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Old 06-16-2019, 10:08 AM
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Amazonís and sexual maturity

I was wondering if anyone had their Amazon as a baby and either had a excellent relationship with their bird and it totally changed during sexual maturity or if it was minimal the change? I’m considering buying a baby double yellow headed amazon from Steve Hartman at the Parrot University and I’m scared it might change and become really aggressive later, even though I train it and spend lots of time with it before then. I seem to read only bad stories about the “ hot 3-5” and how they change .
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:10 AM
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Re: Amazonís and sexual maturity

If you adopt an adult bird, you help reduce the over-crowding issue in rescues and you have a better idea of what your bird's personality is like. I am not saying there isn't a honeymoon period (there is) and I am not saying that your behavior can't change a bird's behavior (it can) but with adults, it is harder to make massive mistakes and it's easier to tell what you are getting. Again---adult birds still take A TON of work behaviorally and yes, you will surely be bitten at some point (with a baby or an adult).

Birds can and do change preferences and personalities at sexual maturity (no matter how much you work with them). Some change a ton, some don't change all that much. There is no way of knowing, but I can personally attest to the having witnessed it first-hand. Lots of people do contribute unknowingly to the aversive behaviors seen in adolescent birds (cuddling babies, spoiling them, stroking them etc--in adult birds, you only should ever pet on the head and the neck). Behavioral influences aside, many of these behaviors are deeply ingrained (hard-wired)...So....there is no way to say for sure what you will get with any baby bird.

If you do get a baby, it is easy to make mistakes that will last a lifetime (but there are pro and cons to either side). An older bird may have some baggage, but at least you will have an idea of what that baggage is.

Birds are frequently re-homed because it is very easy to get in over your head. Sexual maturity does correspond with the time when most are surrendered. The thing is, whether or not you think a bird likes you, re-homing is VERY hard on them and it causes lasting trauma, so people should never get one under the assumption that someone else will take the bird if they can no longer care for it. Obviously this is not you, or you wouldn't be here, but just keep that in mind when you shop. If you have never owned a bird, it is also imperative that you rid your home of any scented products, cleaning chemicals and products containing Teflon/PTFE/PFOA. This lifestyle change has been very difficult for me, as I used to really enjoy lighting candles and I loved my non-stick pans and Windex...no longer an option, as I have a bird (and their respiratory sensitivities are extreme when compared to mammals of any sort).

Whatever you decide, remember that if you get a bird, you are committing for the remainder of its lifespan, whether or not it screams, whether or not it bites and whether or not it likes you. They pick their people and sometimes it is random. In a household, they will often prefer one person over all other and they can become defensive and jealous in certain situations. A baby bird may love one person and then decide they love another at sexual maturity (much in the same way that teenage humans push away from their parents to find girlfriends/boyfriends/spouses etc). Socialization is key, but it will not negate this tendency completely.

Last edited by noodles123; 06-16-2019 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:46 AM
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Re: Amazonís and sexual maturity

The best way I can describe bird puberty is imagine you have a baby, you raise that baby and then they turn 13 and hormones hit and they develop a bad attitude for a few years. Would you no longer love your child? Would you disown them and assume they’d never come out on the other side as a well adjusted, even tempered adult? No, you would be patient and be the adult until they finished growing up.

Puberty with a parrot is a lot like that. They develop a foul attitude for a few years, you grin and bear it and then the hormones calm down as they become a mature adult and you only have to deal with hormonal behavior for a few weeks a year for the rest of the birds life. Yes, puberty is something to be aware of in birds but it’s gone from being unknown to plain misunderstood/hyped up to proportions of them becoming fire breathing demons who will never be right in the head again. They’re just teenager parrots is all. If you put in the time and love when they’re babies and stick by them when the hormones come, they will be a loving, wonderful adult bird at the end of puberty. Simple as that. I adopted my BFA during puberty and he was aggressive but all he needed was love and structure and to stop being passed around from home to home because of things he couldn’t help. He’s a wonderful bird. I’ve had him 11 years and the first few were rough due to hormones raging, but I never doubted he’d come out on the other side (and he did!). I honestly couldn’t ask for a much better behaved bird.
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Old 06-16-2019, 02:42 PM
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Re: Amazonís and sexual maturity

Thank you both so much for your advice. I appreciate all the help I can get.
I have been studying and reading up on parrots everyday for a few months now.
It was just my biggest concern with an amazon especially because I really heard horror stories about the time during sexual maturity. It just scared me . I would be working with my bird, training and spending lots and lots of outside cage time with it.
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Old 06-16-2019, 03:00 PM
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Re: Amazonís and sexual maturity

Consider reading the First Thread in the Amazon Forum titled: I Love Amazons - ... It is a huge Thread, containing numerous segments that will be very helpful over your Parrots Long Life! There are several segments that can be very helpful as you consider your options.

