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EllenD 05-11-2019 12:07 PM

Re: Is the badness coming?
 
I'm going to echo what Noodles said...You're doing things the right way in-regards to "Avoiding Hormonal-Triggers" with your bird, such as touching him in places other than his head/neck/face and under his chin, you've not given him anything inside of his cage that creates a "small, dark place" for him to get inside of or underneath, you're not allowing him to get underneath or inside of anything outside of his cage, no nesting-materials inside of his cage, and to be quite honest and frank with you and everyone else, in my own experience at the Rescue and with my own birds, if everyone would put their birds on a Natural-Light Schedule all-year round, regardless of what time they have to go to bed during winter months and what time they have to get up during the summer months, then Hormonal-Behavior would be something that is hardly ever an issue, except maybe during the 2 natural "Breeding Seasons" per year...And even during those times a Natural-Light Schedule usually keeps them from becoming hormonal UNLESS they have a mate of the opposite-sex to breed with during those times of the year. Most people won't put their birds on a "true" Natural-Light Schedule throughout the entire year because of how early their birds would have to go to bed in the winter months, myself included since I live in central PA where the Sun starts to set in the winter-months around 5:00-5:30 in the afternoon...But that's exactly the schedule they are all on in the wild, which is why we hear the birds starting to chirp/sing in the early-morning as soon as the Sun starts to rise, and why we stop hearing them or seeing them flying around right as the Sun starts to set in the late-afternoon/early evening...And that keeps them on their natural Breeding-Season schedule...Makes sense...

HOWEVER....Not to be the party-pooper, but some birds are also just "late-bloomers", especially if the environment they are brought into when they are babies/juveniles (before the normal age of puberty for each specific species) is totally free of Hormonal-Triggers and they are put on a Natural-Light Schedule and getting 12-hours of sleep every night...And just as a lot of pet birds/parrots who are brought-home as just-weaned babies at very young ages often go into puberty months before their species usually does if their owners handle them/touch them in ways/places they shouldn't, they cuddle them in blankets/towels or inside of their shirts all the time, and especially if they give them one of those blasted "Happy/Snuggle Huts" in their cages or anything similar, if as young babies their owners totally avoid all of these Triggers and put them on a 12-hour sleep-schedule, their puberty can actually be delayed quite a bit (some people even put Nest-Boxes inside of their young, baby bird's cages as soon as they bring them home, thinking that all birds need to have a "nest", or a "bed" to sleep in instead of a perch/branch)...Typically we think of only the larger species of parrots being the ones who do not go through puberty until they are 2-3 years-old, 4-5 years-old, and in some cases not until they are 7-8 years-old...But "Delayed-Puberty/Sexual-Maturity" is not limited to only the large parrots; at 2 years-old, your Sun Conure could very well have not yet started to go through puberty, simply because his body has not yet been "Triggered" to do so (especially if you have no other parrots in the house).

Bottom-line is that you're doing an awesome job at making your bird's environment, his schedule, etc. as healthy as it could be for him from a behavioral point of view, so absolutely just keep doing what you've been doing...However, don't at all be surprised if one day he suddenly starts regurgitating for you, rubbing his beak on you or on objects near you, starts "rubbing himself" on you, other people in the house, or a toy/perch etc., or if he suddenly start becoming very aggressive and "nippy" sporadically and without reason, because those sex-hormones could kick-in at any time, and they most-likely will at some point...And if you haven't had him DNA-tested, then who knows what you might be left as a surprise inside the cage one day! I hope not thought...(I know that Sun Conures are technically sexually-dimorphic, but the differences are so subtle that often times you just cannot tell for sure)...

Orin2017 05-11-2019 03:28 PM

Re: Is the badness coming?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by EllenD (Post 810969)
I'm going to echo what Noodles said...You're doing things the right way in-regards to "Avoiding Hormonal-Triggers" with your bird, such as touching him in places other than his head/neck/face and under his chin, you've not given him anything inside of his cage that creates a "small, dark place" for him to get inside of or underneath, you're not allowing him to get underneath or inside of anything outside of his cage, no nesting-materials inside of his cage, and to be quite honest and frank with you and everyone else, in my own experience at the Rescue and with my own birds, if everyone would put their birds on a Natural-Light Schedule all-year round, regardless of what time they have to go to bed during winter months and what time they have to get up during the summer months, then Hormonal-Behavior would be something that is hardly ever an issue, except maybe during the 2 natural "Breeding Seasons" per year...And even during those times a Natural-Light Schedule usually keeps them from becoming hormonal UNLESS they have a mate of the opposite-sex to breed with during those times of the year. Most people won't put their birds on a "true" Natural-Light Schedule throughout the entire year because of how early their birds would have to go to bed in the winter months, myself included since I live in central PA where the Sun starts to set in the winter-months around 5:00-5:30 in the afternoon...But that's exactly the schedule they are all on in the wild, which is why we hear the birds starting to chirp/sing in the early-morning as soon as the Sun starts to rise, and why we stop hearing them or seeing them flying around right as the Sun starts to set in the late-afternoon/early evening...And that keeps them on their natural Breeding-Season schedule...Makes sense...

HOWEVER....Not to be the party-pooper, but some birds are also just "late-bloomers", especially if the environment they are brought into when they are babies/juveniles (before the normal age of puberty for each specific species) is totally free of Hormonal-Triggers and they are put on a Natural-Light Schedule and getting 12-hours of sleep every night...And just as a lot of pet birds/parrots who are brought-home as just-weaned babies at very young ages often go into puberty months before their species usually does if their owners handle them/touch them in ways/places they shouldn't, they cuddle them in blankets/towels or inside of their shirts all the time, and especially if they give them one of those blasted "Happy/Snuggle Huts" in their cages or anything similar, if as young babies their owners totally avoid all of these Triggers and put them on a 12-hour sleep-schedule, their puberty can actually be delayed quite a bit (some people even put Nest-Boxes inside of their young, baby bird's cages as soon as they bring them home, thinking that all birds need to have a "nest", or a "bed" to sleep in instead of a perch/branch)...Typically we think of only the larger species of parrots being the ones who do not go through puberty until they are 2-3 years-old, 4-5 years-old, and in some cases not until they are 7-8 years-old...But "Delayed-Puberty/Sexual-Maturity" is not limited to only the large parrots; at 2 years-old, your Sun Conure could very well have not yet started to go through puberty, simply because his body has not yet been "Triggered" to do so (especially if you have no other parrots in the house).

