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Luxie (“LOOX-ee”), F, hatched 9/7/2021
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Discussion Starter · #41 · (Edited)
Today Luxie woke up and chose violence. Well, as much as a grumpy-but-bonded budgie chooses such things! She greeted me in the morning with a definitely stronger-than-playing bite, and then throughout the day she’s given out strong and aggressive bites. She also climbed onto my glasses post-breakfast, scooted out in front of my vision, and proceded to bite at my EYELIDS. And then screeched at me when I proceeded to gently but firmly push her beak back and away from my eyes, like I was the one doing something wrong. 🙄

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This was a few days ago, in which she headed for the cage and landed instead on the lamp neck. Which is actually an improvement on her targeting! She had a habit of aiming for the lamp itself, but could never get a foothold on it. She sat here for a good half an hour after breakfast. Maybe she liked it because it was a tall perch. Maybe she just was contemplating her next move.

Luxie continues to have unpredictable play rhythms—some days, she plays her heart out all day, others she just kind of quietly sits. She has developed a love of jumping off her swing, and then turning around and attacking the bells on either side of it as it careens back and forth. Then she’ll hop around to where she can get back on the swing, and the cycle repeats. She is also figuring out finally that the rattan balls are meant for destruction.

She has also picked up a new sound: the video game menu sound. I don’t watch TV, but I grew up playing games and I still do when I have the time, so whenever possible I have a video of a game playthrough going in the background for Luxie’s ambient “flock is safe” noise. We’ve been “watching” some PlayStation Final Fantasy games, the kind you can spend a lot of time moving around in menus making selections, healing party members, equipping new items, that kind of stuff. And then a few days ago, I hear this adorable synth-y squeak from her, like a menu selection but live. It is DELIGHTFUL.

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Luxie on an earlier post-breakfast morning as I am working on her veggies. It sort of turned into a play-explore moment.

I have been noticing that while Luxie eats many good things—seeds, pellets, lettuce, now broccoli, maybe carrot greens?—she also will occasionally go for her birdie poop. It doesn‘t seem like it’s a priority or that she is compulsory about it, but every once in awhile, she just casually has a nibble of her poops, and I don’t exactly know how to explain to her that it’s not for eating. I did get a mineral block into the cage to make sure she wasn’t doing it due to some kind of deficiency. She does also nibble bits of bark she’s pulled off perches that have fallen down, or other bits of toys, so I’m thinking it might be more the necessities of foraging. …Note to self, I must get more seeds, going to be running low soon.

She’s still emphatically a cage bird. The door is always open, but it still takes the enticement of food—and good food, mind you, seeds or millet—to tolerate a small amount of out-of-cage time. 🤷‍♂️

She‘ll be four months old late next week, but no sign of her first molt. —Though perhaps today’s grumpiness foretells something! I continue to be permitted to occasionally scritch her, and she continues to have her peculiar “almost-baths” in which she hovers over the water and gets a little of her chest and head wet. Maybe someday!

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These are gentle greeting nibbles. I’ve come to change out your paper lining for the evening, Little One. …She was fine until I changed the paper, and then the not-gentle-at-all angry bites came again. “How dare you! I wasn’t finished with all those interesting bits of things on the ground!” It’s a no-good horrible very bad day for Luxie, I guess—some days are like that!

EDIT: We are sitting here having dinner, and she is eating like she is STARVING. She is also aggressively attacking my fingers whenever I get close to her or the bowl, which she does not usually do. (She makes the most adorable chitter-squeak when she does it too, which maybe she thinks is intimidating, but only just endears me to her more.) I do wonder if the molt has begun; I’ll try some egg tomorrow with her food.
 

