I have been struggling with an inner dilemma. I have some questions about adding a 2nd bird and when it's the right thing to do.
My budgie is tame and very bonded to his human family. He talks all day long in his cage. He has plenty of toys that I switch frequently and he LOVES them all. His cage is huge and he's always acting like a clown. All seems well and yet...
The more bonded he becomes with us the more out of cage time he wants. He flies to the door of the cage if we walk past or start talking to him. When he's out of the cage he has toys and a playgym which he adores. He now would rather perch on us and I feel like he deserves to have interaction all day long, even when we're not home. He gets 2 hours a day of out of cage time and on the weekends sometimes he gets more. Today he was out 3 separate times, for a total of 6 hours.
I'm thinking of getting a cockatiel. I have always loved them and have read how docile they are. I have read that they can be a wonderful companion for a high strung budgie, the yin to their yang. We'd keep him separate for a month or so to make sure he's not ill. Then I'd put their cages next to each other for a few weeks. Then I'd let them out to play together, etc etc. I'd take it slow (I'm responsible when it comes to the safety of my budgie. He really matters to me.)
So I guess my big question is, when is it the right thing to do? He'll have to share us if we do this and I want to make sure that it's what's best for him and won't take away from his fantastic life. Any insight or opinions are welcome. Please let me know what you think. A big part of why I prefer a cockatiel to a budgie is that they're a little less fragile and Spirit frays my nerves enough as is. Something bigger and more hearty would be good for my sanity.
Remember that if you choose to get a cockatiel that it will need to be caged separately from Spirit even if they get along well enough to have out of cage time together.
Some budgies that are super active can be overwhelming to a more docile cockatiel and that may factor into whether or not the two birds would do well in having out of cage time together or would need separate out-of cage time.
If you are looking for a "friend" for Spirit, I believe you'd be better off with another male budgie rather than a cockatiel as a buddy for him.
If you are looking for another bird, one that is less fragile for yourself to interact with, then that's a whole different ballgame.
Ya know, honestly, I don't even want another bird. I just look at his cute little face and beak peering out at me through the bars of the cage every time I walk by and can't help but wonder if he's lonely.
So no on the cockatiel.
If you had a single budgie that over bonded a bit to his toys (regurgitating, ocd) (I switch them out when he starts acting weird) and just wanted to be with SOMEONE all the time, would you get another budgie. Or am I reading too much into this and he's fine?
I don't want to get him his own pet budgie only to have no behavior change. I just want the cute little brat to be happy. I also worry the new budgie would bully him (hence wanting the cockatiel initially.)
Personally, I think Spirit is just fine as a solo bird.
He's simply a bit spoiled and wants all of your attention.
Remember that budgies are much like two year old toddlers.
If you give in to what Spirit wants all of the time, he will rule the roost!
Spirit simply needs to have a bit of structure and routine.
Give him specific times of the day that are for out-of-cage time and specific times of the day when he needs to be in his cage and entertain himself.
I have a lovebird that is super-bonded to me and acts much the same way your budgie is acting. If I allow him to, Peachy will try to be the "big bird in charge" and run the household.
Spirit is getting plenty of love and attention and I sincerely doubt he would enjoy sharing that attention with another bird.
Thank You! I really needed to hear that. I really didn't want to share my time with another bird - we have other pets we need to think about too. Another pet would just take away from everyone.
And don't you know? Spirit isn't disillusioned. He knows exactly who's in charge! Our ice cream melted today while shopping. We went down the toy isle and got lost looking for something he'd like. It's a typical shopping trip.
I'll stick to the routine from now on even on the weekends! Thanks so much.