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Keeping Budgies Alone – Yes Or No?

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Anyone who has observed budgerigars in their native Australia or at a responsible owner knows that this question is actually wrong. She suggests that keeping budgerigars alone is a viable option, that ultimately it is a matter of personal preference whether to keep budgerigars alone or with others of their own species. But this is not the case. Discussing the pros and cons of keeping budgies individually is something that doesn’t work, because the simple fact is that keeping budgies individually has no advantages, especially not for the bird concerned. Budgies absolutely must have at least one partner. We explain to you why this is so.

The versatile social life of budgeties – and what follows

In order to be able to deduce how animals – in general – can be kept as species-appropriate as possible, it is essential to deal with their origin, their very own way of life and their instincts and needs. It is in the nature of things that in bird husbandry it will never be possible to meet all natural needs, such as flying hundreds of kilometers or at breathtaking speeds, sleeping in flocks of hundreds of animals, or roaming through grasslands on the search for food. But there are adjustments that we, as responsible pet owners, can turn. Things that are within our sphere of influence. And in the case of keeping budgerigars, this includes the decision as to whether we put them in solitary confinement and keep them alone or whether we provide them with a partner. And this is why it makes sense to take a look at how budgerigars live in the wild.

In their native Australia, budgerigars live in sometimes huge swarms of several hundred individuals. Together they go in search of food and water. Within these flocks, two birds often enter into an intimate partnership that lasts for many years, often a lifetime. They spend the days and nights together, warming, cleaning and feeding each other, playing with each other and communicating constantly. A solitary budgie will be deprived of all of these basic needs. He doesn’t have anyone interacting with him in a budgie-like way. Just imagine not having anyone around you for the rest of your life with whom you can talk and spend time. A terrible idea? Well, for the budgie too.

What happens when you keep a budgie alone?

Keeping budgerigars individually will sooner or later have consequences. Perhaps the affected budgerigar suffers silently for years and resigns to its fate without anyone realizing its distress. In other cases, the birds call out loudly for conspecifics and develop behavioral problems such as feather plucking. yet, a thing that is crystal clear: a budgerigar that is kept alone can never be content an happy. Even as a human being, you can never – no matter how hard you try – replace a fellow animal. Humans and birds do not speak the same language, do not have the same repertoire of facial expressions and gestures, and do not have the same interests. You can’t rush through the living room with your pet, take a bath together or snuggle up next to it on the perch in the evening. Clearly: A budgerigar needs a conspecific!

Which combination is best?

A couple, i.e. a male (rooster) and a female (hen), as well as two males usually get along very well. The only thing to avoid is keeping two hens, as they often do not get along well. If you keep a larger flock, you should make sure that the number of animals is even, so that each can find a partner for itself. You can usually tell the sexes of adult animals by the cere – that is the skin over the beak: it is blue in males and grey-brown in females. Only in the case of lutinos and albinos, i.e. completely yellow or white birds, can it be difficult to determine the sex.

Give mirror and dummy a consistent reject!

Word should have gotten around by now, but it should be emphasized again at this point: mirrors in which the individually kept budgerigar discovers a supposed conspecific, as well as bird dummies made of plastic or other materials, are just as little a substitute for a bird partner as a human being can be. They are even dangerous and can lead to serious illnesses. For example, quite a few budgerigars develop goiter inflammation when trying to feed their “partner” in the form of a mirror or dummy. The food that is regurgitated for the partner is swallowed down again and again and regurgitated because the

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