Jana worked in animal welfare with abused and unwanted pets. She loves sharing her hands-on experience regarding domestic and wild critters.
Should Budgies Be Kept in Pairs?
Budgies fare better when they are kept in pairs or small flocks. A single budgie lacks interaction with other budgies—something that is essential to its emotional well-being.
A happy budgie lives as naturally as possible. Nothing is more natural to them than bonding with their own kind. Find out how many friends your pet needs—and it’s not always just one!
This Is Why Budgies Need Other Budgies
These tiny parrots are hardwired to be social. In the wild, they spend their lives in large flocks—raising chicks, squabbling, and constantly grooming each other. This nurtures their intelligence and makes them feel safe. When a budgie feels safe, their stress levels drop and their health flourishes.
Which Genders Get Along Best?
All budgies have their own unique personalities. Due to this, not every bird will fit the norm. So, what is the norm? Well, males are generally more social and friendly. The hens are considered to be more aggressive. Let’s look at all the possible combinations and the benefits or drawbacks of each.
A Male and Female Pair
This is the most popular combination when pet owners pick a pair of budgies. It makes sense because budgies love having a mate. As a bonded pair, a male and female will constantly groom and feed each other. You can rest assured that this combination is a healthy one and the chances of aggression are very low.
You can even keep two males and a female together.
An All-Male Pair
Keeping two males together usually does not cause problems. As mentioned a little earlier, the boys are naturally less aggressive and behave more socially towards other budgies. This is also a good combination if you do not want to breed and just want two birds that get along.
You can also keep several males together in a small flock.
An All-Female Pair
As the more aggressive gender, keeping two females together in the same cage is not a good idea. While there are exceptions, it is common for a hen to focus most of her aggression on other females.
How Do I Introduce Two Budgies to Each Other?
Let’s say you already have a budgie and have decided to get him or her a friend. If this is the first time that you will be facing an introduction, it is totally normal to feel a little apprehensive. After all, you want things to go well.
The good news is that these birds rarely have serious arguments when they are first introduced to each other. But play it safe and put the cage somewhere that is quiet (to reduce their stress) but also gives you the opportunity to monitor how the two birds are getting along.
It is normal for new budgies to aim a nasty peck or two at each other. These pecks rarely hit their mark and are just for show. You know, in budgies language it would translate along the lines of, “I’m not sure who you are yet, so keep your distance!” However, any weariness usually vanishes within a few days.
How Do I Deal With Persistent Aggression?
In the rare instance that one or both budgies are acting like cutthroat bandits, you need to move one of them to another cage. If you do not have a second cage, all is not lost. It just requires more vigilance on your part. The chances are that they will settle down after a few days.
You can reduce the chances of aggression between them by making sure that the cage has enough space. A tiny cage does not allow two birds to check each other out from what they feel is a safe distance. A small cage also does not allow enough exercise, meaning that the birds cannot spend their energy. For highly-intelligent birds such as budgies, the lack of exercise and space goes to their heads. The result? More cage stress and aggressive behaviour.
A Quick Summary
- Budgies are happier in pairs or flocks.
- Females tend to be more aggressive than males.
- A good choice for cage mates is a male/female or male/male combination.
- When introduced for the first time, two budgies normally settle down and accept each other within a few hours to a few days.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2021 Jana Louise Smit
Sp Greaney from Ireland on March 19, 2021:
This is really useful advise. I don't know much about budgies so it's always interesting to find out some facts about them.
Jana Louise Smit (author) from South Africa on March 17, 2021:
Hi MG. Yes, budgies are one of the smallest true parrot species. I'm glad you enjoyed the article. :)
MG Singh emge from Singapore on March 17, 2021:
This was a new subject for me and it turned out to be very interesting. Are these birds from the parrot family?
Linda Chechar from Arizona on March 17, 2021:
Jana Louise, these are beautiful budgies! They are the mates males and the females. You should showed these are and the male/male and female/male. They're the pairs!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 17, 2021:
Thanks for sharing this advice. It makes sense that two would be happier than a single budgie.