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Feisty Female Parakeet

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Feisty Female Parakeet

Postby lizarosco » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:52 pm

About 9 months ago I lost one of my parakeets, Sky, to a sudden illness. He was housed with my female parakeet Kit. My worry when I took Sky in to the vet before he passed was that Kit was sort of aggressive. More overbearing than aggressive actually. And to this day I don’t know if her attitude is what led to Sky’s death. She would chase him and hound the food and if that was the cause of his sudden illness I know it’s my fault for not noticing sooner.

That aside, after Sky died I’ve been letting Kit come out to play with my cockatiel Loki. I had considered getting another parakeet to keep her company but it seemed fine with Loki especially since he’s bigger and can fend for himself against her feistiness. However, lately Kit has become more overbearing again. Thankfully they are housed separately but when it’s out time she goes after Loki wanting to be next to him and chasing him and copying his noises and mannerisms. She’s not tame but she’s beginning to be okay with landing on me and being near me from watching what Loki and my sun conure, Fawkes, with me.

I guess I’m wondering what should I do? I’m afraid that I’ll get another parakeet and if she did cause Sky’s death she’ll just end up killing it too. I’m worried that Kit is just way too feisty for any other critter to tolerate her but I feel so sad because she seems to just want love. Or maybe I’m misinterpreting the chasing! I’m worried that she’s hurting Loki and stressing him out because he’s constantly trying to avoid her and opens his beak at her so I have to make sure they don’t hurt one another. But separating them means she’s alone. I love my birds very much and I just want Kit to be happy with a buddy in peace if it’s possible.
lizarosco
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Re: Feisty Female Parakeet

Postby liz » Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:44 am

Get another cockatiel.
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liz
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Re: Feisty Female Parakeet

Postby Pajarita » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:36 am

Hi, Liza and feathered friends, welcome to the forum! Liz is half right, you should get a mate for the tiel and one for the budgie but let me elaborate a bit further. Budgies do tend to be bullies, not only with other budgies but with all other birds and a tiel, even though it's bigger in size is really no match for a budgie because tiels are, in my personal opinion and experience, the sweetest-tempered species of all the parrots and budgies are the bulliest. BUT, budgies are only bullies when they are not happy so let's review the husbandry and see if we can get Kit to 'calm down' :D .

The thing about aviary species (both tiels and budgies are aviary and not companion parrots) is that they are VERY sensitive to diet and light schedule because nature made them EXTREMELY opportunistic breeders so unless they are kept at a super strict solar schedule (meaning no less than 2 hours of twilight and complete darkness for the night) and given a very low protein/fat diet, they will produce sexual hormones out of season (we are in what birders call 'the resting season' - aka winter). And sexual hormones out of season means a highly frustrated bird that is also physically uncomfortable if not in chronic pain (because their internal sexual organs grow to a size that was never meant to happen in nature). So, the first order of business is to re-evaluate their diet (never free-feed protein food and whatever portioned protein food they get for dinner should be low protein for both) and their light schedule.

But the other thing about aviary species is that although they learn to live with humans and resign themselves to being alone, they are never really happy or completely stress-free when they are lone birds. Mates not only enrich their lives tremendously, they also provide the company and constant physical attention they need to live a stress-free life. Nature took millions of years evolving these birds to live in flock and with mates all their lives and as much as we would like to believe that we, the human care-givers, are enough for them, we are not. It's not anything me, you or any other birdkeeper does or does not do, it's the way nature made them and breeding them in captivity and even hand-feeding does not erase evolution.

Budgies that are not overly-hormonal (which is what happens when they produce sexual hormones all year round, year after year) are not aggressive at all. They are happy, flighty little things that do their own thing and do not bother anybirdy UNLESS you have three of them (for some reason, 3 never works out with budgies, you need even numbers in pairs or a number higher than 6). Furthermore, having a male/female pair of budgies does not prevent you from 'taming' them - I don't use the word 'bonding' because although they do learn to trust and love you, they do not bond like companion parrots.

So my recommendation to you is: re-evaluate the diet and light schedule and get mates for both your birds. Kit will not stop her behavior immediately because it takes time for the endocrine system to go back on track after being screwed up for some time and, besides, the days are now getting longer and the birds have already noticed this so you will have to wait until the fall for a noticeable change - but it will happen and you will have healthier, happier birds.
Pajarita
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Re: Feisty Female Parakeet

Postby lizarosco » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:31 pm

Thank you I appreciate the advice. I’m not sure on getting a second cockatiel though but I’ll definitely consider it. For now, I will get a second parakeet. How should I go about introducing the new bird to Kit? I want to make sure I have things run as smoothly as possible. I don’t mind if they’re not tame I just want them to be happy.

I’m currently in the process of transitioning my birds’ diet onto the gloop. So far they love it! And I could do with being more strict on their light schedule. Hopefully these changes are enough to ‘calm down’ Kit. Haha. She’s a lovely feisty bird with a big personality that’s for sure.
lizarosco
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Re: Feisty Female Parakeet

Postby lizarosco » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:04 pm

Also, does gender matter for picking a new friend for her? And would I no longer be able to let Kit around Loki or let the new parakeet out with Loki too in case he ends up being bullied by both parakeets?
lizarosco
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Number of Birds Owned: 4
Types of Birds Owned: Parakeets, cockatiel, sun conure
Flight: Yes

Re: Feisty Female Parakeet

Postby Pajarita » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:44 am

Well, although aviary species make friends easily even if they are of the same gender, I always strive to give them a companion of the opposite gender because this is what nature decreed when she made them monogamous. Basically, what I am trying to say is that, if you can only have one or the other, a friend is great but it's even better to have a boyfriend, right? :D

Introducing them is super easy! You do need to quarantine the new bird in another room so they will be hearing each other first and will be terribly curious to meet so, by the time the couple of weeks you need to determine that the new bird is healthy (do not buy a baby, babies don't work out as mates for adults, you need to adopt an adult male) and put them in the same room, she will be already half in love with him (male budgies woo the females by 'talking' to them) and all you will need to do is put their cages side by side for a week or so and then you can put him in her cage (don't put her in his cage because male budgies leave their flocks to look for females in other flocks so doing it this way is closer to what nature ordered).

Yes, you can let them out with the tiel because once they are bonded, they won't bother the tiel at all.

Please do consider getting a companion for the tiel… you would be making his life a thousand times happier!
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes


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