Hello all, new here. So I've got 5 budgies, only had them for about a month now and everything was going great, one of them seemed a bit aggressive towards most but I thought maybe that's just her personality, she just nips at them, nothing major. Her cere has just recently turned brown and I'm wondering if this has anything to do with what happened (is it mating season for her and that's why she's more aggressive?)
Today I woke up, changing the food and water for them, but was shocked to find one of them (I'm assuming this is also another female, although not 100% sure) with one eye swollen shut and red brownish patches of what I assume is blood, around her face. This is only on one side though.
At first I assumed she hurt herself on one of the nest boxes since both females just love peeling off pieces of wood from there, but observing them for over an hour, the aggressive one and what seemed to be her mate, kept attacking her! Just going up on higher perches while she's feeding then jumping on her and I don't think this is normal behaviour.. Reading more online says females can get territorial over nest boxes in mating season (even to the point of killing the other female!!?), but over two boxes?! They wouldn't let her go into either, chasing her out of them when she'd get in, and attacking her when she's sleeping on the bottom of the cage. This didn't happen with the other budgies, or it was just the occasional nip, not such hard pecks.
I'm really not sure what I should do about this, should I remove the injured one into a separate cage, or the (possibly) breeding couple? I'm also not sure what I should do about her wounds since I don't want to hurt her even more by getting anything in her eye, or handling her incorrectly (since we've yet to let them out of the cage at all). Is such a wound likely to heal on its own or should I look into arranging a meeting with a vet?
Sorry for all the extra details, as you could probably tell I don't know much about them although I'm trying to find out as much as I can ? I'm trying to do anything I can for her right now, so any and all help would be greatly appreciated!
You can rinse the eye area off with a preservative-free sterile saline solution prior to taking her to the vet.
Avian Vets have special training to determine the cause of symptoms resulting from illness or trauma.
This is important as "regular" vets will often overlook symptoms that are quickly obvious to an Avian Vet.
When you rely on anyone who has not had training in Avian diagnosis and care, you may be delaying effective treatment.
This can prolong suffering that may be avoidable.
The bird will often require a more intense, prolonged treatment with a poorer chance of full recovery than it would have if you seek prompt professional diagnosis and treatment at the first sign of illness.
Having your budgie examined by an Avian Vet allows you to develop a good relationship with the vet in case your bird needs care for an injury or illness in the future. Additionally, it is always helpful for the vet to have a baseline for your bird to refer to should it need future treatment.
1. What gender are all the budgies?
Colony breeding is never recommended due to the inherent dangers.
2. WHY are you breeding when you haven't had these budgies for more than a month?
Budgies should not be bred until they are a minimum of 12-18 months old.
They should not be related to one another
Before breeding any species, it is important to learn as much about the animals, their personalities and the best practices to follow for responsible and ethical breeding prior to making the commitment to take on the responsibility. This requires extensive research and an openness to continual learning.
You have neither the knowledge or experience to even consider breeding budgies at this point in time.
3. Are there any eggs yet?
If there are no eggs, then the nest boxes need to be removed from the cage immediately.
4. Separate the aggressive female into a cage of her own away from ALL the other budgies
That female should NEVER be bred as it has now shown it has violent and aggressive tendencies which can be passed on to the chicks (IF any were even to survive)
Thank you for your super quick and helpful reply!
I'll check with a friend vet and see if they know of an avian vet around here.
1. Two of them are female, two male, and one seems too young to tell, his cere is just too pale at the moment, so I'll take a picture when they're awake to confirm.
2. Sorry it seemed this way, we're not intentionally trying to breed them as soon as we got them, two of them just seemed too close so we assumed they were mature enough to mate (I also didn't mean they were all one month old, I believe they are of varying ages)
3. No, I just checked and there are none so I'll remove them right away (their cage came with the nest boxes fitted on the sides already and I only just found out that it may be cause for attacks on other birds, the breeder did not tell us this)
4. She seems to be close to one other budgie though, maybe I am exaggerating and some budgies are just that way or this is how they're playful, but all she does is nip the others on the head, nibble and rub the head of the one she likes (and for the first time today, actually kind of attack one of the others), so do I still separate her on her own or have her with her companion, or wait and observe what she does after removing the injured one from the cage?
Again, sorry for seeming like a careless owner, I'm still learning as much as I can about them and there's too much conflicting info online for that as well.
You've come to the right place to learn the best practices in caring for your budgie friends!
The information you will find on this forum in the multiple Budgie Articles and Stickies includes information from Avian Vets as well as experienced and knowledgeable long-time owners/breeders.
With regard to the "aggressive" female, you can either separate her into a cage of her own at this time OR you can try her in a cage with the male she most seems to get along with.
Whatever you do at this point, you are still going to end up with three cages as a minimum at least until the injured female is completely healed.
I'm very glad you've joined us and are open and willing to make the changes necessary to ensure your budgies get the best of care for their health and well-being.
Please take the time to read through the Site Guidelines, all of the How To Guides, the FAQs, the Budgie Articles and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.
Truly, the very BEST advice anyone can offer you is to take the time to read ALL of the stickies throughout the various Talk Budgie forums as well as the Budgie Articles we have posted.
These are great resources for Talk Budgie members and have a wealth of reliable information which will assist you to learn the best practices in caring for your budgies for their optimal health and well-being.
It's good you have come here for advice. Just for future reference, the only time a nesting box should be introduced to a cage is if the owner is intending to breed their birds and they have enough knowledge to do so. Budgies do not need boxes or huts to sleep in, they sleep on perches.
You have come to a great place to learn best practices. I know it can be hard with so much conflicting (and some bad) info out there. I try to be the best budgie mama I can and still make mistakes from time to time. I just keep learning and trying to do better. You have been given great advice. Best of luck to you and your birds.
You've been given great advice above, and a fantastic starting point for learning about all you need to know about budgies. As mentioned, you are still going to need to read through the forums as there are hundreds of useful articles and "stickies". I'm glad you're making a big effort to give your budgies the best life possible
I hope that the little injured budgie feels better after his/her vet visit.
If you have any questions after reading through everything, be sure to ask!
We look forward to seeing you and your little budgies around the forums!
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic