Introducing my new GCC to my Ringneck

Eralus

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Oct 20, 2020
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Looking for advice on how to introduce my new bird (A young GCC) to my existing bird (Indian ringneck a little under a year old).

The GCC has a vet visit tomorrow for a checkup, worming, and to get cleared for any illnesses. If he gets the all-clear I want to start the process to introduce the birds to each other, and I'm looking for any suggestions to increase the chances that they will get along.

Obviously, I won't be having them out together for a while, but that is the end goal. Since they are different species I don't expect them to be super close, but I'll settle for not hostile. Any suggestions are appreciated :)
 

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noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
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Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
Even with a vet check, you must quarantine due to diseases like ABV, PDD and PBFD, which are not tested without blood and specific serology panels. Carriers can also test negative when not actively shedding the virus (while still infecting others). The reason for the minimum 45-day quarantine is that during times of stress, asymptomatic carriers (who look perfectly healthy) are more likely to infect others, even if they never show symptoms themselves. It would be too expensive and require too much blood to run all of the tests you would need to avoid quarantining, and even then results of viral testing are rarely same-day.


I'd do introductions after quarantine in a neutral place, out of the line of sight of both of their cages...If they are out at the same time, anyway. You could put cages in the same room if you just want them to see the other before being out at the same time
 
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Eralus

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Even with a vet check, you must quarantine due to diseases like ABV, PDD and PBFD, which are not tested without blood and specific serology panels. Carriers can also test negative when not actively shedding the virus (while still infecting others). The reason for the minimum 45-day quarantine is that during times of stress, asymptomatic carriers (who look perfectly healthy) are more likely to infect others, even if they never show symptoms themselves. It would be too expensive and require too much blood to run all of the tests you would need to avoid quarantining, and even then results of viral testing are rarely same-day.


I'd do introductions after quarantine in a neutral place, out of the line of sight of both of their cages...If they are out at the same time, anyway. You could put cages in the same room if you just want them to see the other before being out at the same time

Fair enough, So just to be clear I should be quarantining the new bird for about a month or so before I have them out together and interacting directly, but it's ok to have the cages in the same room so they can see each other? Or should I be avoiding contact entirely until the quarantine is over?

And what should I be on the lookout for during quarantine?
 

noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
163
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
Even with a vet check, you must quarantine due to diseases like ABV, PDD and PBFD, which are not tested without blood and specific serology panels. Carriers can also test negative when not actively shedding the virus (while still infecting others). The reason for the minimum 45-day quarantine is that during times of stress, asymptomatic carriers (who look perfectly healthy) are more likely to infect others, even if they never show symptoms themselves. It would be too expensive and require too much blood to run all of the tests you would need to avoid quarantining, and even then results of viral testing are rarely same-day.


I'd do introductions after quarantine in a neutral place, out of the line of sight of both of their cages...If they are out at the same time, anyway. You could put cages in the same room if you just want them to see the other before being out at the same time

Fair enough, So just to be clear I should be quarantining the new bird for about a month or so before I have them out together and interacting directly, but it's ok to have the cages in the same room so they can see each other? Or should I be avoiding contact entirely until the quarantine is over?

And what should I be on the lookout for during quarantine?

If going completely by the book (which 99.9% of people don't do) aren't even supposed to TECHNICALLY be in a house with the same air-source/shared h-vac, but most people just put them in rooms as far apart as they are able. PDD, ABV and PBFD can all shed in the air via microscopic dander particles (which may also be transported on the clothing, hair and hands of care-takers). I know it's annoying...You may or may not see anything in an asymptomatic carrier-- the goal is just to separate them when stress=high and viral shedding is most likely. Either of your birds could possibly be carriers of those 3 diseases without showing symptoms (and sometimes even producing false negatives when tested in times of low stress).
The only way to rule out those diseases is through testing, but again testing is not perfect when it comes to ABV, PDD and PBFD (which is why they generally say to test if you see symptoms or if another bird is positive--- but even then, it can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 10+ years for a bird who is going to get sick to test positive post-exposure in some cases, so an exposed bird may not actually have enough of the virus to trip the test, even if they are infected ---that's why it can take a variable amount of time from exposure to know).

