The second "fid" - Relationship change?

LaurenB

New member
Oct 28, 2014
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Pennsylvania
Parrots
Green Cheek Conure - Tiki //
Sun Conure - Nacho //
Indian Ringnecks - Kermit and Beaker
Hi all!

I currently have a female GCC, Tiki. I love her dearly and I spend as much time with her as humanly possible. However, I work very long (12 hour days, plus hour of commute time) several days of the week. Tiki is alone for that amount of time on those days, with only a half hour of time together in the morning and another half hour at night. I know GCC's are more independent and can "entertain themselves" fairly well, however, I still worry about her. I've had her for about 5 months now. The people I adopted her from said they had her for 5 years, so she is at least 5 and a half years old. The people I adopted her from never provided her with any toys, so she does not know how to play. I have been working with her and teaching her how to play with great success. She won't play with any store-bought toys but she LOVES the toys I make her. I use wooden pieces from store-bought toys taken apart, strung on hemp with some whole grain salt-free rice cakes, yogurt treats, and pieces of paper. She now destroys roughly one toy per day which makes me feel a little better because I know she has something to do. But still, most days I sit at work, like right now, and think about her being alone in that cage with nothing but the radio and I start to cry. And then my coworkers think I'm crazy.

Anyway, I am seriously considering adding a second bird, for Tiki's sake. (Of course I would LOVE a second bird for myself, too). I have been warned by my avian vet of the possible outcomes - Tiki could HATE the new bird. Tiki and the new bird could be friends. Tiki could LOVE the new bird so much that I suddenly cease to exist in her mind. That last option would be utterly heartbreaking for me, but I truly want to put her happiness before my own.

My question for all of you multiple bird owners is...

What, if anything, happened with you and your bird's relationship when you brought home that second bird?
 

Anansi

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Dec 18, 2013
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Maya (Female Solomon Island eclectus parrot), Jolly (Male Solomon Island eclectus parrot), Bixby (Male, red-sided eclectus. RIP), Suzie (Male cockatiel. RIP)
The relationship does change. Or, more specifically, the dynamic does. It becomes more of a balancing act. When I first brought Maya home, I had to take pains to make sure that Bixby never felt like I was replacing him. I had to be deliberate with how I spent my time, especially in the beginning. And once they grew used to one another, I simply maintained that balance by being consistent. If I took a turn with Bixby doing flight training, I would then direct him back to his tree perch and spend approximately the same amount of time working with Maya's flip over training, or whatever we were working on that day.

The thing you need to consider is that there is an additional component to one of the possibilities that your avian vet mentioned. The situation I had with Bixby and Maya, and now looks to be developing with Jolly and Maya. The two parrots may get along well enough, (which ranges from indifferent tolerance to outright affection) but both see you as their "person". In this scenario, and, come to think of it, in the scenario where they both hate one another, time management and distribution becomes key. And I just fear that a half hour in the morning and another at night would simply not be enough to facilitate this.

Unless, of course, there was someone else in your household willing to spend some time with them as well?
 

Kalidasa

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May 8, 2013
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Michigan
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1 green cheek conure (Kumar)
2 male budgies (Charlie and Diego)
Anasi's post above was excellent advice, and I just wanted to add and clarify, that a lone bird who's used to being alone may not take kindly to another bird sharing your (limited amount) of time, in which case you would have to at least double the time spent with each bird separately. If you're not 100% prepared to double your time between two birds, then you mite want to reconsider. Is he free-range? Meaning is he allowed out all day while you're out? Or confined?
 

veimar

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Feb 5, 2014
1,150
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Chicago, IL
Parrots
gcc Parry; lovebird Coco; 3 budgies (Tesla, Franky and Cesar); cockatiel Murzik, red rump parakeet girl Onyx
Well, welcome into the first stage of MBS! :)
I had a similar situation with my gcc except that I was at home a lot when we got him (I had a back problem and was recovering), but then we had to leave with my hubby overnight on his work sometimes. But my gcc was VERY interested in other birds although he loved us of course. So I decided to get him a friend. One lady offered me a lovebird to adopt, and after a bit of hesitation I agreed to take her. When I came to pick up the lovie that lady gave me two free budgie babies because someone had returned them and they were plucked by their parents. It was hard to keep a quarantine because they all wanted to see each other... Then I adopted a few more birds... Guess what - Parry, my gcc, bonded with one of those budgies, and they are inseparable! He became much more independent from me, but I don't mind because it's very, very different from one bird to have a flock of 5+ birds. The relationships very much depend on individual birds, but IMHO the birds in general are not too mean to each other if they have enough space and have their individual territories respected. I have very complicated relationships in my flock (and there were bloodsheds a couple of times when the hormones kicked in), but overall they get along pretty well. The only thing I can tell for sure that Parry is much happier with other birds! He is a leader of the flock, supervises everyone (including me and my hubby) and really enjoys that. :) And I absolutely adore each and all of them. So hope you would be lucky with an addition.
 

Jayyj

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Apr 28, 2013
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UK
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Alice - Galah cockatoo
I've wrestled with this one over the years - having to leave Alice alone on work days has always worried me but I've weighed this up really carefully and I decided for me the risks are too great. The main thing that worries me is a second bird that can't be out at the same time, so I end up having to spend even less time with Alice to meet the new bird's needs. I occasionally wonder about adding a pair of smaller birds that would need less hands on attention but at least be a bird presence in the house when I'm out, but I'm not convinced it would make much of a difference.

