Should I get another Green Cheek Conure?
Green Cheeks Widget and Buddy
So many people ask this question about not only Conures, but other species too. This is my experience, albeit limited.
We went through this when we brought Widget, our Yellow Sided Green Cheek home. She had not been weaned long and really just wanted to be with us all the time. In fact she got her name because it sounded like she was saying "Widget" all the time!
My husband felt so sorry for her. He felt like even though I was just 5 feet from her cage 10 - 12 hours a day, it just was not enough for her. I could only hold her so much and get my work done.
He told me to find her a friend. I knew from having this website, that you can't just go and get another bird and expect them to like each other. They may eventually like each other, but they may always hate each other too.
Once I made it clear that we were NOT buying Widget a friend, but we were buying US a new companion bird, I went on the hunt for another baby GC.
It so happened that the breeder that raised Widget also had another unrelated Normal Green Cheeked Conure just a couple of weeks older.
We kept Buddy and Widget in separate cages right next to each other for a couple of days. They had been in the same room at the breeder's, so I thought they might know each other already.
After a couple of days, we put both of them on the play top, neutral ground for both of them. They would run at each other, open beaked as if to tear each other apart for days.
We would always put the one who started at the other one first, back in the cage and give the one left on top a treat right in front of the "bad" bird.
It didn't take long before they got the picture, if you are good, you get a treat. So we would give them both treats when they didn't charge each other.
After a few weeks, they would preen each other and then fight. They would fight over toys and attention too. (They still do this!) Eventually the arguing became less and less as they established that Widget would rule the roost.
We finally tried putting them in the same 24x22 play top cage. They argued some, but nothing terrible so they stayed together from then on.
People warned me that they would NOT be people birds anymore but would prefer each other over us. That has not been the case at all. They both prefer human attention to each other.
Widget is the shy, temperamental one. If we get Buddy out first, she will run and hide in their tent. She rarely bites, unless we change out food or toys with her and Buddy in the cage. They both draw blood if you mess with THEIR cage! LOL Actually, this has lessened over the winter months.
I found when I had on a light jacket, I could change out the food without pain. Buddy would attack me and try to peck my arm to death. Once he found that I didn't react at all, in fact I held still for him to attack, he gave it up.
They still run at my arm and might even take a peck, but they have gotten used to my arm now and are not nearly so aggressive.
Oh, Buddy is the complete opposite of Widget. He is like a hyperactive 2 year old that just ate a jar of cookies with a shot of espresso. No two birds are alike.
Also, the myth that GC's are quiet is just that! We have a very long house. In fact it is two houses put together. A very sturdy brick home. When I leave the bird room, at the very end of the house, and go to our bedroom at the opposite end of the house I can still hear them screaming for my return. This is through three closed doors and 5 rooms away!
My GC's scream when anyone comes in to have a conversation with me. They want everyone to talk to them it seems. LOL If someone has been in the room for a while and then leaves, they scream for 5 or 10 minutes for them to return. ("One of the flock escaped!!" they are saying.)
I love our GC's, but I was not prepared for the funny, loud, diverse personalities I ended up with.