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Grumpy Budgie

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One of my budgies, Alfie, has started to get a bit grumpy in the last couple of days and I need some advice.

 

When I get him to step onto my hand, he sometimes bites me and gives a warning swark (like go away!), but he will still step onto my hand. He'll generally stay on my hand but may continue to bite my fingers!! Generally his bites are not hard. When he does this, I just ignore him.

 

With my hubby, it's worse. When he tries to get Alfie, he gets bitten quite hard on the fingers and Alfie tries to get away. When Alfie's out of the cage and flying around the house, he evades him by flying erratically around and has crashed heavily into doorways a couple of times. So far, he hasn't injured himself.

 

I'm quite concerned about his behaviour, especially towards my hubby and the risk of Alfie seriously hurting himself or worse. He's healthy in every other way (ie. eating, flying, babbling, playing with toys and his buddy Sandy).

 

Alfie's also gotten grumpy with Sandy and they tend to squabble more. I know they normally get on because they always want to be together and often preen/feed each other.

 

Since we got Alfie and Sandy just over a month ago, they've really taken to me and see me as their mum. I'm the one who spends the most time with them and looks after their needs.

 

Could Alfie just be going through a phase or could it be that he prefers women? (my family once had a galah who loved my sister but hated dad).

 

Has anyone encountered this type of behaviour before and/or has any advice on how to address Alfie's grumpiness?

 

Thanks

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How old is he and is he moulting?

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Maesie may have hit the nail on the head.......moulting time most likely and are you sure its a male ?

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Maesie may have hit the nail on the head.......moulting time most likely and are you sure its a male ?

 

 

Alfie is definately a male and he's about 3 months old.

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Maesie may have hit the nail on the head.......moulting time most likely and are you sure its a male ?

 

 

Alfie is definately a male and he's about 3 months old.

Might be about to moult then :blush:

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Generally around this time budgies do start molting but they also start to get hormonal and males can tend to be flirty with the person who spends the most time with them which I bet is you.

 

When I get him to step onto my hand, he sometimes bites me and gives a warning swark (like go away!), but he will still step onto my hand. He'll generally stay on my hand but may continue to bite my fingers!! Generally his bites are not hard. When he does this, I just ignore him. He probably is cranky because of molting but also hormonal. The getting on your hand and biting gentle or even hard and flirting with your fingernails is a sign of hormonal behavior and it will continue. You are his "mate" or so called buddy so that is what budgies do they flirt and they will do it often if given a chance.

With my hubby, it's worse. When he tries to get Alfie, he gets bitten quite hard on the fingers and Alfie tries to get away. When Alfie's out of the cage and flying around the house, he evades him by flying erratically around and has crashed heavily into doorways a couple of times. So far, he hasn't injured himself. How much time does your husband spend with him? My husband spends hardly anytime with Merlin, Merlin is my bird or I am his girl lol the same thing happens all the time if he wants a different bird he will need to take the same steps you have to create a bond. Birds don't bond overnight they are not like "some" dog (I say some because I am not talking about ones that have been abused) but dogs are usually always happy to be by a person birds are not like that at all you have to work with them all the time and be with them.

I'm quite concerned about his behaviour, especially towards my hubby and the risk of Alfie seriously hurting himself or worse. He's healthy in every other way (ie. eating, flying, babbling, playing with toys and his buddy Sandy). I would consider but your choice to have his wings clipped so your husband can work with him more when he is out of his cage you can always let them grow back in that is what I did with my birds they both had 1 clip and then after that they were not clipped again. This is very common behavior because he does see your husband as a threat and feels like he has to protect you.

Alfie's also gotten grumpy with Sandy and they tend to squabble more. I know they normally get on because they always want to be together and often preen/feed each other. Make sure that the cage is large enough, there are enough perches high and low where they both can go, make sure they are enriched, you can read about foraging and making them work for their food, along with different types of toys and switching them out often. Squabbles are normal but if they are getting bad you may need to separate them for a bit.

Could Alfie just be going through a phase or could it be that he prefers women? (my family once had a galah who loved my sister but hated dad). Birds don't prefer sexes I don't believe that unless abused by that sex, they bond to the person (male or female) who is with them the most, and in most cases (not ALL) it is the female not the males in the family.

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Thanks Elly, KAZ and maesie!!!

 

I thought that they might begin moulting soon, but I've never encountered this type of behaviour with budgies I've had in the past.

 

My hubby hasn't spent much time with them as they are my birds. He's never had pet birds before so I've been teaching him how to read their body language, how to care for them etc. so that he becomes comfortable with them. He certainly wants to interact with them, but I guess because they haven't bonded to him as much as me so it'll take some time.

 

This morning I started getting him involved in the routine I have with them in the morning and evening. Alfie was better this morning, but they both still wanted 'mummy'!!

 

I have considered clipping Alfie's wings, and have done this before with birds I've had previously, but I'll see how they go with having hubby involved in their routine first.

 

Their cage is quite large (~77cm w, 100 cm h, 48cm d) and I've put in natural perches at different heights for them. They have plenty of different toys to keep them occupied. When they are out of the cage they have a timber frame I made which hangs from the curtain rails and some of their toys are hung from this. They also sometimes get large eucalypt branches placed on top of the cage so they can climb and chew to their hearts content.

 

I have been switching their toys around and giving them food challenges (eg. seed scattered in a sand tray, seed stuck to pine cones), so they are kept stimulated. I've got a number of ideas for more toys to make for them, so they'll end up with a wide range of toys which will be rotated, so they'll hopefully never get bored!

 

Many thanks for the advice, it's much appreciated!!!!

 

:blush:

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Sounds like you are doing everything right :rofl:

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Well after a couple of weeks, things have improved :wub: . Alfie has settled down and has started moulting. He's also quite happy with Hubby now (who has been working from home lately so he's able to spend time with them when I'm not there) but still prefers his mummy!!!!

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That is good to hear and he will probably get grumpy again they usually do around their hormonal stages and molting. Just 2 weeks ago Merlin wouldn't get on my finger to come out because he was going through a heavy molt now he is all about coming out and flirting with me and singing sweet nothings in my ear :D

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