I've been reading all of the helpful guides available here for the past few days, including the "introducing 2 budgies" guide, quarantine guide, and other tips on choosing a healthy, social budgie. I don't plan on getting budgies myself for at minimum another year (if I still decide to go through with it) but am conflicted -- Basically: is it generally better to start with one, train for 6 months, and then consider another depending on the first's personality, or start with two familiar with each other?
I see variations of this question being asked often, but wanted to share my specific situation.
I plan on getting them from a small local store dedicated to birds where they may have them more hand tamed, or directly from a breeder. For reference, I live in Michigan (metro Detroit area), if anyone has suggestions for shops, breeders, or vets!
* I work 8 hours/day, Monday-Friday. My work is flexible on hours, so I can work 9-5, 7-3, etc, and typically no overtime, so I would have more time to spend with the birds if I come home earlier.
* I have owned budgies, a cockatiel, and a quaker before (not all together) when I was a child/teen.
* I would NOT have any other pets aside from the budgie(s).
* I want to have a close bond with the budgie(s), and I also want him/them to be happy.
My considerations so far:
Getting one only
- More attention spent training the budgie and higher(?) probability it may learn mimicry. I would love to teach him some words but I know not every budgie picks it up.
- If I only keep one budgie total, it would be more dependent on me as a companion, which would be difficult to deal with when I am away longer than 8 hours or have to put it in boarding for any vacations. He might get used to being solo, but I would feel guilty about this since they are flock animals.
- Second budgie would have to be quarantined and have its own cage, etc, and after quarantine may not get along with the first budgie... Then they will have to live separately. How often are solo young budgies unwelcome to new flock members? How do you predict the 'right' second budgie to adopt, so it is as compatible with the first budgie so chances of this are low?
Getting two at once
- They will not have to be quarantined which is less stress on them.
- Higher chance they will get along, since they lived together (assuming one was not observed bullying the others or is otherwise territorial or antisocial).
- If it is a bonded pair, a close bond with me seems much more difficult. I would not want to separate a bonded pair in a flock. How do you ideally choose two 'best' budgies from a flock to take home from observing their behavior? Two which seem neutral towards each other but still social, or bonded pairs?
- Less lonely for the birds than having a solo budgie.
- Training, I'm sure, is more difficult, including mimicry.
I would love to know what suggestions or advice you budgie veterans have! Thanks for any insight.