A few months ago I was strongly considering getting a second budgie.
I got Birdie December 12, 2017 and by the end of March 2018, I started to consider getting a second budgie. Birdie was super skittish, wouldn't play with toys, and only left the comfy perch to eat. I took Birdie to the vet and nothing was wrong. I tried positive reinforcement as well as other methods, which allowed me to change her food & water and clean her cage.
It was a really tough decision since I was so scared that all the trust and bonding we did would be lost.
I got Kiwi this April 2018, quarantined for 30 days, and then slowly introduced them as recommended on this site.
And they are so different. Kiwi was eating and playing on the first day, loves to chirp (birdie doesn't), and started eating veggies right away. However, Birdie was so much more tame in comparison. Birdie is now more playful and adventurous and the bond we have is still there. They are so cute together and do everything together, preen, cuddle, eat, and play.
I do have a question: Kiwi is now molting (first molt). Some days Kiwi has no energy other days so much energy. Sometimes, and more frequently, Kiwi gets cranky (which is understandable). Kiwi is also eating non stop.
However I'm noticing Birdie is preening much more and losing feathers as well, even though Birdie just finished a molt. I'm worried because today birdie lost a large feather. Is this normal? And I'm noticing Kiwi is trying to hog the food. I have multiple food dishes, but Kiwi tries block Birdie from a food dish, which doesn't usually work and Birdie eats. But that is a new behavior.
(Kiwi is green and Birdie is blue. The first pic is when I first got Kiwi, the second is when they were being introduced. The last pic was taken yesterday.)
Last edited by niteowl; 06-06-2018 at 03:32 PM.
Reason: Adding name & description to pictures.
The behavior Kiwi is exhibiting during the molt is normal. You indicate Kiwi is "eating non-stop" which is a bit concerning depending on what exactly he's eating.
Are you rationing the amount of seed the birds' receive? Each budgie should be getting 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of a high quality seed mix per day.
Pellets should be available in the cage 24/7 and vegetables should be a big part of their diet.
If Kiwi is eating lots of vegetables, then that is a good thing!
If Kiwi is "hogging" all of the food (meaning the high quality seed mix), then you may need to separate the budgies during the times you feed them their seed rations.
I split my birds' seed rations into two feedings per day - morning and evening.
The fact that Birdie lost a large feather is nothing to be concerned about. Not all feathers molt at the same time and you are bound to see feathers off and on even when a bird isn't going through one of their major molts.
The pictures you posted of Birdie and Kiwi are adorable!
As Birdie is tame, you could always feed her some extra seed from your hand if you thought she was missing out. The feathers just sound like normal moulting though - Some birds tend to moult heavy, some moult less harshly but much more frequently but all feathers will eventually be replaced.
Here is what I feed them:
-Morning: Seed mixed with pellets (Harrison's fine or Zupreem)
-Supper Time: Seed mixed with pellets (Harrison's fine or Zupreem)
-An Hour before bed: Just a seed mix.
Note: Pellets (Zupreem) and vegetables (mostly carrots, but trying to get them to eat other veggies) provided throughout the day. The reason I mix the pellets and seeds is because I'm trying to get them both on pellets.
Birdie is still gets spooked easily and needs to be on one side of this particular food dish when they eat or Birdie won't eat (the seed and pellets dish). Sometimes, Kiwi will try to stop Birdie from going to that spot. Its odd because there are other food dishes are available with the same food located at other spots in the cage but both won't bother. If anything only Kiwi will. Birdie is still stubborn about the type of food but is slowing trying new things. Kiwi is super young and seems to have no fear of trying new things. So I just want to make sure Birdie is eating enough.
About the molting:
-Birdie just finished a regular molt about month or two ago.
-Kiwi is currently going through a juvenile molt
What I'm noticing is Birdie is preening a lot more since Kiwi started molting preening more, and I'm finding Birdies feathers at the bottom of the cage as well as Kiwi's. There aren't bald patches on Birdie, but some white areas on the chest where it should be blue. Should I be concerned?