What is an 'it'? I assure you that Amazons are not an it.
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Old 06-16-2019, 04:36 PM
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Re: Amazonís and sexual maturity

I will have had my Amazon thirty years next April. Amy "picked" me to go home with when he was four months old. I knew very little about parrots in general at that time. I also had a wild-caught TAG that was about 1.5 years old.
Amy was to be my co-driver in my tractor-trailer,going on day trips with me,then maybe for weeks at a time,IF the day trips worked. It is a long story which I'm not going to get into,just suffice to say...it didn't work out!

So I socialized and socialized and SOCIALIZED and nearly 30 years later I still do! He has,and still does,go everywhere in the car with me. At times he even says "outside?..in the car??" LOVES it and has met many people,and will generally go to anyone.

BUT...there was this period of time (PUBERTY!) that I had no idea about He turned into a green NONSTER! Biting..attacking ( thank GOD he didn't,and still doesn't,know how to fly!) He ripped flesh,made BLOOD squirt!! It got soooo bad I traded him into a pet store for a CAG!!!
Luckily just a few days later I came to my senses and went back to that store and got him back..a week later we went back to that store...AND IT WAS GONE! Moved out of the mall!! I almost lost him forever. I choke up think what would have happed if I lost him forever!

Now,being almost thirty,he has mellowed out a great deal hormonal wise I'd be lost without my green dino,no matter what.


Jim
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Old 06-16-2019, 04:58 PM
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Re: Amazonís and sexual maturity

Quote: Originally Posted by Tinabell View Post
Thank you both so much for your advice. I appreciate all the help I can get.
I have been studying and reading up on parrots everyday for a few months now.
It was just my biggest concern with an amazon especially because I really heard horror stories about the time during sexual maturity. It just scared me . I would be working with my bird, training and spending lots and lots of outside cage time with it.
That is good, but also remember that there will be many years prior to puberty and it can be easy to start some bad habits. Even a well-socialized, well-trained bird is not immune to the changes that adulthood brings (new rules, new hormones, new motivations)...So just because you do all of that does not mean you will avoid aggression etc in puberty (it can be rocky, or it can be hell, but even the best owner can experience either). Regardless of puberty, adult birds are more challenging than babies.

Also, you DO want to teach your bird independence and not set a precedent of interaction so high that they expect it forever (unless you can maintain it). You want to make sure your interaction is sustainable, and a lot of interaction is needed, but you don't want to start off super high and then reduce significantly (which is easy to do when life gets in the way)--the bird won't understand.

Ultimately, ALL birds as adults are louder and not nearly as sweet and cooperative as they were when they were babies...Yes, puberty is particularly bad among parrots in general (as it is in many humans--for some, it is worse than others) BUT, an adult human will never be a sweet, squishy, non-opinionated baby again, and much like a human, bird's behaviors, interests and preferences DO shift (regardless of puberty itself). You also will not be able to "snuggle" an adult bird without stimulating it sexually (even though your bird may demand this kind of attention if you set the precedent when the bird is a baby).

If having 1-3 years of very bad behavior scares you, then you should consider that there is no way of preventing the possibility altogether (not even for the perfect parrot owner)...As AmyMyBlueFront said, he loved his bird to death, but it got BAD. It sometimes does get bad and it can test your bond, so if these potential issues would be a deal-breaker for you, you should keep that in mind (because no one can know how your future bird will react). The "horror stories" you have heard do happen. Now, is puberty always a living hell? No, but it is still rough. There is no way to know whether "hell" will happen to you or not...Plus, at the end of puberty, you always will have an adult bird different from the baby you brought home.