I think birds do adapt to our schedules if necessary. I notice if I'm home during the day Alice slows down a lot during the afternoon and is out of energy by early evening - if I've been at work she'll be full of energy when I get in and stays that way until I'm ready for bed, so we get a long evening together. I'm sure from that she's actually sleeping a good part of the day when I'm out.
 

gracebowen

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Jan 14, 2015
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San Antonio
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Cora lovebird
Sky parakeet
I haven't had my kids that long but I started with a Budgie. He seemed so lonely a d didn't want me so I thought about a friend. I didn't want another budgie because I didn't want them to bond too close. I found a tame Coakatiel.

I did not quarantine and they took to each other right away. Funny thing the tiel taught my budgie to play and other things. If Jet (tiel) does it Ace will do it.

Ace has also started to warm up to me more.

I got a new budgie 3 days ago but so far she's just a cage potato.

Each experience will be different but this is mine.
 

Christinenc2000

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Oct 8, 2014
3,320
4
North Carolina
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Big Bird _ Blue & Gold Macaw
I've wrestled with this one over the years - having to leave Alice alone on work days has always worried me but I've weighed this up really carefully and I decided for me the risks are too great. The main thing that worries me is a second bird that can't be out at the same time, so I end up having to spend even less time with Alice to meet the new bird's needs. I occasionally wonder about adding a pair of smaller birds that would need less hands on attention but at least be a bird presence in the house when I'm out, but I'm not convinced it would make much of a difference.

I think birds do adapt to our schedules if necessary. I notice if I'm home during the day Alice slows down a lot during the afternoon and is out of energy by early evening - if I've been at work she'll be full of energy when I get in and stays that way until I'm ready for bed, so we get a long evening together. I'm sure from that she's actually sleeping a good part of the day when I'm out
.

I agree and notice the same thing. FULL of energy when I get home on work day.
I would also love to have another bird
 
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LaurenB

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Oct 28, 2014
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Pennsylvania
Parrots
Green Cheek Conure - Tiki //
Sun Conure - Nacho //
Indian Ringnecks - Kermit and Beaker
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Thank you all for your responses.

I've considered getting a couple parakeets as they aren't as "hands on" but would at least be a presence for her so maybe she doesn't feel so alone.

I have definitely considered that she may have adapted to being alone and may not enjoy another bird, but my gut instinct is telling me that she would. Tiki is extremely well socialized and LOVES when people come to visit. She gets very excited and loves new people INSTANTLY. She is her happiest when there are a lot of people around. She even loves one of my cats (the only one relaxed and old enough that I knew wouldn't hurt her), and was so excited to see him she tried to regurgitate for him.

One day I played a video for her of another conure on my ipad... and she gently reached out with her beak to around the other bird's head like she was going to try to preen it. I might be imagining that's what she was doing and maybe she just wanted to taste the screen (lol) but it still broke my heart.

I should possibly clarify that my long work days are only 3 days out of the week. The other 4 days I am off and Tiki has plenty of out of cage time. It's just the days that I work that I am so concerned for her.

I had two parakeets for 10 years. My first, Pickles, I tamed and we bonded. Then several months later I gave her a friend. My relationship with Pickles never changed. In fact, the second parakeet, Penelope, I was not able to tame until I gave up... I put the two together, and it was like Pickles taught Penelope to trust me, and he suddenly became tame! They are so amazing.


I really appreciate everyone's input. I am thinking long and hard on this because I am not impulsive. I truly want what is best for Tiki.
 

Anansi

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Maya (Female Solomon Island eclectus parrot), Jolly (Male Solomon Island eclectus parrot), Bixby (Male, red-sided eclectus. RIP), Suzie (Male cockatiel. RIP)
Only 3 days out of the week? That makes a HUGE difference, in my opinion. Especially if you're spending quality time the other 4 days. A second bird sounds far more feasible, again, IMO, given this new info.
 

Birdman666

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Sep 18, 2013
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San Antonio, TX
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Presently have six Greenwing Macaw (17 yo), Red Fronted Macaw (12 yo), Red Lored Amazon (17 y.o.), Lilac Crowned Amazon (about 43 y.o.) and a Congo African Grey (11 y.o.)
Panama Amazon (1 Y.O.)
You can't predict this in advance... Too many variables!

How bonded are you to the bird?
Will the bird bond with the other bird, and want less interaction with you?
Will the bird be jealous of the other bird, and want to drive it away?
Will the bird be jealous of you paying attention to the other bird, and start attacking you, or pouting, or seeking out someone else for attention?

These are a few of the "what ifs..."

There's more, but it would begin to sound like the Bubba "things you can make with shrimp scene from Forest Gump" if I did...

PARROTS ARE LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES. YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GONNA GET!:p
 

Anansi

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Dec 18, 2013
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Maya (Female Solomon Island eclectus parrot), Jolly (Male Solomon Island eclectus parrot), Bixby (Male, red-sided eclectus. RIP), Suzie (Male cockatiel. RIP)
Hahaha! True.
 

Birdman666

Well-known member
Sep 18, 2013
9,904
254
San Antonio, TX
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Presently have six Greenwing Macaw (17 yo), Red Fronted Macaw (12 yo), Red Lored Amazon (17 y.o.), Lilac Crowned Amazon (about 43 y.o.) and a Congo African Grey (11 y.o.)
Panama Amazon (1 Y.O.)
And that's all i have to say about that...:d

good movie!
 
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LaurenB

New member
Oct 28, 2014
191
0
Pennsylvania
Parrots
Green Cheek Conure - Tiki //
Sun Conure - Nacho //
Indian Ringnecks - Kermit and Beaker
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Very true! I don't know what the outcome will be... I was just curious as to what others' experiences were when they added a second.

LOL @ Forest Gump... one of the best movies to quote.
 

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