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  #1  
Old 04-12-2017, 09:51 AM
Jordi (Jordi)
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Default Advice required on companion for a bereaved budgie

Dear fellow budgie owners

Last week I lost one of my two budgies, Josquin, and by now it is very clear that we need a new companion for the female, Bluebirdie, as I can see that she is really struggling with the loss (though health-wise she is Ok and she is eating and drinking well). So I write to ask for your advice.

The plan is to go to find a new one this weekend, I have two cages so i will start first with one on each cage in opposite sides of the room and let them talk, then after a few days see if they can meet during flying time in the living room, and after a few days of that leave the cages open and see if one moves in with the other...this is how we did it with Josquin and it was successful.

For me i would not get another one because the heartbreak of losing Josquin was too great. And I know there is no guarantee that they will get along - but I feel we must try as I fear that otherwise we will lose the other one due to stress. The overriding priority is what's best for Bluebirdie now - plus his sulking and silence are unbearable for the whole family.

A) Do you think the approach is correct?
B) Do you confirm another boy is what’s required?
C) Will it be a problem that the new one will be much younger?
(Bluebirdie is 3 years old)
D) Do looks matter? I plan to choose one that does not look at all like
Josquin – a bright green with black and white feathers is the idea.

Thank you for any advice

Jordi


Last edited by Jordi; 04-12-2017 at 10:02 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-12-2017, 01:54 PM
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You need to make some adjustments to your plan.

Firstly, your new budgie should go in quarantine which means housing it in a completely different room. Budgies hide illnesses so even if the new budgie looks fine and healthy, that doesn't mean a thing.
Not following quarantine means that any illness can be passed on to both budgies, risking both of them.

Once the new budgies is in the house, they can flock call to one another and Bluebirdie will likely perk up some what. if the flock calling becomes a bit much, keep some music on in the room the birds are in and this will help drown out the sound a little.

I'm unsure of the sex of Bluebirdie. You have referred to this bird as both male and female in your post.

Quote:
Last week I lost one of my two budgies, Josquin, and by now it is very clear that we need a new companion for the female, Bluebirdie, as I can see that she is really struggling with the loss
And

Quote:
The overriding priority is what's best for Bluebirdie now - plus his sulking and silence are unbearable for the whole family.
The belief that having a male & female is the best way to go isn't always the case. My flock live together and out of 7 females and 6 males I only have one bonded male and female pair. The males much prefer to spend time with the other males and my females often sit by themselves or a couple of the girls sit together.

When selecting a new bird, you could try and find one that was the same type of characteristics as the old bird if they got along well as it will help in finding a bird that will be the best fit.


The age difference should be fine, especially as Bluebirdie is used to have a bird friend around.

Personality would be a much better thing to prioritise over looks. Finding a bird who will be a good fit would be a much better path to take. As for looks, budgies might have a preference to a certain colouring over others.

For example, I had a pair that were very strongly bonded and the male was very upset when the hen died.
Recently, I bought a new female who is an English budgie, but her colouring is the same as the old hen and the same male budgie has shown interest in her.
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Old 04-12-2017, 02:03 PM
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Edit: I didn't see therm's post until after I posted. I forgot to mention the obvious- quarantine definitely!

Hi Jordi, welcome to Talk Budgies. I'm very sorry for your loss.

With budgies, I've only ever kept two at a time, so I can tell you my experiences when one inevitably passed away before the other.

I'll tell you what I did with Mink when she found herself suddenly single. She did take it hard at the unexpected loss of her cage companion. She became withdrawn, moody, depressed, and made it clear she didn't want comfort from a human.

But, I did not just go right away and get another budgie. I gave Mink some time to grieve and see if she was going to eventually adjust as a single bird. After a few weeks, I could see she was perking up and adjusting to life without her friend. Still, while she wasn't depressed any longer she seemed like she was just going through the motions and wasn't enjoying life like she used to when another budgie was around. I took into consideration that Mink has never been a single budgie in her life, and while she is tame, I can tell she much prefers birds to bond to over humans, and I don't let her interact with my parrots. Some birds would thrive as a single bird, but in this case I saw it was a good idea to get Mink a friend, not as an excuse to get another bird which is never the right reason.

