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Patricia, Parrot Consultant
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 1759
Experience:  Published author, free lance bird behaviorist, adviser to the parrots at Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
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How do I get my budgie to stop squawking so much

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How do I get my budgie to stop squawking so much? He''s driving me crazy!!

Hello. First off, any kind of discipline with a bird or parrot of any kind or size will not work. You are only making matters worse doing the covering and especially the water squirting.

If you can give me some more information it will help me give you my best advice.

Do you know for sure it is a male bird?

How long ago did this behavior begin?

Please tell me everything in his usual diet.

Is there any grit or gravel within his reach?

Any sandpaper covered perches? Describe his perches for me.

I assume you cover his cage at night? How many hours is he covered and is the room quiet during all that time? In other words, how much total "sleep" time does he get each night?

Are you sure about the age of 1 year?

The more information I have, the better I can help.

Thanks, Patricia


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Patricia's Post: Thanks for the response! Well, the vet told us that he is male. He's been doing this very frequently for about 3 months, ever since his wings grew back and was able to fly again. He has is seed in his cage, along with a millet stick. Also, we let him have some of the fruit juice that we drink, and when we have eggs, we give him a little bit of that. No grit or gravel. He has a rope perch, 2 tree branch perch's, a nail filing perch all in his cage; in the bathroom (his favorite spot) he has a rubber rope that extends from one side of the mirror to the other. His cage is covered at night for 7 to 7 1/2 hours every night, and is completely quiet. He was born in early November of 2006. He is a great bird other than the squawking. He is playful, fun and a happy, chatty bird. Thanks again.

Okay, thanks so much for that extra information. It's very helpful. That is great news that you realize he does not need, nor should he have any kind of grit or gravel. We used to think, many years ago that they did but have learned it is dangerous for the hook bill birds who hull their seeds before eating. Great job with the perches as well. That kind of variety is vital for long term foot and leg health, so good for you on that too. As for his diet, it is not at all good and you really have to start making some changes and additions right away with that. And do not give him fruit juice that you drink. Some kinds of juices may be okay, in extreme moderation but only juice straight from the fruit. If he likes the juice, then you have than on your side. Stop with the juice and start offering him fresh fruits, fresh or steamed veggies, and leafy greens everyday. If his diet is more than about 25% seeds, he is at great risk of fatty liver disease, fatty tumors and obesity. Fully expect to meet with resistance when offering new foods but do not give up on him, no matter how long he turns up his nose. Be persistent and be consistent in offering new things. He will eventually give up and try some, and he will find some that he likes. Bringing him to the table to eat with you is an excellent way to entice him. Spread out a mat, fix him his own plate of everything you are having that is safe for him. Just make sure his has no salt or sugar added. Also, don't ever let him eat anything that has been in contact with your mouth. Too many people allow their birds to eat from their mouth and that is so very dangerous for him. Here is a link that may give you further help with the diet issues. Click here: Introducing New Foods to Picky Pet Birds I'll be giving you a lot of links below that I think you will find helpful for more detailed information about the diet, the consequences you can expect from improper diet and some other safety issues you must be aware of around the home as respects all the toxic products we all have but must never use around a bird. Now, back to the noise thing. First off, he is not getting enough sleep. Birds need 12 hours of undisturbed sleep out of every 24. It is hard to give them that all at once but they need at least 8-10 of it at night, and they must have time to take quiet naps off and on during the day. There should also be a night light where he sleeps. Birds get nervous in total darkness and do not sleep soundly as they feel they must stay more on guard. I normally do not ever advise folks on wing trimming. I personally never trim my own flock but it is a personal decision we all make, based on our birds, and our situation. However, in his case, you may find that a very conservative trim will help you with the behavior/noise situation. Just make sure that who ever does it, realizes it is not done to prevent them from flying. It's done only to prevent them from gaining altitude. A properly trimmed bird will still be able to fly/glide about 15-20 feet, slowly losing altitude and will be stay in complete control of the flight and able to execute a perfectly controlled landing. If it is over done and if the bird cannot control and slow it's decent, it is in great danger of a serious injury. In addition to improving his diet and giving him more undisturbed sleep, you need to monitor how you respond to the squawks. Never ever respond with a loud tone of voice and never ever scold him. They are very flock oriented and spend their day in the wild, constantly calling to the rest of the flock. It's how they stay in touch with each other. You are now his only flock and that's what he is doing. When he calls loudly to you, you need to respond so he know you are there, but make your "flock call" in a very soft, quiet tone of voice. You can use any phrase you want or you can use a whistle. Just pick one and be consistent with it. Also, try whispering to him when he is at his loudest. Most parrots and birds are intrigued by whispers and they hush up so they can hear you. When he needs to be in his cage and alone, turn on a radio or TV for him. Most birds love cartoons, kids shows and nature shows. Keep in mind, none of these suggestions are guarantees. There are few guarantees when it comes to birds. They are all much too different in temperament and personality. What works for one, may not help at all with the next one. If nothing works at all, you may want to consider getting him a companion to help occupy his time. But, if you do that, don't just go out and get one, bring it home and plop it in his cage. That is dangerous in more than one way. All new birds absolutely must be quarantined a minimum of 30 days, as far from the resident bird as possible. When that time is up, then introductions must be made gradually by having side by side cages. To suddenly put one into the private space and territory of another is inviting jealousy and territorial disputes that can lead to blood shed or worse. If you should decide to add one at some point, come back and I can help you with that in greater detail. For now, try all these suggestions and for sure, get started on that diet. I hope this will be of some help to you but if you have any more questions at all, just let me know. I want your and your bird to be happy with each other and I want to help you keep him as healthy as possible. Best of luck with little Mr. Loud Beak. Patricia

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This one looks like an advertisement for Harrison pellets but they are only sold by vets so it's another good list to check. Click here: Harrison's Bird Foods is a family of certified organic pet bird diets that were formulated to make your bird as he

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