Ask Lafeber

Question:

December 6, 2021

Taming a conure, getting another one will it help the taming process?


I recently brought a 12 month old green cheek conure, who has spent most of his life in an avary and then in a small pet shop cage. I was originally going to buy one that was already hand reared, but I saw him in a pet shop and I couldn’t help but feel bad for him, so I brought him.

In the past I’ve tamed a cockatiel that I purchased from a pet shop so I know I can do it again, but conures are different. I’m just wondering if I was to purchase another conure, such as a hand reared or hand tamed one that would come and perch on my shoulder etc, whether that would help with taming my 12 month old one. Would having another one encourage him to sit with that bird if it was on me etc. and if so, Would you recommend another gcc conure or another breed? And would a female or male be better?

Thank you for youyour time


Answer:

Hi Bonnie,

You definitely have your hands full trying to tame an aviary bird like that. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but the bird only knows other birds, so it is much like trying to tame a bird that came from the wild. Getting another bird is not going to help. If anything, the tame bird is likely to revert to being wild if he gets bonded to the other bird. If you cage them together, they will almost always bond and not want human companionship, even if they are the same sex. We are replacing a bird as a companion, but given the choice, most birds will choose another bird over a human. This is just nature because these are still a wild species, even when captive bred. The best approach is patience. Talk to him a lot and give him time to get used to you and trust you. Don’t try to handle him or reach for him until he shows an interest in approaching you. This can take weeks, months or longer, and he is not likely to ever be as tame as a hand reared bird. A bird like this would generally be happier remaining in an aviary with other conures. But you never know – every bird is different so all you can do is try and see how he responds to you. If he was hand fed but then allowed to revert to being wild, he is more likely to be tamed. This happens when a breeder doesn’t get their babies sold. They don’t have time to handle the birds and keep them tame, but if the bird was once tame, he is more tame-able than if he was parent raised and never handled at all.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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