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Cockatiel being over preened by cage mate

Meg_003

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Megan
Hi there! I have a 3 year old white faced cockatiel who is currently being housed with an English budgie that’s about 1.5 years old. They’ve bonded well and have been together for a bit over 6 months without issue. I have them in a breeding cage to used to have the divider put in the middle but with them getting along have it removed .

About a month ago I noticed my cockatiel isn’t singing as much as normal and was worried something was wrong. Had him checked and there’s been no weight loss or problems with droppings.. croup was full, feathers were fine and healthy EXCEPT he was missing some in his Mohawk and around his eyes and nose a bit but not discharge.
Upon looking closer it appears the cockatiel ( his name is echo) had dried blood under feathers on his head so it was assumed the budgie over preened or plucked the feather so I put the divider back in, applied a heat lamp for echo so he could heal and added more nutritious food to his diet.
I will add that I have also since added a light over their cage since it’s winter here and we aren’t getting any natural sunlight at all.

Today I noticed that Echo was leaning his head into the divider and yoshi ( the budgie) was preening his head and around his nose again.

I put the divider in a pillow case until I can get some plexiglass or something so they can still see each other but I am feeling sad they can’t be caged together and bond the way they seem to want to.
Has anyone dealt with something similar or have any ideas for me? Is it ok that he’s preening him this much?? Or is it best that I keep them separated permanently . My cockatiel looks really rough with missing feathers on his face
 

Xoetix

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I'd separate them, honestly. Echo is allowing the over preening, and I've learned that budgies are overbearing - my tiel is bullied by mine. Sort of. My budgie really just loves my tiel a little TOO much, which it sounds like could be the same issue you're having. But I would definitely separate before it gets worse.
 

Shezbug

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I would also separate. Budgies are much more full on and energetic than tiels and it is not uncommon for a tiel to be bullied or overwhelmed by a bossy little full on budgie. If feathers are being plucked or preened to the point of damage then things are only going to get worse and I feel being plucked or preened that much can't be healthy for either bird. Good chance the feather loss will increase over time till you have a tiel with an uncle fester hair do.
 

Meg_003

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I'd separate them, honestly. Echo is allowing the over preening, and I've learned that budgies are overbearing - my tiel is bullied by mine. Sort of. My budgie really just loves my tiel a little TOO much, which it sounds like could be the same issue you're having. But I would definitely separate before it gets worse.
Thank you for your reply. You think if I get plexiglass they can still be beside each other? Or better to get seperate cages entirely ?
 

Xoetix

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Personally, I'd do an entirely separate cage. If there's plexiglass, they might hurt themselves trying to get to eat other.
 
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