Help mediating aggressive females: what to do.

Budgiegirl38

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May 14, 2018
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Hi all, recently I was given a pair of parakeets to watch over along with another lone female. The pair had had a clutch of eggs in october (so were really trying to discourage any breeding behavior.) I have 5 parakeets of my own (1 bonded pair, a pair of bonded siblings (not actually mates but theyre best friends), and a lone male. So plus the new 3 makes 8. Initially, I had my 5 together, and the new 3 together, intending to keep them seperate. The new male and female started laying eggs. I initially left them all in there, she laid a total of 9.....i took them out after 14days for fear theyd start hatching soon (some were fertile), THEN the lone female in that cages also started laying eggs. I took the male out of that cage and put him in with my 5 since he was trying to mate with both females in that cage. (The lone females eggs were not fertile---she also has a beak deformity, an underbite. But, i did see the male try to mount her.) At that point the females seemed to get outta the food cups and would leave the eggs they had in there alone. Like they were abandoning them so, I thought that was good. After about a week of keeping them in seperate cages (and listening to their calls for that period of time) i decided to try putting all 8 of them together. Hoping the added flock would distract the females from nesting. Instead.....Ive had to seperate MY pair from the new pair because my female (and I knew this beforehand) is extremely aggressive when shes laying eggs. And wouldnt you know it, shes started laying too. So...In a cocketiel cage, I have one pair of parakeets trying to nest with another pir (the lone female took a liking to my lone male, I havent seen them try to breed but shes sitting in her food cup like shes trying to. And my little babies are hanging out towards the bottom, not harming anything.

Questions are, how do I stop breeding behavior? I tried seperating male from female and they still lay,ive tried taking the eggs immediately (which now Im reading isnt okay to do) ive tried leaving the eggs in there for them to sit on and go through the cycle (which ive also read is cruel to the mother when youre not planning on keeping the eggs.) The 3 birds arent mine, im just trying to care for them for a friend but...mine never laid eggs like this....and idk how to curb the behavior.

They get zupreem fruit blend pellet in food dispenser cups (so theres a little availiable at all times but never excess) and a half a tablespoon of seed, per bird, per day. In the large cage, I have 3...3! regular cuddlebones plus, 2 'average mineral blocks' and a mineral block with a build in cuddlebone. Ive also.....added bits of a broken mineral block to their seed cups. I notice the females tend to nibble on them more often when theyre in the dish.

The main problem with them breeding is their aggression towards eachother. I have 4 cages, I can seperate each pair but....I dont want to make breeding more comfortable for them, as Im trying to curb that behavior too. I know the breeding season is upon us so, perhaps its just the season and itll curb itself but...if anyone has any advice thatd be great.
 

noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,145
466
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
1. In my opinion, you should separate the males and females and keep it that way (also-- sometimes birds will try to mate with the same-gender or become hormonal around them...so... the hormonal ones might be less hormonal in their own cages.) The male and female birds will mate...so they shouldn't be together at this point....Don't even assume that mating won't happen just because a pair isn't exhibiting mating behavior while in separate cages...or just because 2 birds are the same gender. Egg-laying (fertile or non) is sort of risky from a health perspective and it creates aggression etc, so you are smart to want to eliminate it.

2. If a bird lays eggs- you must either replace them with dummy eggs or (the sadder solution) boil them immediately and return them to the cage until the bird loses interest. This will prevent them from breaking and hatching.
Taking them before the bird loses interest (without returning them) will just cause more egg-laying. You shouldn't have let her keep sitting on fertile eggs because permanently removing them pre-hatch (and before she was ready) likely made things worse...Live and learn, right?

3. You are smart to have cuddle-bone in there, as budgies are prone to egg-binding which can be deadly. You should research the signs if you haven't, just because it sounds like a lot of egg-laying is occurring.

4. Remove any access to dark/shadowy place (tents, huts, paper shreds, hollow toys, boxes etc) and make sure your birds are getting 10-14 hours of dark and uninterrupted sleep each night.

