Will Budgies Kill Each Other if They Get Angry?

Last updated on February 5th, 2024 at 10:36 pm

Written by Isra P

Will budgies kill each other? That question may pop into your mind whenever you see them fighting. You see, these birds can engage in various behaviors, from playful chirping to occasional squabbles. However, when the quarrels escalate too much, there’s a chance the outcome can be fatal.

Budgies may kill other budgies if they are unfamiliar with them, are in a cramped space, have little to no food, or are jealous. They may also do it if they turn territorial, have a sick bird in the cage, or get aggressive during the breeding season.

Now, while it’s rare for that to happen, there’s always a possibility, as some budgies are more innately hostile than others.

So you need to be able to recognize the signs when things get out of control and learn what can be done about it. Here are the most common reasons that cause budgies to become excessively aggressive and how to solve the problem.

Budgie squabbles can be puzzling, and it’s natural to wonder why your usually friendly budgie has suddenly turned into a feathered fury. Let’s break it down, shall we?

New Budgie

Introducing a new budgie into the flock can upset the balance and lead to some territorial disputes.

This is normal and usually resolves within a few days or weeks; however, sometimes, you may need to take additional steps to solve the problem.

Territory

Budgies are territorial creatures. They may claim certain areas or objects in the cage as theirs and defend them from intruders (source). If they feel like their space is being invaded, they might attack other budgies or even you with full force.

Not Enough Space

Imagine being stuck in a small room with a bunch of people. You’d get cranky, right? Budgies feel the same way. They can get a bit snappy if they don’t have enough space to stretch their wings and have some alone time.

Budgies need enough room to fly, play and rest comfortably. If your cage is too small or overcrowded, your budgies may feel stressed and cramped and start fighting over the limited resources.

Lack of Food

Budgies are very active and need a balanced diet of seeds, pellets, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

If there’s not enough food to go around, your budgies might start fighting over the available resources, harming each other (reference).

Jealousy

Budgies can form strong bonds with their mates or human companions and, like us, can get jealous. If one budgie gets more attention than the others, it may feel neglected and lead to serious conflicts. They may lash out at other budgies or even at you if they don’t get enough attention or affection.

Illness

Budgies have an instinct to protect themselves. So they may attack others who they sense have a contagious, life-threatening disease that could endanger the flock.

Breeding Season

Breeding season can be tumultuous in the budgie world, lasting from spring to autumn. During that time, budgies may become more possessive of their mates, nests, and chicks and attack anyone nearby. At this time, fights have a higher chance of being lethal.

Protecting Hatchlings

If your budgies have successfully bred and hatched their babies, they may become very protective of them and attack anyone who tries to approach them, and that includes other budgies. It’s a parent’s instinct to protect the young, after all. So keep that in mind.

More Males than Females

Budgies are usually monogamous and pair up with one mate for life. However, whenever there are more males than females in the cage, there may be competition for the available females, leading to fights among the males.

So as you can imagine, if there are more male budgies than females, it can lead to competition and aggression, and that’s a disaster waiting to happen.

Is it Normal for Budgies to Fight?

So, you’ve noticed your budgies clashing, and you’re wondering, “Is this normal?” Well, let me put your mind at ease. Yes, it’s perfectly normal for budgies to have their little disagreements.

male budgies confronting each other

Budgies are social creatures, and just like us, they have their ups and downs. They might squabble over food or fight for the best perch.

But here’s the thing—these fights are usually harmless and short-lived. It’s their way of communicating and establishing a pecking order. So, while it might seem alarming to us, to them, it’s just another day in the birdcage.

How to Stop Budgies from Fighting?

But what if the fights become frequent or intense? Well, that’s when you might need to step in. Here’s how you can keep the peace.

Intervene Safely: Separate the aggressor from the victim at once. Now, there is a right and a wrong way to do it.

Never use your hands to break up a bird’s fight—you might get bitten. Instead, try distracting them with a toy or a treat. Millet sprays can do wonders on such occasions.

Separate Cages: If the fights continue, you must consider separate cages. This will give them space and time to calm down and reduce tension. Just make sure the cages are close enough so your budgies can still socialize but can’t reach each other through the bars.

Check for Illness: An ill budgie might be harassed by others that feel threatened by an unknown sickness. Keep an eye out for any changes in your budgies’ behaviors or appearance. If you suspect your budgie is sick, separate it from the others asap and take it to an avian vet.

Should I Separate Fighting Budgies?

So, your budgies have been bickering more than usual, and you’re wondering, “Should I separate them?” It’s a tough call, isn’t it? Here’s the thing—budgies are social creatures, and they thrive on interaction.

A little skirmish here and there is normal and usually nothing to worry about. It’s like when siblings argue—it’s just part of their relationship. However, if the fights become frequent or intense, or if one budgie is consistently harming the other, then yes, it might be time to consider separation.

But remember, even if you separate them, ensure they can still see and hear each other. Budgies need social interaction, even if it’s from a distance.

In the following video, you will learn why some budgies may fight and hurt other budgies:

How do I Know if my Budgies are Fighting?

But how do you know if your budgies are actually fighting or just playing around? Good question! Here are some signs to look out for:

⦁ If you see your budgies pulling feathers or physically attacking each other, that’s a clear sign of a fight. On the other hand, when both budgies retreat to a safe spot after mild pecking, it means it’s all good.

