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  #1  
Old 11-14-2016, 01:07 PM
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Hi, I have a serious problem.
I've got two budgies, Buddy and Raffa. Buddy was my first, and Raffa is pretty new. However, I realise in hindsight getting Raffa was probably a mistake.. And you will see why.
This is about Buddy. He is 7 months old nearly, and was hand reared. When he came to me he was the sweetest thing you could imagine. However.. in the past 4 months his attitude and temperament have rapidly and steadily deteriorated.
It started with mum.. whenever she took him out or put her finger up to him he would bite, and over time be bit harder.. Then, it transferred to me as well. Now neither me or mum can handle Buddy at all. It's not even like we offer ourselves to him to bite or push him out of his comfort zone. If my hand goes in the cage through the big door (say to get the food bowl), he jumps straight on and runs up my arm to my shoulder, where he promptly viciously attacks my face and ear. If I use the small doors he can't get out of to get the food bowls, he jumps on my hand and digs into that. He bites REALLY hard. And doesn't let go. He's drawn blood a couple of times too. It's that bad. Even from my brother, who is now the only one he is gentle enough with to handle, he still bites bad, and occasionally draws blood.
I belong to another budgie site and have tried everything they've suggested to stop Buddy behaving like this.. But NOTHING works. He had a fairly recent check up (after the problem began) so I don't think it's because he's in pain..

Buddy and Raffa rub along nicely, and have their cute moments, but Buddy does occasionally peck Raffa too. Raffa never rises to the attack, but is still the boss from the looks of it. However, the reason I think getting him was a mistake is that after I put the two together, I realised I cannot continue training Raffa while he is in the same cage as Buddy because Buddy will come over to bite. I don't want to put either of them in the quarantine cage again.. it's very poky, and Buddy was even worse when in there...

I don't know what to do. It's breaking my heart because I wanted Budgies (especially hand raised Buddy) for a special bond. Now all I seem to have is one who doesn't really care and one who hates me..
As I say I've tried EVERYTHING I can find on the internet and in books and only have one option to try left that I got from the breeder today. I don't want Raffa to pick up Buddy's bad habits, but I certainly don't want Buddy to become so aggressive they both have to stay in the cage all the time.. A part of me wonders if finding a more experienced Budgie handler and owner, or returning them to the breeder would be the best thing for them.. Someone who would have the experience and knowledge to either fix Buddy's habits or be able to deal with them..

What do you think? Any suggestions or explanations?

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  #2  
Old 11-14-2016, 02:00 PM
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Welcome to the forums,

I'm very sorry for the ongoing problems you have been experiencing with Buddy and your efforts in trying to correct the issue have proved not successful so far.
Did you try to use positive reinforcement techniques when working with Buddy?
By using this approach and rewarding good behaviour it's possible to make a difference for the better for your budgie's frame of mind to change and to see a gradual decrease of the vicious attacks.
If you haven't done so already, you can check the information on the stickies at the Taming and Bonding section.
You can start with these links: https://talkbudgies.com/taming-bondin...-training.html

https://talkbudgies.com/taming-bondin...-behavior.html

Given your Buddy's more violent temperament when interacting with you and since he has already shown aggressive tendencies towards Raffa, in order to avoid a situation that can end in tragedy, it would be best for you to house your budgies in separate cages and to work with each of them at different times and by giving them the needed one-on-one attention.

If despite all of your efforts in trying to rehabilitate Buddy, you feel that you are not making progress and you are overwhelmed by the situation, you could try to consult with an animal behaviourist that specializes in birds for the needed advice and guidance. If this isn't possible, then rehoming him to someone experienced in dealing with difficult cases and who has successfully rehabilitated troubled pet birds, would be the best option.

I'm wishing Buddy and Raffa all the best.
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  #3  
Old 11-14-2016, 02:18 PM
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I am certainly no expert and I'm very new at this, so the experts on this forum can definitely give you great advice.

What I can tell you... is that it's possible... that Buddy will grow out of this aggressive and biting phase. My male budgie is about 7 months old, and he has gone through and still is going through an aggressive, bitey & territorial phase. And he's a very sweet bird and was definitely a sweet and docile youngster.

This phase, sometimes referred to as the "teenager phase" or "budgie puberty" is apparently pretty normal. My budgie will bite me for a whole host of reasons (doesn't want to come out of the cage, doesn't want to go back in the cage, thinks I'm getting too close to his toy, when I'm putting his fresh kale - INTO - the cage with a clip, etc., if he's feeling grouchy or moody and wants to be by himself, if he's too excited, etc.)

At this age they're coursing with hormones and they're learning how to be adults and independent instincts come up, that are hardwired to protect their "nest" or their cage.
Also they start a molt around this age, which can make budgies uncomfortable and grouchy.

You can't take his behavior personally. It's not. He still likes you.

What I did was observe when my budgie is most likely to lunge at me and bite me and I figured out strategies to avoid that. (Mornings, evenings.... there are certain times of the day right now when he is grouchier. Or when he's with a favorite toy, he might get mad if I try to take it away. Or, sometimes he becomes territorial at his playgym...it's HIS... and he doesn't want to go back in his cage sometimes when he's on HIS playgym. He's become a bit bossy and on some days... he'll do a bossy warning noise all day long. Those are the days i can do nothing right. I like to describe the noise as sounding like an "angry dolphin." It's actually sort of funny how bossy he is on some days. It's not every day. It's been maybe... 3 or 4 times. Today for example, he's very sweet & pleasant.