5. Sometimes food abundance can increase the likelihood of mating behaviors. Since they are laying, you must make sure they have enough nutrition to pass the egg, but in the future, constant food supplies that don't appear to have any end in sight promote the idea of abundance...and make birds think that it is a good time to have babies.

6. How many food cups do they have? I wonder if limiting this number might prevent nesting (although it could cause conflict)...I just can't picture a bird nesting in the same place where all of the other birds are trying to eat..

7. Last thing-- you said one has a beak deformity...Have you had him/her tested for PBFD and have you tested liver levels? PBFD is very contagious and it can be asymptomatic...It can be transmitted via feather dust etc...and it can survive on surfaces for years...If you know the cause of the beak issue, then disregard (although it's a good idea to test anyway).
 
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itzjbean

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Jan 27, 2017
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I agree with the statements noodles made above....

If you don't want your birds to breed, keep females in one cage and males in another. Make sure the cages are very spacious so all can fly to the other side if one bird is being aggressive. A double flight cage would be a good way to house them.

If you are determined to keep pairs together, then you should do so only if you are willing to buy a separate cage for each pair. Each pair should be housed together and any lone bids should also have their own cage to prevent aggression. It is just easier to keep females together and males together. If the sibling pair is opposite sex it is best to separate them as well, they can be 'best friends' but birds have no way of distinguishing sister from unrelated female, they can and will mate with their siblings and it causes inbreeding which has significant genetic problems down the road in offspring.

When was the last checkup for the bird with the beak deformity? Has she been disease tested ? It would be so easy to spread disease to your flock if this one turns out to be carrying something.

Best of luck to you, and remember you can always take out eggs and boil them, then return them all t the nest until the birds lose interest.
 
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Budgiegirl38

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1. In my opinion, you should separate the males and females and keep it that way (also-- sometimes birds will try to mate with the same-gender or become hormonal around them...so... the hormonal ones might be less hormonal in their own cages.) The male and female birds will mate...so they shouldn't be together at this point....Don't even assume that mating won't happen just because a pair isn't exhibiting mating behavior while in separate cages...or just because 2 birds are the same gender. Egg-laying (fertile or non) is sort of risky from a health perspective and it creates aggression etc, so you are smart to want to eliminate it.

2. If a bird lays eggs- you must either replace them with dummy eggs or (the sadder solution) boil them immediately and return them to the cage until the bird loses interest. This will prevent them from breaking and hatching.
Taking them before the bird loses interest (without returning them) will just cause more egg-laying. You shouldn't have let her keep sitting on fertile eggs because permanently removing them pre-hatch (and before she was ready) likely made things worse...Live and learn, right?

3. You are smart to have cuddle-bone in there, as budgies are prone to egg-binding which can be deadly. You should research the signs if you haven't, just because it sounds like a lot of egg-laying is occurring.

4. Remove any access to dark/shadowy place (tents, huts, paper shreds, hollow toys, boxes etc) and make sure your birds are getting 10-14 hours of dark and uninterrupted sleep each night.

5. Sometimes food abundance can increase the likelihood of mating behaviors. Since they are laying, you must make sure they have enough nutrition to pass the egg, but in the future, constant food supplies that don't appear to have any end in sight promote the idea of abundance...and make birds think that it is a good time to have babies.

6. How many food cups do they have? I wonder if limiting this number might prevent nesting (although it could cause conflict)...I just can't picture a bird nesting in the same place where all of the other birds are trying to eat..

7. Last thing-- you said one has a beak deformity...Have you had him/her tested for PBFD and have you tested liver levels? PBFD is very contagious and it can be asymptomatic...It can be transmitted via feather dust etc...and it can survive on surfaces for years...If you know the cause of the beak issue, then disregard (although it's a good idea to test anyway).

