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Parrot Housing, Caging and Toys Discuss parrot housing, parrot cages, parrot toys including do-it-yourself toys and projects.

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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-20-2011, 08:27 PM Thread Starter


 
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caging advice wanted

Shira, my pineapple green cheek, and Joelle, my new baby quaker, are getting along splendidly. They preen one another and play together. They do sometimes bicker, but they don't actually fight. One will go after the other with beak open, and one or the other will back down.

They are wonderful about being together on me. They will preen each other and me, all at the same time. They share me very well.

I am considering caging them in one large cage. I do not yet have a cage for this purpose.

I am wondering what you think about the possibility. I know that most books say never to house birds of differing species together, but I have been successfully housing my bourkes and linnie together for well over a year and a half. They get along great, and they are both as interactive with us as they have always been.

One would think that a bourkes and a linnie would have more problems being housed together, since they are from different continents, than would a quaker and a green cheek, since they are both from South America.

When Shira was little, they had a different blue quaker in the bird store. I really wanted that bird, but couldn't afford both birds at once, but they let me play with both birds all the time, and Shira spent a lot of time playing peacefully with a blue quaker until she came home. I had saved up all the money to pay for the quaker, and went into the store with the cash, only to find that someone had come into the store that morning and bought the bird and taken it home. I believe this may be one reason why Shira is so accepting of Joelle.

Joelle herself was raised in the bird store in a cage with a sun conure and a lutino Indian ringneck. On top of that, we were buying both Joelle and Taylar, Cannary's new Princess of Wales, simultaneously, so Joelle also played with the Princess of Wales when at the bird store. I believe this may also contribute to her acceptance of Shira, although Joelle seems really accepting of all birds at this time.

I am aware that it is very common for quakers, and especially hens, to become cage possessive to the point where owners do not put their hands in the cages while the birds are in there. Quakers build huge communal nests, like apartment complexes, and they have to keep running other quakers and even varmits out of their personal nesting areas. Rodents also take up residence in these "apartments", both in South America and in the nests built by the ferel colonies in the States. Since Joelle is still a baby, she hasn't developed this behavior yet, but she is highly likely to do so. I do think that fact might make this risky. I don't know if she wouldn't perhaps turn on Shira one day without warning when she became sexually mature.

Shira, on the other hand, is fifteen months old, so she is probably sexually mature. She does happen to be one of the birds I have who seem protective of her possessions in her cage. She is not bad, but she is more protective than most of my birds.

If I decided to try this, it would be in a new cage that neither of them felt they had any previous rights to. Currently, they are housed in identical cages which sit very close to one another. Neither is possessive if the other happens to get on top of her cage while she is in there.

I am also aware that Shira is fearless and not in the least bit aware of her size or fragility. She tried to bully Daisy today. Daisy is a maximilian pionus, and could have easily killed her. Shira will also try to bully Roni, a senegal who would certainly also kill her if pushed. I don't even let her out of her cage when Ashlynn, my grey, is out of her cage.

Well, I know the common knowledge would say don't try this, but I love the way they get along now. They are both hens, which is probably a good thing.

So what do you think? Should I even try this to see if it will work? What would be signs that it would not be working - if they arose? What would be other possible drawbacks?


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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)

Last edited by nanay; 08-20-2011 at 08:30 PM.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 05:35 AM



 
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Nanay, I would go for it. It may be nice for both of them to have another birdy companion that they can constantly be with. Even if they do bicker, well, that's life! I live in the house with my grandfather and I can assure you we bicker haha! As long as you think they would be okay then I'm pretty sure all will be well. You'll just have to keep a close eye on them. Say, I can't remember having my quakers now, they're a bit bigger and stockier than green cheeks right? I swear mine were beefy but I could only observe them from afar or when I changed food and water!

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 10:50 AM
 
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I would just keep a very close eye -- I'm surprised to hear that ANY bird was housed with a ringneck, LOL. Popcorn is INSANELY cage-aggressive, to the point where when flies go in/near her cage she pins and snaps at them!! Just goes to show all birds are different.

As for Shira and Joelle, time is the great equalizer. I was allowing Lovey Dove and CC to share a cage, and at first it seemed like they liked it -- but then CC started doing the "bat birdie," which led into her sitting next to Dovey and pecking at him Since he is a softbill with no method of defense I determined I didn't like her aggression, even though it was minimal, and now I just let them have free flight together. OUT of the cage they seem to have no problems.

If it were me, my biggest fear would be the amount of damage a hookbill can do to another bird in mere seconds. Both quakers and green cheeks have "smaller" beaks than a ringneck or a larger bird like a macaw or grey, but they're still built for cracking seeds and tearing things apart, so if matters degenerate from bickering to out and out fighting, it might be difficult to separate the birds before serious harm is done.

But I might try it and see where it goes? Maybe a large enough cage would mitigate the issue.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 10:58 AM Thread Starter


 
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Thank you for both of your posts.

I am worried that if they would start to really fight I wouldn't be around when it happened. I'm not sure I would know. Maybe one day they would just get mad while I wasn't even home.

