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Brought home 3, when can/should I separate?

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Old 05-24-2017, 12:35 PM   #1
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Brought home 3, when can/should I separate?

Hi all,

We are experienced birders who are new to parrotlets. Been doing a lot of reading and learning in this wonderful resource of a forum you have.

We brought home 3 baby male parrotlets, all just two weeks or so off weaning. They came home in a tiny plastic travel bin (vented lid, wood shavings, no room for a perch or toys but we put in two dishes for water & food - they perch on the sides of the dishes). We have a huge flight cage that we plan to ultimately put them in, but we also have three smaller cages we intended to separate them into for now while we work on our bonding with them. We just brought them home late last night, we left them in the travel bin overnight with some nice millet hopefully to reduce the amount of change and stress they had to deal with in one day.


My question is when do you think it would be ok to shift them from the travel bin to separate them in these smaller cages? Part of me feels terrible for leaving them in this tiny bin, but they appear to still be very scared and huddled up in the corner together. I am also sensitive to the trust issue and them getting used to me first. Breeder told me they have never seen a cage, were raised in an incubator, later shifted to plastic bins.

As far as them getting along, I was told by breeder they are brothers. I have kept an eye on them and have not witnessed fighting, actually I've seen them take turns preening each other. They definitely have a familiarity with each other so I am hesitant to separate them before they are comfortable here.

I've been doing a lot of reading here and intend to do quite a bit more, but for the meantime I'm most curious about this timing and not freaking out these poor little guys.

Thanks all!
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Old 05-24-2017, 04:35 PM   #2
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I think you should introduce them to the cages now. When you say two weeks done weening can I assume they are aprox 10 weeks? They are probably going to be still pretty clumsy, I would start off putting a couple perches close to the bottom (so they can learn to perch while still only a couple inches from the floor) and food in the floor of the small cages, pad the bottom with some paper towels on top of the grate.
Keep giving them millet like you are to help with the stress, let them settle in a bit. When they seem comfortable I would start taking them out or working with them of steping up individualy. If you want to bond with them individually your best bet is to keep their time together limited. Even siblings will fight badly when they start to mature so how they are now as young clutch mates really is not an indicator at all. It would not be wise to ever expect them to be housed together, you will need three seperate Larger cages in the near future.
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Old 05-24-2017, 04:36 PM   #3
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Oh and welcome! I can't wait to hear more about your babies, and we live pictures!!
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Old 05-25-2017, 09:01 AM   #4
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I would move them into the cages now, as Violet said. And just to reiterate that I don't think it's a good idea to keep them in a flight cage together. Safety is one reason, because when they hit puberty in a few months they may not be so cuddly with each other anymore. Also, it may be hard to keep a bond with them if they're kept in such a large cage.
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Old 05-25-2017, 11:00 AM   #5
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Thank you both for the feedback.

Kinda bummed to learn they'll need to be permanently separated, but if that's what's best...

We separated them not long after I made the post. We put them in small travel hamster cages with plastic floors (so no foot/grate issues hopefully). The bars are small - either 1/4" or 1/2". We put newspaper down on bottom and those faux wooden branches in each one along with food & water dishes that hang on side. Millet on the floor, and we added faux floral decor to the roofs of each for cover/garden feel.

We used a washcloth to transport them, moved slowly. I'm happy to report all moved to their new homes without protest.

Last night was rough for them but now they're chattering away.

When do you think it would be a good idea to start training them? I did just bring them home the day before yesterday.
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Old 05-26-2017, 02:20 AM   #6
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If they are acting normal (eating, playing, beak grinding, preening) and seem happy then I would start handling them right away.
Did the breeder not indicate to you that they would need to be kept seperatley? To no fault of your own, we seem to have a lot of new Parrotlet owners recently being told this when they purchase them, and this specie is notorious for being cage aggressive and mate possessive and needing their own cages. If you like the set up of a flight cage I can recommend one I have that might work for you.
I think you will do just fine with them even if they have to be separated. I know boys that get along quite well after maturing, it's usually the girls that really fight with eachother. It's really hard to bond individual so I would focus on that right now, take one at a time away from the brothers to a small safe room and spend one on one time.
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Old 05-26-2017, 02:28 AM   #7
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https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00EQ...ding+bird+cage

This cage has a divider, you can stack them two or three high. If you stack two, you could have one large space and two spit ones. Or four birds HAHA just kidding, don't do what I did.
But seriously, it's a nice cage I have one on its own and then another one stacked two high (that's for three of my birds)
I also have kept two of my Parrotlet one on each side with the divider in between. It's a little smaller than ideal with the divider but if they have plenty of outside play time I think it's ok.
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:10 PM   #8
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Thank you for your responses Mrs.JP3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.JP3 View Post
If they are acting normal (eating, playing, beak grinding, preening) and seem happy then I would start handling them right away.
Thanks for the feedback, we're doing this now. Two of them are open to it, one is still a bit skittish. He's missing a tail, we were told his sister picked it away. Poor guy, he's a cute little bugger. He is taking treats from us from behind the bars though, so progress.

Re: Training. We have tried this several times and each session is hit or miss. I wouldn't be surprised if I need to give them more time to get used to us before I will see results. So far two of them are not afraid of our hands, and one of those two I've even gotten the gentle beak training going successfully.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.JP3 View Post
Did the breeder not indicate to you that they would need to be kept seperatley?
No. They came together in the same bin and we were told they would be able to co-exist in the same cage. We realize this is unlikely now, and we're prepared to get them three separate cages. Still, after we get the bonding down with all three we might try to reunite them - under careful observation of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.JP3 View Post
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00EQ...ding+bird+cage

This cage has a divider, you can stack them two or three high. If you stack two, you could have one large space and two spit ones. Or four birds HAHA just kidding, don't do what I did.
But seriously, it's a nice cage I have one on its own and then another one stacked two high (that's for three of my birds)
I also have kept two of my Parrotlet one on each side with the divider in between. It's a little smaller than ideal with the divider but if they have plenty of outside play time I think it's ok.
Ha! We already have finches in another cage, what's a few more?

I really like the one you linked. We currently have that brand's single large cage (fits on the same wheeled stand), but you can't divide that one's space. I think we might get the one you suggested, and get the second matching one to go on top for a square set of four cages. It's in the corner of a multi-windowed room, lots of natural light.

Thank you for the suggestion, that looks like a great solution for us.
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:13 PM   #9
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Here's a photo of them on their way home.
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Old 05-31-2017, 02:01 AM   #10
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Oh my just seeing those little faces makes me giddy. Five birds is absolutely my limit, but it's still hard not to want more!
Excuse me while I go prepare 10 food and water dishes for the morning.........
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