• Welcome to Avian Avenue! To view our forum with less advertisments please register with us.
    Memberships are free and it will just take a moment. Click here

Extra Bossy Hen - need advice

HelenVanessaDavies

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Joined
9/4/10
Messages
2,643
Location
Kent, England
Real Name
Helen
Hi all,

It's been a while since I posted here. Unfortunately after my dear Percy and Pepe passed away it has been hard for me to post on the forums however I have been reading and reacting to posts. It's a bit of a long-ish story of what is currently going on but I hope someone on here might have some advice that will help.

In mid May I took on a new budgie (her name is Crikey), she was only about 7 months old when I got her, lived alone and was so thrilled to meet Joey my other budgie. They got alone so so well, I took them both for an avian vet check in June, Crikey had mites (which I had suspected), Joey was given a clean bill of health. They both had a big moult then Crikey took advantage of Joey's fragility due to the moult and started being territorial over the food bowls and one perch in particular. Sadly Joey passed away suddenly (I suspect a fast growing cancer of some kind). Crikey stopped eating and was clearly depressed. I went on a search for a buddy for her. I found a nearby breeder that had a bird that had been separated from the flock as he hadn't paired up. He's 6 months old and I've called him Billy. He's a really sweet boy, I introduced them gradually and he's been for an avian vet check and is a bit under weight. Billy is a very quiet bird, I think going from being surrounded by so many birds to just one has been odd for him/I think genetically he was bred to be a show type bird. He hasn't worked out how to use swing perches yet bless him.

They started showing signs of companionship (preening and feeding each other). Then Crikey decided to monopolise the food bowl again when they started living together. She's not my first hen budgie so I know what they're like but it's excessive (yesterday she literally flew across from one side of the cage to the other purposefully to body slam and knock Billy off the perch by one of the food bowls..!). She'll still preen and cuddle up to him but doesn't want him going near the food bowl. Which isn't ideal as I need Billy's weight to go up so I'm trying to work out the options of how to help the situation.

Currently:
  • They have a Vision double cage which they sleep in, then the door to that is open for around 6-7 hours a day (sometimes more) for them to have access to the large living room to fly and explore.
  • They have a UV light right next to the cage that is on for the daylight hours.
  • There are toys, I added in a couple new ones for Crikey(she particularly like to rip things so I have put in toys with safe destructible components)
  • I have added in another large food bowl in a different part of the cage, so there are now 3 large food bowls, but they have a preference for the one that she guards.
Billy feels more comfortable when I'm sat next to the cage (he's still a bit flighty when I clean out so I have been sitting near the cage, reading, looking at my phone etc to get him used to it) and will go and eat when I am sat there. As much as I would love to just sit by my budgies all day, there will be times I can't and I'm very concerned that Billy won't be able to eat enough as she chases him so badly.

I'm wondering if anyone can give advice on what else I can try do to allow Billy time to eat?


Other things I've thought of but am unsure if they would help:
*Changing around the cage so she's less confident/cocky and she will need to learn a new layout?
*Get a new flight cage so there's more space that is their home area?
*Rehome another pair of budgies (and I would need a bigger cage for that) or another species of bird as a distraction (when I had Pepe my parrotlet, Joey who also used to be very intense with the more elderly birds I had would show off for Pepe and that would give them time to eat etc)? I think it would also potentially help Billy confidence wise as he is used to a larger flock.

What do you guys think? I've attached some photos of them below :) Crikey is the green and Billy is supposed to be a rainbow buuuut I'm not convinced. He is also missing toes but he's very mobile.
 

Attachments

FeatheredM

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
5/14/21
Messages
2,251
Real Name
Monique
I would change the layout of the cage, how big is it? When I had to move my two budgies to a smaller cage, I noticed my female got a little cranky and territorial
 

Ripshod

Biking along the boulevard
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
12/6/18
Messages
7,397
Location
UK
Real Name
Linden
Different dishes in different places? Larger cage? That's all I can think of right now. I'll come back to this thread in the AM.
 

expressmailtome

Ripping up the road
Administrator
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
4/15/10
Messages
47,478
Real Name
Matthew
I am very sorry to hear of your losses.
 

Miss_sj

Jogging around the block
Joined
10/11/18
Messages
909
Location
Australia
Real Name
stacie
I’ve had some similar trouble with my hen, she is still food territorial and very much the keeper of the food. I rearrange the toys/layout of the cage each week which seems to help. When I was really worried, I would hand feed Finn some seed and pellets too. We ended up working out that he was definitely getting a turn at the food bowl as his weight was going up.
 

