Socializing baby parakeet?

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by embz20, May 14, 2011.

  1. embz20

    embz20 New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    May 14, 2011
    Hi!
    I am hand raising a baby parakeet. A co-worker owns parakeets that live in an outdoor aviary and they had this chick but weren't taking care of it. It's currently 2 weeks old and it's on it's own, no siblings. It was with its parents until it was ~10 days old. So far it's going very well! It eats well and seems to be strong and healthy.

    I also have two adult parakeets of my own, one male, one female. They are not a breeding pair, just buddies as far as I know, not bonded. I wouldn't bring the baby near the adults for some time, but I wonder what would be a good way to go about socializing the 3 when the time comes? I realize the hand raised bird will be much more interested in people, and will probably live in a separate cage at least for a while, maybe indefinitly and maybe I'd only let the 3 out to play together. Do you think they could live together at some point? Is there a way to give the young bird a chance to socialize with the older birds, or maybe would just being near/seeing the other birds be good for the baby?

    What do you think?
     
  2. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    4,654
    27
    251
    Jun 15, 2008
    Use a divided cage or put 2 cages touching each other. You could probably put whatever you have the baby in now right next to the other cage so long as you know the other flock is healthy. Eventually you can let them out in the room together and see how they do. If you end up with 2 females and 1 male though it would probably be best not to try to put them in the same cage. Female budgies may fight if there are too few mates and it could happen suddenly while you aren't home even after they seem ok together. You want at least as many males as females in a flock to help prevent serious arguments between the hens. If you end up with 2 males then so long as you introduce them slowly and you have a big enough cage they should all be able to live together. Every now and then though you do run in to budgies who just won't get along so make sure they aren't arguing too much when you start letting them loose together before you try leaving them in the same cage. Also it helps to completely wash the cage and rearrange or change out toys and perches before moving in the new budgie or if you need a bigger cage add them all at the same time to the new one so no one can lay claim to the space.
     
  3. ShanCarl1971

    ShanCarl1971 Out Of The Brooder

    90
    5
    41
    Apr 23, 2011
    I raised parakeets for many, many years and having too many MALES is a problem...... I always kept many more females than males. In a pet situation, though, things are different. The male/female ratio will have little to do with it as long as you aren't trying to breed them. Are you able to hold and play with the two that you have housed together?? If so, and you keep up the handling, eventually adding them all together should be ok. But, if you don't handle the older ones, then adding the new one will eventually make that one no longer want to be handled. The old saying, "monkey see, monkey do" applies here. Non-tame always wins out over tame!! That's true for almost ALL hookbill birds. I've raised everything from parakeets to macaws and have seen it happen over and over again.

    But, if you are going to house them together, then it should be gradual. Let them see each other for a while, then some casual meetings in neutral territory, then as Akane said, clean and change everything in the cage where they will be living. This gets rid of "territory" defending. (if the current occupants have established their favorite spots, those spots will no longer exhist once you change everything..... puts everybody on an even playing field, so to speak)
     
  4. embz20

    embz20 New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    May 14, 2011
    Thanks guys! good advice.

    The pair that are together are finger trained, and will tolerate us talking to them, but that's about it. They will sit nicely for about a minute before they either fly to each other or their cage. The current cage is pretty roomy and they love being in there. Their wings are clipped, so each morning we take them out and put them on the windowsill. Then after a bit they flutter down to the floor and run together back to the cage, we have a ladder set up so they put themselves away when they like.

    The baby is in another room right now because it is dimmer and further from door drafts, but once it has a few more feathers I might move the whole home-made brooder set up into the room with the older birds. I have let them see the baby through the bars of their cage as I walked through the room after a feeding. The male ignored the chick, but the female got quiet and was clearly eyeing it. So I guess I'll just wait, and watch to see how they all get along. I'm fully prepared to simply house them in different cages if need be.
     
  5. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    4,654
    27
    251
    Jun 15, 2008
    The entire talkbudgies forum would disagree with you and so would pretty much every budgie resource on the net. Nearly every site the covers it recommends at least as many males as females and I'd sure feel sorry for my males if I had more females. The females already pick on everyone and order them around enough as it is. I have one hen by herself because I ended up with more hens and I wasn't going to subject the males to dealing with that or risk fighting when they all come in to breeding condition. It is suggested on the forums that if you end up with more hens to pair off 2 of the hens to their own cage so your remaining flock will still contain more males.

    Whether your handraised budgie remains tame depends on you. It's just as likely that the other budgies will copy the tame one becoming friendly as the other way around. Which event happens depends on how much you continue to interact with your budgies. Plenty of people have also tamed several completely wild budgies without separating them. It's a common occurance on the budgie forums. It just takes a little longer than taming them separately.
     
  6. ShanCarl1971

    ShanCarl1971 Out Of The Brooder

    90
    5
    41
    Apr 23, 2011
    Just stating MY experiences and opinions. In a colony situation, males will "service" multiple females. Also, in a colony situation, there are going to be disagreements, no matter what the ratio is. In the twenty or so years that I raised them, I always had more females than males (as did every other breeder I knew) and I always had more nest boxes than females. I very rarely had a problem, and when I did, it was usually a squabble between two females over a particular nest box.

    If the forum disagrees, that's OK...... it doesn't change the experience that I had for all those years. When I was breeding and raising (and even hand-raising) budgies, there were no forums or websites to chat about it. I learned from trial and error ...... luckily not too heavy on the error side!! ...... and also from others who were having success in their breeding programs.

    It's true that it is very possible to tame and train multiple birds that share living quarters, just not as likely. Most people (not all) don't realize that it takes much more time and effort. When birds spend the majority of their time together, they tend to prefer each other's company over the human. Of course, this is just a generalization, and everyone's experience is unique.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by