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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I really need some advice, because I am absolutely bewildered at this situation.
While I was at work today, my mom texted me and told me Mexico and Ice were fighting to the point that they had to be seperated. Obviously I was concerned, ESPECIALLY because when she told me the details once I got home, they were apparently fighting on the bottom of the cage.
From what I know, that's very serious. I'm really upset, because I think I need to keep them separated, but they've been paired for almost 6 years and I've never ever had them fight like this. The most I've seen is little squabbles.
I have a couple ideas as to why this might be happening, and I feel really guilty.
For one thing, they are in a much smaller cage for the past few weeks, because I moved and haven't had a good space for the big flight cage, and to be frank I haven't put the effort in to find a good spot because I've been so distracted by other stuff. The other thing is, I haven't let them out of their cage for about 3 days because I've been out of the house so much and unable to supervise them. I feel particularly bad about this, because maybe I should just ask one of my brothers to watch them, since they're home all the time?
I'm kind of panicked. Do I set up the flight cage and still house them together, but what if that doesn't solve the issue? And Mexico is the less dominant budgie, so now I'm worried that eye injury from a few weeks ago was the result of a fight.
By the way, that's healing up fine but still...
Someone please help. Is it still right in this situation to seperate them? After they've been together so long? Has anyone else had this happen?

Additional note, it's blazing hot here right now, and they are housed in one of the warmest spots in the house. Could that be contributing to the fighting?
 

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It may be that they are uncomfortable in close quarters and are anxious from the move. They have to be separated if they are fighting. I would set up their flight cage and place them in it and see how it goes. Of course this has to be under your supervision at all times and you must be ready to step in if needed. Once they are back in their familiar cage they may calm down. As far as the heat goes, are they holding their wings away from their body, if so I would move them to a cooler spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It may be that they are uncomfortable in close quarters and are anxious from the move. They have to be separated if they are fighting. I would set up their flight cage and place them in it and see how it goes. Of course this has to be under your supervision at all times and you must be ready to step in if needed. Once they are back in their familiar cage they may calm down. As far as the heat goes, are they holding their wings away from their body, if so I would move them to a cooler spot.
Thanks for the reply! Currently I have them in separate cages. Tomorrow I'm going to set up their flight cage, which will be in a cooler spot as well. I'm a bit nervous to immediately house them together again, but I guess we'll see.
 

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I understand you being nervous, just don't leave them alone. Several years ago I had a male, Bebe, all my other birds just loved him, when his cage mate died there was a war between two other males as to who was going to be Bebe's next best friend. They were locked together mid air fighting, it was terrifying.
 

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I agree with Cody -- I would not leave the two of them alone in a cage together unsupervised until you are certain there is no more aggressive behavior.

Let us know how things progress with the move to the flight cage and good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Little update. Currently have Mexico in the flight cage. I haven’t yet put Ice in, because I haven’t had time to supervise them today.
I have their cages next to each other so they can see and hear one another still.
I’m also keeping an eye on Mex right now because something seems off with his one wing since their fight. He isn‘t nestling it as close to his body as the other one (though he’s not exactly holding it out either if that makes sense), and it also seems to be drooping too low, ie beneath his tail feathers while the other wing is resting on top.
He is still flying fine, although the most I’ve seen him fly is about two feet. There was also no blood at all after they fought.
Curious, should I be concerned about a break? I’ve been doing some research and it seems like most times a break is a lot more obvious. Do budgies get sore muscles and/or sprains... maybe that’s a dumb question but I genuinely don’t know.
 

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Yes, budgies can have strains, sprains and sore muscles.
Until Mexico is back to normal, I would not introduce Ice into the flight cage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, budgies can have strains, sprains and sore muscles.
Until Mexico is back to normal, I would not introduce Ice into the flight cage.
Unfortunately I read this after I had already reintroduced them.
The reintroduction did not go well however, as they would not stop pecking at each other and chasing each other around. No one was hurt thankfully, but I ended up having to take Ice out again which was a very unpleasant experience for both of us.
I seriously wonder why they would be fighting like this? They had a large space, and should be much cooler now, so less agitated... So why? Interestingly, Mexico was the one initiating the pecking and biting, even though he is much smaller and has always been quite passive.
On the topic of his wing, it seems a bit better today. Not perfect yet, but it's held above his tailfeathers now, which is progress.
When seperated, they spend a lot of time trying to get to each other and seem very friendly, but then they fought the second they were back together.
Is there any chance of reintroduction at this point? Maybe I should wait longer until they settle down from moving the cages to a different room?
I do have the option to separate the flight cage to top and bottom and have them in the same cage but "different floors" so to speak.
Also, since they are in a different room, how long should I wait before giving them some out of cage time again, and should I give them out of cage time separately or possibly introduce them again during out of cage time?
Sorry for all the questions, but this is very much uncharted territory for me.

