As a college student, after getting my first budgie, I realized that I wanted a second budgie, and that it would also be good for my first budgie to have a friend, since I spend long hours at school.
My first budgie, Mochi, is about 6-7 months old. My new budgie, Kumo, is about 3 months. After quarantining Kumo, I began putting their cages next to each other. They were very excited, and would squawk loudly at each other all day. Whenever I open Kumo's cage, he immediately comes out to try to sit on Mochi's cage, and wants to be close to him. (He's very skittish and I haven't been successful yet at taming him, since he knows there's another budgie around he's more interested in finding him than being okay with my hand)
For the past 3 days, I have let them both come out at the same time. They sit on top of Mochi's cage (the larger one), and while Kumo seems to just want a friend/mom to sit next to and mimic, Mochi will not stop pestering him.
Mochi continually pecks Kumo's beak and tries to grab his tail, squawks at him, and generally chases him around a bit. Kumo doesn't seem to understand any of this, and just tries to follow Mochi and sit by him quietly.
Is this normal behavior? I know that one budgie has to emerge as kind of the dominant one, so they may fight until that happens, but when is it appropriate to put them in the same cage?
I'm planning on taking all of Mochi's toys out of his cage and putting new ones it when I actually put them together, hoping that he'll be less territorial, but I'm looking for any advice I can get.
Thank you so much!
Note: I read the sticky about introducing budgies, which is why I introduced them out of the cage, etc, but I'm looking for more detail about normal behavior and the proper steps and time frame.
I would not put the two in the same cage at this time.
Give them supervised out of cage time each day and carefully monitor Mochi to ensure he does not hurt Kumo in any way.
I would not subject Kumo to being overly bullied by Mochi for long periods of time. Try 15-20 minute supervised time together a couple of times a day if you are able to do so.
See how things go for a couple of weeks doing this.
Hopefully, in time, Mochi will become friendlier and more accepting of Kumo. If he does not, then you are going to need to keep them caged separately indefinitely. You can keep the two cages side by side so they can visit through the cage bars.
If, after a few weeks of supervised out-of-cage time they are geting along well, then you can consider seeing how they do in a cage together but be aware you may have to separate them if Mochi becomes too overbearing with Kumo.
Okay, good, that's basically what I've been doing. They're always supervised (plus I have a studio apartment so I'm always near them) and I let them be out together about 30 minutes or so before i separate them again.
Mochi doesn't seem to be trying to hurt Kumo and scratch or pull his feathers at least. Just pecking his beak against Kumo's, etc.
Is there anything else I should be doing? I don't really know what normal behavior would look like of them together, what is typical and what is over the top for picking on each other, etc.
I keep both cage doors open in case either wants to get away from the other, but they both want to be out together.
Congrats on your new little one getting out of quarantine!
I agree with what Deb has said. I'd also like to add that I think Mochi might just be very eager to make some new friends, and a little too rambunctious for Kumo. Hopefully he will settle down the more out-of-cage time he shares with Kumo. As long as there isn't any intention to maim or injure the other budgie, they should be ok during the supervised out-of-cage time. Trying to preen him, light tail pulling, and other mild annoyances are fine, anything that is an "attack" means that they should be separated. Keep us posted, good luck!
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic