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Housing together budgies, cockatiels and Kakarikis??

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Housing together budgies, cockatiels and Kakarikis??

Postby cor2210 » Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:38 am

Hi there! I know this kind of thing has been discussed widely everywhere, I don't want to be annoying but I have a lot of doubts!
So, I have a one year old couple of Australian budgies (male/female) they live in a big nice cage, and spend a couple of hours a day outside. They are cute happy and love each other. They are the first birds I've ever had.
I would love to add to my flock a cockatiel, and eventually also a kakariki, so I've been researching and I've found a 2x1meters aviary, and the idea would be to house the four of them together. I'd first house the budgies there, and with time if they get along well with the cockatiel I would home it there, and later on same thing with a kakariki.
Would this be a good idea??
And, would the budgies want to lay eggs even of I don't set a nest? What would happen then? I'm sorry if this is a "dumb" Question lol. In fact I would love for them to eventually have little chicks, but I don't know how that would fit with the mixed aviary thing.
Thank you so much in advance!!
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Re: Housing together budgies, cockatiels and Kakarikis??

Postby Pajarita » Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:56 am

Hi, Cor, welcome to the forum and don't worry, there is no such a thing as a 'dumb' question. Not when it comes to birds anyway because we all know so little about them and they are so very different from mammals that even things we thought we knew and that they were true ended up being incorrect.

Now, I doubt your set-up will work and I'll tell you why. First of all, both cockatiels and kakarikis are aviary birds and, as such, they are never really happy without companions of their own species. Secondly, budgies, for all their small size, are terrible bullies and will, eventually, harass and might even attack the tiel and the kakariki. It's the way they are. They get along VERY well with other budgies and don't even fight with each other once the pairs are set (young males will fight over unattached females but once they pair off, they stop all aggression). But birds of other species and, most especially, lone birds are fair prey as far as they are concerned and will try to 'defend' their territory during breeding season - even if you don't give them a nest. You might be able to keep a cockatiel and a kakariki bonded pair of each in a large aviary because both species are actually very sweet-tempered (more the tiels than the kakarikis, I think) but not with a bonded pair of budgies.

As to the budgies producing eggs, as long as you feed them the right diet and keep them at a strict solar schedule, they will not produce eggs if you don't give them a nest but, if you keep them at a human light schedule and/or free-feed protein food (seeds, pellets, nutriberries, avicakes, etc), they will produce eggs all the time and you might end up with a dead female from eggbinding. I would strongly urge you to reconsider breeding them. It's not easy to find a good home for birds - even budgies require a lot of care and a strict solar schedule so rehoming the babies will be a problem if you truly care for them. And you can't keep them either because they will end up inbreeding and producing defective babies... Also, breeding birds is not a matter of putting a male and female together, feeding them seed and giving them a nest. They will produce eggs and some of those eggs will produce babies but if you don't know what you are doing (and this takes years of observation and study), you will not get healthy babies and a lot of them will die.
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Re: Housing together budgies, cockatiels and Kakarikis??

Postby cor2210 » Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:31 pm

Thank you so much Pajarita for all that information. Sounds like there are a million factors that I never considered. Some of those things contrast with what most people in this and other forums, youtube, and real life, do. Everyone seems to have lone cockatiels or uneven number of birds that are well adjusted and happy. I wouldnt want to do anything that's not in the best interest of my pets but I want to understand.
I really appreciate your input and looks like you help a lot of people here with their birds!

So maybe I could buy/adopt an adult bonded pair of cockatiels and put them with the two budgies? I guess that would work.
And hypothetically, could a cockatiel and a kakariki bond, and then introduce the pair into the aviary with the budgies?

Regarding breeding, I feed them an adequate diet and keep their cage in a separate room where they recieve only natural light, and we dont enter the room from 8pm to 8am. I meant by no means that Id just set a nest and feed them seeds and see what happens, Id carefully study how to do one and only nesting and then keep the resulting birds, with no posterior inbreeding because I would then resume to a non-breeding habitat, if that makes sense (sorry english is not my first language). Would that be problematic to just keep the resulting birds in the same aviary than the parents? for what you said seems like you have to always have a perfect even number of budgies and with the exact same number of females than males, that sounds very complicated to achieve.
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Re: Housing together budgies, cockatiels and Kakarikis??

Postby Pajarita » Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:22 am

Yes, there is a lot of conflicting information out there, isn't there? I can tell you one thing: I've been doing this for a loooooong time - even before there were internet forums (we used to get together at the bird supply stores and compare notes, ask questions from one another, etc and we also had clubs with meetings, seminars, workshops, etc) and there is one thing that is always constant: people lie through their teeth because we all want everybody to believe that our animals are perfectly happy and healthy and, very often, it's not even that people lie, it's that they really do believe their birds are happy! It's VERY hard to read a bird, they don't make 'faces' (no cheek muscles, no eyebrows) and each species displays differently. The truth of the matter is that it is scientifically impossible for a parrot to be happy in captivity. It doesn't happen. Not to my parrots, not to your parrots, not to anybody's parrots. You can't take an undomesticated animal that belongs to a species that has complex emotional and physical needs (as parrots do) out of its natural habitat, put it in a human's home, feed it the wrong diet and keep it from congregating socially as they evolved to and expect it to be happy. Anybody who thinks they can achieve this is either arrogant or uninformed.

