Tonawanda News

Features

March 31, 2014

CRITTER COMPANIONS: Rewards for playing nice

Tonawanda News — This is a letter from reader Christy Z. H. from Amherst. The letter has been edited.

Hi Kenny. We’ve had Forrest, a 7-year-old male Solomon Island Eclectus parrot since he was 3 months old. He’s essentially the perfect parrot. Fully flighted, at least four to five hours out of cage time a day, several perching spots in the house, a few in the windows, regular showers, good diet.

We decided to foster Rosie, a 3-year-old female Eclectus from the SPCA. She is fully flighted but wasn’t encouraged to use those skills — she had large play areas with loads of enrichment.

We have the two of them in separate cages in our kitchen about 5 feet apart. We introduced them slowly and they did well. After about a week, Forrest went on Rosie’s playtop cage. There was some open beaked “sparing” but no noise. Both backed off and I removed Forrest to give them each a break and time to think it over.

Their second physical meeting ended with Rosie backing off and looking to play with her foot toys. Forrest took advantage of her kindness and wouldn’t back off. He continued to try to open beak “spar” with her or charge at her when she turned her back. I again removed him to his own cage.

The third meeting went much like the second except the aggression seemed to be escalating on Forrest’s part. Between meetings, most of the time they coexist just fine on their own cages or on separate humans.

We’re thinking that we’d like to adopt Rosie but we need to know that these two are comfortable before we can make any decisions. I don’t want to leave them to work it out on their own if one or both of them will be hurt. Any thoughts?

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