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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone - I'm in quite a desperate situation.
I brought home (bought) a supposedly eight week old male Budgie last December after I lost my wonderful cockatiel a few months prior (she was a really lovely bird- made me fall in love with them completely). And yes, he's definitely a male, no doubt about it. I did my research, checked out all of the taming steps, asked for advice from other Budgie owners, and honestly I thought everything would be okay.

So, when he first came home he was left to settle in for around a week. In this time he came out of his shell, would sing and reply, play with his toys- totally interactive. After a week I started the taming process (which originally just started with him hearing my voice), and he very quickly started to want to come out of the cage, step on my hand, fly onto everything and anything, play. And yes, I took it very slow and went at the recommended pace- I did not force him at all and he showed happy signs with everything that was going on.

He was really sweet for around two weeks, until one night he was acting strangely hyper. It was before his bedtime so I figured to let him out (to see if he was getting too antsy in his cage- he has a big cage at the moment, but he goes in there just before eight to settle down- that night he didn't want to settle at all). So I let him out... just for him to fly onto my hand and dig his beak right into it. I didn't think Budgie bites were that bad- but he was seriously dead set on trying to gnaw my finger off. It wasn't a warning bite, it wasn't a testing bite, it was a full on 'I'm going to draw blood if it's the last thing I ever do'.

Immediately I thought I must have read the situation wrong and tried not to react and put him into his cage to settle. I thought after a night he'd maybe be fine in the morning and be in a better mood. So in the morning I let him out like I always did and immediately he flew over to me and started biting- it wasn't as aggressive but it still hurt. I just ignored it and decided to get on with my day- all the while he was desperate to stay on my finger to bite it. He'd also started biting everything in his cage, his perch, his toys, anything and everything- it wasn't a testing, it was like 'I'm going to rip up my perch' and 'I'm going to throw everything everywhere because I can'.

This is where it gets really bad. It started with wanting to gnaw on my finger to now it's aggressive attacks no matter what I do. I could let him out, go to the other side of the room, and he will fly over to me and find any piece of skin that isn't covered and dig his beak in as hard as possible. It's impossible to do step up anymore because he's set on biting anything in range- even when it's not near him/going to him. When I checked online everything I found said that I was doing something wrong- like I was frightening him or I wasn't reading him right, but no matter how I present myself (or other people for that matter), he just wants to bite and get angry.

I really want to interact with him and let him be happy, rather than feeling like he has to bite everything that's in front of him (and yes, he lunges at things... even when they're not near him, he'll fly over to lunge at them like he just wants to be mad for the sake of being mad).

I get that this is (probably?) a hormone thing, but how do I react to this behavior? And what can I do to maybe lessen it? It's getting to the point people don't want to be around him and he can barely come outside the cage without causing some type of trouble.

He gets everything a Budgie should, a large cage, toys, treats, fresh food- even affection though he totally just wants to bite me no matter what I do. I don't force him out to do anything, I don't shove him onto my finger- he just targets it and decides that's all he wants to do. He even presents himself happily, like when he's in his cage he'll be happily chirping to himself, singing along with the television, playing with things, generally being comfortable.

So I'd really greatly appreciate any help given. Also as a note he is going through his first molt right now and I imagine it's really frustrating him- is there anything I can do, or do I just ignore this and pray it all goes away?

I'd really like to get to the point where he can calm down/be tamed again (which is why I posted this in Training/Bonding - I don't know whether this thread would be more appropriate in Budgie Behavior? Sorry if so x).
 

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Hi there and welcome to the forums! :)

I'm sorry you have been having so many problems with your young budgie.
It's true that budgies can get somewhat moody during a moult, but it's not at all common to experience that severe level of aggression.
From your description, to me it seems your budgie has more of a deep rooted issue that may have been heightened as your budgie has reached the "teenage" phase. Chicks that are raised by aggressive parents and that have been attacked while on the nest have much higher chances of becoming aggressive.