I figured it might take some time to find the best match personality wise for a Mink, so after about a month after Twigs had passed, I started a search for another English budgie. Although both English and Standard are absolutely fine together, that was just what I wanted at the time. Mink is English and Twigs was a standard living together and it had nothing to do with personality. So.... as I searched for a good candidate as a new friend for Mink, I kept her sweet mild personality in mind. It did not matter to me male or female. I have the cage set up as to not encourage breeding or eggs, but that is a different topic.

You mentioned color, that is as insignificant as hair color is to humans as a factor whether we get along or not. It doesn't matter what mutation they are in the least. Age also doesn't matter. When I set out to get my new English budgie, I originally wanted some sort of eye catching unusual mutation. But that proved too hard to find in the English and especially when the first thing I looked for was potential personality compatibility for Mink. I watched the English budgies for sale at the exotic bird store. I watched them interact with each other to get a general idea of their personality. I finally ended up choosing a nice little guy. Chip, my cinnamon sky blue male in my sig. Upon observation of his interaction with the other budgies, he seemed like the best match for Mink. He is feistier and more playful than her, but they are indeed a good match and are happy together.

Observing their personality first gives you a pretty good chance of getting along, but as you know it is still never a guarantee, and a lot has to do with the willingness of the original budgie to accept a newcomer. So just be prepared to have a separate cage in case they don't get along and can't live together. When first adding a new budgie to an existing large cage, it's a good idea to change the set up as much as possible to lessen the chances of territoriality in the original bird. Best of luck .
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:42 PM
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I believe you've received excellent advice from Therm and RavensGryf.

I would not rush out and get another budgie this weekend.
I recommend you wait a few weeks to see how Bluebirdie adjusts to being a single budgie. She needs time to mourn and grieve for her friend. Additionally, if you and your family spend more time with Bluebirdie she may decide she likes having all of the attention for herself!

If you do get another budgie, you need to follow proper quarantine procedures.
Quarantine means housing your new bird in a different cage in a different room as far away as possible from the room where your current bird(s) are housed for a period of 30-45 days.
Budgies mask symptoms when they are ill. Symptoms may not show up for over two weeks.
Often you will not even realize your bird is not well. Many budgie illnesses are airborne which is why you need to quarantine your new bird in a completely different room.

It is also a good idea to always take a new budgie in to see an Avian Vet for a "well-birdie" check-up. This allows you to develop a good relationship with the vet and the vet can establish a baseline for your bird in case of any future illnesses or injuries.


Distinction between an Avian Vet and a Vet that "Will See Birds"

Only after the quarantine period is completed, should the two cages be placed next to one another for a few days prior to the budgies being introduced in neutral territory.

Gender is not an issue -- you can get either a girl or a boy.
Age is not a issue nor is color.
The most important thing is to try to find a budgie with a personality you believe would fit well with Bluebirdie.
Remember, there is no guarantee with either gender that the two will necessarily get along. If they do not, you need to be prepared to house the new budgie separately on a permanent basis if required.

Best wishes as you take the time to carefully consider your options before making a decision on whether to bring another budgie into your home.
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:40 AM
Jordi (Jordi)
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Thank you my friends. Just for clarification (as I had used the wrong pronoun), Bluebirdie is definitely female.

Thank you also for the advice on quarantine. Very useful.

Regarding personalities, Bluebirdie is the dominant one of the former pair, very active, cheeky in a very funny sort of way and a bit territorial (the king of the swing), but also did most of the cuddling and singing to Josquin, and they never had a bad fight. Josquin was very docile, a very sweet little guy, he would obligingly let Bluebirdie take the first bite at the millet, and followed the other one around. So I guess i should not choose a dominant type of bird, as they could enter into conflict.

Although both budgies were each other's object of attention, both did also easily play with me, perching on the shoulder, I guess it was unique in that they shared human and bird company easily. But now, Bluebirdie doesn't want to know anything about me, it will not even step up anymore. She has calmed down a lot in the last few days, she does not look anxious or calling for Josquin like before, but the joy has gone out of her. That's why I am quite sure we need another budgie eventually.

We would prefer one that looks very different to Josquin, so as not to make us feel sad by reminding us of the other one, and since you say colour doesn't matter, i guess we don't have to worry too much in this respect.

Kind regards

Jordi

Last edited by Jordi; 04-13-2017 at 05:52 AM.
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