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Linnie fighting

Toots

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4/10/23
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Alisa
Greetings!

I recently purchased a male linnie (under a year old) as a friend for my 4 year old unsexed linnie (although looking at the behaviour we are inclined to think that it's a female).

I am going to call the new linnie Chippie and the old one Toot for the easier reference in this post.

Chippie has his own cage, albeit smaller than Toot's ( as I assume that after a while they become friends and both going to live together in a bigger cage). He looks healthy, quite confident for a new bird, after a few days already takes treats from my hand. Toots seemed interested in him during the first day, but then the interest rapidly declined. However, Chippie really wants his company, gets agitated in the cage (especially in the evenings) and wants to follow Toots around. However, Toots doesn't seem to like it, and actively chases him away, especially if Chippie is near or climbing on Toot's cage. And yet Toot would not hesitate to go into Chippie's cage during the day to eat some of his food ( I try my best to prevent it though, so Chippie is comfortable in his safe space).

So in brief, I am not sure what is the best course of action at this stage, since Toots clearly does not like Chippie's company at this moment and feels like he's being territorial. And yet Chippie doe not give up in trying to follow him. But I don't want him to get hurt. Is it better to let them sort it out or to increase the boundaries inbetween?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated
 

opalwings

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shiva
My SIL has a similar situation with two budgies… the old one is literally doing the exact same thing.
I’m assuming that you introduced them slowly over time etc etc…
I think in my SIL case, she couldn’t wait to introduce them and tried to push them to play together and live in the same cage too soon.
Sounds like toots has been an only child for a large portion of his/her life now. Not used to sharing anything, so it’s a big transition for them.
I have a Linnie and budgie pair, they get along so well, although there is a little of that dynamic of- the new younger bird is more interested in the older bird, and the older bird is a little too cool for school. Older bird also does not like it when younger sibling plays with her favorite toy. But they are getting better.
with my babies it did take a year or two to iron all the kinks out. They are besties now.

the first time I put them together in a big open cage to play, I tried to make the cage neutral but it was one of the new birds baby cages, she had two, so she (Linnie) was very territorial and went after the budgie to chase her out.

now they play peacefully together, but it took some time for them to bond and learn that they are buddies. Now they like to sleep in the same cage and stay together all day.
Now when my Linnie bathes and gets wet, the budgie will be really interested in her feathers and chase after her- she will run away to find a quiet place to preen, and growl away the budgie… I just allow her to set her boundaries, and I explain to my budgie that she wants to be left alone and will be right back. Sometimes I swear my budg understands.

bonding activities include eating on a plate that I’m holding, together, treats… holding them both close to my face and talking to them both, or spending time with one on each shoulder… trying to get them to interact with me at the same time, so I’m the buffer and can control the activities. We read children’s books, train, walk and fly around the house…


others will probably have better advice, but mine would be to let Toots have her space until they bond more. Toots is the older bird and as such there is a pecking order.
In the beginning, it’s important to give toots that respect and show that she is the big bird.
This would mean, giving treats to her first, then the other. Affection first, greeting first, food, etc. having its own cage is great, as she does. Making sure she gets time alone with you, still, just as she did before. This is just based on something I was told about bird psychology, it made sense to me so I tried it…I figured it wouldn’t hurt and it seemed to ease the transition.

I know it sounds odd… after a while it wasn’t necessary for me to do this but it really helped with the jealousy and territorial stuff in the beginning.
The baby is happy to share, as it’s growing up with this other bird. But the older bird needs to feel more secure, as this new bird will make it feel insecure naturally.

IMHO bird are so much like humans and take time to warm up… it’s like if we suddenly got a random roommate! We might not love them right away. It would be annoying most likely. I think chippie and toots will eventually be besties, given enough time and space.

That being said, a little drama is normal in the bird world. For one thing, If toots is female, chip following her around and annoying her is not suprising to me that’s a classic dynamic tbh.
And if she’s female she would just be setting her boundaries. My Linnie girl is very assertive in this way, but I have never worried about her harming another bird… she is so gentle and zen. Linnie’s can look dramatic when they are hurtling around, but I find them to be very gentle in general. Usually just a show. My Linnie has never bitten unless she thinks fingers are trying to take her food (she Doesn’t understand fingers are part of mommy)

take this with a grain of salt, I am not a long time bird owner… there is a forum called the Linnie Forum run by a long time breeder who knows everything! I would ask her.
But I have a feeling things will smooth out over time. Good luck!
 
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Toots

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Alisa
Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your advice! I also think that it will take some time, it's just I have never seen Toots in such a grumpy and aggressive mood, so I got a bit worried. But I will definitely make sure that nothing changes in our 1-to-1 dynamic and that Chippie will be slowly and carefully introduced into it.
 

opalwings

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shiva
Do you mind adding detail of toots behavior when she chases? Wanted to add that if you see actual biting, feathers flying, rolling, wings up, screaming fight, then definitely separate them.

if it’s a classic Linnie bulldoze, where she just runs with her beak open and does the buzzy growl, more likely that she’s probably just asserting boundaries and it may be ok to let it play out unless it goes on and on indefinitely
 

opalwings

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shiva
Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your advice! I also think that it will take some time, it's just I have never seen Toots in such a grumpy and aggressive mood, so I got a bit worried. But I will definitely make sure that nothing changes in our 1-to-1 dynamic and that Chippie will be slowly and carefully introduced into it.
Great! I’m just happy if anything helped a tiny bit … when you mentioned never seeing toots grumpy, I also remembered that my Linnie is super chill when she’s alone with me, and is like my little zen buddy. It’s only when the other bird is around that she gets excitable… i think if she was my only bird I probably would never see her grumpy either. it may be that even after toots calms down, she may be on a different energy wavelength now that there is another bird around. They really feed off of each others energy for sure.
I really hope they settle in and get along with each other soon! I know it’s really hard when it feels like things are not harmonious.
 

Toots

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Alisa
It's either angry squeaking/screaming and squabbling if they get too close together, or the angry bulldoze chasing if Chippie gets close to Toot's cage. Although a couple of times I've seen them peacefully eating treats from the same plate (outside their cages). So sometimes it seems like they can coexist, but other times it's like something triggers that aggression. Hopefully overtime it will occur less and less frequently.
 

Lady Jane

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Its good that you have them in separate cages. It has been quite a while since I had 2 Linnies. I had a pair that got along well from the first day but they were from the same breeder who was very good. I visited her home. May be important to remember it is Springtime and hormones are surging. I would just give them more time to settle in together as long as they do not hurt each other. Also remember that there is always a chance they will not like to be together, however Linnies have a strong flock instinct and enjoy company.
 
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