As for the taming and daily interaction you have with your budgie, it's best to go back to the beginning and treat him as if he were a new bird.
Just spend time near the cage talking to him. By reading his body language and being aware of the "warning" chirps, you will know when to proceed or not to the next step. You can get some gloves to make him step onto your finger and using positive reinforcement whenever he gives you a positive response and doesn't bite. You can use both your voice to praise him and a tasty treat as rewards for good behaviour.
You can also try to improvement the environment by having some background noise during these little training sessions.
It's very important to have a positive mindset when interacting with your budgie and to let of of any frustrations and negativity, because budgies can pick up our emotions.
I truly hope your budgie's behaviour improves and gets more under control.

You may find these links useful:
http://talkbudgies.com/training-bonding/225961-biting-learned-often-avoidable-behavior.html

http://talkbudgies.com/training-bonding/237105-using-positive-reinforcement-training.html
 

· Member of the Month November 2014
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Oh my goodness, Winterfrost, I'm sorry that you're dealing with such aggression. Aluz has given you some great advice on this subject. The only time I ever see ANY aggression from my flock, girls, is when they're molting, but it's more of a get away from me, but not an, "I want to murder you in your sleep", aggression. That's crazy! I really hope things begin to improve with you little one. Good luck!

Oh, lol, I almost forgot!

Welcome to the forums!!!

 

· Member of the Month November 2014
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Just out of sheer curiosity, has he taken any particular interest in any one toy? I'm wondering if maybe he is being territorial over a potential "mate". He may be REALLY hormonal. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just thought I would put the idea out there. I don't think it would hurt to get him some Releaves, from Heal-X. It's supposed to settle hormone levels a bit. If that's his problem, this may be an easy fix.

But I still agree with the others, this might be something else entirely. And he should be seen by an avian vet to make sure there isn't something more serious going on.

Good luck!
 

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Hi and :welcome: to Talk Budgies!

I'm sorry you are having such problems with your new budgie. :(
In addition to his molt it sounds as though he's hit puberty and is taking out his frustrations on you.

Aluz has given you good advice and I agree with Cpt Howdy that it would be prudent to have him checked by an Avian Vet as well.

When you reach the point where you are ready to start step up training again, you might want to consider incorporating the clicker training as well. Many members have had great success with it.

http://talkbudgies.com/training-bonding/265337-basics-clicker-training.html

I wish you all the best and hope you'll update us on your progress with him. What is his name by the way?

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Just out of sheer curiosity, has he taken any particular interest in any one toy? I'm wondering if maybe he is being territorial over a potential "mate". He may be REALLY hormonal. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just thought I would put the idea out there. I don't think it would hurt to get him some Releaves, from Heal-X. It's supposed to settle hormone levels a bit. If that's his problem, this may be an easy fix.

But I still agree with the others, this might be something else entirely. And he should be seen by an avian vet to make sure there isn't something more serious going on.

Good luck!
Sorry I don't mean to hijack this post but Releaves, most internet sites say its a discontinued item. Is there a similar item that is safe for budgies?

I looked further, it has to be prescribed by a vet.
 

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Hello and :welcome: to the forums!

I couldn't agree more with the advice given and wish you all the best with your little friend.

If after you read everything, you still have questions, be sure to ask as we'd love to help :D

We'd never say no to a few pictures of your little rascal, so be sure to post some if you have time!

Hope to see you around and I'm glad you've joined us! :wave:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you everyone for the responses.

Just to answer a few questions- he's not particularly territorial over anything, as far as I can tell. He treats everything equally (which means just everything aggressively).

I'll be taking him to appointment at some point to get him checked up (I won't lie though, I'm worried about stressing him out taking him there though.. I don't want to make him any worse than he is with being around people). It'll be around next week, but I'm still hanging onto some hope that maybe he'll calm down naturally and it won't be anything medical that's causing his aggression (since he literally changed over night).

For the meanwhile I guess I'll just restart completely, let him settle, try again to 'tame' him. It's gonna be a challenge though with a birdie who hates millet (the pickiest bird when it comes to treats..).

Thanks again. x :)
 

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What colour is his cere? Can you possibly post a picture of him for us to see? A complete behaviour change like that is not normal. How does he react if you play budgie sounds from you tube? does he react the same or listen and calm down? I hope it eases soon , please keep us informed.:budgie:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What colour is his cere? Can you possibly post a picture of him for us to see? A complete behaviour change like that is not normal. How does he react if you play budgie sounds from you tube? does he react the same or listen and calm down? I hope it eases soon , please keep us informed.:budgie:
Definitely a boy- no doubt about it, his cere is a clear blue (I'd post a picture but he's very energetic, I'll see if I can get it sometime soon)>
If I play Budgie sounds he gets very excited, running around, calling back. At the moment I also have another bird (lovebird) in another room (they've never met), but they always call out to each other calmly, it seems he only gets more energetic after hearing others like him.