Okay, so, to number 1, believe me, I know that all too well. You cannot leave a boy and a girl together and expect them not to breed, I'm not the one who believes that...... I got these birds from a friend, this friend kept her pair in a large cocketiel cage together, promoted breeding, found homes for the chicks and now shipped them off to me. I'm trying to care for them in the meantime (while she's at school, she gave them to me bec she know's I've had parakeets all my life), so, initially I kept them together because I know my female (Maya) is super aggro at times. I was worried she would attack the new females out of dominance, so I didn't mix the 'flocks'. For reference, My female (Maya) had a clutch of eggs last year and I didn't know really what to do, she hasn't laid since (minus now) and I don't intend on letting her breed but, I know all about the risks and such, 200$ vet bill for 2week old baby birds help me understand. Those babies are doing fine, are actually the babies mentioned here, but...plus with egg binding...the new famale has laid at least a total of 12 eggs so far, I'm pretty worried for her but....at this point idk what to do...With the food abundance thing, I actually was feeding too much when they started laying. I work alot, (which is why I keep my parakeets how I do, together, in a small flock, I don't interact with them often, minus the daily feeding/watering) but, usually, for my flock, I'd fill their bowl up with enough for the entire day and leave them for the next day. I read that I shouldn't be doing this due to the abundance thing, so I've started measuring the amount. there definately isn't too much food in the cage now. I made sure they had one food cup for each bird at least, for fear that one pair would gaurd a certain food cup, leaving other birds hungry or forcing a fight (because they've been gaurding territories)....I don't think removing bowls will help, I think it might cause more aggression. Reglardless of how many bowls are in the cage, I put the same, small amount of seed in each bowl now. rather than filling them up like I was. and with the pellet dispensers. There's enough in the dispenser to where they wont run out, BUT they only have access to a little bit at a time. Should my parakeets totally run out of food ever day? am I STILL feeding too much? I go through a bag of seed every week and a half but....I have 8 parakeets.....and half of it ends up on the floor anyway...(lol)...

and about the bird with the deformed beak......its not my bird, so, I haven't had it specialty tested for that, and I'm sure my friend hasn't either..... From what I understand, this bird was found at my friends work (petco) deformed like that, and they couldn't sell her so, feeling bad for it, she brought it home. I'll be upset if it does have something like that though....and I offered to do something nice for her and now all my birds are infected too. xD. cherry on top.
 
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Budgiegirl38

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I agree with the statements noodles made above....

If you don't want your birds to breed, keep females in one cage and males in another. Make sure the cages are very spacious so all can fly to the other side if one bird is being aggressive. A double flight cage would be a good way to house them.

If you are determined to keep pairs together, then you should do so only if you are willing to buy a separate cage for each pair. Each pair should be housed together and any lone bids should also have their own cage to prevent aggression. It is just easier to keep females together and males together. If the sibling pair is opposite sex it is best to separate them as well, they can be 'best friends' but birds have no way of distinguishing sister from unrelated female, they can and will mate with their siblings and it causes inbreeding which has significant genetic problems down the road in offspring.

When was the last checkup for the bird with the beak deformity? Has she been disease tested ? It would be so easy to spread disease to your flock if this one turns out to be carrying something.

Best of luck to you, and remember you can always take out eggs and boil them, then return them all t the nest until the birds lose interest.

I'm sure my baby budgies aren't going to be breeding. I mean, I get what you're saying, and when I get another cocketiel cage to separate the sexes I'll separate those too. But these babies have splayed legs. They can perch straight for a short while before their legs start slipping out from under them. I highly doubt my splayed male is going to be able to climb up on top of my splayed female and successfully breed with her....could've mentioned that they're splayed but...they're not the issue here....and no...again, this isn't even my bird...I haven't brought em to the vet...lol...

Sorry but I'm getting a little upset. I've been upset over these new birds...but....I thought I was doing something nice, and these birds have been nothing but hell. absolute hell. and I thought I didn't take super good care of my birds. Like, I honestly kinda felt like my birds were borderline neglected because I don't interact with them and such like my friend does....but considering all the problems and issues these 'really well taken care of' birds have caused me......my bird are so much better behaved...I just cant. and then yall are telling me the one could be sick and contagious??? lmao. Great.
 

itzjbean

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Jan 27, 2017
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I agree with the statements noodles made above....

If you don't want your birds to breed, keep females in one cage and males in another. Make sure the cages are very spacious so all can fly to the other side if one bird is being aggressive. A double flight cage would be a good way to house them.