Bottom-line is that you're doing an awesome job at making your bird's environment, his schedule, etc. as healthy as it could be for him from a behavioral point of view, so absolutely just keep doing what you've been doing...However, don't at all be surprised if one day he suddenly starts regurgitating for you, rubbing his beak on you or on objects near you, starts "rubbing himself" on you, other people in the house, or a toy/perch etc., or if he suddenly start becoming very aggressive and "nippy" sporadically and without reason, because those sex-hormones could kick-in at any time, and they most-likely will at some point...And if you haven't had him DNA-tested, then who knows what you might be left as a surprise inside the cage one day! I hope not thought...(I know that Sun Conures are technically sexually-dimorphic, but the differences are so subtle that often times you just cannot tell for sure)...



You seem to know your stuff about Conures. I have a two year old female Green Cheek Cinnamon Conure (tested: she’s female). We (my wife and I) avoid giving her nesting materials.

Are you saying that having one of those store bought triangular shaped huts in the cage for sleeping is a tantamount to providing a Conure with a nest, thus inducing a hormonal trigger?

My Conure, Orrin, immediately after bringing her home from Pet Co in Anchorage, Alaska, engaged in behaviors I have been very interested in understanding.

1. Beek-tapping on everything repeatedly, like a wood pecker. We have heard conjecture that this is a territorial behavior, that is our bird saying “This is mine.” Is this theory correct? If not, what are the most plausible explanations for this behavior?

2. Beek rubbing on everything. It’s my own conjecture but she tends to rub her beek on things (including me), right after eating; so we have tended to view this behavior as a type of beek cleaning process. Alternately, sometimes instead or in addition to beek wiping, our Conure will also bite onto a blanket and accomplish the same thing.

3. Backing up her butt to my face and making squealing noises as I chew gum or make popping sounds. Something tells me I shouldn’t allow her to do this. She enjoys it too much. She backs up her butt to my beard, with her tail feathers up in my face, and just squeals as my jaw moves. What is going on with this butt to beard behavior?

4. You mentioned avoiding the practice of the Conure snuggling inside of shirts. We take our Conure almost everywhere. In Alaska, it’s pretty cold in the winter. So when we get into the car and drive from point A to point B, there is a short period of time where there is a cold exposure as we walk to and from our parking place and into a store, or into our doctor’s offices. My wife has Orrin trained. She simply says “Get in the hole!” Upon hearing this command, Orrin climbs into her shirt. Usually, she climbs right into her braw, where it’s warm and snuggly. She repositions herself so that her head is up and she is in the center of warm cleavage, with just her head peering out. She’ll remain there until she is out of the cold and inside of a building, then she climbs back onto the shoulder. Sometimes Orrin will climb into my shirt too when it’s cold, but not on command. This is purely conjecture on my part but we have always thought that this has to do with staying warm.

5. Regarding the issue of light cycles, because our home is probably a little cold at night, we keep Orrin’s cage covered with two separate fuzzy blankets, to block out all light, and provide a little bit of sound-proofing. In the morning, Orrin wakes up before we do, chirping or making clicking sounds to make us get up out of bed and remove the blankets from her cage. The bird wants out of the cage to poop and eat around 9:00AM-10:00AM. She is put in her cage at night around 10:30PM-11:30PM. It is always possible to use a timer and turn on a light at a certain time, in order to mimmic natural light-darkness cycles. To do this, however, I would not be able to cover her cage with a blanket at night, which would create another problem with keeping her warm and ensuring she has total darkness at night. In addition, we keep her cage in our bedroom, as close as possible to us: we don’t want to be woke up by lights on a timer, which means we would have to move her cage to another room. I don’t know how Orrin would like her cage being in a different room. This might create a separation anxiety issue. Also, in Alaska, in our short spring/summer, it’s day light for most of the time, even as much as 18 hours out of 24 hours. Without covering her cage to give her darkness, she’s going to be sleep deprived. Any suggestions?

7. Orrin seldom bites. I feed her Harrisons pellets and chia seeds. She prefers to eat the chia seeds and leave the Harrison pellets in her food bowl. I know this is an ongoing issue with every parrot owner: balancing that diet. Once, I fed Orrin “super greens,” which is dehydrated, dark, leafy greens that is rich in nutrients. I did this everyday for a week or two and I noticed a HUGE change in Orrin’s behavior. She was over-flowing with energy, all day long...and biting accordingly. After eliminating the super greens from her diet, she stopped biting again. But then in absence of super greens, I notice she doesn’t have the same energy level. We have also wondered if there is a correlation between her lack of healthy looking feathers and a bad diet. She is molting constantly, non-stop, while picking out her feathers under her wings, along her sides. We’ve taken her to the vet several times and the vet eliminated all possible diagnoses. What was left was psychological factors, like the question of stimulation. But this isn’t a bird that is locked away in a cage all day and night, with few or boring toys. This is a spoiled rotten Conure that doesn’t spend time in the cage except at night or during short time outs for the rare instances of biting. I fear that time outs to the same cage she goes at night, or to the same cage she must go when we go someplace that we cannot take her, sends a confusing message. We fear she asks herself “what did I do wrong?” This makes us want to have a second cage for time outs, a smaller cage without all of the luxuries. Any thoughts about that the cage issue as it relates to time outs?

Thanks


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Skittys_Daddy 05-11-2019 04:33 PM

Re: Is the badness coming?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Iridal (Post 810849)
Quote:

Originally Posted by noodles123 (Post 810762)
Honestly, if you are of the mindset "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", then you may just be doing things right. I don't want to jinx your situation, and I'm not saying you will never experience hormones, but I think a lot of times, behavioral issues stem from people not properly identifying environmental triggers (and inadvertently stimulating their birds) or socialization issues early on etc. Keep on doing what you are doing as long as it keeps working lol and keep an eye on those "willful cuddles".