I'd recommend you use separate dishes for the pellets rather than mixing them with the seed.
As mentioned, if Kiwi is not allowing Birdie to eat regularly, then they may need to be separated at feeding time. If Birdie feels overly bullied, that is going to affect her emotionally and stress can, indeed, contribute to over-preening.
It hard, from your description, to know if Birdie is simply molting again or if she is starting to over-preen due to the stress she feels from being around Kiwi.
Unfortunately, only you are going to be able to make that determination as you are the one with them and we are unable to observe the daily behaviors.
If Birdie isn't acting like her normal self and you truly believe she is over-preening, you may need to separate the two budgies into individual cages on a permanent basis.
You can allow them to have supervised out-of-cage time together if that is the course that you have to take.
Taking Birdie in to see an Avian Vet for a well-birdie check-up may also be in order.
Best wishes and please be sure to update us on how things progress.
Thank you for pointing that out. It didn't occur to me that Birdie could be over preening due to stress. I thought that maybe it was because Birdie was mimicking Kiwi, since they both mimic each other a lot and do pretty much everything together.
And I will separate the pellets and seeds. Also, how do you recommend feeding them separately? I would say that Kiwi will try to not let Birdie eat maybe 10 - 15% of the time. The same goes with how often they bicker. I know birds can have their squabbles, I guess its just hard for me to figure out the difference between that and bullying. Most of the time they are good, sharing toys, carrots and Kiwi has really make Birdie more confident.
Also, what do you recommend as to getting them to eat pellets? I've tried putting the pellets in a higher dish than the seed dish. I've tried giving it to them first thing in the morning when they are hungry. I've tried mixing the seed and pellets. I've used both Harrison's Fine and Zupreem, but nothing. Any ideas?
If it is only 10-15% of the time that Kiwi is preventing Birdie from eating that isn't much at all. I was under the impression from your earlier post that this behavior was taking place 80% of the time or more.
What you are describing now sounds more like normal "I'm in charge" type of behavior from Kiwi and no reason for concern.
Would you post a picture of the area you are concerned about with regard to Birdie preening?
Now that you've clarified more details regarding the situation, I can determine there is simply a good chance Birdie is, indeed, mimicking Kiwi's behavior and you probably have nothing to be concerned about with regard to over-preening. Budgies do lose feathers regularly whether they are in a full blown molt or not. Also, preening is the way that budgies clean and order their feathers so it isn't an issue unless a bird is actively pulling out feathers that aren't ready to be removed.
One of the problems with regard to offering advice on forums is that we base what we say on the information given. All the little details which are often not included in the members' post are exactly what bring different considerations into the equation and can result in different conclusions/advice.
When I introduced pellets to my budgie, my Avian Vet recommended using Harrison's High Potency Mash and sprinkling it on the budgie's seed mix every day. This way, when the budgie hulls the seed it tastes the pellet mash and ingests bits of it as well. This helps the budgie identify the taste as a food source.
Many members seem to find the easiest pellets to use for introducing pellets to their budgies to be the CANARY sized Zupreem fruity pellets. Most budgies like the taste and the "Canary" sized pellets are tiny enough for them to easily eat them. Once they've become accustomed to the Fruity Pellets, introducing the smallest "natural" pellets is then an easy step.
Other than when I was using the Harrison's mash, I've never mixed my birds' pellets and seed together. My birds have three separate dishes each with a different brand/flavor of pellets available to them 24/7. Their seed is rationed to approximately 2 teaspoons of seed per budgie each day. I give them seed first thing in the morning right after putting clean newspapers on the bottom grate of the cages. I sprinkle their morning ration on the paper so they can forage for the seeds. I then do the same thing in the evenings (after replacing the soiled newspaper with clean) and again allow them to forage for their seed.
All of my birds have the option to eat the available pellets whenever they like throughout the day and they all enjoy them!
Using Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother)
as a natural pro-biotic is very beneficial to your budgies: