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Help! Two conures bonded without me

Noobie

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Hello,

First time posting! I got a conure from Petsmart on Columbus Day (Cheeky - gray and green). It was very frightened but got more used to being in the house (still not warmed up to me though). Then a week later my fiancé got a conure (Angel) without consulting me and started putting the two together. I really don't know what I'm doing, so I let him put the two together and now they're tightly bonded and live in the same cage. While I'm very happy for them, my concern is that they don't seem to be training well and I wonder if it's because they're bonded together. Cheeky has a 5-minute tolerance a few times during the night for training. When she isn't training, she bites my nail really hard (it doesn't hurt) as if to tell me to get away. She won't come to me when I want her to. She likes to take baths but as far as time together goes, I would say we spend 20 minutes at most together a day because she's otherwise hanging out with Angel. Angel has about a 2-minute tolerance for training and will not step on hands. She needs more attention and direction but she's not getting it because I'm focused on my bird and my fiance won't help. I've been trying to train and bond with them but it feels like I'm getting nowhere. Currently, I don't have much of a bond with either. When I take Cheeky into the other room to try to bond, she calls for Angel and Angel comes flying looking for her. If we keep Angel in the cage, Cheeky seems unnerved and wants to stay by her. I will feel guilty to separate them to try to form more of a bond but at this point, instead of feeling like my pets, they feel like an added responsibility that I'm not benefitting from.

Please help me and answer these two questions:
- Should I separate the birds to try to bond with them? (And how do I manage the guilt of separating them?)
- What does a day-in-the-life look like if I do separate them and is there a time when I can put them back together?

And a bonus question:
- How do I get Cheeky to want to step on my hand most of the time?

Thank you to all who took the time to read this post and I'm really looking forward to reading your insights.
 

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jh81

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First: Calm down! no need to panic ;-)

I have no clue when columbus day was, but training parrots take time. And while it makes things more interesting, i think its still possible to train both birds still. But from what i read it seems you try to force them too much. Parrots dont respond to that too well as you have found out (thats when they usually start to bite)

I would also not seperate them, they are used to eachother now. And if you do seperate them, at least let them have cages in the same room. But i don’t think it will make them more easier to train. From your first post it sems to me you are too eager to get them trained, thats not how parrots work ;-) And some birds dont tame at all. You should want them wether they are tame or not. They may be pets, but they are not like cats and dogs who have been with us for thousands of years. Parrots still have jungle blood in them! You need to understand that, and learn to work at their level, not yours. If you want something that acts and does as you pleases, then get a dog ;-)

leave them be for a few days, then try if they want to take food from your hands, work your way from there. It can take many, many months to train them, so don’t panic if they aren’t perfectly tame in six months.
 
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Shezbug

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I honestly would not consider separating them, it will stress and upset them, trying to befriend or train a stressed upset bird is much much harder than trying to befriend a pair of birds who have limited interest in you. They will just panic and call to each other if you separate them which will only negatively affect the relationship you do have.

I also have no clue when Columbus day was but I am guessing the birds are both fairly new to you, everything about birds is time consuming and requires great amounts of consistency and patience- food changes, toy introductions, taming, training etc, they all take a lot more time than any of these things will with a furry animal pet.

I would start trying to make changes with the bird and human relationship by dropping all expectations of the birds and just try making friends with them by being the bearer of great things (treats mainly). There are some great informative threads in the training court that should get you headed in the right direction. The Training Court
 

Wardy

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Some good advice above i will add it is possible to do training with two birds i find it easier spending time with one bird whilst the other is occupied with a favourite toy or is in a foraging box looking for food.

Cheeky has a 5-minute tolerance a few times during the night for training
This is fine and very much the way to go a few small periods of training a day is the best way to go any longer and your birds will just get bored loose interest thats when your likely to get bitten theyre telling you they have had enough.

When I take Cheeky into the other room to try to bond, she calls for Angel and Angel comes flying looking for her. If we keep Angel in the cage, Cheeky seems unnerved and wants to stay by her. I will feel guilty to separate them to try to form more of a bond
seperating them to like this wont offer you any benefits it will just cause the birds stress and instead of foccusing on training of any type they just want to know where there friend is. Spend time daily interacting with them both and training them both focusing on one bird will potentially cause aggresion from the one being excluded at sme point they are bonded so there is the possibility one day you will take the one bird to do your training and its mate doesnt want you to take her mate.

I would try the following

start offering occasional treats through the cage to them both offering them both the same amount of interaction

work on target trainiing with both birds in the cage

work on target training with the birds outside the cage

work on step up training onto a perch

work on step up training onto your hand

Just work on one thing at a time until you see a positive result before moving onto something else.

If Google is right Columbus day was 10th October so you have had one bird about a month the other three weeks if you look at that month a lot has gone on the first bird was getting used to a new home and another bird turned up that had to get used to a new home and they had to get used to each other.
No doubt you have read about people who have bought a cheekie and as soon as they get the bird home its friendly stepping up and playing with there human this isnt the case with every cheeky it took me about a month to get my first conure to step up once she had she started interacting with us a lot more my second conure it took eleven months before she stepped up.

Good luck
 
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