"Willful cuddles", LOL.... yeah he's tried to get frisky with things once or twice but we put an end to it and it hasn't come up since then. I'm big on enforcing boundaries, politely, but firmly. He likes to test those but he's getting the idea. Fingers crossed that things will keep going well!

ETA: He can be kind of cuddly. But he's also non aggressive so maybe we're just lucky enough that it didn't matter? Every bird is different I guess!

Skittles DOES have a tendency to regurgitate on certain things at times, but I put the kibosh on that as quickly as I can. His preference is the curtains but the curtain rods are a 'no-no' place. During 'hormone' season, I tend to have to limit his exposure to 'hormonal triggers' in order to avoid the regurgitation issues- but eventually, the hormones subside for the season and hes back to normal.

IF you keep on enforcing boundaries and setting limits, you'll be in a great place. I have found that to be extremely effective with Skittles. When I first got him, I let him get away with everything and then when he would get loud or noisy or bratty, I'd give in and give him what he wanted in order to quiet him down. Needless to say, it did NOT work and in fact created a nightmare situation. Luckily, for me, I had a dear friend who knew what I was doing and confronted me on it. I began to make changes and they involved using timeouts and a LOT of determination on my part to correct the problems I created. BUT, it worked.

The key is, you have to maintain those limits and boundaries 100% of the time. A number of years ago, I tried letting him have an 'off day' from limits and boundaries on his birthday and it backfired.
I think that as long as you enforce boundaries and set limits while remaining conscious of their needs and making a sincere effort to understand them, you'll be good to go. While I do enforce limits and boundaries, I also do NOT run straight to discipline when he acts out. I try to identify WHY he is acting out. IF its a behavioral or hormonal thing, I address it properly, but usually its his way of alerting me to something and by addressing that something, the behavior stops.

It appears to me that what you have with your sunnie is what I have with mine. Skittles is extremely affectionate and for the most part is very obedient. BUT, that doesn't mean he doesn't "test me", he does. He is 'constantly' looking for that weak spot and I've gotten so used to him trying to break me, that its become second nature NOT to give in. lol. Do NOT ever underestimate their ability to manipulate. lol. Skittles is a master of it. He'll use every 'adorable trick' in the book. As adorable as it is, I remind myself its a 'trick', don't fall for it.

Sunnyclover 05-12-2019 11:52 PM

Re: Is the badness coming?
 
My Sun Conure Ollie is 3 and my Nanday conure, Finley is 2 and so far they have shown zero aggressiveness towards me or my husband. With some birds puberty is a serious issue but I believe it's partially the owners fault for not understanding that they're sexually arousing their birds. Any time you pet your bird anywhere other than their head you're sending the wrong message. I pet all 4 of my birds all the time but I never pet them anywhere but the head and none of the regurgitate to me or my husband or any toys. As babies they went through a weird stage with that but since they were a year old nothing along those lines has happened even though we have 2 female birds in our flock as well. I also think it's good to keep every bird in a different cage because being in such close quarters with another bird can cause these issues also and can cause aggressiveness towards the birds favorite human or least favorite human so on and so fourth. By the time people find all this stuff out they've usually already created a monster (not literally) and at that point it's really hard to fix it because it's all the bird knows. So...don't over pet your bird and you should be fine... although some birds get effected even so but will probably get over it quicker and be less aggressive. Hope this helps.

Sunnyclover 05-12-2019 11:57 PM

Re: Is the badness coming?
 
Also please add pictures of your birds plucking issue.

EllenD 05-13-2019 12:51 PM

Re: Is the badness coming?
 
Orin, I just read through your reply to me, and the first thing that you need to know immediately is in-regards to yes, those "Triangular-shaped" things, they have many different names but are most-often called "Triangle-Beds" and/or "Happy-Huts" and "Snuggle-Huts". They are made by 2 different manufacturers for the most-part, and the ones from these 2 major manufacturers are typically red, green, yellow, or purple in color, but I've also seen some that were blue and some that were orange as well (the ones that are sold at Petco and Petsmart, along with most other pet shops come from these 2 manufacturers only)...To answer your direct question to me, YES, THESE THINGS MIMIC A "NEST" AND CAUSE HORMONAL-BEHAVIOR IN ALL SPECIES OF BIRDS AND IN BOTH GENDERS ALIKE...As do ANY AND ALL similar Boxes, Tents, Beds, Hammocks, Huts, etc., basically ANYTHING that creates a small, dark place that a bird can either get inside of, or get underneath will regularly trigger their sex-hormones, and for this reason should be completely avoided...HOWEVER ORIN, these "Triangular-Beds", "Happy-Huts", "Snuggle-Huts", etc., whatever you want to call them, SHOULD BE COMPLETELY AVOIDED AT ALL-COSTS FOR ALL BIRDS FOR A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT REASON UNRELATED TO THEIR HORMONES...A LETHAL/FATAL REASON!

*****Since those "Huts/Triangular-Beds" were put out for sale, first by one specific company and then shortly after were cloned by another, THEY HAVE DIRECTLY-KILLED THOUSANDS OF PET BIRDS/PARROTS OF ALL SPECIES, AND IN 2 DIFFERENT WAYS. And even though ALL SPECIES OF BIRDS have been killed by them, more Conures have been killed by them by-far than any other species, specifically because all sub-species of Conures love to get inside of things like this (JUST LIKE INSIDE OF YOUR SHIRT) and cuddle in them/sleep in them, and because once Conures are given something like this they often start sleeping inside of them while lying on their bellies, their backs, or their sides, instead of sleeping normally on a perch. For this reason one of the 2 major-manufacturers of these things actually started printing the phrase "Not Intended For Use By Conures" right on the front of the packaging!!! There are several Class-Action Lawsuits going on against both of these manufacturers by people who have confirmation that their pet birds/parrots were killed directly as a result of one of these things being inside of their bird's cage, either due to 1 of 2 different reasons; the confirmation that is required is having a Necropsy done by an Avian Vet for one of the causes, and through photographic-evidence for the other cause...