You will most def want to test for psittacosis (Chlamydia psittaci) if your bird has not already been tested. That test is more common among breeders-- so do make sure you have a list of the tests that were already done when you get to the vet. They often won't take blood from a young bird, but they need check-ups at least yearly and blood-work (just a general CBC at least every 3 years after their initial CBC).



signs that you MAY see in birds sick from bacteria, viruses, genetic issues, parasites, yeast etc can include the following (any of the following should be taken seriously)-- even 1 of these symptoms should be watched closely. If you see tail bobbing or cage-bottom sleeping, those are urgent, red-flags--among others in this list:

weird, chunky poop or alarming urates...Lack of urates consistently, diarrhea that lasts
Poop that is red or black (or even neon) that lasts and cannot be attributed to colored foods
repeatedly straining to poop
tail bobbing when breathing but standing still
sleeping on the cage floor when old enough to perch
major issues with balance
changes to vocalization
audible sounds when breathing
nasal or eye discharge
appearing fluffed and sleeping most of the day
excessively quiet
plucking a very specific area (while this can be anxiety or hormones or both, it can also indicate pain in that area)
vomiting
star-gazing (odd head postures with a stare that lasts)
lack of appetite
loss of interest in once-preferred foods
a dirty butt ("vent")
excessive scratching of an area
a strange smell to breath
bald spots
feathers growing in abnormally
Constant shivering
lethargy
changes to the coloring in or around the eyes
open-mouthed breathing
weight loss or sudden weight gain
perching and sleeping with both feet on the perch, despite relaxing (I don't just mean standing there--- birds typically tuck a foot when resting and not doing so can be an indicator that they are too weak to support on 1 or that there could be other issues with balance.
Any visible sores, bumps or abnormal bald patches, along with any feather discoloration.
Crusty nares or inflamed nares



Mind you, an infected carrier will often show 0 symptoms in the case of certain viruses (much like some humans who get covid and don't know it, only the contagious period is longer-lasting, albeit less contagious when they are not under stress)


45 days is the minimum that I have heard of for quarantine, but many vets advise up to 3 months to be even safer
 
Last edited:
OP
E

Eralus

New member
Oct 20, 2020
20
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  • Thread starter
  • #6
Even with a vet check, you must quarantine due to diseases like ABV, PDD and PBFD, which are not tested without blood and specific serology panels. Carriers can also test negative when not actively shedding the virus (while still infecting others). The reason for the minimum 45-day quarantine is that during times of stress, asymptomatic carriers (who look perfectly healthy) are more likely to infect others, even if they never show symptoms themselves. It would be too expensive and require too much blood to run all of the tests you would need to avoid quarantining, and even then results of viral testing are rarely same-day.


I'd do introductions after quarantine in a neutral place, out of the line of sight of both of their cages...If they are out at the same time, anyway. You could put cages in the same room if you just want them to see the other before being out at the same time

Fair enough, So just to be clear I should be quarantining the new bird for about a month or so before I have them out together and interacting directly, but it's ok to have the cages in the same room so they can see each other? Or should I be avoiding contact entirely until the quarantine is over?

And what should I be on the lookout for during quarantine?

If going completely by the book (which 99.9% of people don't do) aren't even supposed to TECHNICALLY be in a house with the same air-source/shared h-vac, but most people just put them in rooms as far apart as they are able. PDD, ABV and PBFD can all shed in the air via microscopic dander particles (which may also be transported on the clothing, hair and hands of care-takers). I know it's annoying...You may or may not see anything in an asymptomatic carrier-- the goal is just to separate them when stress=high and viral shedding is most likely. Either of your birds could possibly be carriers of those 3 diseases without showing symptoms (and sometimes even producing false negatives when tested in times of low stress).
The only way to rule out those diseases is through testing, but again testing is not perfect when it comes to ABV, PDD and PBFD (which is why they generally say to test if you see symptoms or if another bird is positive--- but even then, it can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 10+ years for a bird who is going to get sick to test positive post-exposure in some cases, so an exposed bird may not actually have enough of the virus to trip the test, even if they are infected ---that's why it can take a variable amount of time from exposure to know).

