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How To Introduce A Second Budgie

Updated on June 19, 2013

Introduction

Budgies are great friends to have. A quick browse on Google images reveals many images of their amusing antics. It's no wonder that they are so popular to have as a pet. Most people start with one, but quickly start to wonder... should I get a second one? This article will give you advice and useful tips, and what to do next.

In this article

  • A Second Budgie
  • Introduction
  • Who Are You?
  • Hey, Don't Touch That!
  • Let's Hang Out At My Place...
  • Maybe We Should Move In Together?
  • I Think We Should Redecorate...
  • Finally...

A Second Budgie?

Most birdlovers start out with just the one budgie. You spent a lot of time thinking about it, gaining information, bought a cage and fun toys and got the best birdfood you could find. Then you're off to the animal shop, put down some cash and walk home proud with your very first budgie.

But it's not long before you start to wonder... should I get a second budgie? Maybe you've noticed Tweety is a little lonely, or someone else points out that budgies really are group animals and should have a buddy. Maybe you're just so hooked on your tiny friend that you just want to have more of the same thing. All are good reasons to get another, or even third or fourth, budgie. Then the doubts rear their head: what if they don't get along?

Budgies have a personality of their own, as any parakeet owner will surely tell you. Sometimes, as it is with humans, those personalities collide. So, before you decide to get a second budgie, make sure you are willing and able to keep a second, separate cage. This is not only a good back-up plan in case your budgies can't stand each other. If one (or heaven forbid: more than one) budgie gets sick, you need to be able to place it in quarantaine, so the other birds don't get contaminated.

Generally speaking though, budgies are very genial and will quickly befriend another parakeet.

Introduction

Initially, your first budgie will keep itself at a distance towards the newcomer. Don't be surprised if, after you spent all that time building a good relationship with your budgie, he even becomes a little angry towards you. Some birds have been known to be kind and attached to their owner, only to suddenly to bite or refuse to perch on their finger. This is temporary. Imagine your budgie to be a 3 year-old, both in wits and personality. He's really actually jealous! He had a palace for himself, all that attention and food, the toys, ... Everything revolved around him. Now he sees there's another one like him. An invader! They are that smart. So how do you deal with a jealous little budgie?

A sulking budgie: after seeing the new bird brought in, he flew out of his cage to the top of the bookshelf.
A sulking budgie: after seeing the new bird brought in, he flew out of his cage to the top of the bookshelf. | Source
Two weeks later, both birds are good friends and do everything together.
Two weeks later, both birds are good friends and do everything together. | Source

Who are you?

First, don't treat him any differently. Give him just as much attention as before. Keep the newcomer separated, but make sure the cages are within hearing distance of each other. This way, neither bird feels threatened by the other, and they are able to safely get used to the other's presence. Suspicion turns into curiosity.

Hey, don't touch that!

After a day, move the two cages close together, place them next to each other. The birds will climb their cage trying to get to the other one. They want to examine the other bird. Do not let them out, don't put them in one cage! They'll still fight! After 2-3 days, you can let the tame budgie out. It'll fly to the new bird, land on top of the cage and investigate. If it can reach a toy or food, it will play with it or eat it. He's trying to set the pecking order! "All this is mine now, I'm the boss."

Allow this to happen. Don't feel pity, in the long run it's the best for both birds. Just keep an eye out that neither bird hurts the other. If possible, you can put a vegetable or a piece of fruit between the bars of the cage, so both birds can easily eat from it. Eating together like this will create the first bond and further help establish the pecking order.

Let's hang out at my place...

Eventually, when things seem to go well, you can allow the two birds to spend the day in one main cage. The entire previous process should take at least one week. Don't let them sleep together yet.

Do keep an eye out the first few days for fights. They'll still quarrel, which is normal, but if feathers start to fly or they roll squeaking through the cage holding on to each other, it's time to take action. Extend the separation time and re-evaluate.

Maybe we should move in together?

Finally, if there are no further problems (give it at least 3 days), you can try allowing them to spend the night in one cage. Again, if problems arise, take a step back and re-evaluate.

I think we should redecorate...

An extra tip when putting two budgies together. On the day you put the two budgies in one cage, clean, reorganize the main cage and put in some toys from the new bird. This will fool the budgies into thinking they're both being put in a new cage and prevent the first bird from feeling the need to defend its own territory.

Finally...

If all these steps are followed and you can let them sleep together in one cage without problems, congratulations: you've successfully extended your birdfamily!

Give them enough time, and very soon, they'll be the very best of friends. They'll feed each other, wash each other, and so on. Eventually, you'll find them doing everything together!

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    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 6 years ago from San Francisco

      This is a terrific guide. We had a parakeet years ago, and when we got another, there was a little aloofness at first. Your steps would have helped them warm up to one another more quickly (they did end up getting along in the end).

