So you're thinking about bringing home a new budgie to join your current flock? That's great! Budgies enjoy the company of other budgies. With more than one budgie there is no need to worry that they will get lonely when you're not home.
However, bringing home another budgie when you already have budgies at home is a big responsibility! It is not something you can jump into lightly. It takes planning and a lot more money than you might think.
So what should you do?
Buy another cage! This is very important as you will need to put your new budgie in quarantine. To do this you will need to keep the two budgies separate from each other for 30 - 45 days. This means your new budgie needs to stay in a separate room with NO contact from your current flock.
We do this because birds are very good at hiding illnesses. Even though your new budgie might look happy and healthy at the petstore or breeder, there is a chance he is hiding illness, worms or mites. No caring owner would want a new budgie to pass on a potentially fatal disease to their flock at home.
By giving your new budgie 30 - 45 days to adjust and settle in, you can monitor its health and check for signs of illness. The quarantine cage does not have to be big since it will only be temporary accommodation.
To read more about quarantine follow this link: http://www.talkbudgies.com/showthread.php?t=18786
Make sure your current cage is big enough! If you are getting another budgie, chances are that your cage at home is not big enough to hold your new addition too.
As a general rule of thumb, each budgie should have their own space of 18" x 18" x 18" or 45cm x 45cm x 45cm.
Be prepared to take your budgie to the vet! Your new budgie could show signs of illness in the 30 - 45 days it is in quarantine. It is your responsibility to take him to an avian vet. No excuses. If you cannot afford to pay for a vet, then you cannot afford to bring home a budgie.
It is always a good idea to take your new budgie to an avian vet for an initial check-up. This will include weighing your budgie (to make sure he is neither too thin nor too fat), checking for worms and possibly doing a crop flush as well. This vet visit will put your mind at ease that you will be introducing a healthy budgie to your other budgie/s.
Take it SLOWLY when introducing your new budgie to your current budgie/s. There is no need to rush. Once quarantine is over you need to place the two cages (one holding your new budgie, the other holding your other budgie) next to each other.
You would not like being pushed into a stranger's house to make friends, nor would you like to have a stranger being pushed into your house. Budgies are no different. They need time to get to know each other first.
Leave the cages next to each other for 2 - 7 days. Check and see how they interact. If all looks good then you can let your budgies all meet on neutral ground. This is important! They should not meet in each other's cages as they could become territorial.
Instead let them have a play around on a playgym or other play area. Once again check to see how they interact. If there are no problems then after a few hours you can let your new budgie join the other/s in the cage.
Add extras into the cage! You will need to add extra perches, toys and most importantly; feeding cups. It is possible for one budgie to defend the food and water cups from another budgie. Therefore by adding more feeding cups you can reduce the risk of fighting and also the risk that one budgie will starve.
Monitor their progress! Now that your flock has expanded, it is important to make sure that your new budgie is ****ing in. Don't worry if there is the occasional bickering as this is normal. However, if things take a turn for the worse then you will have to separate your budgie once again.
Enjoy your budgies and give them a happy and healthy life.