Before I really get into the topic, I want to say that getting a bird for another bird is generally not a good idea. If they do not like each other, and you really don’t want it, you have just committed the new bird to a lonely fate. It really isn’t fair to do that to an animal as sensitive and flock oriented as they are. To get another bird for you is fine, as long as you can give it what it needs. I personally have enough love in my heart for eight of them, even though I have to admit that several of them live happily at my store.
Okay, enough preaching and onto the topic. Frequently we are asked if someone should get a bird to keep their bird company. My answer is always the same, which is absolutely not. The first question I ask is what if they don’t like each other. All that has happened is that tension could have been created for the established bird for no reason. Birds are flock oriented and you become their flock. They bond to you and consider you their equal. They grow to love you and want you. Now you have thrown a monkey wrench into their life for no reason.
Okay, so the decision has been reached to buy another bird and the next big statement we hear is that it is going into the same cage with an existing bird. This is a huge no no for a number of reasons. The main one being one bird can kill the other, and that can happen intentionally or unintentionally. Think about a stranger coming into your house and announcing they live there now. I am pretty sure you are not going to embrace them with wide open arms. Actually I am quite sure the opposite would occur. You would in all probability forcefully tell them to leave immediately. Unfortunately our feathered friends can’t do that. What can happen is that one bird can kill the other. The victor of that fight could be the new one, with the one you desperately loved dying or needing immediate and costly vet care. Another thing that could happen is one bird doesn’t let the other eat. That could lead to death as the worse case, or hunger as a poor second.
Another often overlooked item is that of disease. Even though your bird and the new one probably looked very healthy when this all started, stress could easily bring out any health issue either of them were having. If they are housed together, chances are high that disease will spread from one to the other. They have a much better chance of not getting sick if housed separately. Are you still willing to take a risk knowing all the facts?
Okay, I have weighed in on the topic as I always do. I would love to hear what you have to say about it. If I have left something out, please feel free to comment.
Certified Avian Specialist