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Thread: New today, introducing Rhubarb and Custard

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    Brand New Egg Millybob's Avatar
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    Question New today, introducing Rhubarb and Custard

    Hi

    I just joined today. I have two budgies which we've had for about 3 maybe 4 weeks. We got them from our local pet shop and were told they are young birds. Rhubarb is green and definitely male. We got him first with the intention of only having one but within an hour my husband decided to go back and get another one as he thought Rhubarb looked lonely (any excuse to go and get a yellow one which he really liked).

    Custard is a very nervy and timid bird and is quite frightened of us, however he does seem to be quite a character and he makes me laugh. He's chirpy enough though he does seem to be a bit of a bully. He seems quite a bossy maybe even jealous guy. Every time Rhubarb goes to feed from his seed pot Custard goes and stands over him and pecks him on the head. He is getting enough to eat though as eventually Custard will give up picking on him and let him eat. We got another food bowl so they'd have one each but they've both abandoned the first bowl and both use the new one. It's very rare, but if Rhubarb happens to be in front of Custard when I stand at the cage talking to them, Custard will fly in front of him and push him out of the way. As if he wants all the attention and yet he's very nervous of us.

    Now Rhubarb - ugh. He's silent! He never tweets or whistles, he only moves from his perch to eat or drink. He just sits next to a mirror all day (never talks to the mirror, though he'll very occasionally have a quick chew of it). Will he ever change do you think? He was like that when we brought him home for the first hour that he was on his own in the cage until we brought Custard back but it's almost like he's depressed. They were both out of the same cage at the pet shop and Rhubarb did seem quite mobile when we picked him out, he was climbing on the side of the cage but since we brought him home he just seems so sad. So many questions to ask but I'll leave it at that for now. Any thoughts on Rhubarb? Do you think he feels bullied or is he just naturally miserable.

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    Tailfeather
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    Re: New today, introducing Rhubarb and Custard

    Hi, and welcome! It takes several weeks, sometimes even longer for them to get used to you, your family, each other and their environment. Some new budgies are very quiet for awhile. I think they miss their aviary and flock they lived with more than others. We do not know their entire history of course. And perhaps Rhubarb was shy to begin with. That often times leads to bullying by other birds in the cage. If you see Custard constantly being controlling of him, you may need to get him his own cage at least for awhile, because he will fear Custard, and not be able to have a happy life. Perhaps when they get more used to each other and mature more they will become best buddies.

    I would suggest taking it day to day. If you do have to separate them, take some time each day to allow them to be together, while watching over them, and that might help to tamp down Custards controlling behavior!

    We will watch for updates! Do not lose heart! Time and patience are on your side.

  3. #3
    Brand New Egg Millybob's Avatar
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    Re: New today, introducing Rhubarb and Custard

    Thank you Ellen for your reply. They have been exceptionally quiet today. I think that might be because we gave their cage a good clean yesterday. Obvioulsy I clean out the bottom of the cage regularly but the perches needed cleaning and the mirror which did involve us putting out hands inside the cage and doing a lot of messing around removing perches and putting them back etc. Custard panics quite a lot when we do this and it makes Rhubarb panic too (he is a little more laid back and don't think he'd be quite so panicky if it didn't rub off from Custard). So today I think they've been sulking all day.

    It also seems to have put Custards very delicate trust back a bit too. He was tolerating me putting my hand in the cage to change seed and water every day but this morning he flew onto the side of the cage and clung on for quite a while before he went back to his perch. I was reading some of the posts yesterday and I think Rhubarb might not be quite as young as the pet shop led us to believe as he has a full set of black spots around his neck which someone said they don't get until they're around 1 year old. It's difficult to tell with Custard as he's all yellow so I have no idea whether he would ever have the black spots? I'm also a bit concerned about the perches. They are all the same size and I've read that they should have different sized perches? I got him a swing a few days after we got the budgies which has larger diameter dowel than the perches but neither of them will go on it. They've gone on there a couple of times by accident when they've got in a panic from cleaning their cage but they won't go on it from choice. So I keep thinking if I try introducing new and different sized perches it might stress them out even more. They certainly seem hard work temperementally. We've had budgies in the past, though it was quite a time ago and we had a golden-mantled Rosella at one time. I don't ever recall having such a hard time taming any of them, they just kind of fitted into our life and became great pets who were always happy to interact. Must admit I'm getting quite despondent at these two but like you say patience and kindness wins the day.

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