Joelle is larger than Shira. I would say she will probably be half again as large as Shira by the time she fills out completely. She is noticably smaller than a green quaker, and I hear this is true of most blue quakers.

Maybe just letting them share out of cage time is safer. What I like about the idea is the fact that they would have one another all the time, like Stanely and Elisa.


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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 11:05 AM
 
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That would be my greatest fear too. Hard to stop birds from fighting if you don't even know they're doing it. CC was sort of sneaky about nibbling Dovey, too, she seemed to always be after him when I left the room (I only know because she would still be sort of doing it when I would come back in, and then she'd calm down again).

I forget who made the point that a GCC has this tendency to be "brave but stupid" when it comes to other birds' boundaries, but I think it was a comment worth repeating. My diamond dove is like that -- he fears nothing and has this habit of wanting to be really close to CC. In turn, CC gets cranky and gives him "hey that's my space" warning squawks, which he promptly ignores. So if Shira is the sort of bird who might not really know when to back off, or is just so frikkin' curious about Joelle that she never leaves her alone, that might cause some problems, too. What we find cute and endearing to another bird might be more like an annoying roommate who's always in your business, LOL.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 11:11 AM


 
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Things can go wrong in a heartbeat, and they could turn on each other. If you weren't there every minute to supervise them, it could be devastating.

If their cages are side by side, they will play, eat, nap and sing as a flock and still be safe. Shared playtime, under supervision, is much safer.

Just my two cents worth!

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 07:58 AM Thread Starter


 
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I posted this on this thread because I didn't want to start a new thread for a fairly insignificant topic.

Regarding the beginning of this post, I've decided not to try to house Shira and Joelle together. They get along fine outside the cages, but fuss sometimes. I believe there will come a day when Joelle becomes very possessive in her cage, and I didn't want to take a chance on having her become aggressive toward Shira when that happens. She really is quite a bit larger than Shira. Additionally, Shira wouldn't back down from a confrontation. Shira would attack a lion if the mood struck her.

Soooooooooooooooooooo - to my point for posting now.

I have ordered an A&E large, triple stack cage. I had not really wanted to order from this company, but so many of you have posted how pleased you have been with your cages from them, and this was the only stacking cage with these features that I could find available to me. It has outside feeder access, which is important to me. The bar spacing is listed as either 1/2" or 3/4", depending on how they are measuring, but it should be good for the birds I intend to house in this cage. The dimensions are 36"X24"X21".

I intend to give Roni one of the cages and Joelle another one. I intend to put Joelle on the bottom because quakers live in those communal nests, apartment type things really. I think she will do fine there. They commonly house quaker babies on the bottom cage of stacking sets at the bird store, although Joelle herself was not housed in one while she happened to be there.

At any rate, these dimensions on these cages are very similar to the cage Roni is currently housed in if one would simply flip her current cage on its side. Right now she is in a cage that is 24"x22"x34". She is VERY happy there. I've housed her in larger cages, but she plays the most and seems the happiest in a cage this size. Joelle is also very happy in a cage this size. Roni and Joelle are similar in size, although Roni's body is much bulkier and Joelle is actually longer.

As for the third occupant, I have many options but I haven't decided for certain who will be put there. Taylor has a seriously long tail, so I thought the 21" height would be a problem, but the folks at the bird store didn't think it would be. She was housed the entire time she was in the bird store in a birdie bassinet that had similar dimensions or in a stacking cage with similar but smaller dimensions, so she should be used to that type of cage. Taylor weighs more than Joelle and less than Roni, but is even longer than Joelle. Her toes are really long! I guess it is because she is such a long bird. Her toes are much longer than Roni's and Joelle's. I believe her toes are even longer than Daisy's, and Daisy is almost but not quite double her weight.

Another bird I could put in there is Daisy. However, she really loves her current cage, and she is the only bird who has liked that cage.

Shira could go in there, too, but I think the bar spacing is a bit wide for her.

At any rate, the cage will fit into the space where I now have three smaller single cages, so all of the birds should either be graduating into a cage with larger interior space than they have currently or very similar interior space.

Two of the three cages being taken out of everyday use were originally purchased as temporary cages for when I take the birds outside or to work with me, so they will be returned to their original usage. One of the cages was purchased to be an everyday usage cage. I could convert it to a play cage.

How many of you think I will keep an empty cage empty?


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)

Last edited by nanay; 10-22-2011 at 08:00 AM.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 10:16 AM


 
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Of course you'll keep it empty! Oh look, a flying pig!

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 11:03 AM
 
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LOL Ive had an empty cage for a month. everytime i look at it i break into an mbs sweat. lol

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-22-2011, 10:52 PM Thread Starter


 
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I got an air purifier today and one of those pitchers that filters drinking water. It is supposed to leave 0 particulates, but who knows if that is true or not. These were two other things I wanted for the health of the birds.

Does anyone know if water filters take the salt out of softened water. If not I will just have to run the unsoftened water through the pitcher instead. I'd rather use the softened water if I can because I would think the filters would last longer if they didn't have to filter out so much, plus it is just easier to use that water.

