Ask Lafeber

Question:

November 22, 2021

Two males and one female follow-up


Hi! You recently answered a question for me about two males and one female in a cage together with a nest box up. One of the things you told me to do was to separate the odd number of birds out bc they will likely fight and/or kill each other. I let my birds fly around a sizable room of about 20’X20′ with lots of perches and they only use the cage for sleep or when they want to eat. Is it ok to let the three birds live in the same room if I discourage breeding and take down the nest box? They all have their full wings so they can easily get away from each other if a fight breaks out. I would love a solution that doesn’t include getting a second large cage and isolating one of the birds.


Answer:

Hi Adiv,

Removing the nest box will help with the dynamics. And since they are loose all day, this makes it less likely that the odd bird out would get attacked. It is more likely to happen if they are all locked in a cage together, and he can’t get away from the other male or female. You might get a small cage as a sleep cage for the single bird – this would remove any risk of him getting attacked.

You can make some changes  to discourage more egg laying.  Keep in mind that to lay eggs, she needs longer daylight, warmer weather, abundant food, and a quiet, private environment. Your goal is to reverse these conditions.

Limit her light to 8-10 hours by covering the cage early each evening

Do not give her anything to use as a nest – no bird huts or tents, no box, bowl, etc. If she decides to sit in a food bowl, remove it and replace with smaller cups.

Do not give her anything to shred such as paper or cardboard.

Rearrange the toys in the cage frequently.

Usually we say move the cage to a different place in the room, but I know they are out most of the day. You can still try it, though. Move the cage about once a week, or whenever she shows signs of nesting – settling on the cage floor for example.

If she is let out of the cage, do not let her get in any dark cozy places and don’t give her free roam. Of course she has free roam all day, but at least try to keep her out of places she might want to nest.

If she is tame and you handle her, limit any petting to her head and neck – do not pet her on the body.

Thank you for asking Lafeber.

Brenda

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