Ask Lafeber

Question:

April 12, 2022

Conures


So I had a conure once he was old enough to come home and I’ve hand raised him since he had a little bit of his feathers. He’s now and adult but I have since then got another baby conure ( male ) and brought him up the same way. they both live in separate cages tho the new addition is an adult too now but they both don’t get along. Everytime I have them both out they do there own thing and explore everything in my house but sometimes the 2nd one would chase after my original conure and attack. And when I say attack I mean, they go at it like 2 male lions fighting over dinner. It’s scary to be honest cause all I want Is for them to get along with each other so they can eventually live together in the big cage. I thought if I just let them go with there fighting that maybe they would sort it out and then get along. But just seeing them fight for a few seconds is bad enough and I break them up.
If they kept attacking each other would it be like to the death?
And if not then would it actually make them like each other after the scuffle?


Answer:

Hi John,

Unfortunately you are finding out the hard way that not all parrots get along, even if they are the same species. Even if you had a male & female, they probably wouldn’t get along since both birds were raised by you to be pets. It helps to understand their natural instincts, because even when raised in captivity, all parrots are still an exotic species with their natural instincts, unlike domesticated pets like cats and dogs. Wild parrots are monogamous, and they mate for life. This means once bonded, they have little to no physical contact with other parrots unless one of the pair dies. When we have a parrot as a pet, we are replacing another bird as a companion. So generally they are not interested in interacting with other birds, and when you get another one, both birds will be jealous of each other’s time with you. That doesn’t mean you should only have one bird, but it often means that your birds will not get along with each other. If you stopped handling both birds, and caged them side by side, they might eventually bond out of loneliness. But as long as you are in the picture, they each want your attention and not each other’s. It’s also true that some birds simply do not get along. They have their own ideas, and sometimes you can try pairing a male and female that refuse to bond, or in your case, two males that seem to have an instant dislike for each other.

I have seen this – sometimes two birds simply do not like each other from the moment they meet. And once this is established, they rarely change their minds. Some people have several parrots, even different species, and some can interact outside of the cage, and others have to always be kept apart. I knew someone who had two birds that hated each other. She kept them at opposite ends of the bird room. But if one got out of the cage, it would make a beeline for that other bird and try to attack it.

You are right to keep these two apart. If you put them in the same cage, yes, one would most likely kill the other one. It is highly unlikely they will ever change, so I wouldn’t have any plans to have them share a cage. And it sounds like they dislike each other so much, they can’t even be out of their cages at the same time. Since you did get two males, you weren’t looking to breed them, so I assume you just thought it would be nice for them to be friends. But, since you are the companion, this isn’t realistic. In most cases, if two birds get along well enough to share a cage, they eventually bond and stop being interested in humans. This comes as a surprise to a lot of owners who suddenly that two birds they can no longer handle instead of the two pet birds they used to have. So this instant dislike probably did you a favor since you aren’t likely to lose them as pets.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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