Bottom line- If you knew 100% that your future Amazon would have a really bad 1-3 years filled with random aggression, intensified screaming, and a generally bad attitude during puberty, would you still want to get the bird without a doubt? If your answer is yes, then I would say continue researching/considering a large bird etc, but if you aren't sure, then I would suggest a change of course (because what you will end up getting is going to be a toss-up). Obviously no one wants to think about the "worst-case-scenario", but if you aren't mentally prepared to deal with it (in the event that it does happen) that is not fair to the bird.

Have you been bitten by a larger bird before etc? I ask because if you haven't you may find that it is more or less upsetting than you anticipate (not that biting is the only problem during a hormonal spell).

Last edited by noodles123; 06-16-2019 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 06-16-2019, 05:30 PM
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Re: Amazonís and sexual maturity

Although many have gotten Amazons as their first Parrot, it is not recommended. As Jim noted, those new to larger Parrots can be faced with being bitten. And as noodles123 has stated, it can be a true eyeopener and a startling awakening for a new to Parrots individual.

That all stated, Jim's statement regarding his Amazon choosing him is something, that I highly recommend!!!

Our DYH Amazon turned 22 this May and at 500 grams and fully flighted Amazon none of that 500 grams is fat! DYH Amazons can range from 450 to 700 grams depending of which species one is chosen by.

FYI: All Amazons fall under CITES regulations and require that you obtain all paperwork from the Breeder /Seller for young Amazon(s) under 2 years of age. This paperwork includes Hatch documents, and purchase receipt(s) with contact information including address(s), phone number(s), and date(s). Once you purchase your Amazon, that information needs to be provided so it become part of your Avian Professional's medical files for your Amazon.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:45 PM
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Re: Amazonís and sexual maturity

I personally would choose a future bird based off of their known personalities, traits, etc... From there I would decide on how important it was to have them as a baby vs adult. For me this isn't important I'm strongly for rescues. I think if you know what your getting into you can make the best decision.

I would read lots of books about large birds. I'm currently doing that for our trouble maker and I wish I had done this BEFORE we took her home. Basically getting a baby bird has all the great things about it. You can see them grow, establish a healthy bond, and help train them around your life style etc... However, your always going to go through puberty with them which can be a lot. In a book I'm reading currently it says a bird that has been re homed due to bad behaviors can easily be retrained in its new home. By that when you take on an older established bird you have the honeymoon phase. During that time they are more fixated on watching their surroundings, studying the house and people/animals in it, and adjusting in general. Once they get comfortable their old traits will start to show. They may start to become territorial again, nippy, broody, vocal, and so on. If your experienced in these behaviors you know when they are starting to show. If you know what your doing you can react appropriately from the get go to stop these. Generally speaking you can develop a bond, create positive behaviors and interactions, and have a mentally and physically healthy bird.

I think an adult bird would be just as great of an option as would an adolescent. I think doing your research a head of time will be the best tool you can do. That way when behavior issues arise (which they will) you can respond appropriately.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:05 PM
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Re: Amazonís and sexual maturity

All true. They aren't called the hot 3 for nothing, and puberty with them can be a very trying experience, especially for a first time owner. Our take: Adopt an older parrot, who has passed through the raging peuberty phase. You will better know what you will get. Or get one of the lesser known, but milder temperment amazons. Our Salty is 4 yrs old and is going thu his puberty phase, but it is much milder than what happens with the hot 3. He is a yellow shoulder amazn, and is one of the most sought after companion parrots in South America, him and the Panama amazon. Milder disposition, and all that goes wth it. Maybe not as renowned a talker as the hot 3 ( but Salty talksup a storm and siings opera), his puberty consisted of a stubborn streak and yes some bitting, but compared to the DYH amazon very light. Or vet even calls him Amazon light. They do command a premium price, when they can be found al all but worth it, in my opinion. others that are considered milder are orage winged, lilac fronted, Mexican red front and a few others. The are smalled than the hot 3 - Salty weighs in around 320 grams. Explore your options and be certain amazons are a good fit for your family.All are loud at some point in the day, all have definite opinions onwho an what they like (or dont), andall live a LONGtime 40-60 years.
All are CITES listed, with our yellow shoulder amazon on CITES 1 list, so must be domestically hatched and raised. Read read and read some more. Good Luck
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