Congo African Grey
This is a common
question....would my bird like a buddy? With some families of birds,
I would quickly say no. For example, the Poicephalus rarely want to
share you with anyone else. Conures, on the other hand, are birds that
love to preen and be preened, to cuddle and be cuddled, and they can enjoy a
buddy! But, you want to be sure that you included in their realm of
With a buddy, will they not be as attached to the person? Probably not,
but that depends on what type of attachment the person wants. It also
depends on how flexible the owner is. We have pet birds we keep together 80%
of the time, but if one starts guarding the other or gets overly
territorial, then I am sure to have a spare cage to separate them for a
time. We also have our birds that share a day cage , but have separate sleep
areas. One sleeps in the cage and the other sleeps on the play top.
Read about sleep cages by clicking here.
If someone wants 2 birds, I usually recommend that someone gets that
first baby and develops a really tight bond. Then about 6 months later,
or better yet, wait a year, get another, and if they are not interested in
breeding, that they get the same sex.
Click here to read if two birds of
the same sex will get along. You, as an owner, need to watch and
know your birds well enough to anticipate a problem. If two start
becoming aggressive to you in anyway, then I would separate them. You
can have periods of time where they are together and periods of time
where they are separate.
The first bird will have started bonding to you, and it will teach the
new baby, which can be the same species or a similar-sized but different
species. This second baby will often bond more to the first bird than to
you because it hasn't had time alone with you like the first. I have had
people keep their two birds separate until the second bird develops a
tight bond too to their human.
But even if that second bird does bond tighter to the first, that can be
a good thing. You do want them to enjoy each other, and it will reduce
their neediness and demands on you. I don't really want them to be so
clingy to me that they are constantly wanting to be with me, which a
single bird will do unless you teach them as babies how to play by
Back to your
question about how they get along with others. There is never a hard
rule about whether it is safe to put 2 birds in the same cage. They
are all unique individuals. I know Crimson Bellies that have bonded
to and been caged with Green cheeks with no problems. Yet, I have
had squabbles even between proven pairs (meaning they are really
bonded closely) that has resulted in death. Hormones can make birds
change in attitude towards one another. I do always introduce 2
birds in a neutral territory and not inside one of the cages.
Usually, they meet on a table or play gym. It is just about
impossible to predict if 2 birds will get along. Never count on
adding a second bird and it sharing the cage with your first bird. If they can
share a cage, then that is an added blessing, but be prepared for 2 cages.
Read my article on if gender determines if 2 birds
will get along....
Some birds will never get along, and some are
fine together. And, I have even found that it will vary from home to home.
We had 2 Pionus, Maxie and Chico. They were best of buddies, shared a cage
and both were very handtame. They belonged to different daughters, but
shared the same cage all day long and night long. We did not use sleep cages
at that time. When Lisa bought Liberty, her Grey about 8 years ago, Maxie
went to live with a lady nearby who was in the military. Chico stayed here
alone for at least another 1 .5 years. Then, Chico went to live with a
couple (who has a Green cheek of ours) up in Flagstaff. Eventually, the
military lady asked me if I wanted Maxie back. She wanted to give her to a
good home for she was going overseas. We did not need another pet, so I
contacted the couple who have Chico. They took in Maxie. Chico and Maxie no
longer got along, or were able to share a cage. I know they are still
working on things, but this was very interesting to me. Part of it could be
that they were owned by different daughters here in my home, so there was no
jealousy. But, currently we have 2 Greys side by side who do not get along
and they are owned by 2 different people in our home. Birds make choices
that I can't understand. I can just observe and try to make it all work.
Do be aware that your bird has the potential
to be jealous and regards you as belonging to him. Many parrot owners buy a
second bird, thinking that they are getting their pet parrot a companion, but
that can backfire on the owner. Your birds wants you! Of course, if the first
bird is older and more set in his ways, this situation is more likely than if
they are both young and not sexually mature yet. Here is one example of
I did have a lady write me this year about her "Peanut" who is a
Blue Crown she got years ago from us. Peanut was a great
companion for many years. The owner added a Sun conure last year
(Butter) and that is when Peanut changed. He would just all of a
sudden chomp down on her with no warning.
Peanut has been biting me lately Beth. He really draws blood
too, and my skin is so thin anymore, very distressing. He can
act like he is going to be the little doll that he has always
been, and then bam...he nails me good. Do you think if I found
another home for Butter he would go back to his old kind self? I
don't draw my hand back, I do take the bite, but darn it hurts,
especially when he gets me on my arm that I hurt. Is he going
thru his teenage years?
Butter and he tolerate each other, but will not hang out on the
same cage together..Little Butter's personality is like Peanut's
used to be, gives ya kisses, snuggles up in my ear, never bites,
goes to anyone, and Peanut is a one person bird now, and now he
is turning on me, the one person. Can you give me any hints on
what to do? I will find Butter another home if you think that is
what is going on. I try to give both of them the same amount of
attention, but when I give Butter any attention, Peanut just
goes bonkers...climbing up and down, flying off the cage, making
little clucking sounds. I love them both, but Peanut comes
first...can you believe he is going to be 4 years old in August?
Thank you for the people that have had me make their
have quite a bit of repeat orders, just got one the other day
from Texas, she wants 4 of them and says her little sun sleeps
on his back in his, how cute is that? Also one poor lady who is
getting a bird from you, is it Connie? Or Donna, I don't
remember which, I am so tired tonight, going to head for the hay
as soon as I get this done...anyhow she has to have knee
surgery, she is going to be able to bond big time with that wee
birdie recuperating. I get orders from my website, I need to
tweek it, but with everything happening, last thing I have
wanted to get involved with.
Hope you and yours are doing well.
Thanx for any advice you have for me.
She called about 2 weeks ago
and we talked for a while about Peanut and Butter. Finally I
recommended moving Peanut to a room where he could not see
Butter, and not playing with Butter in front of Peaunt. I was
relieved to get this email from her:
Just thought I would pass along that
Peanut is back to his same ole self....now that Butter is in
the other room...lol. He sometimes gets a notion to be
stinky, but I talk gently to him, sing him his little song
and he perks right up. I took him, not Butter, up to
Lakeside for two days, got his flight suit on him and we
went for walks, he enjoyed it and I did too for that matter,
so much cooler up there than here.
I also am going to our religious
convention next week in Tucson, taking Peanut only, as the
hotel I am staying in allows pets, and my daughter is taking
care of my other critters. So, he is going to get more one
on one attention. I told him we are in it for the long
haul, just try not to bite me anymore than he has to....he
cocks his head and looks at me like, yeah, right!!
Stay cool as you can in this
weather...by the way the attachment you sent to see the
little miniatures, did not come thru.