Sunday, June 12, 2011

Alone is so lonely

"Will my budgie be a more responsive pet if kept alone?"

Photo © The Ottawa Humane Society
This is the title of an article I just read by Frank Indiviglio.

I noticed that the majority of the people voting in the poll on my blog only own one budgerigar. I'm not so pleased with this result. I always thought it's very sad to see a bird alone in a cage, without anyone of their own kind to interact with.  

Most people see a big advantage in this, though: they claim that birds housed alone tend to form a stronger bond with their owner, more so than birds that have other bird companions. There are even owners who decide to give away other budgies in order to make the remaining budgie a "better" pet. In my opinion, this is an act of animal cruelty.

Birds of a feather flock together

Budgerigars in the wild are always together with their flock members. Even in very large flocks, during flight, it is usually quite simple to spot couples. They remain, literally, within touching distance of one another. So never separate your budgie from his or her mate, you don't know how much you are hurting your bird with this.

I further quote: "A great many of the problems experienced by pet parrots are related to their bird being kept alone.  The agitated “dances”, displays and attacks on toys exhibited by solitary birds, and which are found amusing by those unfamiliar with parrot biology, are actually born of frustrated urges to mate and defend a territory.  Several parrot interest groups have now published position statements to the effect that housing a parrot alone is, in most cases, considered by the group to be animal abuse."

Photo © The Ottawa Humane Society
I understand that most people mean it well: they say they can spend more time on their budgie when there is only one of them. But bear in mind that spending a few hours each day with a budgie is still not enough - budgies kept alone need almost constant companionship of a person if that person is to be considered a “substitute” for the missing mate. This is extremely difficult to arrange for most people.

Please think about this if you only have one budgie. Budgies that are alone don't get half as old as the ones that have a budgie companion, to say the least.

Read the full article here:

http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatbirdblog/2009/11/03/parrot-bonding-will-my-budgie-be-a-more-responsive-pet-if-kept-alone/

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