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It seems like Luxie is growing up! Mallorn also does not like my fingers near her bowl or toys and makes the same noises, haha. The angry chattering is cute, right ;)

As she gets older she'll appreciate you invading her space less and less so it's best to give her space as much as you can when she's asking you to back off. As for the biting, Mallorn used to do that too especially when she was going into her first moult and over the years with positive reinforcement she's stopped doing it; essentially what you do is only reinforce her positive behavior rather than disciplining her on the negative behaviors. So, what I started doing with Mallorn is that every time she bit me, I would say No firmly and put her back in her cage, close the door, and go away without a backward glance, or simply say "no, Mallorn, that hurts, please be gentle", and then leave. Withdrawing your presence is the best type of positive reinforcement since it removes the two things that could encourage her to continue biting, which is 1. your presence and 2. attention. In the end Mallorn decided over time she preferred that I was in the room with her and began to understand what it meant to be gentle with her biting. The important thing is not to encourage this by accidentally giving her attention with lengthy telling off or something like that. Budgies are also good at understanding emotions and facial expressions so showing her that you are hurt from her biting might also help.

After a period of time, I would come back, and then when she was on my hand or arm without biting or she nibbled gently, I would shower her with praise and affection, which is her favorite thing on earth, lol. All birds are different but perhaps this may help as you navigate Luxie's oncoming teen stages ;)
 

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Luxie (“LOOX-ee”), F, hatched 9/7/2021
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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
BREAKING NEWS: A drama of love triangles and heartbreak!

Luxie completely ignored me and broke with what has been several weeks of morning routine to skip breakfast in order to play with the bells on her swing. THAT was exceptionally out of character of her. No amount of food enticing would get her to stop. So I ended up just standing next to the cage and watching her for a bit.

And I noticed that while she played with the bell often, she also would hold her face up real close to it for short periods. And when I came really close, I realized that in these specific bells, which are a little bigger and a little clearer than other bells in the cage, SHE CAN SEE HER REFLECTION.

And suddenly, I have suspicions concerning the origin of her recent sudden aggression.

As she watched aghast, I removed the swing. And then, as if the tragedy of losing Bizarro-Bell-Luxie at the hands of me— apparently the cruel jilted lover—weren’t enough, I proceeded to rearrange the cage. Luxie vowed to never forget the loss of her One True Love, and to live the rest of her life in mourning.

Five Minutes Later:

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…She has a new flame in her life, Chew-Swing.
 

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Luxie (“LOOX-ee”), F, hatched 9/7/2021
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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Luxie had her wellness vet visit this week. We went to the vet that was also her breeder, but it was a bit far to drive; I am thinking I may look for a closer place just because of wanting to not have that drive in the event of an emergency. Also, the vet was quite cagey about making a call on Luxie’s gender, which felt odd since I thought we (as in, forum experts + pet store + me) had generally solidly thought on female. She followed up with offering a gender test—hopefully she was just trying to be helpful, and not make more money off me.

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The vet noted that Luxie preens A LOT. I told her she was molting, but the vet out of caution kindly gave her a complimentary drop of medicine they put on her chest in case it was mites. I was told that if it is mites, she’ll seem especially itchy for the rest of the day and then the next day be significantly better. I admit, that is very much how things have gone, and I think she’s preened the least I’ve ever seen her preen today (even with the molt!).

All in all, Luxie handled the visit like a champ. She ate both millet and seeds at various times, explored, and even made some chirps. She seemed to like the car ride and the “walks” in between, even. I hazard I was the more stressed of the two of us.

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She is definitely a girl but for some reason many avian vets still don't have the experience with budgies necessary to tell and feel uncomfortable doing so; most parrots are not as obviously sexually dimorphic so I guess that's probably why.

I'm glad the vet visit went well!! :D
 

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Luxie (“LOOX-ee”), F, hatched 9/7/2021
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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
She is definitely a girl but for some reason many avian vets still don't have the experience with budgies necessary to tell and feel uncomfortable doing so; most parrots are not as obviously sexually dimorphic so I guess that's probably why.
Oh, that makes sense! My brain was stuck on the “But you breeeeeeed them” part, not the “but you have this whole other job where you are required to have expertise in so many other birds and animals and how that will interact with this issue.” I think it also felt weird to me because I hadn’t been taking into account the super-specific information feed I’VE been absorbing over the past few months, what with observing so many of this forum’s budgie gender request threads. (I have a mediocre guess-to-myself average… many color mutations still throw me for a loop!)
 
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