If you are determined to keep pairs together, then you should do so only if you are willing to buy a separate cage for each pair. Each pair should be housed together and any lone bids should also have their own cage to prevent aggression. It is just easier to keep females together and males together. If the sibling pair is opposite sex it is best to separate them as well, they can be 'best friends' but birds have no way of distinguishing sister from unrelated female, they can and will mate with their siblings and it causes inbreeding which has significant genetic problems down the road in offspring.

When was the last checkup for the bird with the beak deformity? Has she been disease tested ? It would be so easy to spread disease to your flock if this one turns out to be carrying something.

Best of luck to you, and remember you can always take out eggs and boil them, then return them all t the nest until the birds lose interest.

I'm sure my baby budgies aren't going to be breeding. I mean, I get what you're saying, and when I get another cocketiel cage to separate the sexes I'll separate those too. But these babies have splayed legs. They can perch straight for a short while before their legs start slipping out from under them. I highly doubt my splayed male is going to be able to climb up on top of my splayed female and successfully breed with her....could've mentioned that they're splayed but...they're not the issue here....and no...again, this isn't even my bird...I haven't brought em to the vet...lol...

Sorry but I'm getting a little upset. I've been upset over these new birds...but....I thought I was doing something nice, and these birds have been nothing but hell. absolute hell. and I thought I didn't take super good care of my birds. Like, I honestly kinda felt like my birds were borderline neglected because I don't interact with them and such like my friend does....but considering all the problems and issues these 'really well taken care of' birds have caused me......my bird are so much better behaved...I just cant. and then yall are telling me the one could be sick and contagious??? lmao. Great.

We don't tell you these things to upset you, only educate and inform. Any new biirds should be quarantined from existing birds in the house to prevent disease spreading, usually a 30 day period, and you're saying you just decided to put them all together?

If you are taking care of them for someone else why did you introduce them into your own flock? Why not keep them separated completely from your own bids, if they aren't even your birds? I guess I'm not sure what you expected to happen hen you put them ALL together? Parakeets/budgies can be especially prolific and breed and breed and breed all year long if you let them.

The birds with splayed legs could be made a special cage so its easier for them to climb around. A smaller cage with soft perches.
 
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ChristaNL

Banned
Banned
May 23, 2018
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NL= the Netherlands, Europe
Parrots
Sunny a female B&G macaw;
Japie (m) & Appie (f), both are congo african grey;
All are rescues- had to leave their previous homes for 'reasons', are still in contact with them :)
I am sorry you got landed with a heap of issues, while "only trying to help"
( I know what that is like :p )

considering the circumstances I applaud you for trying to give all the birds as good a life as you can.
(it's not easy, and yes maybe our help may sound like we are criticizing a bit-- but we are, like you, trying to help the birds - and hopefully you as well.)



my thoughts:


males - one cage
females- one cage
babies- one cage (because they grow up fast and will mate with mum/ dad/ each other)
oh I just read they are deformed... so make that 2 cages: one for the deformed females, one for the deformed males -> they will not be able to compete with the other 'normal' budgies, so need their own.



NO, your birds should not 'run out of food' because that means the most agressive/dominant one gets to eat plenty and the least forcefull one will slowly starve.
You can feed lower calorie-food (more greens, no fruit).


PBFD- get the malformed beak one tested first... decide what to do after.


Get different foodholders if they spill so much!
50% loss is ridiculous! Get a better fooddispenser-system.
(not open cups because they resemble nests)

a bag and a half is not a very precise measure- maybe post the weight of food?
(We use 10 kg bags at work, so that is a LOT if I would asume you mean those ;) )

It is better to let a broody female "play house" with some plastic eggs than let her keep laying eggs. It is not cruel to 'deceive her'- you are saving her from healtissues due to too much and too long egglaying.
If the eggs do not hatch, she will move on (and hopefully not try again immediately...but even if she does...she had a few weeks of not laying eggs - so that is a huge bonus!)
Btw: if she does not move on after the normal incubation period you may have to 'steal her eggs' and force her out of the nest -- unlikely scenario, but do keep track of the time plze!.
 
