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Discussion Starter #1
So my cockatiels have always squabbled a bit ever since I first got them. Recently it's started to become a problem though.

They mostly fight at dusk as they start to settle in for the night. They'll both be moving around the cage trying to find a comfy spot for a few minutes. Then one of them will, usually Rico. And what happens is Marcello will go over there, and pick a fight just to kick him out of that spot, and take the spot for himself. Then one other thing that commonly happens is Marcello will be in a comfy spot, and Rico will just be passing by him, or just trying to get next to him on the same perch, but Marcello will get mad at him for getting too close and pick a fight yet again. Rico usually never starts the fights.

Then that same pattern will happen during the day as well when they decide they want to take a nap or relax.

The reason I'm questioning this now is because the fights have been getting more frequent and slightly violent. I've seen Marcello literally jump onto Rico to kick him off the perch. And Rico actually got some feathers plucked out above his eye a couple months ago, that's when the fighting started picking up more. And last time Marcello jumped onto Rico, he slipped and got his nails caught in one of his rope toys, and if I wasn't there to see that he could have probably been in some serious trouble.

So what I've done so far is trim their nails, trim any frayed ends off of toys, taken toys that are a little too damaged out, and rearranged their perches to calm them down with fighting over the same spots. So far they haven't been fighting as much as they were, but I know this won't last forever.

I know what you guys are most likely thinking: Get them separate cages.

Well that's all fine and dandy. I'm already planning on buying a new cage to separate them. There's a problem with that plan though.

Despite that they fight a lot, these boys are EXTREMELY attached to each other. That's why they always get into fights is cuz one has to be right next to the other to feel safe. They rarely sleep on opposite sides of the cage, they usually sleep right next to each other after one of them finally gives up on fighting over personal space.

I've had them sleep in separate cages before to stop the fighting, and it's not pretty. Marcello squawks and squawks, which gets Rico squawking back. And the only way to stop them is to cover the cages both completely up and turn the lights off in the room. Even if the cages are right next to each other. They just both panic.

So my question is, how am I going to deal with that squawking? I'm not planning on having them separated all day, they'll still be able to come out and play with each other during the day. But I can't have them together at night. Will they both eventually just get used to not sleeping together? Or am I doomed?
 

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I think you have a great grasp of the situation here. I would suggest familiarizing them both the cages and letting them use both during the daytime. I would then slowly acclimate them to being in separate cages with the doors shut for just a few minutes at a time during the day. Put the cages side by side and give millet in place where they are still next to each other. It may take weeks, plus them still fighting, but I think they could get acclimated to separate sleeping places.
 

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My cookie and lucky are the same you see them fighting then seconds later they are preening together :confused: they act like a married couple lol
At bedtime cookie sometimes gets hyped up and chases lucky around the cage, i will take cookie out and tell him he been a bad boy and put him back then he is alright after that.
 

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How many hours are they getting for sleep a night? Its not necessarily that they're fighting each other for perches, my cinnamon used to fight the boys when she was the only girl for corners so she could be close to her favorite boy. If their hormone levels are high this could be the problem and with the long nights treatment they may not need separate cages.
 

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I've heard squabbling at dusk is a common occurrence, and it's natural in the wild for even mated pairs to squabble on the perch as they settle in for the night.
 

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What you are describing seems to be quite common. As long as it doesn't get bloody, it should be fine. My two used to do it a lot at a point. It eventually gets better as they establish their dominance or get more space.

Therefore an important question: How big is your cage?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What you are describing seems to be quite common. As long as it doesn't get bloody, it should be fine. My two used to do it a lot at a point. It eventually gets better as they establish their dominance or get more space.

Therefore an important question: How big is your cage?
Pretty big. I think so anyways. Compared to everyone else I know (in person) who keeps more than one bird to a cage.

This is the cage they have: http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2754292

It looks small in that picture but trust me, it's bigger than it looks. It's big enough for them to both spread their wings at the same time. So it fits their wing spans like a cage is supposed to. Besides that, they're allowed outside whenever I am home. There's rarely a day where they're cramped in there all day. And if there is a day where they have to stay in, they have toys galore! Lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
How many hours are they getting for sleep a night? Its not necessarily that they're fighting each other for perches, my cinnamon used to fight the boys when she was the only girl for corners so she could be close to her favorite boy. If their hormone levels are high this could be the problem and with the long nights treatment they may not need separate cages.
They get enough sleep.

I'm usually gone at night and arrive home in the morning. At this time of year where I live, the sun is setting at 5 PM, and gets almost fully dark by 5:30 PM. I will leave my light on for them all when I leave, and I have my mom turn the light off between 8 and 9 PM depending on when my dad goes to bed so they don't make noise when he sleeps.

Then they wake up themselves in the morning as soon as daylight comes in through the window. Usually around 6 - 7 AM.
 

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Pretty big. I think so anyways. Compared to everyone else I know (in person) who keeps more than one bird to a cage.

This is the cage they have: http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2754292

It looks small in that picture but trust me, it's bigger than it looks. It's big enough for them to both spread their wings at the same time. So it fits their wing spans like a cage is supposed to. Besides that, they're allowed outside whenever I am home. There's rarely a day where they're cramped in there all day. And if there is a day where they have to stay in, they have toys galore! Lol.
Your cage is 24" x 18" x 24".
When I got my two I had something similar at the beginning: 27 x 16 x 21. They lived there for a few months and spent almost all day out of the cage. At the beginning I convinced myself it's fine if they are out and if they can stretch their wings, just like you. However, the problems started soon enough and it was exactly at night. Constant bickering, fighting over the same spot. It would go on for one hour before bedtime every night sometimes. And...it doesn't get better. They were stressed and I was stressed because I had to watch them. Then I decided to draw the line and thought into the future. They would need a big cage.

Now my two live in: 35.4 width, 28 depth and 65.4 height
The advantages:
- almost no fights, everyone has their same spot or toy to choose from
- much much less screaming
- more space for both of them
- more space for toys
- I don't feel bad to leave them in a cage when I have to go to work

I'm really sorry to say but your cage is a little too small for two. Now I know you compared it with other people, but what other people do is not always right. I really really suggest you start looking out for something at least 31.5 and 23.6 big for two (that's the minimum requirements in most European countries). I know cages are not always a cheap thing but think of it this way: cockatiels live for at least 15-30 years, you'll not always be able to spend all day with them outside and they'll need space. It's like an investment into the future which they will love you for. :)
 

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Yep the cage is too small, bigger cage and swings should help alot. I find my birds like swings to perch/ roost on rather than just a perch.
 
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