Ask Lafeber

Question:

September 27, 2022

Old budgie meets new budgie and becomes aggressive


Sorry for emailing again on this but I’ve been able to hand feed my new 8 week old and my year and half year old budgies mainly kail and a bit of millit. My old budgie use to be very scared of new things including food and I’d have to force him to come out once in awhile but now after getting a new budgie he walks around and trys new things and when he chooses to come out of the cage he allows me to pick him up and hand feed him whilst in the cage. I monitor them nearly all the time just in case but there is no aggression towards the new bird its just head bobs, following and cleaning the new bird. So if anything I feel the new bird has had a good effect on my old budgie. My new budgie is completely safe, im guessing the aggression from my old budgie towards me was a new change of cage and other things and was matter of time to get use to things, both birds let me hand feed them and has recently been able to trust my hands a bit better then before as every now and then they sit on my finger whilst I feed them but not much. Does this still mean I should separate them into own cages when they are both safe but just need a little more time to tame? Course im afraid this’ll freak my old budgie and bring aggression forward alot more.


Answer:

Hi Keira,

There can always be exceptions – I give advice on what usually happens. Since you can supervise them, you can try keeping them together. Since they are both males, they might do well and remain friendly towards you. As long as they make progress and show interest in you, then this is good. If they start running from you and prefer to only be together, this is a sign their bond is getting too close and they are reverting to being wild. I’m inclined to have you separate them still, because I think the new bird will progress more quickly, and the older bird will be more likely to become more tame because he sees the new bird having fun with you. My concern is with them being in the same cage, they are likely to bond more and more. And then if you separate them, it might traumatize both birds and make them not trust you, because they want to remain together. Now they have not have time to bond closely, and the young bird seems to mainly be following the older one around hoping it will feed him – that is what the head bobbing is about. You do have a hard choice to make here, but in the long run, I think they are more likely to remain tame with you, while still getting along with each other, if they each have a cage. I think you would feel too bad about separating them if they got too close and started running from you. Everything about you interacting with them should be positive. Such as – if they do not want to come out, never force the issue. Sometimes a bird doesn’t want to be handled. But again, if they are separate and coming out means they get to interact with each other and you, they are more likely to want out. I’ll also give you links to our pages on behavior and taming that will be really helpful. And never hesitate to write back – we are here to help!

Pet Bird and Parrot Behavior

Teaching Your Bird

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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