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Wild Rose

New Budgie Suddenly Aggressive

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We are extremely new to the world of caring for a budgie. We have a boy (I posted a photo in this forum and the overwhelming response was a boy) who is about 11-12 weeks old. He's been home with us for about 3 weeks. For the first two weeks he showed daily signs of settling into his environment and becoming quite comfortable with me. After only a couple of days he was okay with stepping onto my finger to come out of the cage.

 

After about 2 weeks there has been a sudden and unexplained change in his behaviour. He now chirps quite agrressively and bites and nips if I put my hand in the cage or even if anyone simply goes near the cage. When we do manage to get him out he will sit quietly on your hand then out of nowhere will start biting and chirping.

 

I can't think of an incident that may have spooked him so I am at a complete loss as to why his behaviour has changed and more importantly, what do I do to stop it.

 

I appreciate any advice.... thanks :)

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My first thought that came to me is molting.

Do's he have any pinfeathers?

 

Here are some articles from our FAQ Section that may help you.

http://forums.budgiebreeders.asn.au/faqs/index.php?sid=79376〈=en&action=show&cat=3

 

Please keep us updated on this. :)

Edited by birdluv

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Thanks Birdluv.... I read the article you linked about why budgies bite. The sound he makes was similar to what was described as the "angry dolphin" noise associated with territorial behaviour.

 

I'm not familiar with moulting but Blu is not looking any different than normal.... I assume if he's moulting his feathers would look different?

 

I am due to clean out his cage today, so, as the article suggests I will change around his toys and see if that makes a difference.

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Hi Wild Rose. I was thinking the same thing as Birdluv. If he hasn't started moulting yet, he is about at the age where he will soon. The first thing you will notice will be that all of a sudden there seems to be a lot more loose feathers in and around the cage than normal. Then he will start getting pin feathers on his head.

 

Moving things around in his cage is a good idea, to mix up his "territory". It's also a good idea to take him to someplace away from his cage when you work on his taming. When he's near his cage, his cage is his security, and you are the "scary person". But when you take him to an unfamiliar place, then you become the security.

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Also, do you have any mirrors and shiny bells in his cage. Anything reflective like that and he begins to protect the "other budgie "( his friend ) from you. If you have anything like that in his cage..............remove it. Mirrors do their head in anyway.

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Thanks Kaz.

 

I'm pretty sure it's not moulting (yet) as there are no feathers in the bottom of his cage.

 

I'm going to work on the terratorial thing to begin with. I have just cleaned out his cage and rearranged his toys and perches. I have also moved his cage to a different spot in the room.

 

I have him out of the cage on my shoulder as I type this... all seems to be going well (perhaps he doesn't realise where his cage is at the moment since I've moved it).

 

From what I've read, if he makes the angry dolphin noise and bites I will simply ignore him and continue to do what I am doing (for example, getting him to step up on my finger).

 

On a side note, when the kids and I came home earlier they entered the room as loudly and playfully as 4 and 6 year olds do.... and I noticed Blu shuffling up and down his perch and bobbing his head.... can I take that to mean he was excited to see us?

 

Oh, and I have also read enough to pick up that mirrors are bad.... so I have no mirrors in Blu's cage.

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On a side note, when the kids and I came home earlier they entered the room as loudly and playfully as 4 and 6 year olds do.... and I noticed Blu shuffling up and down his perch and bobbing his head.... can I take that to mean he was excited to see us?

 

Oh, and I have also read enough to pick up that mirrors are bad.... so I have no mirrors in Blu's cage.

yes, I believe he is excited to see you all :)

 

It is a good thing you removed the mirrors.

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I'm pretty sure budgies go through a biting phase as they grow from babies into terrible teens. It might also coincide with their first moult.

 

If you work on positive reinforcement for good behaviour, and negative (but not scary punishment) for bad, your budgie will probably grow out of it. Mine went through this biting phase for about two months, from memory.

 

They can get territorial over their cage, especially when happily playing with their toys, or settling in for a snooze. I just leave mine be when that's the case. I figure he just wants a bit of time to himself, just like we do sometimes.

 

 

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I have never had an inside budgie however I have heard of this biting stage coinciding with what people attribute to the "teenager" stage of their life.

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Thanks everyone.... I'm actively working on the terratorial stuff... so either that will fix it or it may fix itself when he gets over being a cranky teenager :) either way, fingers crossed he'll stop doing it in the next few weeks. Will keep you posted.

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I had this problem with my budgie Dalek when he hit this stage, he even bit my little brother a couple of times for no reason.

 

I worked out that his 'punishement' was stepping up on my fingers for about five times, one finger over the other, it annoyed him and he soon learnt to stop the behaviour. The other thing that worked for me was putting him down on my bed and not letting him back up on myself until he calmed down, then he would nuzzel my sock and make his way back up to my chest and curl up and sleep.

 

I hope he comes out of this stage soon, as it is a very annoying stage when they turn from an angel in to a little devil, but when they come out of it, they go back to being their normal beautiful selves. :3

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I had this problem with my budgie Dalek when he hit this stage, he even bit my little brother a couple of times for no reason.

 

I worked out that his 'punishement' was stepping up on my fingers for about five times, one finger over the other, it annoyed him and he soon learnt to stop the behaviour. The other thing that worked for me was putting him down on my bed and not letting him back up on myself until he calmed down, then he would nuzzel my sock and make his way back up to my chest and curl up and sleep.

 

I hope he comes out of this stage soon, as it is a very annoying stage when they turn from an angel in to a little devil, but when they come out of it, they go back to being their normal beautiful selves. :3

That stepping up routine is good for this purpose. I use the same method with our princess parrots when they get bitey. Works a treat.

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Wow i have never heard of that before. Must try that if one of my budgies plays up.

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Thanks for all the feedback.... just wanted to give an update.

 

When I clean his cage once a week I rearrange all his toys and have even put his cage in different locations in the room.... and it all appears to have had a positive effect. I would say 80% of the 'angry dolphin' noise has stopped.... but he still does it on occassion (not often enough to be a real concern). He used to really lay into my hubby with the biting but that has almost gone too. I am feeling positive that we are heading in the right direction.....

 

Jabberwocky - I love your idea of the stepping up several times as a form of discipline.... will give that a go.

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I have noticed with my "pet" George that he went through this "stage". I heard simalar stories from others. I just persisted in his training and after a few weeks he settled down.

 

Maybe it's a Pubity Stage they go through.

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Budgies continue to amaze me.

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