The air purifier is a true hepa one. They had several that they called "hepa type", but they all used included ionizers. I won't try to use it until tomorrow.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 02:08 AM
 
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You could do like I have done. If the cage breaks down store it under your bed. Out of site, out of mind??

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 06:20 AM



 
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I don't know anything about air purifiers, sorry!

As for the cages, I'm kinda confused. You have 9 birds now right? And they're all housed individually? But you're getting a triple cage (I really want these! They're so cool!) So three birds will go into them. Then you'll have what left over? Are you selling any other cages or what? I'm too stupid sometimes haha! Sorry. Either way you'll be getting a new bird...? Hehe.

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 06:42 AM Thread Starter


 
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Daisy,
I'm not planning on selling any of my current cages, but two of them were not purchased to be permanent cages. Two of them are pretty small and were purchased as temporary cages so the birds could go visiting with me, such as when I take them to work. Currently Doug lives in one of those and Shira lives in the other one. They are big enough for the little guys to live in, but I don't want to keep them in them all of the time once I get the triple stack cage. This is why I am really only gaining one extra cage that I would want to house a bird in fulltime.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 06:50 AM



 
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OH! Now I get you haha. I'm sorry. Are there any birds that you would consider having?

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 07:29 AM Thread Starter


 
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We may not add another bird at all. We are pretty happy with the ones we have, and we have a lot.

Every once in a while the store will get in a purple budgie, but they are always sold before we see them. I really love purple budgies. If they ever had one available by the time I saw it, I would have to get one, but they never do, which is perhaps to our advantage.

We also love cockatiels, but Cannary has her heart set on a whitefaced cinnamon pied or a whitefaced pearl, and they almost never have those, either. They, too, are always sold, so, again, probably best for us.

They have never been able to locate a dusky pionus, which it the only one of my "dream birds" which I do not have, well, except, of course. for a purple budgie and a cockatiel. However, again, this is also probably best for me.

Currently they have a derbyan parakeet. The bird is beautiful but quite skittish. Cannary keeps trying to persuade me he needs to come home with us, but I am not persuaded. He is gentle but doesn't seem to like handling at all. Maybe that is just my opinion. I worry about him, but not enough to bring him home. This store is an excellent environment for birds for as long as they live there, and then they go home. Birds always find homes. She and I will keep working with him, though, because he needs the attention and it gives us a good excuse to visit.


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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 07:57 AM



 
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That is fair enough Nanay! A violet budgie or tiel would be a great option. If you were to get one or plan on getting one then you could just tell them that when the next one comes in you'll take it. Then you wouldn't miss out on the opportunity what other birds do the store currently have?

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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 08:17 AM Thread Starter


 
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They have a couple of Illiger's macaws. Those are very sweet birds. If I ever wanted a macaw, which I don't, it would be an Illiger's, but, seriously, I really have no desire to have a macaw. I love my green cheek, and for me, personally, she is a better fit than a macaw, even a mini macaw. I just don't have a macaw owner personality.

They have a pearly conure who is a dream bird. Its personality is tops. Seriously, it is about a thousand times sweeter than Shira, which is saying a lot because I love Shira. This is the only pearly conure I've ever seen in person, but I hear this is the normal pearly conure personality. If you can imagine it, it is cuddlier than Shira, slightly calmer, though it seems to be every bit as playful, without that green cheek "edginess". Perhaps you can imagine it, because it kind of sounds like the way you describe your maroon belly/green cheek hybrid - a "chilled" green cheek.

They also have a pineapple green cheek who is a carbon copy of Shira.

The bird you would be interested in is a scarlet macaw with a wonderful personality. They say it is the calmest scarlet they have ever had, and I believe it, but I have no desire to play with that particular bird.

They will be getting in some others soon, but this is not really the season for it. They should be getting a rosifrons conure. Those are usually really sweet, too.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 09:13 AM Thread Starter


 
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Daisy,
An Illiger's macaw is smaller than a severe macaw, but not a lot smaller. Illiger's have "bare" facial patches instead of patches with strong feather lines, but even the macaws who are said to have "bare" facial patches have very small feathers on their facial patch. However, the severes have those beautiful, distinct, lines of feathers. Illiger's are a bit more colorful throughout their bodies than severe's, having patches of bright reddish orange on their backs and bellies.

Illiger's weigh less than congo African greys, but they are longer. Many of them speak well - not like a grey, but well for a macaw. They are really neat mini macaws.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 09:27 AM



 
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I'll look them up in my parrots of the world book!

Are illiger's macaws also called blue winged macaws? I really love red-fronted macaws haha.

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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 11:10 AM Thread Starter


 
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Yes, Illiger's are also called blue winged macaws.

I LOVE red fronted macaws. They have one in the bird store now.


Thanks Shivani for the awesome siggy!
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Stanley (bourkes), Roni (senegal), Elisa (lineolated parakeet) and Doug (pacific parrotlet), Daisy (maximilian pionus), Shira (green cheek conure), Ashlynn, (grey), Taylor (princess of wales parakeet), Joelle (quaker), Benny (cockatiel)
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