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noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,145
466
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
1. In my opinion, you should separate the males and females and keep it that way (also-- sometimes birds will try to mate with the same-gender or become hormonal around them...so... the hormonal ones might be less hormonal in their own cages.) The male and female birds will mate...so they shouldn't be together at this point....Don't even assume that mating won't happen just because a pair isn't exhibiting mating behavior while in separate cages...or just because 2 birds are the same gender. Egg-laying (fertile or non) is sort of risky from a health perspective and it creates aggression etc, so you are smart to want to eliminate it.

2. If a bird lays eggs- you must either replace them with dummy eggs or (the sadder solution) boil them immediately and return them to the cage until the bird loses interest. This will prevent them from breaking and hatching.
Taking them before the bird loses interest (without returning them) will just cause more egg-laying. You shouldn't have let her keep sitting on fertile eggs because permanently removing them pre-hatch (and before she was ready) likely made things worse...Live and learn, right?

3. You are smart to have cuddle-bone in there, as budgies are prone to egg-binding which can be deadly. You should research the signs if you haven't, just because it sounds like a lot of egg-laying is occurring.

4. Remove any access to dark/shadowy place (tents, huts, paper shreds, hollow toys, boxes etc) and make sure your birds are getting 10-14 hours of dark and uninterrupted sleep each night.

5. Sometimes food abundance can increase the likelihood of mating behaviors. Since they are laying, you must make sure they have enough nutrition to pass the egg, but in the future, constant food supplies that don't appear to have any end in sight promote the idea of abundance...and make birds think that it is a good time to have babies.

6. How many food cups do they have? I wonder if limiting this number might prevent nesting (although it could cause conflict)...I just can't picture a bird nesting in the same place where all of the other birds are trying to eat..

7. Last thing-- you said one has a beak deformity...Have you had him/her tested for PBFD and have you tested liver levels? PBFD is very contagious and it can be asymptomatic...It can be transmitted via feather dust etc...and it can survive on surfaces for years...If you know the cause of the beak issue, then disregard (although it's a good idea to test anyway).

Okay, so, to number 1, believe me, I know that all too well. You cannot leave a boy and a girl together and expect them not to breed, I'm not the one who believes that...... I got these birds from a friend, this friend kept her pair in a large cocketiel cage together, promoted breeding, found homes for the chicks and now shipped them off to me. I'm trying to care for them in the meantime (while she's at school, she gave them to me bec she know's I've had parakeets all my life), so, initially I kept them together because I know my female (Maya) is super aggro at times. I was worried she would attack the new females out of dominance, so I didn't mix the 'flocks'. For reference, My female (Maya) had a clutch of eggs last year and I didn't know really what to do, she hasn't laid since (minus now) and I don't intend on letting her breed but, I know all about the risks and such, 200$ vet bill for 2week old baby birds help me understand. Those babies are doing fine, are actually the babies mentioned here, but...plus with egg binding...the new famale has laid at least a total of 12 eggs so far, I'm pretty worried for her but....at this point idk what to do...With the food abundance thing, I actually was feeding too much when they started laying. I work alot, (which is why I keep my parakeets how I do, together, in a small flock, I don't interact with them often, minus the daily feeding/watering) but, usually, for my flock, I'd fill their bowl up with enough for the entire day and leave them for the next day. I read that I shouldn't be doing this due to the abundance thing, so I've started measuring the amount. there definately isn't too much food in the cage now. I made sure they had one food cup for each bird at least, for fear that one pair would gaurd a certain food cup, leaving other birds hungry or forcing a fight (because they've been gaurding territories)....I don't think removing bowls will help, I think it might cause more aggression. Reglardless of how many bowls are in the cage, I put the same, small amount of seed in each bowl now. rather than filling them up like I was. and with the pellet dispensers. There's enough in the dispenser to where they wont run out, BUT they only have access to a little bit at a time. Should my parakeets totally run out of food ever day? am I STILL feeding too much? I go through a bag of seed every week and a half but....I have 8 parakeets.....and half of it ends up on the floor anyway...(lol)...

and about the bird with the deformed beak......its not my bird, so, I haven't had it specialty tested for that, and I'm sure my friend hasn't either..... From what I understand, this bird was found at my friends work (petco) deformed like that, and they couldn't sell her so, feeling bad for it, she brought it home. I'll be upset if it does have something like that though....and I offered to do something nice for her and now all my birds are infected too. xD. cherry on top.

