Budgies are popular pets for first-time bird owners. Their small size, cheerful personality, relatively inexpensive care requirements, and common appearance in pet stores makes them accessible and unintimidating.
They are flock-oriented birds that enjoy social interaction and often form deeply tender bonds with one another.
Budgies are often kept in pairs or trios. Understandably, a single budgie owner may eventually wonder if it would be a good idea to get a second budgie.
Although your original bird’s temperament and the challenges and changes associated with owning multiple birds should be taken into account, a second budgie is often a great idea.
Why getting a second budgie is a good idea
Budgies love company. Although your family and maybe a favorite toy or mirror can make up somewhat for your single budgie’s lack of a flock, nothing can quite replace a feathered companion.
Few budgies if given the choice prefer to be an only bird.
Companionship when you are away
Many of us have responsibilities that keep us away from home for part of each day. This is one reason we can never be a perfect flock for our pet birds.
Two budgies can keep each other from being lonely when the rest of the family is busy or elsewhere.
Natural interaction and stimulation
Parrots are intelligent creatures, no matter how small they may be. Boredom can be a problem.
A bored bird will be unhappy and may develop serious behavioral or health-related issues. As pets, birds need both toys and interaction with people or other birds to keep them fully satisfied.
Two budgies will happily entertain each other for hours.
Bright colors and cheerful song
Your bird will not be the only one to benefit from having a companion. Besides feeling less pressure to be your bird’s entire flock, you may also be highly entertained by the dynamics between your two birds.
Multiple budgies enjoy singing, bouncing, and flying about as they show off and interact with each other. With the many vibrant colors available, two or three birds can be a cheerful rainbow show.
The bond of friendship
If you are considering getting a second bird because he or she is already bonded to your first bird, this is a perfectly good reason to do so. Birds can feel the loss of a close friend keenly and a bonded pair should be kept together whenever possible.
Although two birds adopted at the same time may not bond to you in the same way they might if purchased individually, they can still become tame, and you are likely to find just as much pleasure in watching their friendship remain strong as you will in building your friendship with them.
Challenges of getting a second budgie
Though the benefits of a second budgie are many, there are challenges to consider. A second bird should never be purchased solely to be a companion to your first.
The lifelong responsibility of caring for this bird is yours, and he or she will require the same amount of commitment as your first bird.
One concern many people have when considering a second bird is that their birds will bond with one another and be less tame and affectionate toward them. While it is true that the birds will develop a special bond with one another, budgies are flock animals with plenty of room in their heart for more than one friend.
If your bird is already attached to you, he will want to continue interacting with you and enjoying the time he is accustomed to spending with you. A second budgie may bond more closely with your original bird, but it is also possible to tame and build a relationship with a second bird.
Extra noise and mess
Although a second bird will certainly add a bit more mess and noise, your already established cleaning routines should not need to change much to keep up with one more. Cages and the surrounding areas will need regular cleaning or vacuuming.
Food and water dishes should also be kept very clean to avoid buildup of bacteria or disease.
Budgies are definitely noisier when kept in pairs or groups. The increase is mostly in cheerful chirping and singing which many people find enjoyable.
A large cage and multiple toys
Budgies are tiny birds, but they are also active and appreciate enough space in their cage for multiple perches and even some flying. Even a single bird should have a roomy cage, but this is especially important if you are housing multiple birds together.
There should be ample room for them to get away from one another if a scuffle breaks out and enjoy following each other about.
Your cage should also be large enough to include multiple perches at various levels and safe, size-appropriate toys. Healthy, happy budgies will make use of every inch of the provided space.
Things to consider before getting a second budgie
Once you have weighed the pros and cons of getting a second budgie, there are still a few more things to consider. In order to enjoy a long, fulfilling time together, it’s important to set yourself and your budgies up for success.
- Should I get a male or female? With budgies, the sex of your birds is not especially important. When introduced correctly, budgies of any gender will generally get along well. Two males or a male and a female will likely become friends easily and quickly. Two females may require a bit more time, but they can also become friends.
- Should I get a baby bird? It may be easier to introduce a younger bird to your original bird. Most budgies will channel their instinct to care for fledglings toward this young companion, causing them to quickly accept and befriend her. However, your second bird does not have to be a baby. Most budgies will eagerly befriend a companion of any age.
- Are both birds in good health? Any life change can be stressful for a bird. If your birds are not in good health, the extra stress of a new companion can lead to a quick decline. You also don’t want either bird sharing illness or parasites with the other.
- Can I keep my budgies in the same cage? Although you shouldn’t immediately put both budgies in the same cage – they need a chance to look each other over first – they will eventually be happiest if allowed to share a cage. If either bird is cage protective, you can rearrange the toys in the cage or introduce them in a neutral area before putting them together.
- Will I need two of everything? As mentioned above, your budgies will probably prefer to share a cage. However, it’s a good idea to have an extra on hand for the initial quarantine period. You may also want it later in case you need to separate your birds for a short time due to an injury or sickness. Even in a shared cage, it’s a good idea to have two food dishes as both birds will probably want to eat at the same time. It’s not necessary to have two separate water dishes unless one of your birds is keeping the other from the dish for some reason.
How to introduce a second budgie
If you already have one bird, you will need to quarantine any new bird you bring into your home for about two weeks. To avoid communication of diseases or any decline due to the extra stress, only introduce two birds that are in great health.
The simplest way to introduce your two birds is to place their cages near one another and let them chat and get used to each other. Your birds will likely be very excited and anxious to meet.
Don’t give in immediately—allow them at least a couple of hours of being in sight of one another without being able to get to each other.
If both birds are clipped or comfortable with free flight in your home, you may then want to let them out of their cages in a bird-safe room. Stay nearby and supervise as they get to know each other a bit better.
It may be a good idea to introduce a millet spray, leafy greens, or some other favorite snack at this point as eating together is a natural way for birds to bond.
You’ll want to keep an eye on your two birds for a few days even after they are sharing a cage. Budgies are spunky birds, so a little chasing and kicking are natural.
Make sure that one bird is not constantly beating up on the other, and if the scuffling gets too serious, you may need to separate the birds for a while.
It shouldn’t be long before your birds are very good friends. Enjoy watching their friendship deepen, and don’t forget to continue to deepen your friendship with them through plenty of positive interaction.