    • Aficionada profile image

      Aficionada 5 years ago from Indiana, USA

      What an interesting and cool article! It makes me think of the days my mother kept a bird when I was a child; and it is so much fun reading about a bird's personality?!?!? Honestly, I never knew.

    • Elysianphoenix profile image
      Author

      Elysianphoenix 5 years ago from Belgium

      Thank you! I do hope this article will help others like yourself and me in introducing their budgies to each other.

    • Elysianphoenix profile image
      Author

      Elysianphoenix 5 years ago from Belgium

      Glad you enjoyed it! Birds have a lot of different personalities. Some are shy, some are very social, attached to humans or prefer to be alone. It makes them so much more interesting, don't you agree?

    • profile image

      carolyn 4 years ago

      Thank you for the article. I bought a third budgie two days ago. I have only had the other two for two weeks but they are best of friends. The new-comer is a bit like "Billy no-mates" at the moment. I put all of them straight into a massive brand new cage with lots of toys (I didn't know I wasn't supposed to). They have pecked each other a bit - nothing serious...yet. He's just a baby and so is my lutino. Is it likely they will be the best of friends before long?

    • profile image

      geo 4 years ago

      My first keet seems to.like my.new keet more than me :( he cant be with out her:( what do I do

    • Grant N.Z profile image

      Grant N.Z 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Great hub . I have a budgie and i love him to bits, he is hand reared and so tame. However i have just also brought an handreared indian ringneck. So i have brought a female budgie to keep billy company. This is because the ringneck will take up a lot off attention. I have also brought a very large cage to put the budgies in. At the moment the 2 budgies are in there old cages, next to each other. They have been like that for 6 days. It is just by luck that i have been doing just as you have written. But after reading your hub , i know i am , [by luck] on the right track. And you are so right, budges are just fantastic little animals. Good to see you mention lots off toys as billy plays with different toys constantly. And the other day i saw a budgie in a cage with only 2 perches, one food dish and one water dish. I asked how long they had had him. 5 years. 5 very very boring years . Poor little sod. I feel like sneakng him home with me.Cheers Grant

    • profile image

      some one that needs helps 4 years ago

      hi i had a budgie then got a new one after 2 days,now my first budgie(used to like me) wont stay on his perch when i move it,he will like the new one, grab with its beak on the cage bars and go someheer else,its been about 2 days since mye new budgie came in,i need to know if the will not be like me forever ?

    • profile image

      Luke 3 years ago

      Trying to introduce a second bird, they are both young, one is 4 months the other 5 or so weeks. The slightly older one feels jealous I think. I've pushed the cages together.

    • profile image

      Bellinda 3 years ago

      I have just introduced a new budgie to one I had for about a month as he seemed lonely...but he hates her....I dont have another cage to separate them (didn't know you should, when a kid it was done by lumping them in) nor can I afford one. He is constantly nibbling at her beak till she moves away then he attacks her...they have started sitting on the same perch, but he is guarding food and I worry she wont get any to eat...would a second feeder help?

    • Elysianphoenix profile image
      Author

      Elysianphoenix 3 years ago from Belgium

      @Bellinda: Although I can't tell for sure without observing, it sounds like they have already bonded. Nibbling at her beak is a sign of affection. If she lets him, it means she feels affectionnate towards him as well. You say he attacks her, does he lunge at her once or really try to hurt her? The lunge could be perfectly innocent. A second feeder is definitely recommended in this case, as you need -at least- as many feeders as there are birds. Some people will recommend getting one extra, but I don't think that's necessary with just two budgies. He may be feeding her though, look closely: their beaks would be interlocked, as if they're making out, and he'll seem to be throwing up.

      Either way, get a second feeder. But it doesn't sound like he hates her. ;-)

      You say you can't afford a second cage. I do recommend, if you are able to, to purchase a small travel cage. These can be found for around 15$. Just in case. Good luck with your birds!!

    • Elysianphoenix profile image
      Author

      Elysianphoenix 3 years ago from Belgium

      Hey, I haven't been around for a while, sorry for the late reply. Anyways, in the mean while, I hope things with your budgies have improved. They should have gotten quite close to each other, and I expect the first one to have distanced itself slightly from you, but if you gave both of them plenty of love and attention, they should both be vying for your attention and using you as a landing post. :)

    • Elysianphoenix profile image
      Author

      Elysianphoenix 3 years ago from Belgium

      Odd as it may sound, that's actually really good! Imagine they didn't get along and would fight all the time? Your budgies need a bird friend, and now they have one! This makes them SO much happier than a human ever could! But don't let that discourage you. If you give them both love and attention, you'll only have doubled the love you receive from them!!

