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Mixed species - Expert advice required!

TheWiltons

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Jo Hope
Hi folks. Am posting from the UK and hoping for some impartial advice.

Around a year ago, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome..it keeps me pretty housebound when I have flares and being a nature lover, I was missing feeding the local ducks, swans and moorhens near where I live.

I decided I could bring a bit of Mother Nature indoors so sourced a few little zebra finch who, although not cuddly, are sweet and I love their little beep beep noises.

I've decided to get a few more birdies.

Space isn't an issue so I can accommodate at least two very large cages, if not 3. I currently have a cage 94cm wide, 60 deep and 132 high. It's the largest cage I can find which has the smaller doors to top food up, etc.

I want my Finches to be happy in a larger cage than they have currently but also need to ensure they remain safe and happy.

I've had a number of conflicting opinions from bird retailers so would really welcome your specialist advice here.

The birds I am feeling drawn to are:

Green cheeked conure or other conure with similar personality and behaviour traits

Bourke parakeets

Kakarikis

Crimson Rosellas

One breeder told me absolutely no way could any of the above live peacefully with my zebras.

Another said all 4 different species would live happily together but to have one of each type and put zebras in.

Another said to only take them in pairs...

Another said absolutely no way on this green earth could any of the above live happily together!!!!

I'm sure you can see where I'm coming from when I say I am scratching my head and shaking it in confusion!!!

All I want is for a nice show of colours (mood lifting) and happy bird chatter but not at the expense of unhappiness or risk to any of the birds as individuals!

Hope you can advise and guide me please...
 

Zara

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Welcome to the Avenue Jo 1.welcome signs.gif

If you keep the birds in spearate cages (finches in one, new bird in another) then you can choose any bird you like. The cages can be in the same room, just supervise when you let the larger ones out of their cage for flight to be sure they´re not attacking the finches through the cage bars.

@finchly Has a variety of birds and keeps them all safe
 

Toy

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I can't help you with the bird question, as I've never had finches. However I also have Fibromyalgia. I can tell you exercise & massage is your friend. Find someone that does massage to work on your muscle triggers. Those triggers can cause major pain that spreads thru your body. I'm sure you know what I mean. It overwhelms you to the point all you want to do is sit. If you let the pain get control of you, life will be limited as to what you can & can not do. Stretching & mild resistance exercises will do you wonders. I tried all the meds & all I got was a bunch of side effects. You may also have low Vitamin D, as most with Fibro do. Start slow & work up on exercises. You want to work on every part of your body, but limit reps to 3-5 each. Limit how much resistance you do, as too much will make it worse. The key is to keep muscles toned, but not over worked. You are not looking to build muscle, just keep them loose & working right, which will lower pain. It will take time, but eventually you will get relief from the major pain. I currently take no meds, just exercise & take vitamins. Eat as healthy as you can & keep moving. The more you sit the more pain you will have. Hopefully you will be able to get back to going out to feed the ducks, etc. & enjoy nature again.
 

The_Mayor

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I can't speak to keeping multiple species together, but I will say Bourke's are delightful birds in a stunning array of colors. Mine are the original color which is a little more subdued but very elegant in my opinion.

They've mostly got very pleasant little chirps, although they can get a little shrill when they do their twilight jamboree.

If you do get Bourke's (and I'd get a pair, since they're not always particularly interactive with people it's nice for them to have a buddy) factor in that they really do need plenty of out of cage flying time, and, because they get the zoomies at twilight, they'll get the most benefit from that if they're out at sundown. I'd also make sure that they aren't with the other birds when the zoomies hit as apparently other birds can get annoyed if they're getting ready to settle down for the night and then the Bourke's are swooping around and making their twilight yells.
 

TheWiltons

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Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. Fibromyalgia is horrific isn't it, but whilst it depletes me physically, I am mentally and psychologically strong and am adamant, this thing that's attached itself to me will NEVER win. I won't let it.

I do aqua fit which can either do me the world of good or turn into a horror show.

I do walk my Goldie twice a day which involves a bit of incline x3 but he's like a pack horse so is great to pull me up and give me that strength needed.

I have an air walker too which helps the muscle in my fore and upper arms. I can't do anymore than 8 minutes at time but I do my best.

My aim is to lose the 4 stone I have gained from lockdown comfort eating and medication side effects.

