Home » How To Introduce Parrots To Each Other [Keeping Two Parrots Together]
how to make two parrots get along

How To Introduce Parrots To Each Other [Keeping Two Parrots Together]

Parrots are sociable animals that form close bonds, so some owners consider getting a second parrot to provide companionship. The new parrot can serve as a friend, leaving you with more free time.

To introduce two parrots, start by housing them in separate cages in different rooms. Once the new parrot calms down, put its cage nearby in the same room. Then, put the new parrot inside the cage with the original parrot and monitor them closely, separating them immediately if they fight.

Focus on assisting the pair bond with positive reinforcement. If they form a bond, leave them together. Unless you have a large cage or aviary, never put more than two parrots in the same cage.

Can Two Parrots Live in the Same Cage?

Two or more parrots can live in the same cage when the following apply:

  • Cage is of a sufficient size
  • Parrots are of the same species
  • Similar sized parrots
  • Carefully managed introduction
  • Sufficient resources (food, drink, and toys)

If one of these factors isn’t present, your parrots may get into disputes. Unfortunately, this can lead to stress, injury, food hoarding, and self-mutilation.

Unless you have a large cage/aviary, it’s unwise to keep more than two parrots in the same cage. Likewise, this works best for smaller parrot species that don’t need the same amount of space.

If you intend on housing two macaws or other large parrots together, you’ll need a sizable enclosure.

How Much Space Do Parrots Need?

The amount of space a parrot requires depends on its species and size.

Large species will require a cage that has at least the following dimensions:

  • 2 feet deep
  • 3 feet wide
  • 4 feet high

A parakeet can have a smaller cage, but they’re very active and need room to move around or fly.

For a single parakeet, you’ll need a cage that’s at least:

  • 1.7 feet long
  • 1.5 feet deep
  • 1.5 feet wide

If you add a second parrot, the size should be double. Some owners provide 50% more room when adding another parrot. However, smaller cages are more likely to trigger aggression.

how many parrots should I have?

How To Make Two Parrots Get Along

Two parrots will get along better when they’re introduced to each other the right way.

Here’s a beginners guide for introducing parrots:

Keep The Parrots In Separate Rooms And Cages

When you first bring a new parrot home, don’t let it meet your existing parrot yet. Instead, take it to a separate room and set it up in its own cage. Avoid letting them see, speak, or interact with each other.

The new parrot will be unsettled by its new environment as It’ll be encountering new smells, sights, and people. So, encountering another parrot will only further confuse or agitate it.

Keep it separate for at least 30 days. The time will need to be extended if the parrot shows:

Continued Stress

Your new parrot should calm down after a couple of weeks. However, if it continues to be highly strung, give it additional time. Avoid moving anything in the room or cage.

Keep the lighting, types of food, and your tone of voice consistent. Parrots are upset by any sudden change, especially when they’re already feeling agitated.

A parrot’s more likely to feel unsettled if it’s wild-caught rather than hand-raised.

Illness

This 30-day separation time has the added benefit of working as a quarantine period.

Your new parrot may have illnesses or diseases from the pet store or breeder’s cages. Any sickness your new parrot is carrying may not be noticeable immediately, but it’ll become apparent.

Look for signs of illness, such as the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Discharge from the nose and eyes
  • Sudden changes to energy levels or vitality
  • Sudden feather loss
  • Itchiness due to parasites, such as mites or fleas

Allow The Parrots to See Each Other

Once the quarantine and settling-in time are over, allow the two parrots to see each other. Bring the new parrot into the same room as your existing one in their respective cages.

The cages should be kept several feet apart. If the room is small, each cage should be placed at the opposite end of the room. You can gradually move the cages closer to each other, and during this time, you should observe both parrots’ behavior and body language.

Take note if one of the parrots is ruffling its feathers or receding in the back corner of its cage. Avoid moving their cages closer until both parrots seem comfortable.

After sufficient time, you can set both cages a few inches apart from each other, as this will allow each parrot to see the other up close without fear of an attack.

Let The Parrots Meet

Pick up your new parrot and place it carefully in its new home.

Alternatively, you can let both parrots out of their cages and let them meet face-to-face in an open area. However, it may be more difficult to catch or separate them if fighting occurs.

It’s normal for birds to be initially cautious. You may see your original parrot walk up to say hello to the new one. Allow them to smell, communicate, and inspect each other without intervention.

