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Male or Female Budgies as Pets?

Should I get two male budgies or two female budgies as pets?

Q: I am planning to get two pet budgies next month, and I have read conflicting information on whether it is better to get two males or two females. Which will potentially get along better? I do not plan to breed them. I bought a cage that is 3 feet by 2 feet so I think they will have good space.

Linda RubinLinda S. Rubin explains:

Because you do not plan to breed your new budgies, it is best to obtain two males. Females are notorious for squabbling among themselves. Although there may be exceptions to their bickering, males generally get along better. Often times, males will even practice some courting behaviors with one another, such as singing a soft warbling song with intermittent accent notes while touching beaks or other objects, and dilating their eyes. Enthusiastic males might also, in their gusty exuberance, try to mount one another in an attempt to breed. Usually, there is little hostile behavior between males, whereas females can become much more aggressive.

Fortunately, many budgies can be sexed while young by the color of their cere, the horny plate surrounding their nares (nostrils). This area appears blue in males and light tan in females. However, there are exceptions depending upon the budgie’s color mutation. Some of the rarer colors (such as recessive “harlequin” pieds, lutinos, albinos, or dark-eyed clears, etc.) carry pinkish-purple ceres. Females not in full condition, or younger females sometimes show a bluish-colored cere outlined in white; mature females in full condition carry a dark-brown cere denoting breeding condition.

Although the cage you describe is a good size cage for budgies, keep in mind that any cage is, by definition, a limitation in space and restricts exercise. Allow your budgies ample exercise outside the cage on a daily basis. Initially, trimming the wing feathers facilitates the training process until the birds are tame. Always obtain young birds, preferably newly weaned at 38 to 42 days of age, because they will tame down quite quickly. Training should be confined to a small room with closed doors and windows and covered mirrors. It is easiest to work with one bird at a time until both birds are trained. Once tame, allow your budgies time together outside the cage for daily exercise, and to enjoy each other’s company in flight.


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Male or Female Budgies as Pets?

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Reader Comments
Absolute poppycot, I have males that attack each other and argue. Females and Males are both excellent
with different personalities, you want both as it's
much more interesting and enriching to watch the 2
Peter, Cheshire
Posted: 6/18/2012 11:10:06 AM
I have five males and seven females. You can definitely see differences when I separate them by sex. The all-male cage is like a little monastery. Everyone loves his brother. If they talked better, they'd probably sing Kumbaya. If you add females, however, best buddies will sometimes fight. Whenever my Annabelle is around Dasher and Lemondrop, they end up having little birdie bar fights. No blood, just scuffling and rolling around, but I separate them until they calm down just in case.

The ladies' cage is more like watching reality TV, except they're more fun than watching people. Who eats first and who gets to sit on the water dish is drama, drama and more drama. Mostly its just that little high-pitched warble they do when they're peeved and a few harmless pecks. Now and then, they will shove each other. That said, they get too bad a rap. It isn't like they hate each other. One minute they're fighting and the next they're best gal pals, like sisters. Junior high is a pretty accurate comparison too. The most alpha females tend to haze new cage mates. Eventually they get to know and even love each other. I've seen two alphas spar with each other when they meet and then become inseparable. If you separate them for even a few minutes, they'll call insistently for each other and sing and preen each other like they haven't seen each other in years.
Joan, Waukesha, WI
Posted: 5/30/2012 7:24:41 PM
Does anyone know if i should get two budgies, or keep my one? We are well bonded, and i was wondering if he wouldn't want to hang with me if he had a budgie friend. Anyone have advice???
Chloe, Broken Arrow, OK
Posted: 6/2/2010 2:23:13 PM
good info.
colleen, whiting, NJ
Posted: 6/27/2009 9:22:01 PM
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