EDIT--- just saw that you are feeling stressed. I am very sorry and this isn't meant to add more stress...Imagine if you didn't know-- then you might end up even more stressed out down the road. Knowledge is power and hindsight is 20/20. Just because he has a deformed beak doesn't mean he has PBFD, but you can't ignore that as a possibility, which is why he should be tested. I am sorry you are going through this and I totally would be frustrated myself...Birds are so complicated. PBFD and PDD can actually be spread from birds who share a room, so even though you did introduce them to your flock, if he has it, he would have still been a risk even in the same house. So yes, quarantine is important, but testing ahead of time is even more so. Again-- there are other causes for beak deformity, but due to the contagious nature of this illness, you should test him (not just for his/your birds' sake, but for birds you may contact in the future).

ORIGINAL POST: I am not sure about the endless food dispenser---in the current situation, I would separate as many birds as you possibly can into their own cages and that way, you will be better able to tell who is eating what. If you do that, you could also let the food run out (in theory), but Christina thinks that will make it worse, so I'm not sure. If they had their own cages, that would be easier. You could also try rearranging the cages to throw everyone off.

You should get your friend's bird tested while you have him there because the incubation period for a disease like PBFD can vary widely and even infected birds may/may not show symptoms initially. It can pass mother-egg, fecal-oral, in dust, in saliva etc. She should obviously pay for the cost, but if you only test your birds, you may get false negatives this early--Do the blood test (not the feather test). The feather test is a joke and the blood test is notorious for false negatives as it is, so generally, people test the same bird more than once because carriers will only test positive when actively shedding. If he has a beak issue, he needs to be tested....and if he is positive, you should test yours too...Although, like I said before, all birds should be tested for this, as it can be spread bird-to-bird without symptoms.
How old is he?
A baby bird with PBFD won't usually survive long, but there are different types (chronic/acute etc).
https://www.petcoach.co/article/psittacine-beak-and-feather-disease-pbfd-in-birds/

A carrier can survive without symptoms, but it can spread the deadly virus to others (in other words, an asymptomatic carrier's virus can kill another bird--who may or may not ever show symptoms his/herself).
The symptoms described in the link are not necessary for a bird to have PBFD....and it can still be fatal to birds who never show obvious symptoms. The fact that this bird has a weird beak makes me think that something is up...
PBFD and liver issues are the first things that come to mind, but they are not the only possible causes.
 
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EllenD

New member
Aug 20, 2016
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Senegal Parrot named "Kane"; Yellow-Sided Green Cheek Conure named "Bowie"; Blue Quaker Parrot named "Lita Ford"; Cockatiel named "Duff"; 8 American/English Budgie Hybrids; Ringneck Dove named "Dylan"
Wow, you;ve got a bit of a mess, I understand why you're stressing out. You've gotten very good advice above already, but maybe I'll try to "hit the reset button" and start over for you and give you my two-cents about what you have going on, as I have owned and bred Budgies, both English and American, for over 20 years, and currently have 8 living together in an indoor-aviary with no breeding issues at all, nor any aggression issues. So let's start from square-one here...Take a deep breath, and just relax, because if you're stressed then your birds are stressed too...

