Parrots are sociable animals that form close bonds, so many owners consider getting a second parrot for companionship. The new parrot can be their companion, giving you more free time.
To introduce 2 parrots, house 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 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 2 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:
- The cage is sufficiently large.
- Parrots are the same species.
- Similar-sized parrots.
- Carefully managed introduction.
- Sufficient resources (food, drink, and toys).
If one of these factors doesn’t apply, the parrots may get into disputes. Unfortunately, this can lead to stress, injury, food hoarding, and self-mutilation.
Unless you have a large cage/aviary, keeping more than 2 parrots in the same cage isn’t recommended. Likewise, this works best for smaller parrot species that don’t need as much space.
You’ll need a sizable enclosure to house 2 macaws or other large parrots together.
How Much Space Do Parrots Need?
The amount of space parrots require depends on their species and size.
Large bird species require a cage that has the following dimensions:
- 2 feet deep.
- 3 feet wide.
- 4 feet high.
A parakeet can have a smaller cage, but they’re 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, but smaller cages are more likely to trigger aggression.
How To Make Two Parrots Get Along
Two parrots will get along better when they’re introduced to each other correctly.
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 the existing parrot. Instead, go to a separate room and set it up in a cage. Avoid letting them see, speak, or interact with each other.
The new parrot will be unsettled by its new environment, 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. However, the time will need to be extended if the parrot shows:
A 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 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.
This 30-day separation time has the added benefit of working as a quarantine period.
A new parrot may have illnesses or diseases from the pet store or breeder’s cages. The new parrot’s sickness may not be noticeable immediately, but it’ll become apparent.
Look for signs of illness, such as the following:
- 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, allowing each parrot to see the other up close without fear of an attack.
Let The Parrots Meet
Lift the 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, catching or separating them may be more difficult if fighting occurs.
It’s normal for birds to be initially cautious. You may see your original parrot walk up to greet 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 the 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:
Reward the 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:
- Give both parrots a treat whenever they’re in the same cage together.
- Scratch their heads affectionately when spending time with them.
- Offer encouragement when they’re friendly toward one another.
Provide Equal Attention
Don’t let the existing parrot feel like the new one replaces it during the introduction. Parrots can become jealous, which will lead to altercations.
Give equal attention to the 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 the 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.
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 assert dominance.
Parrots make different sounds based on their mood.
The 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.
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:
If conflicts aren’t one-offs, separate them immediately and introduce them later.
Parrots are more likely to fight due to excess energy, so encourage them to channel this energy into other activities. Options include playing with toys, flying, or learning tricks.
Despite being social creatures, parrots can get overwhelmed by excessive company.
The parrot won’t have sufficient space if the cage is too small. So, you may need to get a larger cage or let them stay in separate, nearby cages.
Parrots have strong beaks with a potent bite force that can inflict significant damage. So, owners concerned about their parrots getting injured may need to house them separately.
You can move each parrot to a separate cage or set up a 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, ideally 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 the parrot. If you can’t 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. They’ll feel lonely if their favorite human isn’t around or is distracted.
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 to, play with, groom, and eat.
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 2 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 the parrots have accepted each other:
- Preening each other.
- Nestling closely while sleeping.
- Playing together.
- Regurgitating food.
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.