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Thread: Combining two cockatiel couples

  1. #1
    Brand New Egg
    LouAnna Peters
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Blackwell, TX
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    Combining two cockatiel couples

    I have a pair of cockatiels that have been together for years. I am thinking of rescuing another pair - but want to know if I can put them in the same cage. I know I will have to introduce slowly - but I would really like to eventually have only one cage. The cage I have is very big and would easily accomodate 4 birds.


  2. #2
    Pardon My Pearls Please Tailfeather Oh Mowsie's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    Re: Combining two cockatiel couples

    You might have problems with the males at first as both will to establish themselves as "alpha" birdy.

    The first thing you want to do when bringing home the newcomers is quarantine them separately for 30 days (completely different room) to avoid the transmission of illnesses that they may be harboring. Relocating is a stressful time and if a bird is secretly harboring an infection or illness, this is the time it may show up.

    After the quarantine period, you are right to want to slowly make introductions. You can do this by placing their cage in the same room with the other couple and see how they interract. They will chirp to each other, etc. Slowly move the cages closer to each other over a period of time. Allow the birds time outside the cage to play and meet, but ALWAYS on common ground (not in someone's cage) and ALWAYS supervised. If its seems after a time that all are getting along, then it may time to try for rooming up. Always make sure there are equal amounts of "high perches". The highest perch is a place of honor and the dominant bird will fight for it. If there's more than enough, there's no need to fight for it. Birds will just pick their favorite one. Make sure there is a food cup for EACH bird. Birds will tend to guard food cups when they're trying to establish dominance. Soo... make sure there's another food cup for the "bullied" bird to go to. Mr. "I'm the Boss" can't guard every cup. Water is generally not so much the issue as food is, but make sure there's at least 2 water cups as well. Also, if there's a really cool toy and all the birds fight for it, put another of the same in the cage so "bossy pants" can have one and the others can play with the other. Until they get comfortable with each other and set up the "rules" of the cage... there WILL be some of that and it just have to work itself out.

    IF you see excessive bullying.. ie: males fighting to the point of bringing blood.. females getting plucked... one bird being singled out to the point where he/she is losing weight.. then the arrangement is not working and they'll need to go back to separate quarters. Tiels are usually amenable to living in a larger flock, however during hormonal times, that can change, or if just ONE bird is particularly territorial, he/she can make life hard for the others. IF one of your pairs starts laying eggs, you will need to separate the couples until you decide how to proceed with the eggs (ie: set up nest box or let the hen them sit them out). NEVER have a nesting pair in with others. Hens are usually more laid back than the males but if you want to see two hens get ugly on each other..throw a nestbox in there. LOL

    Having one cage is much more convenient for sure, and if you take your time and "the bird's time" about making the move, it should be okay. Good luck and if you have any questions, we're here!
    Visit Apache, Neo, Silver, Taxi, Tieka, Trinny, Buzz, Tiggy, Paris, Persephone & Hektor at Nikkie's Cockatiels More of what the flock is up too at their blog. Tiel Tales
    "Somewhere out there
    Someone's singing a prayer
    That we'll find one another
    In that big somewhere, out there"~

    Prayers for Paris- Please come home!

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