I'll try to post an update if anything changes anytime soon. x
 

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Majorly

To get him ready for the vet visit. Get a small travel/hospital cage and let him get used to spending time in it. also Take him for a few short rides around the neighborhood. We have a lot of birds and it is not uncommon to take a buddy along on the vet visit. We do this with young or shy birds. The flock relationship can be very soothing.

We use a lot of the Avitech support priducts It is a very good company and the products have been great for our budgies so far.

If a vet is concerned that a bird will go into shock they will not pick the bird up and thus will not be able to give a complete exam. I suggest getting the bird used to being picked up with a cloth like a piece of a dish towel.

Try this at night just before bed. Darken the room and wait 15 to30 minutes before reaching into the cage and picking up the bird with the cloth in your hand. Then give a treat for good behavior. Do this every day so the vet will be able to pick up your bird. Warn the vet that the bird is a biter. It costs a lot to go to the vet be sure the vet can fully examine your bird. Daily practice for a week should help get budgie ready. then continue until it is comfortable and knows that not every ride is to the vet. Make most rides for fun and treats. Most of our birds sit up and look out the windows and will sit on the vets finger and chat with the vet. prepare yourself and do not show any fear like you have to visit the doctor and become afraid. Your bird will pick up on this emotion from you. Best wishes , Jo Ann:p
 

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Seriously, this is the first time I have heard of such an aggressive behavior in a budgie. I have read about big parrots who were abused, mistreated and as a result became aggressive. Cockatoos for example, but a budgie?

A visit to an avian vet is needed, as others mentioned, and I do agree with this, but I have a strong feeling that it is behavioral. That there is something in his environment that is causing this kind of aggression.

There are avian vets who are also certified in bird behavior, but unfortunately there are not too many of them. After ruling out basic health problems, they do a detailed 'behavior eval'. Not sure this is something you'd be able to have done by your avian vet, so I'd strongly recommend evaluating it yourself.

Were there ANY changes in his environment prior to him becoming aggressive?

When did you get the lovebird?

What is happening just PRIOR to him biting you? Keep a detailed diary for at least several days; it may help you pinpoint the cause of his behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Seriously, this is the first time I have heard of such an aggressive behavior in a budgie. I have read about big parrots who were abused, mistreated and as a result became aggressive. Cockatoos for example, but a budgie?

A visit to an avian vet is needed, as others mentioned, and I do agree with this, but I have a strong feeling that it is behavioral. That there is something in his environment that is causing this kind of aggression.

There are avian vets who are also certified in bird behavior, but unfortunately there are not too many of them. After ruling out basic health problems, they do a detailed 'behavior eval'. Not sure this is something you'd be able to have done by your avian vet, so I'd strongly recommend evaluating it yourself.

Were there ANY changes in his environment prior to him becoming aggressive?

When did you get the lovebird?

What is happening just PRIOR to him biting you? Keep a detailed diary for at least several days; it may help you pinpoint the cause of his behavior.
Again, thank you all in general for the responses. They've been really helpful, I'm hoping it'll help it all pass by smoothly. x

There was no change to his environment prior to him becoming aggressive- everything has stayed the same since he first arrived. Same diet, same routine. It just seemed to happen overnight- literally. And it never stopped since then. That was about the start of January.

The Lovebird (Ziggy) has been around since September. They've never met but seem to have adjusted hearing each other. The Budgie prior to his behavior change knew of Ziggy's presence, so it doesn't seem that just hearing each other suddenly changed him (at least I wouldn't think so).

As just as an example (before I keep a major diary), nothing actually happens before he bites me. It only happens when he's allowed out of his cage and someone or something is in reach- then he's just on attack mode, no matter what happens. Basically, when he's in the cage he does his own thing. When the doors open, he does his own thing- immediate biting.
 
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