***The first way that these "Happy/Snuggle Huts" or "Triangular-Beds" are killing thousands of pet birds/parrots is due to the birds picking-off little, tiny bits of the fuzzy material they are made of and that lines both the inside and the outside of them over-time. There owners typically don't see them doing this (as you wouldn't, how would you when they are inside of the things doing it), especially while their birds are sleeping at night. They pick-off the material in tiny pieces, bit-by-bit, WHICH IS NOT AT ALL DIGESTIBLE BY ANY SPECIES OF BIRD/PARROT, and which is not firmly attached to their structure but can rather just be picked-off in tiny bits easily, and over a short amount of time (usually this happens within 6-months to a year of the bird having one of these hung inside of their cage) the material builds-up inside of the bird, first inside of their Crop, and then it is eventually pushed through to their Stomach and finally into the proximal Small-Intestine, where it causes a complete Bowel-Obstruction that is usually fatal within a day or two of it developing. And because all birds hide all outward signs/symptoms of illness and pain for as long as they possibly can as a natural, innate Survival-Instinct, we as their owners usually don't notice that our birds are sick until they have already been sick for weeks to months. So with a Bowel-Obstruction, if it's not caught immediately and the bird is not immediately taken to an Avian Vet or a 24/7 Animal Hospital to have surgery to remove it, the bird just suddenly dies...This is the most common cause of these "Huts" killing pet birds directly, and typically people just find their seemingly-fine birds laying dead on the bottom of their cages...

**The second way that these things kill thousands of pet birds is due to the long threads that are used to hold the frame or structure of them together and that are hidden inside of them and not seen by people at all...Birds start picking at the material, usually while inside of these "Huts", just like I described above, but instead of them being alive long enough to develop a Bowel-Obstruction, in a lot of cases one of these threads is freed, and the birds get it wrapped around either their necks, which results in them literally hanging themselves to death, or around one of their legs/feet, which results in them hanging upside down from the Hut and not being able to free themselves. In both cases, if no one is home when the bird gets one of these threads wrapped around themselves, the bird can end-up hanging from them for 8-hours or longer...Obviously if the thread gets wrapped around their neck and it is not seen by someone immediately it's going to quickly result in the bird's death. However, if the thread gets wrapped around the bird's leg or foot, the poor bird could be hanging upside down all day long until someone comes home; and typically what happens is the bird eventually chews it's own leg or foot off in-order to free themselves (they do this naturally in the wild as well, it's just how they handle this situation innately)...In this situation if no one gets home quickly, the bird typically is found dead in a puddle of blood, either from the thread cutting through their flesh and eventually a large vessel, or from them chewing their own leg or foot off and doing the same. And a bird the size of a Sun Conure or smaller can only lose about 4-Tablespoons of blood before death (Budgies are about 2-Tablespoons).

Here is a link to one of the dozens of websites, forums, etc. where people who have lost their birds to one of these horrible death-traps can go and talk to others who have had birds suffer the same fate. Happy Hut Warning

Orin, if your Green Cheek has one of these things inside or outside of his cage, anywhere, please remove it immediately and throw it away, and then spread the word to any other bird owners that you might know who also have one. Being a hormonal-trigger is the least of the problems that these horrible things cause, and these companies don't care, they won't stop making them, nor even change their design or the materials used to make them...AND NEITHER PETCO NOR PETSMART WILL STOP SELLING THEM EITHER!

EllenD 05-13-2019 02:10 PM

Re: Is the badness coming?
 
Okay Orin, now that we've gotten the "Triangular-Bed/Happy-Hut" thing out of the way, we can address the rest of your post to me. Obviously the danger that those "Huts" pose to all pet birds needs to come first and foremost before the fact that yes, they are also a severe hormonal-trigger as well. However, we as pet-bird owners do very much need to take our bird's sex-hormones being "triggered" on a regular-basis by many different things that we give them access to as well as by many actions that we ourselves do to them directly extremely seriously, much more seriously than a lot of bird owners do. Not only do our bird's sex-hormones being triggered cause them a lot of severe sexual-frustration, which is what typically results in our birds of both genders becoming aggressive and at times even violent, but for those of us who have at least one FEMALE BIRD, like you and I both do, triggering their sex-hormones can quite-literally result directly in their sudden, early deaths.

You stated that your Green Cheek Conure is in-fact a female, so you and your wife do need to start trying your best to do everything you can to keep their sex-hormones from being kicked into gear. With that being said, all birds are going to become hormonal at times throughout their lives, with most pet birds outwardly displaying different hormonal-behaviors during at least one natural Breeding-Season each year, if not during both natural Breeding-Seasons each year...The first Breeding-Season happens in the early Spring months, and the second during the early Fall months. Even if you do everything the "right way", meaning you remove all potential "Triggers" from both their cages/stands and from your home where they have access to them, or by limiting their access to them, and by putting them on a "Natural-Light Schedule" or at least ensuring that they are getting at least 12-hours of sleep each night, making sure you don't feed them any warm/hot, mushy foods that mimic hand-feeding formula and/or the regurgitated-food that their mothers/fathers feed to them when they are babies, and making sure that you neither touch/pet/scratch your bird in any areas on their body that are "arousing" to them, nor put them inside of your clothing or any blankets or towels to cuddle them, etc., your bird is STILL going to display some hormonal-behaviors from time to time, unless you have had a Suprelorelin/Deslorelin Implant put in them to chemically-castrate them by shutting-off the production of their sex-hormones. That is really the only way to stop your bird from becoming hormonal at least some of the time, so the point is that there is nothing you can do to totally eliminate hormonal-behavior in your bird, but that's okay, just as long as you're not doing anything that you know will directly trigger their sex-hormones. (There are some female pet birds/parrots who absolutely MUST have a Hormonal-Implant put in them and usually have to have them replaced every 3-6 months for the rest of their lives because they are chronic, continual layers of Infertile-Eggs, and they have become Egg-Bound at least once)...