HelenVanessaDavies

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Joined
9/4/10
Messages
2,643
Location
Kent, England
Real Name
Helen
I would change the layout of the cage, how big is it? When I had to move my two budgies to a smaller cage, I noticed my female got a little cranky and territorial
The cage is just under 1 meter high and around 75cm wide. When I got her she was in a small cage with a tiny canary feeder and mostly lived off of millet, I think that also might be a factor in why she is so possessive of the food bowl.
 

HelenVanessaDavies

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Joined
9/4/10
Messages
2,643
Location
Kent, England
Real Name
Helen
Different dishes in different places? Larger cage? That's all I can think of right now. I'll come back to this thread in the AM.
Thank you for the suggestions, I hadn't thought of different dishes and in different places. I'll have a search for dishes that look different.

I would like them to have a larger cage in general as when I bought the cage it was the biggest one I could find for budgies (other than outdoor aviaries) in the UK, now there are indoor aviary ones available

Thank you for your help
 

HelenVanessaDavies

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Joined
9/4/10
Messages
2,643
Location
Kent, England
Real Name
Helen
I am very sorry to hear of your losses.
Thank you, I had planned my whole life to be with Percy and had hoped for more years with Pepe so it is a huge life adjustment I'm still working on. U

Reading posts here has helped me be able to look at the species again and also hear about their hijinks
 

HelenVanessaDavies

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Joined
9/4/10
Messages
2,643
Location
Kent, England
Real Name
Helen
I’ve had some similar trouble with my hen, she is still food territorial and very much the keeper of the food. I rearrange the toys/layout of the cage each week which seems to help. When I was really worried, I would hand feed Finn some seed and pellets too. We ended up working out that he was definitely getting a turn at the food bowl as his weight was going up.
I'm glad to hear it's not just my girl being a pain around food!

Billy isn't hand tame but he might be tempted by the food as he seems to know I am safe to eat around.

It's good to know moving around the cage has worked for you, I think I'll give it a try as well as seeing if Billy will come around to taking food from near me
 

FeatheredM

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
5/14/21
Messages
2,251
Real Name
Monique
You have a pretty nice cage size, so I wouldn't say the problem is the lack of room. I think you just have to change things around, and even if that doesn't work, keep doing it in different ways so you break the habit
 

Miss_sj

Jogging around the block
Joined
10/11/18
Messages
909
Location
Australia
Real Name
stacie
I'm glad to hear it's not just my girl being a pain around food!

Billy isn't hand tame but he might be tempted by the food as he seems to know I am safe to eat around.

It's good to know moving around the cage has worked for you, I think I'll give it a try as well as seeing if Billy will come around to taking food from near me
give a cage rearrange a try, that might just dust some bossiness off her little boots.

hopefully Billy will take some food from you- this could be a nice bonding experience too! I was ridiculously lucky that Flynn accepted food from our hands just a couple of days after bringing him home, and then made the decision that if we were feeding him we must be awesome!
 

HelenVanessaDavies

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Joined
9/4/10
Messages
2,643
Location
Kent, England
Real Name
Helen
give a cage rearrange a try, that might just dust some bossiness off her little boots.

hopefully Billy will take some food from you- this could be a nice bonding experience too! I was ridiculously lucky that Flynn accepted food from our hands just a couple of days after bringing him home, and then made the decision that if we were feeding him we must be awesome!
I have given the cage the first re-arrange today, Billy wasn't very phased by it, he was the first to find the new location of the favourite food bowl. Crikey has been spending more time running around the bottom of the cage (which is pretty normal behaviour for her, she enjoys digging under the paper and hiding under it D: ) but maybe as a response to being unsure of the rearrangement.

Billy is still very flighty but I'm working on it. When I sit by their cage and read I have the millet on the cage and near me. He was tempted!

Thank you for all of your help :)
 

HelenVanessaDavies

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Joined
9/4/10
Messages
2,643
Location
Kent, England
Real Name
Helen
You have a pretty nice cage size, so I wouldn't say the problem is the lack of room. I think you just have to change things around, and even if that doesn't work, keep doing it in different ways so you break the habit
So far it seems to have helped :) I did a small move around to start with, but I made sure to move the food and water around with some of the toys
Thank you
 
Top