Male fighting with other males over female

Deckedoutindiamonds

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Hello! This is my first post here but here is my question...

I have 6 budgies: 3 males and 3 females. One male and one female seem fairly bonded, they spend all their time together, preen each other and just appear to be very lovey towards each other. Houdini (male) and Doddie (female). We have had them for 2 months or so now and within the last week and a half we have started to notice some, for lack of a better word, aggressive behavior from Houdini.

Now Doddie has clipped wings from the breeder that supplied the pet store so she can't fly, so she climbs about the cage and gets out and walks on top of it. But if Houdini is outside the cage and Doddie is inside sitting with another male he will sit right above them and make a ruckus and look straight down and flap his wings over them. That is where it started...and now in the last few days when they are all inside the cage (which is massive By The Way) Houdini will chase after the other two males at times. Which we have only witnessed it about 3 times in 2 days when we are home from work.

Should I be concerned? Before all this they all seemed to be getting along exceptionally well, and outside of Houdini chasing the others at times, they seem to still get along fairly well. Is there anything I can do to curb the aggression? (if that is what it is)

I do want to add, whenever one of us is home we open the cage and they have the ability to choose to go in and out and fly around and have some "free time" for hours on end. They all do fly around (besides the two females that came pre clipped) and even if they can't fly they still crawl around to the perches and toys we have on the outside and even walk around on top
 

LaManuka

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Welcome to the forums to you and your flock!

I'm very sorry to say that it sounds to me as though you will need to investigate separating your budgies if they are fighting. Unfortunately budgies are quite capable of seriously wounding each other, or worse, in situations like this if they are caged together and unable to escape an aggressor. These squabbles often occur in the wild but are rarely fatal as the can escape each other and seek out companionship with friendlier birds in the flock. In a domestic setting however, these fights can become extremely serious, sadly sometimes fatal, if they are unable to escape, no matter how big the cage may be. Your budgies can still interact with each other in more neutral territory when you are home and able to supervise them - even then though I would still be vigilant. I have had a male and female cockatiel combo where the male was SO violent towards the female that I would have to cage her for her own safety until his hormonally charged aggression blew over. He loved her but just a little too much - and I would never have been able to cage them together as a result.

I think you will need to look into providing separate living quarters for your budgies, for everyone's safety's sake :)
 
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Deckedoutindiamonds

Deckedoutindiamonds

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Welcome to the forums to you and your flock!

I'm very sorry to say that it sounds to me as though you will need to investigate separating your budgies if they are fighting. Unfortunately budgies are quite capable of seriously wounding each other, or worse, in situations like this if they are caged together and unable to escape an aggressor. These squabbles often occur in the wild but are rarely fatal as the can escape each other and seek out companionship with friendlier birds in the flock. In a domestic setting however, these fights can become extremely serious, sadly sometimes fatal, if they are unable to escape, no matter how big the cage may be. Your budgies can still interact with each other in more neutral territory when you are home and able to supervise them - even then though I would still be vigilant. I have had a male and female cockatiel combo where the male was SO violent towards the female that I would have to cage her for her own safety until his hormonally charged aggression blew over. He loved her but just a little too much - and I would never have been able to cage them together as a result.

I think you will need to look into providing separate living quarters for your budgies, for everyone's safety's sake :)
Thank you for your advice! But on that note, would it be advisable to separate the pair of them (houdini and doddie) or just the male by himself? Because I would hate for him to be alone. And if it is best to separate just the male, should I keep the cages next to each other so they can still interact and not have him fall out of the flock? For a lack of a better way to say that lol
 

LaManuka

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Thank you for your advice! But on that note, would it be advisable to separate the pair of them (houdini and doddie) or just the male by himself? Because I would hate for him to be alone. And if it is best to separate just the male, should I keep the cages next to each other so they can still interact and not have him fall out of the flock? For a lack of a better way to say that lol
Cages can be kept close together so that nobody feels totally left out of course. But bear in mind too that you might even have to look into several new cages in order to prevent breeding. Breeding budgies can, unfortunately, be a pretty heartbreaking affair even for the most experienced and is a track you very likely would not want to go down. So to that end, if indeed you don't want babies, don't provide them with anything that even remotely resembles a nestbox or nesting site of any kind, as that will also trigger aggression, on top of the potential for unwanted babies.