So to address some of the behaviors that your Green Cheek has been displaying and what they might mean or be related to...Keep in-mind that each and every bird is an individual, just like people are, and though there are behaviors that represent a certain behavior most of the time, there are always going to be exceptions to the rules, just like with anything else. (This is my disclaimer, lol)...

***Regarding your Green Cheek "Tapping her Beak on things"...Beak-Tapping can mean a couple of different things, and the way you can usually determine which meaning they have is simply by looking at the situation as a whole when and where they are doing it...Beak-Tapping can absolutely be a "Territorial" thing as you suggested, as most parrots are at least a little Territorial about everything from their cages and/or play-stands (#1 thing they are territorial about), their toys, and even "their person" or people. So yes, if your Green Cheek does start tapping his beak on some part of her cage or on a perch or toy inside of her cage, then it definitely can be that they are letting you know that it's "their territory". They sometimes do this as a "Warning" whenever their person or people put their hands inside of their cages, which even the most tame, most closely-bonded pet bird sometimes does not like and will in-fact bite their person of they don't remove their hands from their cages immediately. Some birds will tap their beaks repetitively as a warning, some will give a very light "nip" with their beaks, etc., and if their person doesn't remove their hand from their cage at that point, then they give a good bite...And if that doesn't work they typically draw-blood, depending on the species. However, tapping their beaks on things can also be them trying to tell you something, everything from "I'm hungry or thirst" to "I want you to pick me up" etc...It can also be them using their beaks to feel things. But typically it is them trying to tell you that something is theirs, and you better know it's theirs...

***As far as your Green Cheek "Rubbing her beak" on things or on a person...This actually means a lot more than they are just "wiping their beaks off", in-fact usually when they are wiping food or something else off of their beaks they just do so and you know that's what they are doing because you can see food or something else on their beaks....But if your bird is rubbing her beak on something or on a person, it's usually not that simple. They often rub their beaks on people (usually the person they are bonded to) as a sexual/hormonal behavior, and usually they are doing it while they are wanting to mate/masturbate with the person or with an object...Birds often have a particular perch, a toy, a dish/bowl, etc. that they masturbate on, and they will rub their beaks all over them right before they masturbate on them...The same goes for their mates or the person they are closely-bonded to, they will rub their beaks on their person, usually on their hand or their shoulder, or on their mate (meaning another bird), usually on their beak/face...There was a recent controlled-study done that came to the conclusion that hormonal-birds are actually first rubbing their beaks on their Preen-Gland in-order to get some Preen-Oil (Purcellin) on their beaks, and then they are actually rubbing their beaks on either their mate/person or on an object NEAR their mate/person because they are trying to attract them with the odor/scent of the Preen-Oil that they are rubbing on them or on the object... This theory is now called "The Cologne Theory"...Also, rubbing of their beaks on a object or person is sometimes also thought to show territoriality/possession/dominance, just like "tapping" of their beaks does...

EllenD 05-13-2019 03:28 PM

Re: Is the badness coming?
 
***As for "Backing-Up her Butt" to your face/beard, or any other part of your body for that matter...Yeah, you already figured this one out, And NO, you should NOT let her do this at all because you are not only encouraging her sex-hormones instead of calming them, but more-importantly is the SEXUAL-FRUSTRATION that you are causing her every time you allow her to do this, which is exactly what ends-up resulting in aggression/violence and biting. Both male and female birds will back their "butts" against everything from their person, as you're describing your Green Cheek doing, to against a toy, a dish, a perch, their cage-bars, a pillow, basically anything and everything that they think they can masturbate on, or in the case of their person they really are trying to mate with them (actually they are trying to get their Vent against whatever they are backing-up to, as that's how male and female birds mate, by rubbing their Vents together; only a few bird species overall have males with an actual penis that is inserted into the female bird's Vent)...And they also will typically make some type of soft "chirping" sound that they don't make at any other time except for when they are masturbating or actually mating (or while they are trying to, lol)....My male Senegal Parrot will actually waddle on over to me making his "chirping" noises and I automatically know what he wants, lol...But my guy is very resourceful and creative, as he will actually go to one of my hands and start trying to move my hand and my individual fingers around to suit his, uh, "position"....The problem with this is that there is nothing that they are going to be able to do that is going to work, as I'm certainly not going to allow any of my guys to masturbate on me, as you shouldn't either, lol...But if you keep allowing your Green Cheek to do this against any part of your body, you are only going to keep frustrating her, and the problem with a female bird being this hormonal and it not being stopped immediately are the resulting Eggs as a possibility...It will eventually happen, whether it happens in a month, a year, or in the case of one of our member's female Sun Conure it happened at the age of 7!!! She had never laid a single infertile Egg before in her life, at the age of 7 (AFTER SHE HAD BEEN REGULARLY CUDDLING HER IN HER SHIRT FOR 7 YEARS, AS WELL AS HAVING A "HAPPY-HUT IN HER CAGE FOR YEARS AS WELL), she produced her first Egg...A MASSIVE EGG that she could not lay, even with shots of Oxytocin to induce the Egg to come down the Oviduct and for her muscles to contract and push the Egg out, it was just too large for her to pass...And she had to have emergency OPEN-ABDOMINAL SURGERY to remove the massive Egg from her Oviduct, either pay thousands of dollars for that, or pay $200 to Euthanize her...Of course she paid for the surgery, which was a success and which she survived, thank goodness, BUT THIS WAS HER FIRST EGG EVER AT THE AGE OF 7!!! So this is the best example I can give you as to why you shouldn't EVER cuddle your Green Cheek inside of your clothing, remove any small, dark boxes/Huts etc. from her cage permanently, etc. It can happen at any time, and when it does you have only 1 or 2 options...

