to feel included in a flock to be happy. For some budgies, this is a same species friend, but for others, they are perfectly fine with their "human flock"
Since Minty is doing so well, you may not need to get another budgie. I would give it a few weeks and if Minty continues to do well alone, with regular human interaction, then there is no need to get another budgie, and in fact, it may stress him.
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
Thanks for your replies, Minty still seems to be fine, she never was very pleased to see us, or Sparky for that matter, but they rubbed along lol.
Shes eating, preening, squawking, and moving around, and also we've now put a mirror in for her, she was scared of it at first but she uses it now and again, we leave the radio on for her and she sings along.
She will have another change soon as we are off on holiday, so she will have to go my MiL's for 2 weeks. As she is in a really big cage she will have to go into a smaller one as MiL doesn't want the big cage - can't blame her, the cage is massive!
She is a nervous bird- scared of everything, but she was always like that..... we'll keep a close eye on her
I’m sure Minty will be fine while you’re away. Nice to have a trusted family member to bird sit for you!
We advise not to use mirror toys. It’s an ‘old’ style bird toy, that unfortunately are still popular and being sold, despite that we now know that it can cause behavior problems in pet birds. Many budgies, even if not right away, tend to obsess over the image in the mirror which leads to unwanted aggression, regurgitation, and frustration for the budgie. We recommend replacing the mirror with other more healthy budgie toys. Some suggestions are small wood shapes, wicker, plastic, bells, and a swing.
I had two budgies that were quite bonded and one became sick and passed away. Plumpy was very depressed and so I adopted two more budgies. They spent a month in separate cages for quarantine but Plumpy perked up just hearing them and they talked to each other.
They are still in separate cages as Plumpy is on a special diet to gain weight, but I let them all out of their cages together and they like to be around each other. Also the birds like to have their two cages side by side at least sometimes.
I will say it took some time for my new budgies to like Plumpy, but Plumpy was interested in them right away and once quarantine was over even flew off my finger to spend time in their cage. Lily is the biggest and kind of bossy, but that is getting better with time.
You can't guarantee a new budgie will bond with Minty, but I think even hearing or seeing another budgie would be good for Minty. In the meantime you can find some budgie videos on youtube so Minty can hear other birds.