It may even turn out that allegiances between your budgies change over time as their breeding seasons come and go, so you may find that different pairings/combinations are happier together at different times of the year.

If you are new to birds, this might also be a very good time to look into locating an avian vet close to you. Birds have evolved to be *extremely* good at hiding signs of illness, sometimes until it is too late, and it's better to know the location of your closest avian specialist in advance so that you're not scrambling to find one if the need suddenly arises. Understanding that I am not certain where in the world you are located or the availability of avian vets in your area, the following link may help you to find one...


A good avian vet is also an absolute goldmine of info in terms of behavioural concerns and husbandry issues as well. :)
 
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Deckedoutindiamonds

Deckedoutindiamonds

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Dec 19, 2021
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Cages can be kept close together so that nobody feels totally left out of course. But bear in mind too that you might even have to look into several new cages in order to prevent breeding. Breeding budgies can, unfortunately, be a pretty heartbreaking affair even for the most experienced and is a track you very likely would not want to go down. So to that end, if indeed you don't want babies, don't provide them with anything that even remotely resembles a nestbox or nesting site of any kind, as that will also trigger aggression, on top of the potential for unwanted babies.

It may even turn out that allegiances between your budgies change over time as their breeding seasons come and go, so you may find that different pairings/combinations are happier together at different times of the year.

If you are new to birds, this might also be a very good time to look into locating an avian vet close to you. Birds have evolved to be *extremely* good at hiding signs of illness, sometimes until it is too late, and it's better to know the location of your closest avian specialist in advance so that you're not scrambling to find one if the need suddenly arises. Understanding that I am not certain where in the world you are located or the availability of avian vets in your area, the following link may help you to find one...


A good avian vet is also an absolute goldmine of info in terms of behavioural concerns and husbandry issues as well.

Cages can be kept close together so that nobody feels totally left out of course. But bear in mind too that you might even have to look into several new cages in order to prevent breeding. Breeding budgies can, unfortunately, be a pretty heartbreaking affair even for the most experienced and is a track you very likely would not want to go down. So to that end, if indeed you don't want babies, don't provide them with anything that even remotely resembles a nestbox or nesting site of any kind, as that will also trigger aggression, on top of the potential for unwanted babies.

It may even turn out that allegiances between your budgies change over time as their breeding seasons come and go, so you may find that different pairings/combinations are happier together at different times of the year.

If you are new to birds, this might also be a very good time to look into locating an avian vet close to you. Birds have evolved to be *extremely* good at hiding signs of illness, sometimes until it is too late, and it's better to know the location of your closest avian specialist in advance so that you're not scrambling to find one if the need suddenly arises. Understanding that I am not certain where in the world you are located or the availability of avian vets in your area, the following link may help you to find one...


A good avian vet is also an absolute goldmine of info in terms of behavioural concerns and husbandry issues as well. :)
Thank you! I will look into getting a secondary cage for the one male quickly so he doesn't cause any harm or injury to the other ones and then focus on them possibly breeding and separating them out. Breaks my heart though because they all started out pretty harmonious with each other.

But I can say that both Houdini and Doddie seem the most confident and "leaders of the pack" for their respective genders. Houdini right out the gate was/is the first one to try anything new and the others will follow, knowing it's ok. So I hope its not a personality issue that is finally coming to light, but a hormonal one that hopefully will level off eventually.
 
May 2, 2021
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Stormy(M): blue Australian budgie, 2 years old

Picasso(F): green Australian budgie, 10 months old

Pepper(M): white recessive pied Australian budgie, 6 months old
Thank you! I will look into getting a secondary cage for the one male quickly so he doesn't cause any harm or injury to the other ones and then focus on them possibly breeding and separating them out. Breaks my heart though because they all started out pretty harmonious with each other.

But I can say that both Houdini and Doddie seem the most confident and "leaders of the pack" for their respective genders. Houdini right out the gate was/is the first one to try anything new and the others will follow, knowing it's ok. So I hope its not a personality issue that is finally coming to light, but a hormonal one that hopefully will level off eventually.

A second cage sounds great! Houdini may just be going through puberty (if he's 6-12 months old), hopefully it will wear off, best of luck to ya!
 

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