I'll shut up now as conscious it's a bird forum...
 

sunnysmom

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Welcome to the forum! As mentioned, I think you can keep different species but in separate cages. I have a cockatoo and 2 cockatiels. They each have their own cage. (The tiels don't like to share.) And I don't let my 'too out with my 'tiels. But they like being in the same room in their cages together.
 

Destiny

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As others have already mentioned, if the birds are housed separately and given separate out-of-cage time, there shouldn't be any issue.

The danger from mixing species would be if you tried to keep finches in the same cage as a hookbill (of any species) or if you allow parrots with different beak sizes to interact, especially if they are left unsupervised. A parrot can deliver a nasty bite, seriously harming a smaller bird accidentally (or intentionally). It only takes a moment for things to go wrong, so when you keep mixed species, it is important to be vigilant and take appropriate precautions - like providing separate housing and not allowing a bird to land on the cage of another bird, since they might get a toe bitten off!

Small softbills, like finches, have very little defense against a parrot's bite, except for the ability to fly away from danger. If they are confined with larger birds, they can become stressed or directly injured by their cage mate. It is possible to house zebra finches with small parrots/parakeets in an aviary setting, but even then you are taking a risk that something could go wrong so caution is advised. You would want to provide plenty of cover, visual breaks, multiple feeding/watering stations, and extra perches to allow to birds to move away from each other easily, minimize resource competition and reduce aggressive behaviors.

In an indoor setting, I would house the finches in separate large flight cage and rotate out-of-cage time to prevent direct interactions between birds of different sizes.
 

finchly

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hi there!
What @Toy said about fibromyalgia is EXACTLY what my doctor said to me yesterday about it. I have fibro, chronic fatigue, and now long covid (except I think that's just chronic fatigue on steroids). sounds like you've got it well in hand, but it never hurts to remind each other! I have gained weight as well, and I'm using my pool to try to get back in shape. 10 minutes is about all I can handle. So frustrating, I used to be a distance runner.

About your bird mixing. Of course it's all going to boil down to "how much space." From what I understand, conures and rosellas can't mix with others. I'm not sure about kaks. But the bourke parakeets possibly could live with your finches. I know someone who claims hers live in the same cages. I have not tried that myself.

The Bourkes are gentle birds and could be put off by the more active zebras. So try them, but be very cautious. They need tons of space to get away from each other, and some hiding spots. Like behind fake plants. I took 2 cages the size of yours and removed the side walls and zip tied them together to make one very long cage. That would be plenty of room for, say, 4-6 zebras and 2 bourkes.

I have Gouldians, canaries, masked grass finches, and star finches. Those all go well together. I used to have zebras and they picked at all the others. Little terrors. So I quit keeping them - I like mine to get along as much as possible.

Here's what I'm doing lately. I have a dedicated bird room with cages for all. I have begun letting almost all the littles fly free. Others get to come out with supervision. It's working great. Because some are nesting, I have not been able to move out all the cages yet, which I'm going to replace with perches, stands, and wall mounted thingies suitable for the birds. Hopefully that will keep them mostly on one side of the room and I can sprinkle sand or something on the floor. Probably sawdust. There's a wood floor but hubby laid linoleum over it. Here's a video of right after. It's the back wall (the one you're mostly facing) that will be birdville, also the cage nearest the back on the left wall is moved and there is a shelf there - which has plants and 2 nests on it!:laugh:

Just today I have let my 2 Eng budgies stay out of the cage all day. I would say they are a little more rambunctious than Bourkes. They have just flown around, and the hen has settled into a cage (big cage, on the back wall/right side) with some canaries and a nest of babies. I think she secretly wants her own babies. She's just watching though. My parrotlet was out for 2 days by accident, he just hung out with them and was fine.

My white cap pionus, Ernie, also has free reign, as his cage is always open. However Ernie chooses to stay in or near his cage most of the time. So no trouble there. The 3 cockatiels also are out most of the time, they don't care about the littles. In fact, a canary takes a bath in their water bowl every day and they just watch. I would say a Bourke is a lot like a cockatiel in that respect.

That leaves the caiques. I wouldn't trust them for anything. But I let them fly loose with supervision, and they haven't offered to go after the littles.

Anyway, that's all I have but maybe it will give you some ideas.
 
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