My Two Parakeets have Begun Fighting

User Question
I just want to say your parakeet site was very useful! I learned alot of stuff and my birds are very healthy thanks to you:) But I have a question about my parakeets. I had my birds for about 6 months. The 2 of them got along very well for the first 5 months but this month I've been noticing that they are fighting alot when they are eating food. I bought separate dishes so they won't fight over it but they still eat from the same one dish and still fight. What should I do?

Lisa's Answer
It sounds like your parakeets are becoming 'teenagers' when they start to get a bit grumpy and argumentative! It's a stage parakeets go through. It's sort of like a brother and sister in a house. Even if they have their own room, they still get into fights over the silliest things. It doesn't really make any sense, but it happens.

It's great that you got them both dishes, they definitely each need their own food dish. Probably at this point though they are so used to using the one dish that they don't even think about the other one. They both want the "good dish" to prove they are the best. So here's the thing. Make sure the second dish seems even BETTER than the first dish for a while. Put it slightly higher (parakeets think higher = better) and maybe make it easier to get to. Put a perch near it. Also, stick a yummy vegetable that they love near it - maybe some lettuce. My parakeets all LOVE lettuce. That way whoever is near that new food dish will feel like the Best Parakeet.

After a while they'll learn that both dishes hold food and they'll use them evenly. You just have to get them past this little hurdle. In general, to keep them from fighting, make sure you have 2 food dishes of food, 2 (or more) toys, and 2 of anything else they could squabble over. That way they never feel like they're being left out of the fun. Also, grumpy parakeets tend to fight more often, just like with humans. So try to keep them generally happy. Play music when you're not around, make sure they get ample sleepy time at night, and feed them a nutritious mix of foods. If they're full, happy and contented, they will find less reason to squack at their flockmate :)

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