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  #1  
Old 03-20-2018, 02:27 PM
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Default Getting a Second Budgie and Need Advice

Background Information:
I got Birdie in December (3 months ago) at a pet store, she was around 6 months old or so. Very skittish and very timid for the first few weeks (i.e. changing her food was a huge ordeal), and not aggressive at all (no biting). It was really tough trying to get her to be comfortable with me near her and since I couldn’t use food as a reward (she didn’t care for millet) I had to brainstorm other ways.

I first determined the distance from the cage that she would get slightly nervous (not terrified) and would stand in that spot and calmly talk to her for a period of time. If she didn’t fly away during that time, her reward was me taking a few steps back. Once she was comfortable at that distance (after a few days), I would move a bit closer (making sure she was only slightly nervous and not terrified). I did this repeatedly until I was able to be near the cage without her being terrified.

Trying to get her used to hands has been much trickier. I honestly believe she had a terrible experience with hands before I got her. She only had one wing clipped when I got her, so maybe she associates hands with wing clipping. Anyway, what I did was I first put my hand (closed, not open) in the bottom of her cage. Again, making sure she wasn’t terrified. After 10 minutes she started to become comfortable and at 15 minutes she would start to preen herself and I would praise her afterwards. This has helped with cleaning her cage (which takes so much time because I have to move slowly) and changing her food and water.

Getting this far has taken three months.

Now, I’m trying to do step up training. I’ve been slowly introducing her pellets, so I use seed as a reward for step up training. The thing is, I don’t really see progress with the step training. She still seems so nervous, and I feel like her comfort level hasn’t changed. To be honest, as much as I would love to have Birdie hand trained, it’s not that big of a deal for me.

So, now here are my questions:
1. Should I get a second bird?
2. Will getting a second bird change all the progress me and Birdie have made? Even so, is that more important than Birdie’s happiness if it greatly improves her quality of life?

Since it has taken so much time to get this far with her, maybe Birdie just needs another budgie friend. If Birdie was more outgoing, and not so fearful of people, I would probably wait a little longer before getting her a friend. Maybe another bird will give Birdie more confidence.

I understand they may have to have separate cages if they don’t get along and the second bird will be quarantined and then slowly introduced afterwards.

Another reason I am considering this, is that this summer (in 3 months) I will be taking two trips (a week long each) and I’m concerned that if birdie doesn’t have a friend by then it could go right back to square one. I have arranged for Birdie to stay with someone during that time, but feel that since it took three months to get used to me, having a friend might make that easier.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and sorry for the novel.


Last edited by niteowl; 03-20-2018 at 03:28 PM. Reason: grammar
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2018, 03:52 PM
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I think that you're making wonderful progress with Birdie in only 3 months, especially since she was so skittish! It is ultimately up to you, but I think you need to wait a little longer to see if Birdie can be happy as a solo budgie
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Old 03-20-2018, 04:47 PM
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I would not recommend getting another budgie at this point in time.
Birdie is going to prefer a same species friend (after quarantine) and your taming and bonding with her will definitely be affected by changing the "flock dynamics". Generally it is best not to wait a minimum of 6 months before deciding whether or not to introduce another budgie into the "flock".
Right now, you are Birdie's flock - another member will make a big difference.

https://www.talkbudgies.com/articles-...en-flocks.html

When you go on vacation, are you planning to have a friend in to watch her and care for her?

There are many things to take into consideration before getting a second budgie.

https://www.talkbudgies.com/other-pet...other-pet.html

If you decide to get another budgie in the future, please be sure to observe quarantine for the new budgie.

Quarantine means housing the new bird in a different cage in a different room than the current bird (as far away from the room the current bird is in as possible) for a period of 35-45 days.

Budgies mask symptoms when they are ill. Symptoms may not show up for over two weeks.
Often you will not even realize your bird is not well. Many budgie illnesses are airborne which is why you need to quarantine your new bird in a completely different room.

