I look forward to getting your email every Sunday and reading it has become as much a ritual as the old Sunday paper.
And now I have a question for you.
Thunder and Lightning are my bonded parakeets.
I’ve had them for years.
Last summer I saw more and more breeding activity, so I bought a box and let nature take its course.
Thunder laid four eggs, one of which was fertilized.
That brought Sunny into the tribe, and I bought a friend for her, young Sky. I took the breeding box out and all four lived in a new large cage.
Lightning’s sexual aggression never went away, and he was harassing the other birds and biting.
Also, he kept going after Thunder and vomiting on her, and Thunder appeared stressed.
So, I brought the old cage back out and separated the parents back into their home and put the breeder box back.
Since then this is going on. Lightning is still aggressive (of course).
He coos and feeds Thunder, and keeps her in the breeding box.
And he seems to be feeding her all the time, so much so that Thunder is getting fat!
But no eggs, and I’ve not seen them mate.
I’m worried about Thunder being in the box all the time, and I don’t know what to do.
Does Lightning just need to be by himself?
What can I do to normalize this situation and keep my friends happy?
Happy to hear you enjoy the birdie brunch.
We were Lowell Indiana last Sunday and I was riding shotgun.
Stopped for some gas and decided to buy the local Sunday paper.
I’ll stick with Google News.
I would advocate the following:
Get rid of the breeder box in mom and dad’s cage as it’s one of the reasons for the aggression/hormonal behavior.
Ensure that you have two food dishes and two water dishes so they can each enjoy dining alone so to speak.
And last but certainly not least, lock Thunder and Lightning in their own cage.
Get a full-spectrum light set up on the very top of the cage.
The light should stay on for 72 hours continuously.
Cover the cage and the light so it is bright in the cage for three days.
Remove the food at night so that Thunder can see there is not abundant food which will reduce her desire to make more babies.
Plenty of fresh water.
Egg production coupled with a molt will severely drain a hen’s calories necessary for feather reproduction after the molt.
If for some reason after the three days of constant light, wait a week and then keep them the cage for seven days under the light.
After that keep the light over the cage but place it on a timer for 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness disrespecting daylight savings time every day always.
If that does not reduce Lightning’s aggression reach back out and we can take further steps.
Hope that helps
You may find this post useful
Lonely Budgie in room
My son Tom(26) has a yellow budgie.
He/she, not sure, has their own room upstairs and can fly freely. There is a screen door to the room.
There were two budgies at times in the past but this one has been living alone for some time now, at least two years.
I have kinda adopted it since Tom works late and also has two cats on the main level.
I feel Birdy could either use a new young friend or just more attention from me although it’s hard to spend a lot of time with it since it is upstairs.
I could bring him down in a cage although this would restrict his flying and getting around. Can you please give me some tips on how I may improve this bird’s life. Great site, glad I found it.
Nice to have a large space for the budgie.
But I doubt it is “really” happy.
If it is tame enough to be handled and/or enjoys being with you or someone then it would rather be in a smaller cage in a room with the person in its life than in a big room alone.
Parakeets are colony birds.
They are happiest in a group. Yes, get it a buddy. Yes, consider a cage that will allow it to be with the family and not isolated.
We started out with one feral parakeet someone caught and gave us, but she was not happy alone and did not want to be with us.
So we got her a buddy, it was better but it was even better when we added two more keets.
That really made all the difference in the first bird’s life.
We could see how happy it made her to be with others.
That was two years ago and we have since grown to ten parakeets (my limit!) in a large flight and they are all so happy.
You can see more on them here in our BLOG.
I really appreciate your input.
If I’m leaning towards getting another ‘Birdy’ could you please suggest some tips on what I should look for and if a pet store is the best option.
I think Birdy is female as the color above the beak is just a pale tan.
Thank you for your time.
Yes, it sounds like you have a female.
You can always pick up a new bird at a pet store, but if you have a bird rescue in your area you would do better as the bird would be mature and be better able to keep up with your current one.
That your bird has been able to fly around a large space will have made the bird strong and able to fly well.
If you choose a baby from a pet shop it could be intimidated by the older bird until it grows strong.
Ohhhhhh, Thank you, Catherine.
I have seen both a male and female on Kijiji.
Should I consider one over the other or do same sex get along? And is just under a year or older old enough to live with my female?
To: Valerie W
Budgies don’t care. They will be happy to have a companion of any sex.
I just recommend a bird that is flighted and not a baby for the best results with your older bird.
SECOND writer on adding a budgie.
First Name: Morgan
How can you ensure that budgie matchmaking goes well?
I found & rescued a female budgie about 1.5 years ago – she is my first pet bird, so I have no experience to guide me.
I think she might be lonely, and I’d like to get her a buddy.
But I really don’t have the space for or interest in having two cages in the long term, so I need to get the matchmaking right!
Do you have any tips for choosing a second budgie that’s a good match, or for helping the two budgies get to know each other?
Are there any breeders or organizations out there who would allow me to do a trial period with a new budgie?
Alternatively, are there any other options to help a lonely budgie feel less alone besides getting another bird?
She loves sitting by the screen door in the summer and talks to the birds in the yard all day (she speaks fluent house sparrow now) – but I worry about her during the winter months especially.
How lovely you rescued the budgie.
Yes, she would appreciate a cage mate.
If you don’t get another budgie, a mirror would be a good addition so she does not feel so alone.
It does not matter if you get a boy or a girl, they will be happier than being alone.
How big is your cage?
It should be at least 18″ wide to be able to house two birds properly.
That your bird is mature another mature bird would be best.
When you do bring home the new bird, take the original bird out and place in something, a box or a cage.
Then rearrange the perches, toys, etc so the cage is different.
Next, put the new bird in and then the original bird.
That way they will both be new and there won’t be territorial behavior.
It is doubtful you will be able to take in a bird on a trial basis, but you can only ask.
I don’t know your location but if in Illinois, this bird club has a nice rescue and you should be able to find a budgie easily try www.gccbc.com.
Please let me know how it goes.
Can budgies eat pomegranate leaves?
I set my birdcage inside on a pomegranate tree branch outside and I noticed that it started to eat the leaves, is it safe for them to eat the leaves?
To be clear, while your budgie is eating leaves you’re reaching out to find out if you’re killing it – or not.
I went through 4 or 5 lists that Ms. Lackey posted (below) but found nothing on pomegranate leaves.
I wrote my own list
But found nothing on pomegranate leaves
Sooo, back the bird away from the plant, offer a nice dish of pomegranate seeds…
…and cover the walls.