I have every confidence Buddy will grow out of this.

What I've done ... is made sure I'm more cautious of offering my hand in this growing phase. If I think my bird is a bit ornery... I offer him a wooden chopstick or a perch to step up on. That way I avoid the bites. This has worked well. If he's in an aggressive mood, he can then attack the perch or chopstick and not my hand. If he's in a good mood... he'll step up easily and then I can offer my hand from there.

He did once go maniacally crazy on my hand, attacking it with multiple bites, and hard... but I ignored it and it hasn't happened since. I think it was an exception and he was having a bad & crazy moment. I didn't take it personally.

I think that lots of toys and chewing toys can help work out some of his aggressions at this time.

It sounds like maybe you need to keep the (2) birds in two separate cages for now, and let Buddy get through this growing phase?

Again, I'm not an expert and there others on this forum that can guide you better than I can. However these are some of my experiences that I've been going through. Hope it helps. Good luck...!


p.s. -- Here's a really good sticky article in Budgie Behavior section of the forum: https://talkbudgies.com/budgie-behavi...ggressive.html
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Old 11-14-2016, 02:23 PM
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Yes, I have tried lots of positive reinforcement but it's had no affect. I was hoping he would grow out of this, as he has been completely through his first moult, but it's just gotten worse. He may need to be separated, but I will have to get a bigger cage I think as this spare one I have is just too pokey. Bud's attacks are more like the frenzied ones mentioned rather than just moody pecks.
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Old 11-14-2016, 02:32 PM
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From your first description, it was clear this wasn't an easy case of moodiness due to a moult or due to reaching the rebellious stage of development.
Temperament is an inheritable trait and that combined with the way the budgie is raised and socialized will have a deep impact as the budgie continues to grow into adulthood and the personality is fully formed.
While it's possible to some extent to correct unwanted behaviour, this is something that takes a lot of work, dedication and commitment.

It would really be good if you could get a spare cage which is suitable to house one of your budgies as soon as possible.
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Old 11-14-2016, 02:39 PM
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Ok, I'll do that, and I will have a talk with my mother about asking if the breeder would like Buddy back or finding someone else experienced if our final attempt doesn't work.
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Old 11-14-2016, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dare View Post
Yes, I have tried lots of positive reinforcement but it's had no affect. I was hoping he would grow out of this, as he has been completely through his first moult, but it's just gotten worse. He may need to be separated, but I will have to get a bigger cage I think as this spare one I have is just too pokey. Bud's attacks are more like the frenzied ones mentioned rather than just moody pecks.

I was warned that they go through a 2nd molt around 7 months and sure enough that is what's happening. Right now my budgie's head is filled with pin feathers, and a bunch of wing and tail feathers fell out.

I have this cage and if you have the space for it, it's a pretty good deal if you need to get another cage: https://www.overstock.com/Pet-Suppli...lg=61&recidx=0

If you sign up for the Overstock.com email list... they give 10% to 15% off.

(*I'm not sure if you're in the US or not, so if not this might not work.) The cage kit came with about $20 worth of items (a mineral perch, toys etc.) ... so it's a good deal for a starter cage and is a nice size.

...Aluz always has the best advice. I would have been at a loss without her and people on this site (StarlingWings, FaeryBee, JoAnn, etc.)

Perhaps if you offer your hand less and offer perches instead to avoid the bites... and keep working with Buddy you can maybe ride it out to see if he chills out and grows out of it. I know there were moments I was nervous that I had a psycho on my hand, but I don't.

I started to do a lot of spray millet bribing and that helped. When I say bribing, I mean giving my budgie lots of it so he associated me with treats. I would give it to him from my hand when I arrived at his cage. I would use about a 1.5 to 2 inch piece filled with lots of little balls of it. ... I used to be stingy with the millet spray because I was trying to convert him to pellets (still am... it's going so-so)... but then I became liberal with it and that really helped a lot during this teen phase. A good positive reinforcement tactic that I've seen others use with success. Bribe him to be your friend.

Also, the Cal-Sea-Yum toy by Prevue, and the balls & stars chew toy by Planet Pleasures have been really helpful for my bird to get out his aggressions. They're inexpensive, and he loves to wrestle with them.
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Old 11-14-2016, 02:56 PM
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Vision is a highly regarded make of cage am I right?
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Old 11-14-2016, 04:05 PM
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Hi there and to the forums!

I look forward to hearing how you progress with your budgies! I agree with the advice offered above; it is definitely best to separate them right now and work from there.

I hope that you're able to find a solution that works for everybudgie!

Meanwhile, be sure to read through the forums and the links provided to ensure that you're up to date on the very best practices for budgie care. If you have any questions afterwards, be sure to ask as we'd love to help!

Cheers!
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Old 11-14-2016, 04:08 PM
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Thank you, I will. I think I'll try and move Buddy into the temporary smaller cage tonight.. Then back into the big cage when the new one arrives, and Raffa into the smaller one.. Sounds a bit complex I know, but I'm thinking that as Raffa is more likely to be able to come out more often, he should be in the smaller cage while Buddy keeps the flight cage so that if there does come a point when no one can take him out, he's still got room to fly.
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