***Whenever your Green Cheek again tries to back her "butt" up to any part of your body, what you want to do is SAY NOTHING, just immediately pick her up and silently put her inside of her cage and then walk away from her sight for about 10 minutes. This will give her time to cool-down and settle her hormones, and then after about 10-15 minutes you can come back into her sight and let her back out of her cage again, and just act like nothing ever happened. You should NEVER "punish" or "scold" or even say "No" to her when she tries to masturbate on you or anything else, as you don't want her to perceive it like you are angry at her for doing it or that you are punishing her or scolding her, or that you are using her cage as a punishment or a "time-out"...This is a normal, natural behavior that isn't her fault, and she loves you so you're technically her "mate"...But you must protect her health and well-being and do everything you can to prevent Egg-Binding, as this is your job as her owner/daddy. So just quietly scoop her up, take her to her cage, let her cool down with you out of her sight, and then let her back out and life goes on until she does it again...

***I highly suggest that neither you nor your wife ever put your Green Cheek inside of your shirts/bra like you have been doing, regardless of whether it's cold outside or not!!! The story that I just wrote to you above in my prior-post regarding our member who's female Sun Conure hadn't ever laid an Egg in the first 7-years of her life and then became Egg-Bound by the very first Egg her body ever produced is the perfect example of why you just cannot do this any longer. The only 2 hormonal-triggers that our member had been doing were placing a Happy-Hut inside of her cage since she was a baby, and she had recently started cuddling her daily inside of her shirt. That's it, that's all that it took to cause her body to produce infertile-Eggs...And after the open-abdominal surgery when she came home from the hospital with staples in her belly, she had lost her Happy-Hut (which as I described has more-serious and fatal reasons why it shouldn't be in any bird's cage), and she had to keep her from crawling under her shirt. Period. And it was very, very difficult for her, because her mother was fighting her on it, even after she had just spend thousands of dollars saving the bird's life due to her sex-hormones being stimulated...As someone else mentioned in their reply to this thread, "it just comes down to a lot of people arousing their birds without even realizing it"...Well said. And Conures specifically, all sub-species of Conures, absolutely LOVE TO CUDDLE WITH THEIR PERSON/PEOPLE!!! Under their shirts, under blankets, towels, pillows, etc. That's just what Conures do. So while your Green Cheek might be cold, she would love to jump inside your wife's shirt/bra every chance she could, as well as under your shirt! And every time you allow her or actually encourage her to do this, you are arousing her sex-hormones without meaning to or even knowing it. If you need to take her outside when it's cold out, then you just need to put her in a carrier with a blanket/towel in it, and if it's really cold out then throw a "Hot-Hands" from Walmart (camping section for less than $1 each) in-between or underneath the blanket/towel so it will keep her warm but not burn her...I know it's not what you want to do, I'm sure it's not what your wife wants to have to do either, especially since she actually trained her to jump underneath her shirt on-command, [B]but trust me, you'll both be just devastated if she becomes Egg-Bound sometime in the future and you're blaming yourselves for it...That's what none of us here want to see happen to ANY BIRD OR THEIR PARRONTS...

As far as the "Natural-Light Schedule", I totally understand your situation, and it's just simply not possible for everyone to be able to keep their birds on that type of schedule...Covering her cage at bedtime is absolutely something that you should do, I cover all 4 of my guy's sleeping-cages overnight as well, as it helps them sleep much more soundly by blocking-out light and sounds, and that's what you want, for her to sleep soundly and solidly...[B]As long as she is getting at least 12-hours of sleep every single night, then she'll stay healthy overall (because a lack of sleep in birds can cause all kinds of physical heath problems in-addition to hormonal-behaviors), and her sex-hormones will not be triggered by a lack of sleep. That's what is most-important, that regardless of the times your bird goes to bed or gets up, that she is getting at least 12-hours of restful-sleep. And yes, they do normally wake-up earlier than us, even if they're in the same room as us and even if they are covered, and they will do their little early-morning chirping routine, etc. All normal...Just make sure she is getting 12-hours of sleep every night and this shouldn't be an issue...

EllenD 05-13-2019 03:36 PM

Re: Is the badness coming?
 
I hope I addressed all of your specific questions...In-addition, I'm actually concerned about what you described regarding her feather-health, the "constant" molting, and her lack of overall-energy that was remedied by the simple addition of Supergreens...And then the whole "Harrisons pellets and Chia seeds" as her regular, daily diet (and I got the feeling that she's not actually eating much of the Harrison's, which leaves Chia seeds and that's it, which is not at all good nor adequate)...

***As far as her feathers as they relate to her overall-health, along with the "Supergreens" issue...First of all, I have a BS in Health Science and a Masters in Animal Health Science, so I'm coming from an educated place when it comes to Physiology, Pharmacology, Nutrition, etc...I'm familiar with Supergreens, and as long as they were nothing but the actual Greens and didn't have any other supplements added to them, then what you are describing to me as far as her visibly/noticeably having "More Energy" when simply eating a daily portion of SuperGreens and then visibly/noticeably having much less energy when she stops eating the SuperGreens, [B]is a definite issue in-regards to her regular, daily-diet and her overall Nutritional-health. Bottom-line is that giving your Green Cheek a daily portion of SuperGreens SHOULD NOT at all result in a noticeable change in her energy-levels, Period. And when you also combine this with what you are describing with regard to her feathers, this ABSOLUTELY indicates some type of Nutritional-Deficiency or state of "general" Malnutrition. She should not be "constantly molting", nor having to constantly over-preen herself due to her feathers being constantly in a state of molt....A bird's feather-condition, as well as their beak-condition, are directly-related to their overall-health, as are their "energy-levels", and the one aspect of a bird's overall-health that links their feather-health to their overall energy-levels is their Nutritional-Health. If you think about this in-terms of human-beings it will help you to understand, as a parrot's Physiology as far as their daily-Nutrition and how it influences different parts of their body does not work any differently than that of people...If a person is lacking a nutrient or multiple nutrients in their regular, daily diet, it will effect their skin, hair, nails, etc. It will effect their Metabolism and their energy levels, etc. More importantly, if a bird has some type of Disease-Process going on, or an Organ-Function issue of some kind, or there is something that is effecting a certain Gland or hormone-producing Organ in a bird's body, such as their Thyroid Gland (the first thing that I immediately thought of after reading your last paragraph regarding your bird's energy-levels and feather-health), and this is either directly causing a Nutritional-Deficiency (because it is preventing the digestion, absorption, or processing/use of a particular nutrient(s), OR is being caused by a Nutritional-Deficiency (because either the bird isn't eating an appropriate diet, or because the bird isn't able to absorb a certain nutrient(s)), then it will eventually become visible and obvious outwardly, no matter how hard the bird tries to hide that something is wrong.

