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This is my first time owning birds, so I'm pretty inexperienced and need some help. Desperately.

I have a troubled budgie... I've had her (Grell) and her male flockmate (Ban) for a little over 2 years now. Grell started plucking about a year ago and, as of a few months ago, started picking at her skin. I've been taking her to the vet, to which, in the end, the doctors really don't know whether it's mites, allergies?, or behavioral. She's been a little off since day one. I noticed it the moment she was being caught in the aviary, and I'm sure our rough start getting her into her cage didn't help. We have made some progress, but I feel like the little amount I'm able to do after this long is rather shameful. A lot of that is my fault. Once I started college and going to work, I've since been finding myself having a hard time keeping up with giving them attention. Ban was fine. He's not troubled like Grell, so he just flits and flirts without a care in the world (though he doesn't really trust me anymore).

Grell just got progressively worse, as it's become painfully clear. It's been really hard getting her to trust me, particularly after having to force her into a carrier to get her to the vet. I've attempted to fix my sleep schedule, give my birds more entertainment, training, toys, supplements, reading, foraging, etc. I tried cartoons for when I'm gone long hours, which seemed to work for a little while. Nobody else in the house is either able or stable enough to walk in and help take care of them anymore.

Foraging, bathing, target training, talking - they're only temporary pleasures for her. As for the budgies together, they don't really do much for bonding. They will be with each other for the most part and fly around my room, but Grell just seems to lack motivation in general. I don't think she's entirely fond of Ban as her friend, either.

Yes, I tried finding a more active place to put them, but it's near impossible now. Now there are two strictly indoor cats with no chill and a massive dog with zero impulse control, plus the night-shift worker who brought them once she moved back in. There's danger in the otherwise safe, fun flying zone and noise in the night that can't be helped at times. I can't put them in a more lively room without risking them being killed... :( So, they're stuck in a small bedroom, which is often only livened by music and empty unless I'm home after work/school.

Would getting a third flockmate help in this sort of situation? I hear people saying that it will only make things worse for her, since she might be left out. But she's kind of already doing that on her own. Ban has always been a little pushy, from what I can tell, so maybe she just needs another bird around to help coax her to play and sing. Get her out of her depressed plucking funk in a way that I can't. Or if not, to give Ban an actual friend. I'd be crushed if he started plucking, too. I really, really don't want to give her up, but I do have a home in mind if... if I just can't help her anymore. I'm not sure what to do. I love her so much and just want her to be happy. If not the flock member, then what else can I do?

TLDR - My female budgie from a flock of two is hurting herself out of boredom and stress, and her other cagemate and I are having trouble getting her to stop and have more fun. The vet clinic was bogus and just ruined my progress in gaining her trust. Will getting a third member added help her play more and stop hurting herself as much?
 

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No, getting a third bird will not solve the problem. Given what you have said about the household I would say that the feather plucking is due to a very stressful environment. The cats and the dog along with disruptions during the night are all seen as threats by the bird and the response is feather plucking in this case. Do not seek to put the birds in a more active area. Unfortunately the best thing for the birds may be to rehome them to someone that does not have any other pets and has a more calm household where the birds can feel relaxed.
 

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I agree with Cody 100%. The environment in which you have these budgies is not conducive to their health and well-being.
Having them in an environment with two cats and a dog (with no impulse control) is never going to allow them to relax.
For now, they should be in a bird-safe room that the cats and dog are never allowed to enter.
During the day, music should be played for them when no one is in the room with them.


Please re-home them to someone that can give them a stress-free environment and who will provide them with the love and care they need.
 
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