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Old 03-20-2017, 12:37 AM
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Territorial and sleeping cages?

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Hi,

Have just joined - my first post

We have two male GC conures, Kermit (almost 5) and Bean (almost 4), and they are great little men with very distinct personalities. Kermit was hand-tamed before they came to us, Bean, not as much. 3 & 1/2 years later and they are comfortable, healthy, happy and generally 'rule the roost'.

Every late winter/spring, Kermit gets pretty territorial around their cage - we have a big cage that they have lived in since they've lived with us. They have fought since day 1, which terrified us at first, but they go from wings out to glued together preening. If one of them is in another room and he turns around and the other one isn't with him, they start calling for each other. So they're close, but this season, it's gotten pretty extreme.

Kermit is very good with me, although many bites later, I'm still a little careful around him - he does get very excited when he sees me, and I am definitely his human. He makes a great show of the snake-y slowish bobbing back and forth whenever my husband goes into the room, but he's happy with me. Bean has taken to striking out on his own, which is pretty new behaviour, so he'll follow us around and Kermit will stick to the room their cage is in. Kermit isn't really like that when he's out of the room, so it's pretty obvious he's marked the whole room with the cage as his territory.

We're wondering about sleeping cages; we've done some research, and it pretty consistently says that it can equalize territorial behaviour. I just think it's going to be very traumatic for the two of them - they've been together since Bean was 3 months old.

Has anyone had any experience with this?

thanks!
Jacki
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:38 AM
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Re: Territorial and sleeping cages?

First, please stop sending the cold fronts down to the lower 48! Please send them to Greenland! Thank-you! We will then promise to send the warm fronts your way!

As a common practice, it is always better that each of the guys have their own cages, whether day or night time. There will always be a want for their own territory and having their own cage speaks to that basic need.

Personalities will continue to develop over the next few years. As they develop they will move away from each other and back together or not! Having their own space will allow that develop to be more specific with each of them as they create their own space and selves.

As you can tell, I am a strong believer in separate is better, whether day and/or night time and also together time when they are out. But, that just me and my belief.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:40 PM
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Re: Territorial and sleeping cages?

First off, welcome!

This is the time of year when molting is happening as well as breeding so its only natural that birds get moody, hormonal and territorial. So what you are seeing may be just that. Hormones.

I do think that letting them each have their own space is a good idea, but bear in mind that the other 'may' try to invade the others space and that could become a problem (ie, letting one bird go into another ones cage). So keep an eye out for that.

I think they'll adapt pretty well, it just may take some time. Skittles cage is in the living room and after getting him I would just cover that cage up at night since I am a night owl. That only led to a lot of problems cause he wasn't getting enough sleep. So I started carrying his cage into the bedroom at night so he could sleep undisturbed.

Then a couple years ago, I bought him a larger cage on wheels and began rolling that down into the bedroom at night and covering it up. Last year, I bought him a separate sleep cage (which is the same kind as his old cage) and his sleep cage is in the bedroom. Now, he has his much larger day cage for the daytime (though he is out most of the day) and he goes into his sleep cage at night.

I've never had a real territorial problem with him, but I think part of that is because of the separate cages. Though they do tend to get protective of their cages when you clean them.

Maybe try keeping them in the day cage for the day and getting them separate sleep cages? Perhaps someone with more experience in this issue will chime in.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:08 PM
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Re: Territorial and sleeping cages?

Thanks to both of you, and good advice on one possibly invading the other's cage - I think we've decided that's the route we'll go, sigh. Just anticipating some trauma and drama.

And don't even talk to me about those cold fronts! Holy smokes, we are completely supposed to be in spring mode, but as soon as March hit, it went down to -40. We hardly even plugged our vehicles in during February. I just finished shovelling about a thousand pounds of snow (okay, exaggerating a bit) that arrived yesterday and whipped around into crazy big snow dunes. Keith's even further north right now and he's been in snow up to his chest.

But our summers...sun all night for two months

thanks again!
Jacki
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:18 PM
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Re: Territorial and sleeping cages?

Aww, my GCC is also named Kermit (though now she goes by Kermie for short).

I've had a sleeping cage for her since the day I brought her home as a baby. It not only is similar to their natural behaviors in the wild (birds fly off in the evening to roost), but I've so far had minimal issues with her being territorial about her cage. Rotating the environment of the day cage can also help with a territorial bird. We'll see how well this system holds once she enters maturity because she's still only 9-10 months old.

I also think Kermit looks forward to going to bed every night... sort of. Much like a toddler, she's started throwing fits about wanting to stay up late with all the other big kids. Sometimes it can take 15 minutes to get her in the cage ! Taking her out in the morning is a lot more fun because she makes the happiest whistle when she thinks about the new day ahead.

I would also like to mention that a sleeping cage can minimize the risk of injury if the bird gets startled in the middle of the night (night frights). Since it's a smaller cage with less toys for them to bump into, they're less prone to fall badly. And they'll also be able to memorize it's layout more easily. Plus since Kermit sleeps in my bedroom, I'll wake up if she starts freaking it (I had to do this for her only once )

Best of luck to you.

Last edited by IndySE; 03-20-2017 at 09:21 PM.
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