***I don't know if you have an actual Certified Avian Vet or Avian Specialist Vet up there in AK, but either way, whatever Vet you do have access to, if I were you I would be making an appointment for her and requesting that she have full, baseline Blood-Work done, if she hasn't had it done in at least the last 6-months...All birds should have regular, baseline Blood-Work done at least once a year, along with a full Fecal-Smear/Culture as well...But something isn't right here with Orin with regard to her constant-molting and overall feather-health, along with her low energy-levels...Again, Supergreens should not effect a bird in that way at all, and when you combine the two issues it sounds like a Thyroid issue to me immediately...There is a list of Differential-Diagnoses in my head for these two issues, but the Thyroid being involved is at the top of the list, along with the Ovaries as well...Depending on what tests your Vet includes in a bird's regular, baseline Blood-Work, they may not need to add it, but you need to request that they test both of the main Thyroid levels along with a Liver and Kidney panels. The major Nutritional levels that could be involved in this should automatically be run in the basic Blood-Work run on a bird...As long as she is eating an adequate amount of Harrison's pellets every day, then she should not be suffering from any low nutritional levels, as Harrison's provides all the daily nutrition a Green Cheek needs for a day (as long as she is actually eating an adequate amount of pellets each day, and she is maintaining an appropriate weight for a female Green Cheek Conure, which should be somewhere between 65g and 80g)...However, if you don't think that she is eating the recommended amount of Harrison's pellets every day but rather just picking at the pellets and then actually eating only the Chia Seeds, then that could very well be her major issue, as Chia Seeds alone WILL NOT provide a bird with even close to the amount of daily vitamins, minerals, amino acids, protein, fat, carbs, etc. that they need every day to support their body's basic daily physiological processes. In reality, if you are thinking that she is only "picking at" the Harrison's pellets and then filling herself up on only the Chia Seeds, then you've got a serious issue, and she would be much better off being fed a healthy and varied Seed-Mix for parrots that is high in protein, low in fat, and that contains NO Sunflower Seeds, NO Peanuts, and NO Dried Corn kernels or pieces...There are a few commercially-sold Seed-Mixes that are very good and that provide a variety of lower-fat, heathier Seeds, Grains, Legumes, Veggies, Herbs, a small amount of Fruit, and a small amount of healthier Nuts, namely Almonds. These Seed-Mixes include Higgins Vita-Seed "California Blend", Tropimix (which also contains Tropican pellets), Higgins Safflower-Gold, and a few others...The main thing you have to look for is NO Sunflower Seeds of any type AT ALL (these are never anything but an occasional treat and that's it), NO Peanuts (the fattiest Nut of all that provide little nutritional-value and that also commonly carry a type of Mold that is Toxic to birds), and then NO Dried Corn of any kind (nothing but tons of fat and that's it, no nutritional-value, and is only used as a "filler" in the cheaper Seed-Mixes)...[B]While it is ideal for our pet birds, who do not fly for 8-10 miles every single day like wild birds do, to eat a "Natural"-flavored pellet as their daily "staple" diet (as opposed to a "Fruit"-flavored pellet that is full of nothing but sugar and fat) or a Seed-Mix which are usually full of fat, if we are feeding our pet-birds a high-quality, Natural-pellet like Harrison's, TOPS, etc. but they aren't really consuming the amount of these Natural-pellets that they should be, then we can actually end-up making our birds Malnourished and/or Deficient in different nutrients, which can gradually cause multiple health-issues over-time, and in the end really cause our birds to become seriously ill...And the problem with only giving your bird "Chia" Seeds is that while they are low in fat, they are also los in the overall-nutrition that a Green Cheek Conure or any other bird needs on a daily-basis...That's like allowing a child to fill themselves up every day by eating nothing but Broccoli. Yes, Broccoli is very healthy and provides a day's worth of certain vitamins and minerals, but it lacks many other required vitamins and minerals, and contains absolutely no protein, no healthy fat or carbs that they need every day, etc. That's why Seed-Mixes are used as daily "staple-diets" just like pellets are, because each different seed, grain, legume, etc. that is included in a seed-mix is TOGETHER providing the overall daily nutrition that all birds need...

And I didn't see anything about her eating ANY fresh Veggies, or ANY fresh dark, leafy Greens, or any grains, legumes, etc...I don't like to give my guys fresh Fruit every day due to the enormous sugar-content that all Fruit contains naturally (it's just turned into fat and stored in their bodies/livers just like the fat in Sunflower Seeds, Dried Corn, and Peanuts)...Unfortunately a lot of people think that fresh Fruit is interchangeable with fresh Vegetables and fresh dark, leafy Greens, and it's just not...Fresh Fruit should only be given 2-3 days a week and in small-portions that are IN-ADDITION TO a large portion of fresh Veggies and fresh dark, leafy Greens...But you didn't mention anything at all except Harrison's pellets and then Chia seeds...And I'm not sure whether she's actually eating ALL of the recommended amount of Harrison's pellets every day or not, which only leaves a bunch of Chia sees, which is not good...But even if she was eating all of the Harrison's pellets that she needs to be eating every day, she should also still be getting a nice, large portion of fresh Veggies and fresh dark, leafy Greens every day as well...Judging from the "Supergreens" and the Chia Seeds I'm assuming you're into natural eating, or "Raw" eating, etc., which is great for people, but it's not for pet parrots...And I guarantee that even if you drink Supergreens and eat Chia seeds every day, that's not your complete, daily diet, because if it is then you've got no muscle-mass at all, and you're severely malnourished...So you see where I'm coming from in-regards to your bird...