Oh, another thing to note, I am actually moving (again) in less than two weeks, and I plan to leave them with my family because I'll be moving to a different province for a year, so this is really bad timing for this to be happening. :|
 

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Is there anyone in your family that an be relied on to care for them? Is there anything in their new environment that could be annoying or frightening to them such as other animals or people? I would not divide the cage as upper and lower, since you have such a short time to get this worked out it may be best to just keep a second cage and keep them separate but next to each other and maybe in time they will become friends again. It's not a good situation with you being gone in less than 2 weeks, can you take them with you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Is there anyone in your family that an be relied on to care for them? Is there anything in their new environment that could be annoying or frightening to them such as other animals or people? I would not divide the cage as upper and lower, since you have such a short time to get this worked out it may be best to just keep a second cage and keep them separate but next to each other and maybe in time they will become friends again. It's not a good situation with you being gone in less than 2 weeks, can you take them with you?
Yes, I was planning to leave them in my mom's care.
Also yes to the second question. They're in a more communal space, so there are 6 more people walking around them, as well as the dog. (My family is very large lol) They were in my bedroom before, so this is quite a change.
I really wanted to take them with me, but it really doesn't seem to be realistic.
For one thing I'm driving, and it's a four day trip so that's not really a good option. I could get my parents to bring them by plane, but that would be stressful too.
I'll be at my grandparents for the summer, which would be fine, but during the school year I'll be back and forth between college dorms and my grandparents, so I don't know if it's much of a better option. Best case scenario I would have to be away from them on either weekends or weekdays.
I'm kind of in a tough spot. I trust my mom to take care of them, but I suppose there's a good chance I'll lose what bond I might have with them right now, and also won't be around to sort out the current situation.
 

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Unfortunately it sounds like their current environment may be a big part of the problem, certainly they see the dog as a big threat to them if they are in an area where they are constantly seeing the dog, and 6 people around when they are not used to that may also be disturbing to them and they are acting out towards each other out of fear. Can they be put in a room of their own, you leaving them and them having to get used to other people is going to be another stressful situation for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Unfortunately it sounds like their current environment may be a big part of the problem, certainly they see the dog as a big threat to them if they are in an area where they are constantly seeing the dog, and 6 people around when they are not used to that may also be disturbing to them and they are acting out towards each other out of fear. Can they be put in a room of their own, you leaving them and them having to get used to other people is going to be another stressful situation for them.
That could be the issue, but I also think it might be a combination of things. (Moving them between rooms and cages so much in the last few days, heat, and separation etc.) They've been in a communal space before and never had issues with it, though it does make sense that maybe the combination of the dog + my family could be just a little much. They have seen the dog before, as he used to sleep in my room with us while we were having mouse issues.
They don't seem super wary of any of the goings on. They still chirp, flutter around, etc and don't seemed phased by people walking around. During the day most of the people aren't in the room with them either.
At this point I really hesitate to move them again. I'd have to get Mex into a smaller cage, move those cages to a different floor, dismantle the flight cage and assemble it again, then put Mex back in the flight cage, wait a few days and try reintroduction again. It just seems like a lot, and I wonder if it's worth it?
I'm open to more advice of course, but I'm leaning more towards letting them adjust for a bit and then attempting reintroduction.
 

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Dividing a cage top and bottom is never a good option.
Having two cages is much better.

I would definitely not put the two budgies back in the same cage.
Chances are they may never be able to be housed together again and you certainly don't want to risk one of them being seriously injured or killed by the other.

You need to ensure that each cage in which you house a budgie is substantially large enough for that bird.
I never recommend anything less than a very minimum of 30" long x 18" wide x 18" high cage for a single budgie.
The budgies should never be allowed free-flight in the same area as the dog.

Are you certain that your mother is willing and able to give them the care and attention they need while you are away?
 
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