You will most def want to test for psittacosis (Chlamydia psittaci) if your bird has not already been tested. That test is more common among breeders-- so do make sure you have a list of the tests that were already done when you get to the vet. They often won't take blood from a young bird, but they need check-ups at least yearly and blood-work (just a general CBC at least every 3 years after their initial CBC).



signs that you MAY see in birds sick from bacteria, viruses, genetic issues, parasites, yeast etc can include the following (any of the following should be taken seriously)-- even 1 of these symptoms should be watched closely. If you see tail bobbing or cage-bottom sleeping, those are urgent, red-flags--among others in this list:

weird, chunky poop or alarming urates...Lack of urates consistently, diarrhea that lasts
Poop that is red or black (or even neon) that lasts and cannot be attributed to colored foods
repeatedly straining to poop
tail bobbing when breathing but standing still
sleeping on the cage floor when old enough to perch
major issues with balance
changes to vocalization
audible sounds when breathing
nasal or eye discharge
appearing fluffed and sleeping most of the day
excessively quiet
plucking a very specific area (while this can be anxiety or hormones or both, it can also indicate pain in that area)
vomiting
star-gazing (odd head postures with a stare that lasts)
lack of appetite
loss of interest in once-preferred foods
a dirty butt ("vent")
excessive scratching of an area
a strange smell to breath
bald spots
feathers growing in abnormally
Constant shivering
lethargy
changes to the coloring in or around the eyes
open-mouthed breathing
weight loss or sudden weight gain
perching and sleeping with both feet on the perch, despite relaxing (I don't just mean standing there--- birds typically tuck a foot when resting and not doing so can be an indicator that they are too weak to support on 1 or that there could be other issues with balance.
Any visible sores, bumps or abnormal bald patches, along with any feather discoloration.
Crusty nares or inflamed nares



Mind you, an infected carrier will often show 0 symptoms in the case of certain viruses (much like some humans who get covid and don't know it, only the contagious period is longer-lasting, albeit less contagious when they are not under stress)


45 days is the minimum that I have heard of for quarantine, but many vets advise up to 3 months to be even safer

This is super helpful, thanks.

At the moment, the two birds are in two separate rooms of my house and neither has even seen the other yet. They can hear each other though, I assume that's fine.

The GCC was recently obtained from a previous owner and it was not well taken care of. Poor thing is starved for positive attention and hasn't seen any food beyond seeds. Its age is estimated around 4-8 months old from what little I could get out of the previous owner and I have no idea what, if any, tests it had done, since the last time it would have been to the vet is before these people took ownership of it from a breeder about 2 or 3 months ago.

I'm taking him to the vet today so I'll get them to check what they can and keep an eye out for any warning signs.
 

noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
163
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
Fair enough, So just to be clear I should be quarantining the new bird for about a month or so before I have them out together and interacting directly, but it's ok to have the cages in the same room so they can see each other? Or should I be avoiding contact entirely until the quarantine is over?

And what should I be on the lookout for during quarantine?

If going completely by the book (which 99.9% of people don't do) aren't even supposed to TECHNICALLY be in a house with the same air-source/shared h-vac, but most people just put them in rooms as far apart as they are able. PDD, ABV and PBFD can all shed in the air via microscopic dander particles (which may also be transported on the clothing, hair and hands of care-takers). I know it's annoying...You may or may not see anything in an asymptomatic carrier-- the goal is just to separate them when stress=high and viral shedding is most likely. Either of your birds could possibly be carriers of those 3 diseases without showing symptoms (and sometimes even producing false negatives when tested in times of low stress).
The only way to rule out those diseases is through testing, but again testing is not perfect when it comes to ABV, PDD and PBFD (which is why they generally say to test if you see symptoms or if another bird is positive--- but even then, it can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 10+ years for a bird who is going to get sick to test positive post-exposure in some cases, so an exposed bird may not actually have enough of the virus to trip the test, even if they are infected ---that's why it can take a variable amount of time from exposure to know).

You will most def want to test for psittacosis (Chlamydia psittaci) if your bird has not already been tested. That test is more common among breeders-- so do make sure you have a list of the tests that were already done when you get to the vet. They often won't take blood from a young bird, but they need check-ups at least yearly and blood-work (just a general CBC at least every 3 years after their initial CBC).



signs that you MAY see in birds sick from bacteria, viruses, genetic issues, parasites, yeast etc can include the following (any of the following should be taken seriously)-- even 1 of these symptoms should be watched closely. If you see tail bobbing or cage-bottom sleeping, those are urgent, red-flags--among others in this list:

