Aggression towards a newcomer - what's the best way to fix it? - Pigeon-Talk
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Clementine Clementine is offline
Posted 23rd January 2019, 07:59 PM
Join Date: Sep 2015
Country: Canada
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Question

Aggression towards a newcomer - what's the best way to fix it?


Hi everyone!

I've had my ringneck dove Clementine for about 3 years now. I always had the intention to get her a companion but whenever I looked online, there were hardly ever any singles up for adoption in my area. Since I've been busier than usual lately and I'm afraid of her getting lonely, I started searching again and this time I found what seemed like a great candidate; I went to pick her up last night.

I'm calling it "her" because the previous owner thinks it's probably a female, but the sex hasn't been confirmed yet. She's about 4 months old. She has a slight deformity (one wing is a bit crooked and she has a little toe issue) but overall she seems energetic, healthy and good-tempered. She can't fly well at the moment (not sure if it's due entirely to her wing problem or also her recent molt and/or her age) so she uses ramps to get from the bottom of her cage to her perches. She doesn't vocalize much but when she does, it sounds like a quiet and slightly whiny "woo" or "wehh".

I knew from the start that I would have to let the two birds get used to each other for a good while before putting them in the same cage, so I'm keeping them in separate cages at the moment - the new bird has Clem's old 'large dog crate' cage while Clem has a bigger, newer cage. But I wanted them to at least briefly meet outside the cages after I brought the new bird home. When I let them out, Clem started trying to land on the new bird! I managed to block her attempts, but she still managed to peck it on the head once after landing on my hand.

I quickly separated them and let them get used to each other from their cages. Clem was eyeing the new bird a lot at first but eventually she started to mostly ignore it and she started acting more normal. So today I tried a second meeting and things were okay for about a minute, but then Clem started flying at the other bird again so I put them back in their cages.

I presume that Clem is just being territorial about her home? Obviously I know I'm going to have to wait longer before she accepts the new bird, but is there anything I can do aside from waiting? Is there a way to facilitate the transition and make Clem feel more at ease with the new state of things? I don't want her to feel frustrated and I don't want the new bird to be scared or hurt.

(Thanks for reading, I'd appreciate any advice!)
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 23rd January 2019, 11:30 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Country: United States
Location: Massachusetts
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If you know that they should be introduced slowly from different cages, then why are you rushing things? You are creating more problems. Any new bird should be quarantined anyway for 30 days before being near your other bird, just to make sure they are healthy.

Your first bird is being territorial about her space, and you are going to make it more difficult for them to accept each other if you keep doing that.
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Clementine Clementine is offline
Posted 24th January 2019, 12:00 AM
Join Date: Sep 2015
Country: Canada
Posts: 29
I knew that they had to stay in different cages, but I didn't know that I wasn't supposed to introduce them to each other outside of the cages during that time - the sources I found were unclear about the timing of the introduction.

It's true that ideally the new bird should be quarantined, but the apartment I live in is basically one big room (not counting the bathroom and the semi-connected kitchen) and the way everything is configured, the cages kind of have to be close to each other - though I tried to put as much room between them as I could. I figured letting the birds briefly see each other out of the cages wouldn't do more harm (that was before I knew that Clementine would try to sit on the other one - now I'll try to hold off). In any case, I plan on taking the new bird to the vet in the next few days, and Clem is due for her own checkup not long after!

But if I'm understanding you correctly, it's better for them to never be out at the same time in the near future, right? And there's nothing else I can do aside from keeping them apart and waiting? That was really my main concern, ultimately (knowing whether there are any additional steps I can take to help them, or not).

I'm also wondering how I'll be able to tell that they're ready to meet again. Are there any signs to look out for, or a recommended number of days to wait?
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Marina B Marina B is offline
Posted 24th January 2019, 06:28 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: Lamberts Bay
Posts: 2,363
Put the cages next to each other, that's the only way Clem will get used to having another bird close by. Let the new bird come out into your living room, (Clem can stay in the cage), he will need to get used to the area and Clem must learn to tolerate another bird in your room.

You might soon see some courtship behaviour and after the isolation period is over, then you can give it another try.
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Clementine Clementine is offline
Posted 24th January 2019, 10:51 AM
Join Date: Sep 2015
Country: Canada
Posts: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marina B View Post
Put the cages next to each other, that's the only way Clem will get used to having another bird close by. Let the new bird come out into your living room, (Clem can stay in the cage), he will need to get used to the area and Clem must learn to tolerate another bird in your room.

You might soon see some courtship behaviour and after the isolation period is over, then you can give it another try.

That's good to know, thanks! I was afraid that if I let the new bird out a lot while Clem isn't out, she might get jealous and angrier (since she probably sees me as her mate). But it's true she really needs to get used to the idea of the other bird being out in the house.

Around what age can I expect the new bird to potentially exhibit courtship behaviour? According to my sources, doves become sexually mature around 9-12 months, does that sound right?
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Marina B Marina B is offline
Posted 24th January 2019, 12:10 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
Location: Lamberts Bay
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Does not take that long for them to mature. I think at 3 or 4 months old they are mature enough to start looking for a mate. You will need to give less attention to Clem, no more petting etc. The new bird must now take over as her mate.
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Ladygrey Ladygrey is offline
Posted 30th January 2019, 06:19 AM
Join Date: Dec 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clementine View Post
That's good to know, thanks! I was afraid that if I let the new bird out a lot while Clem isn't out, she might get jealous and angrier (since she probably sees me as her mate). But it's true she really needs to get used to the idea of the other bird being out in the house.

Around what age can I expect the new bird to potentially exhibit courtship behaviour? According to my sources, doves become sexually mature around 9-12 months, does that sound right?
Never assume you know what sex they are, unless you get a lab test. Or see eggs.. Two of the same sex can get along, but if you have two males,they could get bossy with each other and esp when at maturity and one thinks your his gal then they will Probably fight.

I’ve had males get along though, or should I say two doves that never layed eggs. They don’t always fight, in my experience housing many ring neck domestic doves.

Last edited by Ladygrey; 18th February 2019 at 05:55 AM..
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 30th January 2019, 11:41 AM
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Country: United States
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Two males will often fight anyway. Doesn't need to have a perspective mate around.
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