First off, you have to understand how Budgie in-particular think. They are a bit different from other parrot species in that while they do still bond with one particular mate of the opposite sex (usually, sometimes the same sex), they also do still mate at the same time with other birds that are not their "bonded mate"...This is exactly how the huge Budgie vendors who supply the big Pet shops like Petco and Petsmart breed their Budgies in massive volumes, they use huge warehouses and corragated-steel buildings, attach hundreds of nest-boxes along the walls, and they have a ratio of at least 100 females to 50 males, if not more females and less males. This is because the males will literally go from nest-box to nest-box, mating with multiple hens and helping to feed as many babies as they can help with. This is called "Community-Breeding", and that's basically what you've got going on, or will soon enough. Community-Breeding is where you keep multiple birds of the same species and different sexes in one cage, and even though they usually pair-up with one mate they are bonded to, the males tend to mate with other females, or at least TRY to mate with other females, the females tend to become extremely jealous and very, very aggressive, and typically the end-result of any and all Budgie Community-Breeding colonies is that you're going to eventually end-up with multiple dead females and dead babies, as the females will eventually become aggressive and try to get into "rival" female's nest-boxes and kill their chicks, which they typically will do until they get into a fight with the mother, and they typically fight until one or both of them are dead or dying, and they have mutilated and killed multiple chicks. It's a very unhealthy and volatile situation, and it's not something that even the most experienced breeders want to get involved with...

***I agree that the very first thing you need to do is stop the production of fertile eggs, so that means separating all of the females from all of the males. Females will continue to lay infertile eggs, but the main thing you need to stop right away is the constant breeding, because it won't stop as long as you have males and females together, and what will eventually happen is your females will become malnourished, undernourished, very anemic, eventually emaciated, and they will die from either malnutrition/emaciation or from anemia, OR they will become Egg-Bound and die from that. So even though you ultimate goal is to stop ALL laying of eggs, both fertile and infertile, the first step in doing this is to separate all the females and males and not allow them to be out of their cages together either. It's actually going to help your overall-goal to also keep the females and the males in totally separate rooms in addition to totally separate cages, if that's possible for you to do. Doing this step first is going to totally eliminate anymore babies for certain.

After you get the males separated from the females, since you have access to 4 cages right now, you need to figure out which females cannot be in the same cage together at all due to aggression, and get them into separate cages...Putting the males in a separate room away from the females can sometimes also help to calm the aggression of the females as well.

****Once you get the females and males into separate cages, and you get the females into a configuration where they aren't going to be hurting each other, then you need to work on knocking them out of breeding-season, and this is something that you need to do for BOTH the males and the females, because the males can also become quite aggressive with each other if they are hormonal. There are some very basic things you can do to help to knock all of the birds out of breeding-season, calm their hormones, help to end the production of follicles and eggs, and settle their aggresion:

#1) Remove any and all small, dark places inside of their cages or outside that they may have access to. This means removing all nest-boxes (assuming that you don't have any babies that are still not weaned; if you do still have any babies in nest-boxes then you have to leave them inside if they aren't fully-feathered yet. If you have unweaned babies that do have their feathers then they should be in their first Weaning/Starter-Cage anyway, and you can remove the nest-boxes)...So remove all the nest-boxes, but also remove ANY other types of boxes, hammocks, nests, tents, "Happy/Snuggle Huts", etc. Any small, dark, warm places that they can get into or underneath have to go immediately.

#2) Remove any and all nesting/bedding materials from the cages. This includes any wood chips, shredded paper bedding, straw, hay, etc., as well as any towels, blankets, or any other type of cloth material in the bottom of the cages. You should only have newspapers, butcher paper, etc. in the bottom of their cages to catch droppings, but the newspaper/cage liners should be UNDER THE GRATE in the bottom of the cage, and the birds should not have access to ANYTHING that could be considered "nesting material" or that they can shred up and make a nest out of. Just a bare grate in the bottom of the cage and that's it.

#3) Absolutely NO warm, mushy, or soft foods for any of them. Nothing like oatmeal, grits, mashed potatoes, or any type of formula at al. As far as their diets go, you should be giving the females more calories than it seems that they are getting, as they use a tremendous amount of energy and nutrition to produce follicles and eggs, and then to lay the eggs as well, whether they are fertile or not...They should all, the males and the females, have constant access to a bowl of pellets at all times, and since the pellets are their regular "staple" diet, the pellets should never be removed from their cages and they should always have access to them along with fresh water....It's good that you're giving them a small portion of seed-mix every day as well, but with the females who are producing and laying eggs, they should be getting either a large portion of fresh veggies and/or dark, leafy greens every single day, or a larger portion of seed-mix in addition to their pellets. Also, I would highly recommend either buying a bag of Qwiko Egg-Food, which costs $10 at any Petco, or you can make your own out of large eggs, and you give the females a bowl of the Egg-Food once a day. It's basically just scrambled eggs that also have the shells ground-up into a fine powder/grit and added to them. This will not only give the females the added calories/fat/protein that they need, but it will also ensure that they're getting ample Calcium and Phosphorous.

