Caging, Fighting and Bad Smell

by Meg
(Australia)

ok so i have a couple of qns firstly i have 2 budgies, a female under 4 months and a male thats older but not sure by how much as he was given to me by someone who was too ill to care for him anymore. At the moment they sleep in separate cages but play togther all day outside of the cage. I was thinking of buying a bigger cage for them to live in together and just wanted to know if i keep them together all the time will they breed because i heard that its dangerous for the female if she is under 10 months so will they be able to live together without breeding until they are both ready or is there something i can do to prevent them from breeding for a while.

Secondly the female is sometimes very agressive and bossy towards the male pushing him off toys and biting his toes and also attacking him so that he screams. will this be a problem if they're in the same cage.

And lastly i have recently started feeding them a variety of fruits and vegetables and have just noticed that the female has started to smell faintly like rotten vegetables. I thought maybe she had some food stuck somewhere i couldn't see that had gone off but i examined her thoroughly and can't find any so any kind of explanation for this would be helpful. I never feed them anything thats off if that helps at all.

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Jul 22, 2009
Fighting
by: Linda

Meg, I completely forgot to answer your question about the fighting, so here I am again. I would NOT put these two together right now. If the female is aggressive toward him, she may need more time to mature out and become a bit more mellow. I would leave things as they are for now, and let her get some older and then see if she is better with him. The Budgies are aggressive by nature, and the hens tend to be even a little more than that. For instance, you cannot house Budgies and Cockatiels together because the Budgies will boss around and hurt the more peaceloving, quiet Cockatiel. The same is true with Budgies and most other species of bird as well. Leave things as they are, and maybe you can cage them together later.

As for laying eggs, most birds won't lay eggs until they are old enough to and after a nest box has been set up in their cage. Some do, but most won't. Breeding DOES have quite a bit to do with it, and it is not all. So, just leave them separated for now and continue letting them play out with each other. If female actually draws blood from your other bird, she must be moved away from him so as to not hurt him further. If no blood is drawn, and he appears to hold his own with her, they can play together. Also watch for her starting to pull his feathers out. I have my very bonded and in love Amazons in a large cage with a divider in the middle because she likes to pluck his feathers, and he is almost bald around his neck. When they constantly pluck anothers' feathers, the feathers, will at some point, stop coming back in as his have.

Linda

Jul 22, 2009
Smell
by: Linda

Well, I would look closely at which veggies and fruit you are feeding them. Avocado is poison, the more mouldy veggies like broccoli, cabbage, mushrooms cantaloupe, watermelon,cauliflower are not good for birds at all. Are they eating a high quality pelleted diet? If not, then change them over from seeds onto one of the organic ones Tracie has out here. The change from seeds takes a while, so follow directions. Feed ONLY organic fruit and veggies. Actually, the Budgies do not need to eat much fruit, maybe a little apple once a week. Feed them the organic dark leafy lettuces, no Spinich as it interferes with calcium absorption, both orange and yellow squash and a little sweet potato baked is also good. Fruit and veggies should be no more than 10% of the diet at any time. The pellets should comprise 90% of the diet, and Tracie also has a really good birdy bread mix out here, and our Amazons love it. Be sure to buy and use the organic Red Palm Oil for it. If no additions are made to the mix, it can comprise up to 30% of the diet, and we limit it to treats a few times a week. So, for a while, just feed the above veggies I mentioned which are high in beta carotine, no table food, no high fat treats of any kind. With the Harrison's pelleted diet, there is NO need for vitamin and mineral supplements as it is made using a cold extrusion method which keeps the vitamins and minerals in. The Golden Feast is organic, and I'm unsure of the type of extrusion with it. Heat extrusion, which is how they make dog and cat food and most bird pellets, destroys 50% or more of the viable vitamins and minerals.

It would be a good idea to take both your birds into an Avian vet in your area to be checked for bacterial infections. All birds need to go in at least once a year just to check and see if all is well. The smell is from one of the veggies or fruits you are feeding as the birds will start to smell like what they eat, so just feed them those I mentioned above, give it some time and see if the smell goes away.

Linda

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