    • Elysianphoenix profile image
      Author

      Elysianphoenix 3 years ago from Belgium

      Hey, sorry for the late reply. One of two things will have happened. Either they learned to get along and are now friends, or you had to give one of them away because they kept fighting. It depends on the gender, really. Two girls and one male will cause a fight (girls can get jealous). Two males and one girl will usually work out, but since b udgies have personalities and are all unique, it's impossible to predict up front. From what you describe, I reckon he was just a little anxious as a newcomer in an already established group, and thus he seperated himself as a precaution. More than likely though, he's now a part of the group, though if there is a girl in there, I expect there to be a couple by now.

    • Elysianphoenix profile image
      Author

      Elysianphoenix 3 years ago from Belgium

      @Bellinda: Although I can't tell for sure without observing, it sounds like they have already bonded. Nibbling at her beak is a sign of affection. If she lets him, it means she feels affectionnate towards him as well. You say he attacks her, does he lunge at her once or really try to hurt her? The lunge could be perfectly innocent. A second feeder is definitely recommended in this case, as you need -at least- as many feeders as there are birds. Some people will recommend getting one extra, but I don't think that's necessary with just two budgies. He may be feeding her though, look closely: their beaks would be interlocked, as if they're making out, and he'll seem to be throwing up.

      Either way, get a second feeder. But it doesn't sound like he hates her. ;-)

      You say you can't afford a second cage. I do recommend, if you are able to, to purchase a small travel cage. These can be found for around 15$. Just in case. Good luck with your birds!!

    • profile image

      dee 3 years ago

      I had a budgie I felt sorry for he was on his own so I went to a breeder and told them I wanted another budgie as mine was lonely I never knew you had to keep them apart, and the so called breeder never advised me any differently needless to say my little budgie died I was gutted I still have the one I bought from a breeder and feel sorry that he too is now lonely, but my heart is saying do buy another one as I don't want tweety to die and it be like a circle buying one loosing one etc

    • profile image

      gem618 2 years ago

      Please advise: Budgie singled out, alone at bottom of aviary from the "flock" of 10.

      Introduced a new female budgie and she flew up to the rafters AFTER spending 4 hours with solo budgie.

      I want this bird to be happy and not alone.

      Should I get a separate cage and house the 2 together??

    • profile image

      Tracka 2 years ago

      Please HELP

      I went and bought another budgie before reading your information...I was given 2 budgies from the previous owners of the house. One was a girl and the other is still deciding although I'm thinking more a girl. They cleaned each other and slept with their heads under their wings and bickered but still worked well with each other. My daughter cleaned the cage and the girl got out. The other one chirped for it for 12 hours straight. I then went a bought a 3 month old budgie, it's so cute. But last night I found the little one in the top of the corner of the cage clinging on with it's beak and claws. :-( Today they will sit beside each other but when the little one gets too close the older one goes to peck it. The little one is talking a lot to the mirror and finds comfort in the mirror so it tries to get to it. I think I've done the wrong thing...It's been 2 days now and the other one is still chirping occasionally but not as much. Can I please ask, "what would you do?" I don't want to have to go and buy another cage but I'm thinking of getting another baby budgie and leaving the older one by itself or should I just see what happens? Tracka

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      Jane mcloughlin. Horwich Bolton bl6 6 hh 6 months ago

      Hi , I'm Jane , iv had Tootsy for 5 years is so pretty , but I felt a little friend would b company when I'm at work or out , so I went mad and got another little female blue budgie , and a cage ,.iv put there cages together , and perches close so they can get to know each other .

      So far things are going fine , slowly starting to copy and

      Sit next to each other ,. I'm hoping that in a couple of days I can king

      D of connect the doors to see if they prefer to b together , iv always got so much joy out of Tootsy ( no 1). Really hoping (Bluey no 2 ). And tootsy will soon b best buddies ( best Budgies , rather ). Im full of confidence , that Tootsy will perhaps mother the younger one

      And will b able to chit chat away with their millet ,. " Mad crZy. Budgie ' lover.

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      Lilly Oakley 5 months ago

      I love my bird,but I don't want to spend extra money for a third cage when I'm getting a second bird, should I put my new bird in the one main cage and keep my old bird in the same small one?

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      gayle gillis 3 months ago

      I had to put a new male in with my female as I didn't have a separate cage. she is 7 mos, he is 4 mos. she will push him right off the perch during the day but now, after 4 days she will let him sit on the same perch. will this behavior stop as I had hoped to breed them in another year.

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      wilhelmina 2 months ago

      i have a female budgie should i get her a male or female friend

    • profile image

      Angela 6 weeks ago

      I don't have two cages and I introduced the new one immediately

      What should I do ???

      They haven't kissed or preened each other

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