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Old 07-17-2016, 05:23 AM
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Default Determine age through behavior changes? And a few other questions

Hi, about a year ago I took a budgie from someone who was essentially mistreating her. It was a usual case of someone buying a pet for a child impulsively and then they got annoyed because of the responsibility it took (this person is 40 years old by the way) and so locked her in a room alone.

My grandmother took the bird from him but she already has a cat! So she could only visit her once or twice a day because she was locked in another room. (The budgie still gets excited when she walks in here, she absolutely recognizes her) Anyway, we decided the best thing to do was for me to have her since I don't have any pets and I understand that it's a living creature and not a toy like some people think. I've really enjoyed her company, she makes me laugh every day. I didn't realize just how much personality birds can have. She was INCREDIBLY nervous, however, and still is in certain situations. She's only been out of her cage around 8 times and panics uncontrollably if you put your hand near her. I think she panicked a few days ago and flew for so long that I think her wings got tired. She was trying to fly but couldn't. I had to help her by carrying. She pecked my hand and made a noise but didn't seem too bothered by it overall.

I'm so angry at the first owner for, like most adults, not thinking things through before buying a living animal. He's essentially ruined the budgie. She was around 5 or 6 when I got her so she's spent basically all of her life in isolation.

So I have a few questions. Not long ago, about a month, any time I'd come in the room or bring the budgie into the office with me she'd get VERY happy, look like she was trying to climb through the cage bars to get to me, was making this adorable happy chirp (actually I need to start another thread for that chirp because it's unusual... I think it means something to do with comfort and being fed? She was sticking her tongue out at me when she made it!) and was running all over the cage. I'd open her door and she'd climb out and fly around the room a little bit, exploring and eventually return to her cage.

For the past few weeks she's been very quiet, almost like when she first arrived. She only occasionally makes that "feed" noise and other than that just sits in almost uniform silence all day. It's strange. According to my grandmother she's nearing 5-6 years old but could be older. I'm worried that she may be sick or maybe is just too old to be jumping all over the place.

Does anyone know whether budgie behavior changes near the end of their lives?

By the way, a side question, when budgie peck you is it always bad? She does this almost groom like pecking when I go near hear, it's gentle and feels playful but I don't know. I'm just worried that I'm scaring her. I think she's comfortable around me though which is why I think it might just be an affectionate thing too. She eats around me, is grinding her beak and closing her eyes as I type this, keeps beakbutting her swing, she eats out of my hand (until she realizes it has fingers) but overall I'd describe her behavior as stand off-ish and nervous. I suppose she spent so much time alone in those two rooms that no amount of comfort will fix her. She makes a weird clicking noise when I put my hand near the top of the cage, does anyone know if this is a hostile sound? Because it sounds like one!

So is there any way I can determine an older budgie's age? Oh and occasionally I find feathers on the bottom of her cage in the morning like she's been pulling them out. This worries me a lot. It happens every few months or so and for no reason. I have a set routine with her that I don't disturb. I give her fruit sometimes, millet, grain, change her water every day and keep her company all day while I work. If anyone can help I'd appreciate it!

Apologies for such a long first post!


Last edited by aluz; 07-17-2016 at 06:50 AM. Reason: Replacing word
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  #2  
Old 07-17-2016, 07:21 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

I'm glad you have rescued this budgie and have given her the loving, caring home she deserves.

It's true that older budgies will slow down a bit more with time, but they still have moments throughout where they are active/energetic.
If your budgie had such an abrupt change, then something may be off with her.
Besides the lack of activity, have you noticed a decrease on her appetite, is she sleeping more often? Are her feathers puffed up most of the time?

The gentle nibbling you are describing isn't negative, that's the budgie's way of showing affection, by preening your hand/fingers.

After a budgie reaches adulthood (at 1 year old) it's not possible to give an accurate estimate on age. In your case, you will have to rely on the information given to you that your budgie is at least 5 years old.

Budgies preen on a daily basis, this is part of their hygiene and it's normal for a few feathers to naturally fall off during this process.
Budgies will also moult at least 2 times per year, so it's normal during this time to see an increased number of fallen feathers.
The seasonal moults will usually start in Spring and at Fall, but it's not unusual for budgies to have lighter moults throughout the year.
Please check these links below for the detailed information:
https://talkbudgies.com/your-budgies-...ting-faqs.html

https://talkbudgies.com/articles-gene...e-molting.html

Since you are relatively new to budgies, the information on the several articles and sticky threads located at the top part of each section of the forums will be extremely useful and most (if not all) of your questions will be answered there.
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Old 07-17-2016, 07:25 AM
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I can't add to the great advice from Aluz but I wanted to welcome you to the forum and say how pleased I am that you took this little budgie in.
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:10 AM
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Hi! to Talk Budgies

Thank you for rescuing the little budgie (what is her name?) and giving her the safe and loving home she deserves.

aluz has offered excellent advice.

In addition, please take the time to read through all of the How To Guides, the FAQs and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.

You'll find most of your basic questions about budgies and caring for them will have been answered after you've read through all of them.

Site Guidelines
How-To Guides
FAQs Frequently Asked Questions
Budgie Articles
https://talkbudgies.com/general-budgi...-stickies.html
https://talkbudgies.com/general-budgi...ng-forums.html
https://talkbudgies.com/general-budgi...e-expense.html
Avian First Aid
Why Quarantine?

https://talkbudgies.com/articles-gene...watch-out.html

https://talkbudgies.com/budgie-breedi...s-new-old.html

https://talkbudgies.com/housing-budgi...age-sizes.html
https://talkbudgies.com/housing-budgi...reat-cage.html
https://talkbudgies.com/general-budgi...directory.html

When you upload pictures as thumbnail attachments directly from your computer, tablet or phone, the forum automatically defaults to landscape.

To upload full-sized pictures with the proper orientation, please use a photo-sharing service such as PhotoBucket and follow the steps in these instructions:
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By the way, all photos entered in any of our forum contests must be a full-size photo and not a thumbnail attachment so it's good to know how to upload them!

If you have any questions after reading through everything, please be sure to ask!

Glad you decided to join us and looking forward to seeing you around the forums.

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