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I have two birds, an older one and a younger one. They are both hens (absolutely sure about this!), from completely different breeders. One is 20+ years, the other is 2.

When introduced, the younger was amiable, very interested in the older bird, whilst older bird ran away and mostly ignored her. They are currently housed in a double-flight cage with a divider, so older bird can get peace and quiet and younger bird can be silly and break her toys. They can see each other and, as said before, older bird just tends to ignore younger bird. Older bird is hand-reared and likes time out to sit on my shoulder and get some good morning scratches (oh the joy of getting those itchy pin feathers!). Younger bird is parent reared, will only just about accept scratches after hard bites and has no patience for handling. She does, however, see me as something slightly positive as she does finding calls when I leave the room, responds to her name, comes down to see me on the floor when I'm cleaning the cage, and oretty much tolerates me lol

I decided to look into getting a bird from the same parents as Younger Birb, as I wanted her to have a companion closer to her own age should something happen to Older Birb, and it was sad she was trying to get Older Birb's attention but Older Birb just wasn't interested in her in the slightest. So, Younger Birb has a Baby Sister waiting for her at the breeder, currently being hand-reared, and I'm very curious and cautious about how it will go.

My instinct is that Younger Birb will be VERY interested in Baby Sister, as she is always response to birb sounds and wants to know what Older Birb is up to. Older Birb I am guessing will again ignore a new arrival as long as she has my attention. Baby Sister, of course, I don't know what will happen, but she is being raised with her brother chicks so I am hoping she still has good bird ettiquette skills as well as trust in humans. I'm aware it can go pear-shaped, that Younger Birb can decide she hates Baby Sister and start bullying her, or even vice-versa; when I got Younger Birb, I told the breeder that even if Younger Birb and Older Birb decided they hated each other, I wasn't going to abandon either of them as it's not their fault, especially with the age gap and Older Birb probably still missing her previous cagemate who died suddenly.

If anyone has any tips, tricks or things to watch out for when introducing Younger Birb and Older Birb I would love to hear them. What I did with Younger Birb was this;

  • First day home she was kept in my bedroom to relax from her long trip to her new home and acclimatise to the sounds of the home
  • First week she was in a transport cage on my desk so she could clearly see Older Birb but was nowhere near her. Half the cage was covered over in case she got stressed and wanted to hide (she didn't lol she was bold as brass and wanted to look at Older Birb). A couple of times I had Older Birb on my shoulder to look at her (she mostly ignored her whilst Younger Birb was entranced) and shared some millet between the two.
  • After a week, I let Younger Birb near Older Birb's cage to see Older Birb's reaction, in case she wanted to become hostile at anyone near HER cage. No reaction.
  • I trialled Younger Birb in Older Birb's cage for an hour to see if either would square up. Neither did.
  • Trialled a bit longer, then tried an overnight. Success, though Older Birb was still clearly intent on ignoring and giving Younger Birb space.
  • Not long after I got the double flight cage as I was thinking Older Birb needed space of her own without Younger Birb bouncing on her head and to lead a leisurely life of naps and chewing on paper toys whilst Younger Birb pooped in difficult-to-clean places and tried to figure out how to get to Older Birb's toys despite her own heaving toy collection

I am planning to do the same sort of process for Younger Birb and Baby Sister. I don't want to return Baby Sister if it turns out Younger Birb hates her or vice-versa, though I have warned the breeder that if Baby Sister turns out to be a Baby BROTHER, I would need to return them as I do NOT want the pair breeding, since they are absolute siblings that share a mum and dad, just from different clutches.

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