⦁ Budgies make all sorts of noises, but loud, aggressive squawks might be a sign their fight is serious. That sound is unmistakable, similar to the one they make when something scares them.

⦁ Injuries on your budgies, like cuts or missing feathers, could be a possible sign that their fights are getting out of hand. Although there is a possibility that they might have been involved in an accident, you have to examine your other budgies to determine if they had something to do with it.

⦁ A budgie constantly chasing or trying to hurt another is a sign of aggression. So, you have to pay special attention to this behavior and find out if it’s a one-time thing or something that happens constantly.

How to Prevent Budgies from Killing Each Other?

Budgies are naturally friendly, but sometimes, they can get into fights that can turn deadly. If you want to keep your budgies from getting too vicious, you need to take steps to make sure all their needs are met. When you do this, they will be less likely to engage in fights that may result in serious injuries.

Provide Space

One of the main reasons why budgies harm other budgies is because they feel crowded and stressed. Budgies need enough space to fly, play, and rest comfortably to be at ease.

A small cage can make them feel trapped, leading to aggression and violence. So make sure to have a large cage that can accommodate all your birds, with enough perches, swings, and ladders for them to enjoy.

The rule of thumb is to have at least 18 inches of horizontal space and 24 inches of vertical space per budgie. It can be a little more or less depending on your budgies’ preferences.

Add Multiple Food and Water Dishes

Another common cause of budgie violence is competition over food and water. Budgies are naturally flock animals and tend to eat and drink together.

budgies using the same dish for eating

However, if there is only one food bowl or water bottle in the cage, and you have 4 or 5 budgies, some may try to monopolize it and prevent others from using it. This can lead to starvation, dehydration, and conflict.

We don’t want that! To avoid this, provide several food and water containers in different locations in the cage so that every budgie can eat and drink without being harassed. In my experience, one foot (30 cm) of length between each bowl or bottle should be good enough to avert conflict.

Separate Breeding Areas

Budgies are very protective of their mates and their nests, especially during the breeding season. If you have a mixed-sex flock of budgies, you may notice that some pairs will mate and have chicks in the cage.

This can cause problems for the other budgies, who may feel threatened or jealous of the breeding pair. Often, the breeding pair, especially the female, may become aggressive and attack anyone who comes near the nest.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do. One way is to remove breeding pairs from the rest of the flock and provide them with a separate cage with a nesting box. This way, they can breed in peace and privacy without disturbing or harming the other budgies.

You may also add several breeding boxes within one cage to reduce the chance of fighting. This will only work if the cage is large enough to accommodate breeding spaces with an average distance of at least one foot (30 cm) between them.

Keep an Eye on Them

Even if you provide adequate space, food, water, and breeding spaces for your budgies, you still need to monitor their behavior regularly. Sometimes, budgies may fight for no apparent reason or due to personality clashes or hormonal changes.

You need to watch out for signs of aggression, such as biting, pecking, chasing, squawking, or feather plucking. If you notice anything like that, you need to intervene quickly and separate the fighting budgies before they injure each other.

If this happens often, you should place them in different cages or use a divider to separate them within the same cage.

Introduce New Budgies Gradually

If you want to add new budgies to your existing flock, you must do it gradually and carefully. They tend to be very territorial and suspicious of strangers and may not welcome new arrivals with open wings.

Introducing new companions too quickly may trigger a fight between the old and new budgies. To avoid the issue, quarantine new budgies for at least two weeks in a separate cage to ensure they are healthy and ailments-free.

Then, place their cage next to the old one, so they can see and hear each other without direct contact. This will help them get used to each other’s presence and voices.

After a few weeks, you may place them in neutral territory outside the cage, such as a playpen or a table. Watch them closely and have a towel or spray bottle handy if things get out of hand.

Provide Toys and Enrichment

When budgies get bored or frustrated, they may become restless and aggressive toward each other.

For this reason, you must offer them a variety of toys that can challenge their minds and satisfy their instincts. For example, puzzles, foraging toys, bells, balls, ropes, and beads can do the trick.

Remember to rotate the toys every week or so to keep them interested. Additionally, you can give them budgie-safe fresh branches or leaves that they can chew on or shred.

Equal Attention

Budgies need your attention and love as well as each other’s. If you neglect or favor some of your feathered companions over others, it may cause resentment or jealousy among them. This is terrible news as it can lead to depression or dangerous quarrels.

Spend the same amount of time with each of your budgies every day, talking, playing, or letting them out of the cage. Reward them with treats and praise when they behave well or do something cute.

Final Thoughts

So, will budgies kill each other? It can happen, but it’s rare. They can be prone to fighting and killing each other if you don’t provide them with the right conditions and care.

Thankfully, with some planning, careful observation, and a lot of love, you can keep your budgies happy, healthy, and harmonious. Remember, a peaceful budgie is a happy budgie. So, keep these tips in mind, and you’ll have a chirpy, cheerful flock in no time. Happy budgie-keeping!

He is the leading creator of featheredbuddies.com, a website dedicated to helping bird owners. For many years, Isra P has cared for budgies and other birds to ensure their happiness and well-being. His passion and enthusiasm for them have led him to a quest to find out why birds act the way they do and how to enrich their lives.