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Hi Talk Cockatiels! :)

Thank you so much for helping me with my issues.

I have two lovely, middle-aged, male cockatiels. One I've had forever and one I adopted a few months ago. Sometimes they talk/call to one other. But I want them to get along better.

They live in the same cage, maybe 2x2x3. I leave it open all day. One bird likes to fly around sometimes, but the other bird sticks close to the cage. I put 3 food dishes, 3 water dishes, 7 mirrors, and several toys in the cage so they wouldn't have anything to fight over. Still there is one corner of the cage that they both prefer to sit in, I think based on its location.

The birds seem afraid of one another. They usually keep a distance of at least a foot or two. If one goes near the other when trying to maneuver around the cage, they both open their beaks and look hostile. Sometimes one bird lunges his head and hisses at the other. I haven't seen either actually bite the other, because one bird always ends up scurrying away.

The situation makes me sad for two reasons: 1) The birds have to constantly worry about avoiding the other or about having a conflict, and 2) I wish they would become good friends, stand close to one another, and groom one another, because I think they both crave closeness. (They both love attention from me. One likes me to pet his head. The other puts his face to my face but is afraid of me petting him. But I work long hours and so I want them to give each other attention directly.)

Questions:

1) What can I do to make the birds trust and like one another?

2) Should I put them in separate cages, so they'll have less conflict? Or keep them together until they get over their fear?

3) Should I take away their mirrors? Both love mirrors. Maybe the mirrors get in the way of friendship with one another. Or will removing mirrors put them both in a bad mood, making them more hostile to one another?

4) What about keeping them together and making their cage bigger?

Thanks so much!!!
 

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I personally would separate them and place their cages side by side, that way they have companionship but also a place of their own to relax, imagine if you were in a small room with someone you didn't trust and felt you couldn't turn your back to, that would be terrible stressful. That's how your birds feel... Also a 2x2x3 cage is to small in my opinion.
I would also remove the mirrors, they are ok in play areas but I don't place them in cages.
 

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There's no way to force them to bond. Even if they don't get along as well as you had hoped, they still provide each other with more companionship and entertainment than you might realize.

My boys live together but are not "bonded" in the typical sense. They will bicker over food dishes, perches, and toys - I just make sure to give them each their own to keep it to a minimum. Even though they fight sometimes, they will scream for each other when they are separated. They live mostly cage free and yet choose to sleep together in the same cage. They might not be best buds, but they'll still talk to each other, fly around together, and keep each other company when I'm busy or not around.



A rare moment of peaceful sharing... :D
 

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It took my girls 6 months to stop running from each other. I have a perch on the outside of their cage, so when ever Luna would get on there for scritches, I would pet her until she closed her eyes and then slowly move Jupiter closer and closer to her and pet them both with the same hand until they were touching. Its kind of hard to explain, lol.They were both receiving love from me, but also very close, if not touching each other. After a little while they would nuzzle each other while I was petting them. It seemed to break the ice between them and now they have a lovely relationship. You just have to be ready to move the other away at the first sign of aggression.
 

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First, I'd get them their own cages. Throwing two birds together is like someone shoving a random person into your room and expecting you to just start living with them. Not fair and very uncomfortable. Secondly, I'd get rid of the mirrors. That can cause a lot of fights because they can view the mirrors as their mates and the other bird as a threat. Bonding takes time and they may never be the best of friends. Definitely do lots of out of cage time with them so that they can get used to each other more slowly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You guys are the best! I will put them each in their own cage, remove the mirrors, and try that moving-close-together-while-petting method! Thanks.
 
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