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Introducing New Birds
Does my bird need a "friend"?
As a general rule you should only get another bird if you want another bird. You, as an owner, must accept the responsibility of caring for, feeding and loving additional pets in your home. There are certain species that may become more involved with each other therefore developing less of an interactive relationship with you and your family.
If you feel your bird is lonely or bored you should first consider providing more pet safe toys and entertainment for the bird or you may end up with 2 bored, lonely birds.
How do I introduce the birds?
All new birds should be checked by your avian veterinarian. A physical examination including a record of the current weight (in grams), will be performed. Certain tests should be recommended to help screen your new pet for evidence of possible disease. Your avian veterinarian can discuss this with you.
It is now recommended that the new bird be quarantined for 90 days away from any of your current birds. This means the new bird needs to be in a separate room within the house or if you can quarantine that bird at a friend's home that doesn't have birds, that is even better. A new bird can have a relatively unknown history and may be carrying some disease that other birds may catch. Some people have experienced great tragedies by unknowingly introducing a sick bird without a quarantine period, only to have their own birds fall ill. Any evidence of ill health should be brought to the attention of your avian veterinarian immediately.
After the quarantine period, it is a good idea to put the 2 cages in the same room. Gradually move the cages closer to each other. Eventually, under strict supervision, the 2 birds may be introduced together while monitoring for bullying or fighting. Remember, the original pet has someone intruding on his/her territory. This may lead to certain challenges. Only the birds can decide who is the "boss" and establish who is to be at the top of the pecking order.
Will they get along?
You will find out. There is NO way to be certain they will like each other as they are all individuals. Some birds will never be friends and may only ever tolerate each other. Generally, most birds will accept the presence of another bird very well. Consult your avian veterinarian or avian behavior consultant if experiencing problems.