It is also a good idea to always take a new budgie in to see an Avian Vet for a "well-birdie" check-up. This allows you to develop a good relationship with the vet and the vet can establish a baseline for your bird in case of any future illnesses or injuries.

Distinction between an Avian Vet and a Vet that "Will See Birds"


2. Introducing the new bird to the current bird

Introducing two birds


3. Flock Dynamics

Flock Dynamics

Your Harmonious Flock

4. Where do you plan to get the new bird?

Why buy from an reputable breeder rather than a big box pet store


5. Vet Expense and Housing

Do you have the time, finances, etc to devote to another bird?

Are you ready, willing and able to house the new budgie separately on a permanent basis if it does not get along with your current bird after quarantine?

Be Prepared for Veterinary Care Expense
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  #4  
Old 03-22-2018, 02:12 PM
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Thank you so much for your replys!

I was thinking that since its taken this long for Birdie to warm up to me, that maybe getting another budgie would be best for her. I also feel really bad whenever she is left alone. She is never left alone for long (at most maybe 4 or 5 hours once or twice a week), but I still feel really bad.

However, I've decided to postpone getting another bird, for now.

I'm still really nervous about leaving her for a week this June and then again in August for a week I have arranged for someone to look after her during that time. She will be staying at a friends house during that time, and they have no other pets, but also no experience with birds. I'm thinking maybe bringing her there a few times beforehand to get her used to that environment might help. Any advice on how to go about getting her ready for June and August?
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Old 03-22-2018, 04:48 PM
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Leaving Birdie alone for 4-5 hours a couple of times a week is nothing to feel guilty about!
Many people have solo budgies and work full-time jobs.
As long as you are spending regular and consistent quality time interacting with your budgie daily, she will be just fine.

Take Birdie for several short trips in the car to get her used to riding in the car to get her used to it.

Taking Birdie for several visits to your friends home prior to your vacations in July and August is definitely a good idea.

I've left one of my birds with my girlfriend when I've vacationed and took him there a few times prior to the first lengthy stay.

Print out a list of instructions for your friend to follow when caring for her.

1) Amount of Food and when to feed
2) Household substances that are dangerous to budgies
3) Name, Phone Number and directions to your Avian Vet in case of emergency
4) Encourage your friend to interact with Birdie 3 or 4 times a day by sitting near her cage and talking, singing or reading to her
5) Remind your friend to leave music or the TV on for Birdie when she isn't going to be around.
6) Let your friend know what Birdie's normal schedule/routine is like. When does she get up, when does she go to bed, should her cage be covered, etc.
7) Print out some of the articles or stickies which you believe would be helpful for your friend to review prior to caring for Birdie and or (if your friend is interested) encourage her to join the forum and read through the information herself to become accustomed to the best practices to follow in caring for a budgie.
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Old 03-22-2018, 05:07 PM
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Here is what I wrote up recently when I left town for several days. I am still adding to it, but felt like it was a good start. You can copy it and edit as you like, then print it off for your friend. Have your friend read through the materials you provide and ask any questions before you leave.

Care Instructions
-Lemon Drop-
Daily Care
• Cover her cage at night around 9pm and uncover it in the morning
• Change the paper in the tray in her cage
• Wash her food and water bowls
• Feed her about 1-2 tsp of her seed mix once a day
• Provide her with fresh pellets, about a tablespoon
• Change her water, giving her filtered water if possible
• Optional: offer fresh veggies – See safe veggie list

Weekly Care
• Clean cage, including floors and perches, with a wet rag or scrubby. Vinegar can be used as well.

Fun Things to Do with Lemon Drop
• Talk to her – she may talk back in budgie!
• Read to her
• Take pictures and show them to her
• Feed her a small amount of millet from your hand
• Play music/sing for her – she may sing along!

