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Anna
Anna, Bird Expert, Biologist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 9729
Experience:  Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.
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my two parakeets have been fighting for the last two days,

Resolved Question:

my two parakeets have been fighting for the last two days, we are now seperating them. they have always been good with each other, it's been over a year now. They get eachother down on the floor and it looks like I will have to take one to the vet as it is favoring one leg. why did this happen? what can i do....
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Anna replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I'm sorry to see that no one has responded to your question earlier. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online and saw your question. Some additional information will help me to answer your question.

What sex are the two parakeets?

Are both of them 1 year old?

What size is your cage - inches wide, long, and high?

Thank you.

Anna
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
well, one is male and one is female, confirmed for the most part when we take them to pet world to get clipped. the male is around 1, the female is about 3. the cage is 24x24x24, that is what pet world said would be ideal for them. I still have them seperated due to the injuries of the female. She is favoring her left foot, I did check it it is not broken but it was nipped by the male. The male has a scratch on the side of his beak. I gave them both some " bird crack", that is what pet world calls it to calm them both done. I have them both covered so they can get rest. I just don't understand the fighting. The female has been laying 4-6 eggs every few weeks, they have a nesting box which they hardly ever use, eggs always land on the floor of the cage. Please help.
Expert:  Anna replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. I'm working on your answer and will post it as soon as it is typed.

Anna
Expert:  Anna replied 3 years ago.
I'm so sorry, but I'm going to have to start over. I had your answer finished, and when I clicked on "Post" the whole thing disappeared. That means I have to re-type all of it. If you'd like, I can post part of it at a time so you can have access to each section as I finish. do you want to do that, or wait for the whole thing?

Anna
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

oh, I can just wait for the whole thing, it will waste you to time to post piece by piece. Thanks

 

Expert:  Anna replied 3 years ago.
It's finally ready again. Thank you for waiting. Again, I apologize for the delay. I appreciate your patience. You have more than one issue going on with your birds, so we'll look at them one at a time. It's normal for parakeets to squabble. They can have cranky moods and get possessive about food and toys. I suspect that one of two things is going on with your birds. The male is probably pursuing the female relentlessly to mate with her. When she has enough, she attacks him. The other possibility is that you actually have two females, and the eggs have become an issue.Since they hurt each other, you have done the right thing by separating them. In that case, you may use separate cages on a permanent basis. Sometimes it can be a temporary arrangement - after a time, you can put the parakeets back together, and they'll be fine. Sometimes it has to be permanent.
Here a couple of links you might want to look at. The first one discusses aspects of relationships between male and female parakeets, including fighting:

http://www.lisashea.com/petinfo/articles/bird_courtship.html

This one is a question and answer page on parakeet relationships:

http://www.lisashea.com/petinfo/questions/q10


Part of the problem with the budgies fighting may be that the cage is a bit too small for two birds. Despite what the pet store told you, that cage is not optimal. For two of them, it would be better if you could provide a cage about 36 inches wide and long and 30 inches tall. That would give them room to fly, climb, and get away from each other when they want to. If you decide to try to put them together, it may help to put in three of everything - food dishes, water cups, toys, etc., and provide two swings. This site have more information on cages and furnishing cages:

http://www.4animalcare.org/birds

The pet store is not a good place to get information. It is absolutely not safe to assume that pet stores provide the right conditions for reptiles. In fact, they almost never do. Pet store personnel may mean well, but they are not well-informed. The only information most of them have is what they receive from vendors who only want to sell things. Many of the problems we deal with in the pet categories here at JustAnswer are the direct result of improper care at pet stores, and people receiving incorrect information from pet store employees. If you think about it, most of these employees are fairly young, being paid minimum wage, and often only work part-time. How could they possibly be experts in the care of all the species they sell? I am concerned about the 'birdie crack.' If you'll provide me with the actual name of it, I will check to see if it's safe.

You don't need to rely on the pet store to tell you the sex of your birds. You can tell the sex of a parakeet - with the exception of a few colors - by looking at the cere, which is the fleshy area just above the beak where the nostrils are located. Males will have a blue cere. Females have brown, pink, cream, white, or tan ceres. If your bird is blue, the female may have a slight bluish tint to her cere, but it won't be a clear blue like the male. Here is a photo that shows the difference:

graphic

The egg-laying is problem all by itself. Excessive egg-laying isn't good for your bird. It can lead to life-threatening egg-binding. Sometimes it helps to let her have a nest for her eggs. She'll stop laying when she has a clutch and will set on the eggs. Many birds know after the proper incubation period that the eggs won't hatch, and will leave the nest. This is sometimes enough to break the cycle of egg-laying. That didn't work with your bird.It can also help to provide lots of toys and interesting things to do in her cage. Give her only part of her toys at a time, and change them every week. That way, they'll always seem new.

The American Cockatiel Society recommends removing some of the stimulus to mate and lay eggs. For example, limit the amount of daylight your bird is exposed to so it seems like winter, rather than breeding season. Keep her cage where she can't see or hear birds that are outdoors. Change the location of the cage frequently. You can read all of the recommendations in detail at the Society's site. They apply to parakeets, as well as cockatiels.

http://www.acstiels.com/Articles/Health/pet_advisors_mail_box.html


If your bird continues to be obsessed with wanting to mate and lay eggs, an avian vet can help you. There are hormone injections that will stop it. In the meantime, make sure she has both a cuttlebone and a mineral block.

You have a lot to sort out with your birds. I recommend that you take steps at once to try to stop the egg-laying and kept he birds apart for now. If you have more questions, or want me to check on the 'crack,' let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope this will all work out for you.

Anna

(If you find my answer helpful, please click on the green ACCEPT button. Thank you.)





Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The bird "crack" is called millet spray. I have a feeling that maybe they are in fact two females after checking. One has a almost violet cere, and one has more pinkish with a tip of violet. That is the only other thing I am contemplating at this moment. I am thinking it to be best to keep them seperated permanently if they are two females as the egg binding seems to be an important issue.
Expert:  Anna replied 3 years ago.
Millet isn't like 'crack' and won't calm the birds. It's more like a junk food (candy) for birds. there's nothing nutritious in it, and it's OK as a treat once in awhile. Because it tastes so good, birds will be more interested in eating it than in fighting when it's available. If they eat it often, it increases their chances of developing fatty liver disease and tumors.

It does sound as if you have two females. Permanent separation is probably the best solution. If you need anything else, don't hesitate to ask.

Anna
Anna, Bird Expert, Biologist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 9729
Experience: Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.
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Anna
Anna
Retired Teacher/Biologist
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Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.