If they bite, scream, or hiss, separate the two parrots to avoid conflict.

Help The Parrots Bond

If your parrots accept each other, keep them under close supervision.

You can leave them in the same cage and monitor how they interact. If they get along but still experience mild tension, put them in separate cages at night.

Use these steps to advance and develop the relationship:

Positive Reinforcement

Reward your parrots for good behavior. According to the Journal of Comparative Medicine, birds are responsive to training through positive reinforcement.

You can achieve this by doing the following:

  • Offer both parrots a treat whenever they’re in the same cage together
  • Scratch their heads affectionately when spending time with them
  • Provide encouragement when they’re friendly toward one another

Provide Equal Attention

Don’t let your existing parrot feel like the new one is replacing it during the introduction. Parrots can become jealous, which will lead to altercations.

Give equal attention to your original parrot by:

  • Speaking to them softly
  • Petting it whenever petting the new parrot
  • Offering treats fairly and equally
  • Making eye contact and talking to it when you check on the new parrot
  • Letting the original parrot see and play with any new toys you offer

Identify Good And Bad Behavior

Even if the parrots are doing well, they may still experience conflicts.

To defuse the situation or separate them if needed.

Watch out for the following types of behavior:

Raising Their Wings

Parrots often flap their wings when excited.

However, if your parrot raises its wings and holds them still for an extended period, it’s trying to dominate the other parrot. The raised wings make your parrot look bigger and more intimidating.  

Poking

Some parrots groom each other by gently picking at the other’s head.

This is a positive behavior that should be encouraged. However, if one parrot does this aggressively and the other backs away, it may be asserting dominance.

Hissing Sounds

Parrots make different sounds based on their mood.

Your parrots may chirp or whistle at each other, which is a good sign. However, a parrot that hisses is warning or threatening the other parrot.

Chasing

If you notice one parrot chasing the other around the cage, it could signify aggression. It’s not uncommon for parrots to chase each other playfully, but prolonged chasing signifies intimidation.

Defending Their Food Bowl

One parrot may stand by the food bowl to prevent the other from coming closer, which could be an intimidation tactic.

However, it may happen when the parrots have insufficient space. Upgrading to a larger cage may help resolve this dominant or bullying behavior.

What To Do If Your Parrots Fight?

Here’s how to handle fights when introducing parrots:

Separation

If conflicts aren’t one-off occurrences, separate them immediately and introduce them later.

Activities

Parrots are more likely to fight due to excess energy, so channel this energy into other activities. Options include playing with toys, flying, or learning tricks.

getting a second parrot

Alone Time

Despite being social creatures, parrots can get overwhelmed by too much company.

If the cage is too small, they won’t have sufficient space for themselves. So, you may need to get a larger cage or let them stay in separate, nearby cages.

Injury Prevention

Parrots have strong beaks with a potent bite force that can inflict significant damage. So, owners concerned about their parrots being injured may need to house them separately.

You can move each parrot to a separate cage or set up a cage divider. If you think that the parrots are fighting due to insufficient space, consider upgrading to a larger cage or aviary.

How Many Parrots Should I Have?

The number of parrots you own depends on how much attention you can give them. Parrots aren’t solitary birds and require social interaction, and ideally, this will come from you.

A popular misconception says you only need to spend 2 hours a day with your parrot, but this isn’t necessarily untrue. You may need to spend up to 8 hours with your parrot. If you’re unable to offer this amount of company, your parrot will need an avian companion.

Most wild parrots live in flocks of around 20-30 birds. In captivity, parrots usually live in cages with nowhere else to go. If their favorite human isn’t around or is distracted, they’ll feel lonely.

A second parrot can provide much-needed company if you can’t fulfill your parrot’s social needs. This ensures they always have each other to talk, play, groom, and eat with.

What Is Parrot Bonding Behavior

Bonding behavior is the easiest way to know if your two parrots are getting along. Since parrots are social creatures, they form close bonds with their companions.

The two parrots will enjoy each other’s company and defend each other in times of danger. In some cases, these special bonds can last a lifetime.

The following signs mean that your parrots have accepted each other:

  • Preening each other
  • Nestling closely while sleeping
  • Playing together
  • Regurgitating food for each other

Avoid separating bonded parrots because this can cause stress, depression, and other mental issues. This applies to male-female and same-sex bonding, so introduce parrots slowly over several weeks.