I have two budgies (male and female).I used to keep them in the same cage. They are friendly to each other(they cuddle with each other, chirp together, etc).
But for some reason the male budgie plucks the female budgie's head feathers. The female is now almost bald. So I have put them in separate cages.
A few of my friends told me that plucking is a normal behavior, and that birds should not be separated for such reasons. What should I do (the birds are not as active as when they were together)?

2 Answers 2


The budgie clean the feathers mutually which is a sign of infection and important social behavior, but when they tear feathers (out of moulting period) it can be "pecking".

Pecking is behavioral disturbance in pet birds that can last several years if there are no interventions. We do not know this behavior in wild birds. There are two categories of pecking, self-pecking when the bird pulls its own feathers and Allo-pecking when the bird tears the feathers of its congeners.

Pecking may be due to several factors, among them we can mention mainly boredom and stress. The causes may also be sexual frustration, the introduction of a new bird in the cage, lack of solail rays, fears or frequent disturbances (such as work in the house). Other factors may promote the appearance of pecking such as lack of bath, external parasites, dietary deficiencies (vitamins, trace elements, protein), lack of hygiene, hormonal imbalances.

Generally, one of the factors triggers the pecking which then becomes an obsession. Pecking is therefore a psychological disorder often aggravated by poor hygiene or poor nutrition.

If it is pecking, it is important to quickly intervene for the well being of your bird. The treatments are often very difficult. We must first find the causes. To stop the pecking we can start by giving a balanced and varied diet. Food of good quality that is to say by adding vitamins, minerals and some amino acids to its food. We can also occupy instead that he tear off the feathers of his companion. We can give him branches (raw carrots, twigs, ...) and toys provided by pet shops to occupy his beak.

To avoid pecking it is important to grading impeccable hygiene of the cage and bowls of food.

Since boredom is one of the main reasons for pecking it is important to spend a little time each day with your birds.

Be careful to place the cage in a quiet and quiet place. However, if pecking continues despite all its solutions, medical treatment is possible and even necessary in severe cases.

It is therefore preferable to separate them at first (keeping the cages next to one another) to avoid injuring the female. Take the birds out of the cage at the same time so they can keep in touch with each other. I advise you to keep them separate until you find the cause of pecking (psychological cause or because of parasite)


He may have been stressed and may have plucked the feathers out due to stress. It may be caused my skin cancer and disease but hopefully it is not disease or anything too serious. Hope your budgie gets better!

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