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SteveL

Single parrot. Can they be happy on their own?

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Hi all

 

We've got a BH Caique (Alfie, our only bird) and he's been for his health check with the local avian vet. When I said that we're both out at work all day, he suggested thinking about getting another bird for Alfie. Alfie's in a large cage with plenty of toys (which I change around every couple of weeks). His cage is in the corner of the lounge, close enough to the window so he can look outside (and sit in the sun) but he can also move away from here and be in shade when he wants to. We leave the radio on all day (he can't see the TV from where his cage is!) and he's also opposite a large fish tank (which he sometimes sits next to when he's out of the cage and watch the goldfish) which should give him something else to look at. He's normally out of the cage from when we get home (around 17:30) until he goes to bed (around 20:30).

 

It wasn't until the vet suggested another bird that I thought about it, and now I can't get it out of my head! Do you think that Alfie is really happy being in his cage all day in this situation? He's tame and loves to be with us or close to us when he's out of the cage, so I definitely don't want to lose this side of him, but I also want him to be happy.

 

If he needs some company, should it be another parrot, or something completely different? How about something like a pair of finches in a cage next to his (out of his reach!) to keep him company? Would something like this not be "enough" company for him?

 

Any help or advice appreciated.

 

Steve

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Guest Gwydhyel

I think it's very difficult. I have always thought that no creature should be left alone all day, but if Alfie seems to be happy with his routine, then maybe you should not change anything. If he has no behavioural issues, then maybe he is happy as he is, with his routine?

 

I don't see the point of getting him company that he can't interact with, just because the vet suggested it. Only you know if he is happy and contented with the TV/Radio/his toys etc. Are the dogs around him during the day, or in another part of the house? If he can see and know that other animals are around, he may also find that enough company because he has your undivided attention in the evenings.

 

I suppose my point it, that in an ideal world all animals and birds would have company for most of the day, but if he is happy, then why change things!

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Guest Jane Doe

Caiques are very sociable birds, my one loves to interact with the birds, infact they prefer bigger birds but I guess he would be fine with another caique. They should be able to share a cage as well once they are used to eachother.

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I wonted to get a new bird to give Pepe some company. Pepe, YT CAique, is a boy and he likes people. I work part time, so I am rarely at work all day (unless like this week I have lot to do or training). I contacted Graham from this forum and he was nice and suggested me to go with Pepe at his place and see if Pepe would get on with other birds. Some Caique do not like other birds! I could not do it but I took him to Mandy (MAndyandflock, from this forum) she has many birds ( she works for Birdline). Well... Pepe did not get on at all with her bird she also told me that may be he would like another bird , may be he does not like Pepsi. Talking to Mandy I understood that I want Pepe beeing out of his cage as long as possible...so I would not take another bird unless they could share the same room at the same time! The best advice I can give you is try to find out if your caique is happy to be with other birds. If this does not happen than it is up to you if you want split the time you have between two birds...and if you do not have too much time.....I think you will be easy find on this forum someone happy to have you and your bird for a tea to see if you caique likes other birds!..

PS

I edited to say Alfie is soooo cute!

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Personally, I think it does birds good to have company, even if it's not in the same cage, or even the same species. As Anita says I have more than enough birds here, and I think they keep each other company, and chat to each other whilst I'm not here. And then when I am here, I have a fair routine worked out, so they can usually spend time out their cages in their own relevant spaces. Although I do know certain birds can be out together and not bother each other, whilst others have their own time out as they bother other birds (Jade the quaker namely with the tiels LOL).

 

If you have enough time to split with two birds if the need calls for it then go for it, even if they dont interact it helps them. And also bear in mind that just because they dont get on with one bird, doesnt mean they wont take to another. As I said to Anita, Pepe hated Pepsi with avengeance, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't take to another caique!

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Thanks for your input on this. I guess I'll leave it for now, and see if things change in the future.

 

The dogs are in the kitchen during the day (with access to the garden through their dog flap), so Alfie doesn't get to see them in the day. He really likes to be with them (supervised of course) and as they're Schnauzers, they have quite long beards. You haven't see anything until you've seen a Caique trying to "surf" in a Schnauzer's beard! :D

 

Steve

 

PS. Just purchased the Arcadia full spectrum light for Alfie's cage on the vets advice. He seems to like it as he spends time just sitting under it, relaxing!

 

PPS. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what food the vet recommended that Alfie should be eating? :)

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We have Harry who was an adult when we got Tinker who was around 12 weeks. They took to each other straight away. Whether this is because they're both hens I don't know. I do know of someone who tried to introduce a youngster to an adult cock caique and he wouldn't accept the other bird at all.

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As Gwydhyal says not all birds are the same, personally i think that birds need company human or otherwise but if yours seems happy then as they say if ir aint broke dont fix it

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Harrisons Birds food?

Bingo!

 

The Harrisons booklet is a good bit of propaganda. It basically says that all other forms of food are rubbish. It also says that all fresh fruit and veg doesn't contain anything useful for parrots!

 

Steve

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Harrisons...Well It's contraversial! Personally, I dont like it, I dont like the fact that it takes away the birds choice of variety, and 'can' be thought of as the easy way out of messing about with fruit/veg/supplements etc... BUT I have to admit it does help some birds. The vets nowadays are very fond of recommending that food, yes it's good and has everything in it, but it's soooooo bland! I hate the thought of giving that to a bird, makes me feel so sorry for them.

 

And if other food was so bad why have we been keeping birds for years with no problems? As long as you have a good quality fresh seed mix, and plenty of fruit and veg that does you fine 99% of the time. There will always be birds that can be helped with using harrisons, but Im not the biggest fan Im afraid!

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