I really need help with this and would really appreciate any advice.
A bit about each Budgie:
Birdie (Blue Budgie)
Age: approx. 6 months or older (Iíve had for 7 months)
Gender: Female (initially thought was male)
Diet: Seeds and veggies (trying to encourage pellets)
Initial personality (before meeting Kiwi): Skittish, easily startled. Not interested in toys, rarely chirped, contact calling in afternoons (not for me).
Kiwi (Green Budgie)
Age: Younger than 3 months? (Has baby bars and Iíve had now for 2.5 months)
Diet: Seeds, pellets & veggies
Initial personality (before meeting Birdie): Not skittish, very curious. Played with toys, chirped, squawked, and even mimicked my whistles.
I quarantined Kiwi for 30 days. Then introduced them slowly, cages near each other, then gradually brought the cages closer. At first Birdie wasnít interested, but Kiwi was. When they finally met on neutral territory (outside the cage) it was Birdie who took the leap and went over the Kiwi. They started to preen each other and kiss (so cute!). And slowly, they eventually stayed in Birdies cage.
They were always doing everything together and were the best of friends. Birdie became more outgoing, started to eat more veggies, they both shared toys and they both seemed so happy.
About less than month afterwards (I think), Kiwi started becoming dominant. Kiwi had to be the one to eat first, play with a toy first. Kiwi did this by squawking and wing flapping. Not close to Birdie, but since Birdie is skittish, Birdie would fly away from the food bowl. Birdie would then eat after kiwi. I was really worried about this but Birdie was allowed to eat after Kiwi. I think this might have been establishing pecking order?
Then a few weeks later, I left for a one week vacation and they stayed with my in-laws. For the first few days when I got back everything seemed fine. But on day three Kiwi wanted nothing to do with Birdie. At all. Didnít want Birdie to preen, or even be beside Birdie. Birdie started acting more like Kiwi, but more extreme. Not letting Kiwi do anything, at all. Squawking at Kiwi, even pecking fights until Kiwi flyís away.
I think (I could be wrong) Kiwi is going through his/her first molt which can be contributing to this. And maybe Birdie is responding to Kiwi's behavior?
Iíve separated them now and thatís becoming a challenge. Birdie wants to see Kiwi so badly. Will squawk, climb the bars of the cage, try to push through the bars of the cage.
Any thoughts on what could be happening and what I can do? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Also, can you help me with the Kiwi's gender? I've attached pics. The first one is when I got Kiwi, the others were taken today.
Iím not sure regarding the behaviour. Itís difficult to judge whether this is normal budgie squabbling or more. If you could capture a video of the behaviour, it might help.
How large is the cage? More space certainly helps.
Have you allowed them joint out of cage time yet? If so, how was their behaviour then?
If a bird isnít being allowed to eat (not just a ďHey Iím here firstĒ) or if you feel that the pecking is likely to escalate to injuring, then they need to be separated. They could still have joint supervised out of cage time.
Otherwise, Iíd wait until the weekend (or a time when you can be around more) and if you think itís likely just a minor ego battle, then do a major cage contents reshuffle, use multiple dishes for food, if possible allow them more out of cage time and see if things settle down.
The cage meets the minimum requirements (30x18x18).I do plan on getting a larger cage soon (its hard to find one that is more wide than tall and $200 or less).
What worried me was the frequency of the bickering. It started about two weeks ago. I was worried it would escalate to something serious, so I separated them. At first they would visit each other outside of the cage. Then, I gradually let them visit each other in the main cage (Birdies).
I took you advice and this weekend I completely rearranged the everything in cage (except the roosting perch) and changed most of the toys. I also added more and larger food cups. They've never had any mirrors, huts or coconuts shell swings in their home.
And I think it worked! Kiwi still seems to want some space from Birdie time to time, but the frequency has drastically decreased. Its honestly such a relief to see them preening each other and going back to being best friends again!
I think maybe it could be hormones for both of them.