Budgies are normally social and friendly birds that get along well.
They can become territorial and jealous, especially if they feel neglected or threatened by another budgie. Play-fights and bickering are common among budgies.
Budgies rarely fight to the death, preferring to intimidate and bicker before retreating. It’s only on rare occasions that a fight will escalate or become deadly.
If a budgie is sick, the others may kill it to reduce the chances of an infection spreading. Likewise, budgies may attempt to kill a new bird that’s introduced to the cage too quickly.
Although budgies rarely kill each other, a fight can leave them seriously injured if you don’t intervene promptly. If the fighting continues, the budgies may damage each other’s faces, throats, wings, and legs.
Why Are My Budgies Suddenly Fighting?
If your budgies have suddenly started fighting, the chances are that an external factor caused them to act out. According to BSAVA Congress Proceedings, budgies rarely start fights that lead to serious injury.
However, mild fights can break out over:
- A lack of space
- Insufficient food
- Inadequate places for females to breed
- The introduction of a new bird in the cage
During the breeding season, female budgies undergo hormonal changes that make them more aggressive. That can make sudden fights a regular occurrence, but they should be short-lived.
Can A Budgie Kill Another Budgie?
Budgies can use their beaks to physically harm and injure other budgies.
A smaller and timid budgie is more at risk of getting injured, especially if it doesn’t have enough room in the cage to fly away from the aggressor.
Although budgies can kill each other, a budgie fight rarely results in death. This only happens when the fighting becomes a regular occurrence and you can’t identify a cause.
If you notice that one is budgie bleeding or severely injured, there’s a higher chance that another budgie is attempting to end its life.
Budgies may kill each other if one bird has an incurable disease.
Other budgies can sense when sickness is a threat to their lives, which could result in your budgies trying to kill the sick budgie to protect themselves from harm.
Female budgies are protective of their territory, breeding places, and offspring.
This can go as far as killing a budgie that threatens their space or chicks. When you notice a female budgie acting more aggressive than usual, put it in a separate cage.
Fight Over Food
Budgies are territorial, so they’ll likely want their own food and water supplies.
Female budgies must feed their chicks at least 5-6 times a day. If you have several female budgies, their maternal instinct to feed their offspring can result in a fight if there’s a food shortage.
Provide enough food and water stations for your budgies to feed on without starting a fight. Otherwise, simple bickering can have life-threatening consequences.
Want to Mate
Female budgies become more aggressive and selective during the breeding season.
If they can’t find a suitable breeding box for themselves, they can become restless. Alternatively, they may prefer a nest box already chosen by another female.
So, increase the number of breeding boxes available to your budgies.
When keeping several budgies in a cage, be mindful of their territorial requirements.
There should be at least 10 inches between each breeding box. Female budgies don’t allow other budgies near their eggs or chicks.
If this space is encroached, it can result in bickering and fighting among budgies.
According to the Journal of Experimental Biology, birds exposed to high amounts of stress during their development stage often have poor health.
Fighting among the females can harm the chicks’ metabolism, growth, and ability to nest in the future.
If you have a small cage with several budgies, they are likely to fly into each other. This can be mistaken for aggression, leading to elevated hostility.
More Female Budgies Than Males
To claim females, male budgies become quite aggressive. In such a situation, providing fewer females than males in the cage can lead to deadly conflicts between males.
Introduced A New Budgie To The Colony
A new budgie takes time to get acquainted with other birds. In particular, you’ll need to understand its personality and whether it’ll get along with the existing budgies.
If the newbie is put into the cage without adequate preparation, it’ll be bullied incessantly.
Can Budgies Kill Each Other?
There are only a few circumstances when budgies will fight to the death.
Most budgies will pick on each other and bicker long-term, taking breaks to keep to themselves and scare off other budgies encroaching on their space.
Budgies aren’t hunters or predators, so they have no natural instinct to kill their opposition.
Instead, budgies bully each other by biting, pecking, flapping their wings, and screaming at each other. As prey animals, they’re more likely to disengage after a brief conflict than sustain a fight.
If you remove the stimuli or cause of the fight, this should de-escalate the situation.
Difference Between Playful and Serious Fighting
Budgies often start fighting or teasing each other while playing. You can largely ignore this until the play-fighting turns into conflict.
In a mild conflict, budgies will peck at each other lightly. They’ll chatter and screech, and the fight will usually be resolved quickly, with both budgies retreating to their corners.
If your budgies start screeching and screaming in a high-pitched sound and get louder and more ferocious, this is a sign that the fight is further escalating.
If the beak-pecking and screeching don’t resolve quickly, it can become a serious fight.
How Do I Get My Budgies to Stop Fighting?
Once a real fight has broken out, you can step in to prevent it from becoming a fight to the death.
Here are ways to stop budgies from fighting:
Break Up The Fight
One way is to frighten your budgies by shaking a can filled with coins.
You can wave a towel to get them to fly away from each other. If that’s not working, you can use a stick to drive them apart.
Neutral Play Area
When it comes to their enclosures, budgies can be possessive birds. Don’t let them play together on top of one budgie’s cage or anywhere else a budgie has claimed as its home.
Allow them to play together on neutral ground, and keep an eye on their activities so that you can intervene if a fight starts.
If you have to get a new playing station, it’s worth it to reduce physical confrontations.
Jealousy can lead to your budgies exhibiting aggressive and territorial behavior. If they feel like they’re always competing for your love, it might lead to conflict or fighting.
If you have a new budgie that you want to introduce to another budgie, you might give it special treatment. This can cause the old budgie to feel neglected and grow hostile.
So, ensure that you give each budgie equal amounts of bonding time alone and together. Talk to each one equally and in the same tone, never giving more affection to one budgie over the other.
When they’re together, feed them their favorite snacks to foster a positive relationship.
Separate Them Initially
It can take weeks or months for budgies that dislike each other to get along.
Sometimes, they won’t ever be friends. Keep your budgies in separate cages, far enough from each other so that squabbling budgies can’t reach each other.
If the hostility is fading, bring the cages closer together.
Never force two budgies that dislike each other to live in the same cage, as they could seriously injure or kill each other.