weird, chunky poop or alarming urates...Lack of urates consistently, diarrhea that lasts
Poop that is red or black (or even neon) that lasts and cannot be attributed to colored foods
repeatedly straining to poop
tail bobbing when breathing but standing still
sleeping on the cage floor when old enough to perch
major issues with balance
changes to vocalization
audible sounds when breathing
nasal or eye discharge
appearing fluffed and sleeping most of the day
excessively quiet
plucking a very specific area (while this can be anxiety or hormones or both, it can also indicate pain in that area)
vomiting
star-gazing (odd head postures with a stare that lasts)
lack of appetite
loss of interest in once-preferred foods
a dirty butt ("vent")
excessive scratching of an area
a strange smell to breath
bald spots
feathers growing in abnormally
Constant shivering
lethargy
changes to the coloring in or around the eyes
open-mouthed breathing
weight loss or sudden weight gain
perching and sleeping with both feet on the perch, despite relaxing (I don't just mean standing there--- birds typically tuck a foot when resting and not doing so can be an indicator that they are too weak to support on 1 or that there could be other issues with balance.
Any visible sores, bumps or abnormal bald patches, along with any feather discoloration.
Crusty nares or inflamed nares



Mind you, an infected carrier will often show 0 symptoms in the case of certain viruses (much like some humans who get covid and don't know it, only the contagious period is longer-lasting, albeit less contagious when they are not under stress)


45 days is the minimum that I have heard of for quarantine, but many vets advise up to 3 months to be even safer

This is super helpful, thanks.

At the moment, the two birds are in two separate rooms of my house and neither has even seen the other yet. They can hear each other though, I assume that's fine.

The GCC was recently obtained from a previous owner and it was not well taken care of. Poor thing is starved for positive attention and hasn't seen any food beyond seeds. Its age is estimated around 4-8 months old from what little I could get out of the previous owner and I have no idea what, if any, tests it had done, since the last time it would have been to the vet is before these people took ownership of it from a breeder about 2 or 3 months ago.

I'm taking him to the vet today so I'll get them to check what they can and keep an eye out for any warning signs.


That's generally fine-- just try to keep the air as clean as you can (if you have a true hepa filter without ionizing or sterilize settings (or one with those setting as long as they can be turned off and remain off at all times), that can also help). Be mindful of your hands and clothes. It's not perfect, but it rarely is in a real-world setting (despite ideal recommendations from parrot virologists etc). It's kind of like masking and covid----we know it helps a lot , but technically you could still get covid with a mask on (even though your viral load would be lower and the case generally less severe because of it). Masking still matters, as does quarantine of parrots, but to make it totally risk-free is very hard. In reality, a perfect quarantine of your birds is practically impossible, but keeping them in separate rooms, washing hands and changing clothes if one climbs all over you are ways to mitigate risk.
Both birds could be 500% healthy, but the issue is that some carriers remain 500% healthy and that is why precautions matter.
 
Last edited:

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
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Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
Generally burds don't get dewormed. Unless they are known to have parasites.

I have had to introduce a lot of birds. What works for me , after vet check, virus check, fecal culture, gram stain. I do 30 days. In an ideal world you would back to the vet and run all the tests again.

Then I has the cage on the opposite sides of my great room for a couple of weeks. I tried not to be all lovey on either burd in front of the other. Paid more attention to the first original burd.

I would bring both birds to a neutral location. And set up food, apples something yummy about 4 feet apart for each bird. I get both birds in a good relaxed mood. Then I set them at each station. I sat in the middle. I keep a large envelope handy to use to prevent any charges. Ideally you want both burds eating and ignoring each other and you tell them how great they are , and alternate lots of treats by hand. If anybody isn't relaxed or being good I put them up, both of them. And try again later. For the first meeting for sure, and for several meetings after do not let them squabble or go near each other. First impressions count!

Keep repeating daily. If things keep going smoothly you can move their treat stations a little closer, and keep repeating. 2 feet is the closest I let them get. Keep repeating, lots if treats to each.

I will also take one bird in a happy calm mood and walk over to the other caged burd say hi give treats to each and walk away, repeating often alternate who is caged.

After a couple of weeks I move the cages so they are about 5 feet apart. One behavior expert i like says cages should never be closer than 5 feet. That doesn't work with my space, so eventually I'm move the cages close.

As the birds seem to be chill near each other with the above. I start having them out at tge sane time. But at their own spaces. I start seeing if I can have one burd on my shoulder, and have the other step up and say hi on my hsnd. Then I put them back down. Repeating. Bribes all the time. Then I have one on a play stand next to me and one on me. And I keep rotate them.

All of this takes time, days, weeks, a month... but it pays off. I have a flock that does great.
And now all birds can be on me at the same time.

Only once was I nit able to prevent a squabble at first meeting. Those two burds Penny and Ta- dah , still dont like each other and sometimes try and squabble. If tgey are on me they behave. They hsve enough perches and space to stay away from each other when out together. 99% they are fine.
 

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