Budgie! The first thing that comes to mind hearing this word is a cute little playful parrot that is pure bliss. African Grey! And hearing this name brings a strong and no-nonsense personality that is Einstein of the parrot family.
There are practically no mutually exclusive thoughts about both these species of the parrot world. They seem like poles apart. But for parrot lovers, no parrot is not-lovable. And any of us might happen to have a brood of many species just for the love of these lively beings. So, the real question is: Can we have these both together as a part of a single flock? Can Budgies and African Greys be kept together? The answer is a No and a Yes, albeit in varied situations. Let’s reach these scenarios by understanding things logically.
Understanding Personality Types of Budgies & African Greys
Coexisting, whether in humans, animals, or birds, depends solely on individual personality. And the personality trait that helps us all in living with others under the same roof is our ‘temperament’. Hence, if you are thinking about making Budgies and African Greys live together, it is important to know their temperament first.
Budgies are small-sized parrots and are crowned as ‘the most petted bird species in the world’. And to be loved so much across the globe is a no mean feat. All the credit goes to their exceptionally gentle and calm personality and their loyal and giving nature. All they do is shower their human flock with endless love for just a little love in return. They hardly get aggressive and even if they do, it is nothing like a Sun Conure. They might fight with you or their cage mates a little over their favorite food or extra attention. And the aggression subsides too rather quickly. Other than that, they are calm and chirpy all day long.
African Grey’s Temperament
Famed as a complex personality type, African Greys are a unique combination of intelligent brain and sensitive nature. Such a stark contrast in a single mind always leads to behavioral issues, hence, the aggression. Their intelligent minds always demand attention from something or someone. If not tended well, their sensitivity triggers, and others feel the heat of their hot-headed temperament.
Can I keep a Budgie and African Grey together?
Now, we all know how these birds behave in general; Budgies, calmly and a little aggressive when brushed wrongly, and African Greys, calmly but overly aggressive if need be. Would you make one of your calm friends live with your other friend that happens to get pressed rather quickly? No, right? Hence, the first answer mentioned above.
Budgies are flock birds and are generally seen with their brood of 20-30 birds even in the wild. They do not mind the company either of their type or of other species. They are often seen sharing the same habitat with Zebra Finches in Australia, or with Nutmeg Mannikin, etc.
And the African Greys? While roosting in the wild, they only like to choose their type. Strictly no other species. And in captivity, forget about housing them with any other species, even two African Greys are advised to be kept separately in an aviary. This might be due to their different upbringing ways. If housed together with a calm and small species like Budgie, any of the birds might pick up a fight but only one will end up getting hurt. And we all know the answer. So, it is better not to keep your Budgie and African in the same cage.
So, does that mean, we can never make them a family? They can never hang together? The answer is ‘they can’. Let’s know the way to do that for our feathery friends.
How can I keep a Budgie and African Grey together?
It is not impossible to make these two species live together. There have been instances proving the same. You can do the same but only if done wisely:
To house a budgie and an African together, the foremost condition is to adopt them together early on in life. Just like us all, birds are innocent when they are a few days or weeks old and hardly learn to differentiate between varied species. It’s only after mapping their parents’ behavior, they start developing a fear of ‘not their kinds’ and get aggressive in defense. Adopting them young would make them bond on a similar thought of a ‘single brood’.
If you mean to house them together after they have grown up and that too, reared differently with a different pet parent, go slow. The best way is to house them together in the same room but in different cages, kept side-by-side. Observe both the species’ reactions/attitudes towards each other. After a few days, start letting them out together, only under supervision, to ensure your presence in case of a disagreement. Put them back in their cages immediately if the fight happens.
And if they are cordial, make them hang out the same way for a few more days. This will strengthen their bond first. Putting them together must be done only if you are sure of a ‘no fight’ bond between them. Once housed together at a later stage, keep watching them over at times to see if all is well inside the cage. In case of any fight, immediately separate them, as a strong nip by African Grey, even in a fit of sudden anger, could be fatal for his dear cage mate.
It is very natural for two kids of the family to often fight over petty things like toys or favorite treats. For parents, it is nothing more than banter. The same goes for all parrot parents in case they happen to have varied species at home. And just like kids, when the situation goes out of hand, it is wise to scold them a little and separate them in different rooms or cages for a while.