What a Dad!...But...

AnatandGiaco

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Well, our male English Budgie is a great and attentive father...the only issue is that there's no baby or babies. For quite some time now, he's been very attentive to particular "toys" and feeds them as if they were actual babies. This includes having a ravenous appetite and also he's noticeably more "nervous" than he was before this behavior settled in. Is it advisable or safe for us to remove the particular "toy" that he believes is the baby so that he can return to his calmer and less agitated condition? He's actually on his "second baby" after he finally abandoned one hanging toy for another. This has been going on for a year or so with no sign of ending. THANKS!
 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Welcome to you and your "prolific" budgie!

I have no budgie experience and hope others with sage advice will comment. Clearly a mating behavior in the absence of a female. Perpetual agitated state not good for overall health, particularly if ravenous appetite causes unhealthy weight gain. Are you able to weigh him with sensitive gram scale periodically? Removal of toy definitely food for thought but I'd like to see others weigh (pun intended!) in!
 
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AnatandGiaco

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Weighing the bird would be quite a challenge. But, I don't think it would be worth it because it's clear that there isn't any weight gain and he does fly often with no lack of energy. Thanks for your post and I too hope that someone with this particular experience might post, too.
 

fiddlejen

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Sunny the Sun Conure (sept '18, gotcha 3/'19). Mr Jefferson Budgie & Mrs Calliope Budgie (albino) (nov'18 & jan'19). Summer 2021 Baby Budgies: Riker (Green); Patchouli, Keye, & Tiny (blue greywings).
Ha, I was looking for your post as I had a few thoughts.

I am not by any means an expert of course.

So what you are describing, the "feeding" of toys, is not merely "Dad" behavior but also "Wanna-Be-A-Dad," aka COURTING behavior. In budgies this can be simple friendliness or loneliness, or it could be some hormonal behavior.

There are lots of posts around parrotforum with regard to discouraging hormonal behavior, and it applies to budgies as well. The quick version: No Shady Spots (yes, you can cover the cage at night); 10 to 12 hours darkness at night for sleeping; Nothing that can seem like a nest. No hidey-huts nor coconuts etc. IF you pet or snuggle with your little budgie, no touching below the neck. Hm i feel i may have forgotten something, but a quick search for "hormonal" on parrotforum should help.

Personally I would suggest slowing changing up the toys. Adding more toys, and gradually removing this one. (Gradually, ie move it over a bar or two every day or so, as it will become slightly less accessible and then eventually it will disappear...) Make sure there are not any toys with Actual mirrors. (Yeah they might chase reflections in their food bowls or etc, I would not worry about that too much, but no actual mirrors to befriend.)

Changing the toys is mainly for the purpose of removing that attachment, but also it's another anti-hormonal tip. I read elsewhere that our timid little budgies get more hormonal when their enviroment has less-changes, as they feel more secure about building a new family. But, you don't want your budgie to feel UN-safe, so make changes somewhat gradually. But, do keep making them!

Hopefully your budgieboy has a nice spacious cage, and will have space for multiple toys. Right?

You might consider getting him a friend, especially if you are sure he is a boy. You might consider getting him another boy budgie. With many parrots this is not recommended but budgies really are highly social creatures. Yes they MIGHT not get along (in which case you would need to house them in separate cages) - but with budgies there is a good chance they would.

If getting him a friend is not a good option for you, or even if it is, you might also want to try finding some youtube videos of budgies to play for him daily. There are numerous multi-hour videos of people's budgies, basically recorded exactly for the purpose of providing budgie-sounds and sights for lonely singleton budgies. (My Jefferson-budgie Loves these (even though he Does have a missus-budgie as well). In fact I've just recently realized that he believes a couple of the flat-screen budgies belong to His Flock.)

As far as eating lots of food. Well just go with it, make sure you provide him plenty of food. If he is regurging it, then it is not gonna make him fat. Let him have veggies or veggie chop, and a good seedmix that includes good pellets, and / or if he's already on a good pellet diet then keep him on that (with veggies!). If he has plenty of space and he's active, he's really not gonna eat more than his little body needs.

I clip raw veggies all around inside the cage daily for my birds. (Instead of chop. They have beaks! They can chop it themselves! ;) ) They like them as chew-toys as well as for the eating. My budgies' favorites are romaine lettuce leaves, carrots (peeled of course), and broccoli tops. They really like romaine lettuce leaves, & sometimes attack them like little lettuce piranhas. Organic is preferable of course. If not available make sure you wash it really well.
 
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AnatandGiaco

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Thanks a ton for the advice and it will be followed...as to the food, it already is being followed though we never gave him pellets...just a good quality bird feed. He gets an enormous variety of safe and very clean vegetables so that's covered. Oh, and he's got a really good sized cage.
 
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AnatandGiaco

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So...we did the further research that was suggested here and I'm happy to report that from every single measure, Giaco is a very happy and healthy bird! His habits are indicative of a normal and healthy bird. My wife really dotes on him and it is keeping him well. I am thinking that it's because he's so well kept that is the reason for his (imaginative) vigorous reproductive instincts! Thanks again.
 

GaleriaGila

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Gee, I love budgies. If only the Rickeybird had let me have one somewhere along the way.

Anywayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy... I always enjoy passing this thread along to new budgie-oriented members. It was begun by one of our long-term budgie whisperers (love ya, reeb).
http://www.parrotforums.com/budgies-parakeets/72068-taming-bonding-budgerigars-tips-beginners.html

I'm glad you're here.
9lhIlM0.jpg
 

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