#4) Try to keep all of them on a "Natural Light Schedule". This simply means that they wake-up at sunrise and go to sleep at sunset. I highly suggest that you cover each of their cages with a sheet or towel right after sunset, and remove the covers right at sunrise. It's important that their cages are in places where they can all see the natural light changes at sunrise and sunset, and that they are put to bed right after watching the sunset. So that just means letting them see the sunset and then covering them, whether sunset is at 5:30 in the afternoon or at 9:00 at night, and same for removing the covers and waking them at sunrise, whenever that might be...This is exactly how birds got to sleep and wake in the wild (it's why we hear the birds going nuts at sunrise and why we never hear them or see them after the sun sets, except for nocturnal birds such as owls)...This is probably the one thing that will knock them out of breeding-season the quickest, and keep their hormones from firing-up again. It also ensures that they will get a good 12 hours or more of sleep each night...
 

EllenD

New member
Aug 20, 2016
3,979
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State College, PA
Parrots
Senegal Parrot named "Kane"; Yellow-Sided Green Cheek Conure named "Bowie"; Blue Quaker Parrot named "Lita Ford"; Cockatiel named "Duff"; 8 American/English Budgie Hybrids; Ringneck Dove named "Dylan"
*As far as what to do to keep the females from continually laying infertile eggs once they are separated from the males...I think you said that you realized that you can't simply remove the eggs as soon as they're laid, as that will only cause them to lay more and more eggs. What you do need to do is to make sure that again there are no nest-boxes or nesting materials at all in their cages, and you simply let them lay their eggs on the grate in the bottom of their cages (sometimes they lay them in food cups, that's fine, just move them to the bottom grate)...Since your males and females will be separated, you'll know for certain that any eggs that they lay from this point forward are going to be infertile, so there's no need to do anything to them to render them infertile...Just for clarity, if a female lays an egg and there is ANY POSSIBILITY that the eggs might be fertile, all you want to do is to immediately remove the egg from the cage, boil it on the stove in a pot of water for 20 minutes, remove it and let it cool down, take a pen and make a little marking on it so you'll know it has already been boiled, and then put it right back on the bottom grate of the cage. Do that with each additional egg she lays, and keep putting them back on the bottom of the grate together after boiling them...Budgies typically start laying on their clutches after they lay at least 2, sometimes 3 eggs. So you just keep boiling them immediately as she lays them and putting them back in the bottom of the cage, NO NEST-BOXES, and allow her to lay on the clutch until she realizes that they are not going to hatch and she gets bored and stops laying on them completely...Once she stops laying on them completely you can remove them from the cage and throw them away...This is exactly what you want to do with all of the infertile eggs they lay as well, you just don't have to boil them to render them infertile because there's no chance they could be fertile if no males are with them...So just allow them to accumulate on the bottom of the cage, allow her to lay on them for as long as she wants to, and when she's done and starts ignoring them you throw them out.

Hopefully allowing the females to lay on their eggs for as long as they want to, and allowing them to realize that they are not laying viable eggs that will hatch will knock them out of breeding-season...And it usually does, however sometimes it takes doing this with 2 clutches of infertile eggs for their hormones to settle down and for them to stop. Once they stop laying eggs completely, as long as you keep them separate from the males and you follow all of the rules and procedures above, it should keep them out of breeding-season most of the time.
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
12,591
10,654
USA
Parrots
Full house
No good deed goes unpunished huh?!
I feel your stress. We all care. Most of us feel your pain! Everyone makes mistakes, or has more to learn. Sounds like you've got budgie paradise island going on over there! I hope things get sorted soon for you. Just unweave one tangle at a time. Hugs
 

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