Orin2017 05-13-2019 04:11 PM

Re: Is the badness coming?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by EllenD (Post 811290)
Orin, I just read through your reply to me, and the first thing that you need to know immediately is in-regards to yes, those "Triangular-shaped" things, they have many different names but are most-often called "Triangle-Beds" and/or "Happy-Huts" and "Snuggle-Huts". They are made by 2 different manufacturers for the most-part, and the ones from these 2 major manufacturers are typically red, green, yellow, or purple in color, but I've also seen some that were blue and some that were orange as well (the ones that are sold at Petco and Petsmart, along with most other pet shops come from these 2 manufacturers only)...To answer your direct question to me, YES, THESE THINGS MIMIC A "NEST" AND CAUSE HORMONAL-BEHAVIOR IN ALL SPECIES OF BIRDS AND IN BOTH GENDERS ALIKE...As do ANY AND ALL similar Boxes, Tents, Beds, Hammocks, Huts, etc., basically ANYTHING that creates a small, dark place that a bird can either get inside of, or get underneath will regularly trigger their sex-hormones, and for this reason should be completely avoided...HOWEVER ORIN, these "Triangular-Beds", "Happy-Huts", "Snuggle-Huts", etc., whatever you want to call them, SHOULD BE COMPLETELY AVOIDED AT ALL-COSTS FOR ALL BIRDS FOR A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT REASON UNRELATED TO THEIR HORMONES...A LETHAL/FATAL REASON!

*****Since those "Huts/Triangular-Beds" were put out for sale, first by one specific company and then shortly after were cloned by another, THEY HAVE DIRECTLY-KILLED THOUSANDS OF PET BIRDS/PARROTS OF ALL SPECIES, AND IN 2 DIFFERENT WAYS. And even though ALL SPECIES OF BIRDS have been killed by them, more Conures have been killed by them by-far than any other species, specifically because all sub-species of Conures love to get inside of things like this (JUST LIKE INSIDE OF YOUR SHIRT) and cuddle in them/sleep in them, and because once Conures are given something like this they often start sleeping inside of them while lying on their bellies, their backs, or their sides, instead of sleeping normally on a perch. For this reason one of the 2 major-manufacturers of these things actually started printing the phrase "Not Intended For Use By Conures" right on the front of the packaging!!! There are several Class-Action Lawsuits going on against both of these manufacturers by people who have confirmation that their pet birds/parrots were killed directly as a result of one of these things being inside of their bird's cage, either due to 1 of 2 different reasons; the confirmation that is required is having a Necropsy done by an Avian Vet for one of the causes, and through photographic-evidence for the other cause...

***The first way that these "Happy/Snuggle Huts" or "Triangular-Beds" are killing thousands of pet birds/parrots is due to the birds picking-off little, tiny bits of the fuzzy material they are made of and that lines both the inside and the outside of them over-time. There owners typically don't see them doing this (as you wouldn't, how would you when they are inside of the things doing it), especially while their birds are sleeping at night. They pick-off the material in tiny pieces, bit-by-bit, WHICH IS NOT AT ALL DIGESTIBLE BY ANY SPECIES OF BIRD/PARROT, and which is not firmly attached to their structure but can rather just be picked-off in tiny bits easily, and over a short amount of time (usually this happens within 6-months to a year of the bird having one of these hung inside of their cage) the material builds-up inside of the bird, first inside of their Crop, and then it is eventually pushed through to their Stomach and finally into the proximal Small-Intestine, where it causes a complete Bowel-Obstruction that is usually fatal within a day or two of it developing. And because all birds hide all outward signs/symptoms of illness and pain for as long as they possibly can as a natural, innate Survival-Instinct, we as their owners usually don't notice that our birds are sick until they have already been sick for weeks to months. So with a Bowel-Obstruction, if it's not caught immediately and the bird is not immediately taken to an Avian Vet or a 24/7 Animal Hospital to have surgery to remove it, the bird just suddenly dies...This is the most common cause of these "Huts" killing pet birds directly, and typically people just find their seemingly-fine birds laying dead on the bottom of their cages...

**The second way that these things kill thousands of pet birds is due to the long threads that are used to hold the frame or structure of them together and that are hidden inside of them and not seen by people at all...Birds start picking at the material, usually while inside of these "Huts", just like I described above, but instead of them being alive long enough to develop a Bowel-Obstruction, in a lot of cases one of these threads is freed, and the birds get it wrapped around either their necks, which results in them literally hanging themselves to death, or around one of their legs/feet, which results in them hanging upside down from the Hut and not being able to free themselves. In both cases, if no one is home when the bird gets one of these threads wrapped around themselves, the bird can end-up hanging from them for 8-hours or longer...Obviously if the thread gets wrapped around their neck and it is not seen by someone immediately it's going to quickly result in the bird's death. However, if the thread gets wrapped around the bird's leg or foot, the poor bird could be hanging upside down all day long until someone comes home; and typically what happens is the bird eventually chews it's own leg or foot off in-order to free themselves (they do this naturally in the wild as well, it's just how they handle this situation innately)...In this situation if no one gets home quickly, the bird typically is found dead in a puddle of blood, either from the thread cutting through their flesh and eventually a large vessel, or from them chewing their own leg or foot off and doing the same. And a bird the size of a Sun Conure or smaller can only lose about 4-Tablespoons of blood before death (Budgies are about 2-Tablespoons).

Here is a link to one of the dozens of websites, forums, etc. where people who have lost their birds to one of these horrible death-traps can go and talk to others who have had birds suffer the same fate. Happy Hut Warning

Orin, if your Green Cheek has one of these things inside or outside of his cage, anywhere, please remove it immediately and throw it away, and then spread the word to any other bird owners that you might know who also have one. Being a hormonal-trigger is the least of the problems that these horrible things cause, and these companies don't care, they won't stop making them, nor even change their design or the materials used to make them...AND NEITHER PETCO NOR PETSMART WILL STOP SELLING THEM EITHER!



Wow. Thanks for this information. It may have posted somewhere before but as you know when a newby joins any forum unless a thread is stickied everywhere it may not be seen...the fault being mine. We look at front page threads and don’t go searching.

That said, I am horrified now about the hut. I’m going to remove it and Orrin will be sleeping on a perch instead.

Thank you.


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