testy green cheek biting his longterm quaker mate

by Julieanne
(Sydney, Australia)

My 9 yr old green cheek has today been fighting and biting his female quaker mate. Hand reared together since birth - this is the first time the conure has behaved like this. I think it's just a seasonal hormonal thing and I have put them is seperate cages, but the quaker seems so sad without her mate.
any suggestions?

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Aug 28, 2009
Abnormal Behavior
by: Linda

Sorry it has taken me so long to answer your question. Your question got lost among 300 emails.

The Quaker Parrot may be ill as this is the type of behavior you will see when one is ill from the other one or a flock. In the wild, a sick or injured bird sounds a "death knoll" for the entire flock, and is either driven away to die or is killed outright so the threat is minimized.

I would consider taking your Quaker to an Avian Vet and having her checked for infection and/or other physical problems. If she shows to have a bacterial or viral infection, your other bird will also need treatment as these infections are always highly contageous.

Sometimes, frustration about not being able to breed can cause this type of behavior, but not to this extent. My Amazon hen started pulling out her mate's feathers years ago in what I considered frustration in not being able to breed(market flooded with parrots). They are now in a large flight cage with a divider in the middle, and are getting along extremely well with the barrier there. You can do the same thing if necessary. You'll need to buy a powercoated cage with the bar spacing appropriate for your bird's size, and it will come with a slide in and out divider made of the same material as the cage. That way, they can be near enough to each other to touch and your Quaker would not be hurt.

First, take her to vet and have her checked out for illness. If she proves to be clear of illness, then consider separating them permanently in a larger cage with the divider. The one we have is made by HQ, and I think they have a smaller one for smaller birds with the divider. You'll have to shop around. Also don't get a brass or white cage as these have a lot of zinc in the powder coat paint. Get a darker color one. I read HQ's American lead and zinc testing reports on their powdercoat paint, and the lead is below the safety level, but the light colors are high in zinc which is as poisonous as is lead.

For now, keep them separated until you can get this sorted out. Thanks so much for writing, and keep us posted on how this goes.


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