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Old 11-07-2020, 09:45 PM
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Hormones

I read that it is normal for birds to masturbate. My 4 yr. old GCC is very fond of one of her hanging toys, which is the instrument of her pleasure. Should I consider removing the toy or maybe relocating it? I've read that snuggle huts can cause hormonal issues. In her case its a hanging leather toy with a bell on the bottom.


Advice please?
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Old 11-07-2020, 09:55 PM
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Re: Hormones

Quote: Originally Posted by Shoegoo View Post
I read that it is normal for birds to masturbate. My 4 yr. old GCC is very fond of one of her hanging toys, which is the instrument of her pleasure. Should I consider removing the toy or maybe relocating it? I've read that snuggle huts can cause hormonal issues. In her case its a hanging leather toy with a bell on the bottom.


Advice please?
Yes remove it as could cause hormonal issues down the road. Plus never pet wings, or toward rear of bird only head as that also triggers hormonal behavior.
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Old 11-07-2020, 11:12 PM
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Re: Hormones

Yep, agreed, remove it. Bells were really the only thing my bird would play with, but after a couple years they became a masturbatory aid. I depressedly removed most bells from his access to keep hormones in check.
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Old 11-08-2020, 10:25 AM
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Re: Hormones

Get rid of the snuggle hut for sure- they are dangerous for a million reasons (but they are certainly hormonal triggers, which can lead to things like masturbation etc). I would personally remove the toy as well.

Make sure you are only touching your bird on the head and neck and that you are providing 10 hours of solid sleep nightly. Do not allow access to shadowy spaces (e.g, under low ledges, under furniture, blankets, boxes, etc).
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Old 11-08-2020, 01:23 PM
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Re: Hormones

Just like all creatures, maturation is a normal outlet..parrots suffer a lot of sexual frustration ...
I would leave the toy.
During breeding season my parrots find all sorts of ways to self stimulate.

But I would make sure you are providing enough if your social interactions and attention. Increase foraging and out of cage time and activities. Provide more shredders and stuff to destroy. Board parrots can turn to this activity, because nit much else is going on. Or from Loneliness.

When I first got Penny she had turned a toy into a special freinds that she talked to, tried to feed ect. My excellent vet, said not to remove it, as that would cause her a lot if stress. But instead to provide more attention abd activities. Then she wouldn't need it anymore. And that did work for me , she gave up her imaginary freind on her own and never has had issues since .
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Old 11-09-2020, 08:34 PM
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Re: Hormones

Her toy was do to be replaced. So I threw it out. Replaced it with two new toys. Now she has plenty of company.
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Old 11-09-2020, 08:43 PM
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Re: Hormones

If she is timid, I'd wait to introduce new toys until they have been in her surroundings for awhile. If she seems fine with it (post replacement- then no need to remove them).
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Old 11-10-2020, 08:10 AM
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Re: Hormones

If I'd read this post a few years ago I would have firmly come down on the side of remove it. I now have a G2 who spends a fair proportion of her time 'bonking'. She uses a snuggle toy. I am on a losing streak trying to get her to stop BUT what I am doing is trying to make sure she gets the best diet possible so that there are not nasties fueling the fire so to speak. Challenging toys are also worthwhile to occupy her time.
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Old 11-10-2020, 09:54 AM
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Re: Hormones

Do you really think a toy or other stimulating object 'introduces hormones'?

It doesn't. The bird was born with hormones and has normally fluctuating levels of sex hormones already in its bloodstream. Masturbating is normal when an animal is unable to mate in the usual way. I would leave the toy right where it is and bless the poor bird for helping itself.

But that's just me.

Obsessive masturbation is a different matter and AFAIK, the only cure for that is the provision of an opposite-sex mate. It beats me how anyone can think it's normal or right to deprive birds of their urges just because we want to keep them in our homes.

But that's just me.

Do feel free to disagree: I thought I'd post an alternative POV for consideration.
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Old 11-10-2020, 05:51 PM
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Re: Hormones

Quote: Originally Posted by Betrisher View Post
Do you really think a toy or other stimulating object 'introduces hormones'?

It doesn't. The bird was born with hormones and has normally fluctuating levels of sex hormones already in its bloodstream. Masturbating is normal when an animal is unable to mate in the usual way. I would leave the toy right where it is and bless the poor bird for helping itself.

But that's just me.

Obsessive masturbation is a different matter and AFAIK, the only cure for that is the provision of an opposite-sex mate. It beats me how anyone can think it's normal or right to deprive birds of their urges just because we want to keep them in our homes.

But that's just me.

Do feel free to disagree: I thought I'd post an alternative POV for consideration.
But certain things with strong associations can make them more likely to do it repeatedly--this one figured out the bell worked, but she isn't doing it with other objects at the moment. Sure, the bird might find something else, but it's going to take some time and potentially break up the cycle a bit in the meantime.

The problem with frequent masturbation is that it influences their hormones and their behavior etc. The more sexual they are, the more it can impact their mood etc--and they can get more anxious etc. In females, it can also lead to egg binding etc.
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