Safe and Healthy Foods for Budgies
Asparagus, peeled beets, *broccoli, *carrots, corn, cucumber, *dark green lettuce (not iceberg), green beans, &kale, mustard greens, peas, &pepper, squash, &tomato, zucchini
*Lemon Drop has eaten this
&Lemon Drop has tried this but not eaten much

Budgie Safety – Common Dangers
• Extreme temperature changes
• Cold drafts
• Scented candles, aerosol sprays, perfumes, air fresheners
• Smoke of any kind
• Cleaning products – safe ones include vinegar, borax, Bon Ami, mild dish soap
• Teflon or non-stick cookware – even when cooked with in a different room
• Various foods (stick to the list above to be safe)
• Saliva from any animal, including humans
• Poisonous household plants
• Hot stoves and heaters
• Paint or nail polish (when wet or chewed)
• Water deeper than an inch
• Mirrors, open doors, windows
• Other household pets (even if they seem to get along!)
Note: There are many other dangers but most can be avoided by keeping Lemon Drop in her cage and only feeding her seed mix, pellets, and those veggies listed above after they have been thoroughly washed.

Signs a Budgie May be Sick
• Sneezing or runny nose
• Lethargic
• Change in poop color or consistency
• Labored breathing
• Fluffed up at the bottom of the cage – this is a sign of a VERY sick bird who needs immediate care from an avian vet!

Interested in learning more about budgie care? Check out the online forum Talk Budgies at TalkBudgies.com Homepage.


Hope that is helpful!
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Old 03-30-2018, 03:19 PM
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Thank you so much for the useful information! I will definitely be taking your advice. This has really put my mind at ease about taking a vacation and the amount of time she spends alone.

Also, I think another reason was that I considered getting a friend for birdie was that she has been inactive since I got her in December (3 months ago), and maybe it was from loneliness. She doesn't play with her toys and only moves around to eat & drink. In the beginning she would fly out of the cage after flock calling and now only when startled.

I took her to the vet thinking she could be sick, however she is healthy. She started molting a few weeks ago, so maybe it was a combination of that and still settling in? She is still nervous eating in front of me.

Any ideas on how to get her to be more active and encourage her to leave her cage?
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:54 PM
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My guy really didn't come out of his shell for almost a year Now he's a complete goofball!
For shier birds, it's normal if they take a while to get comfortable. Just give her time. And not all budgies like coming out of their cage- it's their safe space. You can hang toys and treats outside of the cage and place perches on the outside to make her more willing to explore.
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Old 03-31-2018, 07:04 AM
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It is going to take time for your budgie to become comfortable with you.
Spending time sitting next to her cage talking, singing and reading to her on a regular basis will help tremendously in gaining her trust.

Hang a perch on the outside of her cage next to the door and maybe put a play gym on top of the cage (if the cage has a flat top). Otherwise, put the play gym nearby with favorite toys and a treat.

When she's ready, she'll decide to venture out on her own.
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Old 03-31-2018, 06:11 PM
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I think you're right and she might just need more time.

Since she is frightened by everything, it makes hard to figure out what to work on first (I can also be a bit of a scatter brain). I feel like if I try it all at once it might be too much (building trust, hand training, healthy eating (pellets & veggies), playing with toys, getting her used to other people & bathing ect)

When replacing the dowel perches, I slowly had to introduce new perches (2 multi branches, cement, wood - rope ladder) rather than replacing them all at once (except the rope perch).

All her toys I had to first place far away from the cage, then slowly bring them closer till (took a few days), until they were finally 'allowed' in her home.

She is terrified of swings as well. The one time she used it the motion spooked her (to say the least) and she refuses to go near it.

I read that bathing helps with molting, so I tried to help her with that (hanging wet greens from the cage, a shallow dish with greens in it and then without). She didn't seem interested at all, so I then I had to slowly get her used to a spray bottle being near the cage before actually using it. She was impartial on misting, didn't run but also didn't fluff up either.

However, she is used to me being near her cage and tolerates my hand in her cage, which I think is major progress considering where we started. I talk and sing to her often and even sing her the same song every night before bed (which she loves).

Anyway, I'm really off topic now, so thank you again for your advice and encouragement. I will place a favorite perch outside her cage and create a play gym for her and see how it goes.

Thank you again!
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