But no, it's not a matter of even or uneven numbers - well, let me rephrase that: it is but only up to a certain number. The smallest flock you can have is three pairs but, after that, you can have uneven numbers and it's OK. Can a kakariki and a cockatiel bond? Yes, they can. We see all kinds of interspecies bonding in captivity. Parrots (like all animals) are very pragmatic and the 'if you can't have the one you love, love the one you are with' is very common with them because they NEED the constant company and attention they evolved to have and which is always lacking in captivity. The problem is that you can't really bet on it so, in my mind, the best solution is always the one that is most likely to succeed: thus, my recommending a mate of their own species.

As to breeding... well, the problem is that it's not that easy to get zero infant mortality when you have no hands-on experience. There are many things that you need to take into consideration - like humidity in the environment, for example, which is something that most people are not even aware of as a requirement. If the environment where the birds are kept is too dry, you will get DIS (Dead In Shell) babies. See, the babies need a certain amount of humidity which is specific to the actual species of bird, not more and not less, because the eggshells are very porous and allow the humidity to reach the developing baby which needs to move around the egg. If it's too dry, the baby kind of gets stuck to the inside of the shell and dies before it can be born. Then you have the special diet for conditioning (prior breeding), the one for nesting (when the male will feed the female in the nest) and the one for raising babies (which is different from the other two). And the extra D3 and calcium you need to give to the female before it starts laying and after each egg ) PLUS when they are feeding the babies. You can't do too much or too little. And, if the mother or father get sick or stressed out, you will need to handfeed babies - and believe me when I tell you that this is NOT something you want to do! For one thing, it's something that requires experience or the babies end up aspirating or getting a fungal infection - and, for another, it's HARD because you need to wake up every couple of hours during the night when they are teeny tiny and even when they are a bit bigger, you still need to feed them once every hour for days and days and days during the daylight hours. I used to breed Timbrados and other purebred canaries but I learned under two mentors for years before I even attempted it. I no longer do it because it's very hard to find good homes for them even though it's super easy to take care of canaries! Budgies are in super overpopulation and considered disposable birds (people still put them out with the garbage when they no longer want them) so producing more of them is not the kindest thing to do...
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Re: Housing together budgies, cockatiels and Kakarikis??

Postby cor2210 » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:00 am

Thank you Pajarita, it's sad how little people know, my cousin has an African grey parrot who is alone and in a tiny cage and out of his mind, I feel terrible everytime I see him,and wouldn't want to be a bad owner too. Btw my father used to breed canaries too.

I have one more question if you don't mind, hypothetically if I had a 2x1m cage with for example 1 couple of budgies and 1 couple of cockatiels/kakarikis, would they be able to live together all the time, or I'd have to separate them during breeding season?

Can't understand people seeing budgies as disposable and giving them away, I love mine so much!
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Re: Housing together budgies, cockatiels and Kakarikis??

Postby Pajarita » Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:09 am

Well, I tell you, parrots all have personalities very defined -even aviary birds like budgies, cockatiels, etc. do- , when it comes to 'getting along', it all depends on the individuals temperament. There are birds that get along with every other bird out there, never having a single problem with them. And then there are birds that get along with one single bird or none at all (although these can be slowly get used to living with other birds. I have a male black-cap caique, Javi, who ignores all other birds -even though he grew up with a macaw and canaries- and I have this other bird, Davy, a male African Redbelly, that I got to become the companion to Isis, a female ARB who likes him a lot. Davy never even looked at Isis and, in truth, Isis is not interested in him, either (she adores my husband) but, as soon as he saw Javi, he went after him. At the beginning, Javi hated it and often confronted him but, as time went by, he got used to it and now, although I would not say they are good friends, they are always together. Except during breeding season when he pays a bit of attention to Zoey, a female Senegal, that he feeds in her beak every now and then. And then I have this other caique, also a male but a white belly instead of a black-cap, named Epuish who grew up all by himself with no other bird but he gets along just fine with everybirdy and has a BFF who is always with him - and she is a female GCC! They fly together, they perch together with their bodies touching, they preen one another, etc. It depends on the bird... Young birds tend to have more issues than adults and older birds are more mellow but they all have to be kind of separated during breeding season. This doesn't mean that they cannot all come out to fly but it does mean that they will not like any other bird near their nest so sharing a cage during this time might be problematic ('might', it's not 100%). So, the answer to your question is: It is entirely possible to have birds of different species living in a same cage as long as it is a large cage with several feeders and water bowls but, during breeding season, you will have to give them each enough room so they don't get stressed out. And you will have to see how the birds do with one another - they might like each other from day one or they might not. But, even when they don't, given enough time and the right care (because this all depends on them not being overly hormonal), they can learn to tolerate, like and even love one another.
Pajarita
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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