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Old 05-13-2019, 04:33 PM
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Re: Is the badness coming?

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Quote: Originally Posted by EllenD View Post
***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...

Thanks again. I donít remember reading about any of this in the Conure book I bought. Mention was made about where not to pet, but not what to allow the bird to do, or not do. No more backing up to my beard!

Something else she does is give us kisses, or what we perceive as kisses. This is a behavior she learned from us, before we became aware of hormonal triggers. We donít let her inside of our mouthes because we read our saliva has bacteria that she cannot handle. Itís outer lips to outer beak kisses. Usually if she is on our shoulder for awhile she will lean over and give the occasional kiss. We havenít noticed any regurgitation. I will have to talk to my wife about all of this.

Thanks again.

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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 05-13-2019, 07:43 PM
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Re: Is the badness coming?

Like has been said by others, it IS extremely important to NOT encourage any type of mating behaviors. Not only does it send the wrong message, but it can lead to a whole host of new problems (including behavioral and biological issues). Its also just as important NOT to use 'disciplinary' measures to curtail mating behaviors. While the behavior should never be encouraged, it should also be recognized that they are doing what to them is a natural thing so punishment shouldn't be used to deal with it. The best ways to deal with 'unwanted' instinctive behaviors are 'distraction' to stop the behavior in the process and also eliminating any behaviors or environmental triggers that encourage those behaviors.

With Skittles, the issues I have with him are 'regurgitating' on certain fabrics (which I remove and don't allow access too during his 'hormonal' season.) Recently, he tried 'mating' with my hand again and when he does that I simply move my hand away and 'distract' him. This has happened a few times over the years, but I've addressed it whenever its occurred, but its been rare. The regurgitating on fabrics is the more persistent problem with him.

I still cuddle with him and pet him (though I never pet below the middle of his wings; I generally stop just at the beginning of his back). But the cuddling and petting don't present issues for him and I. I honestly can't imagine not being able to pet, scratch and cuddle with him, so I'm thankful that hasn't led to any major issues. I do suspect though that if Skittles were female it would be a whole different story.

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Last edited by Skittys_Daddy; 05-13-2019 at 08:25 PM.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 05-14-2019, 08:59 PM
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Re: Is the badness coming?

Quote: Originally Posted by EllenD View Post
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)...
You are right about Orrin picking out the chia seeds and eating them while neglecting to eat the Harrisons. I decided today to feed Orrin only Harrisons, with no chia seeds. The only thing that was remedied by super greens was her energy level. Orrin did not act lethargic when eating her normal panel of foods during the last couple of years. She appears to have energy despite an irresponsible diet. My wife feeds her super thin apple slices, grapes, and raspberries, along with chia seeds, in addition to letting Orrin eat almost whatever my wife happens to be eating (minus foods that are poison to parrots, of course, like onions and avocados).

Quote: Originally Posted by EllenD View Post
As far as her feathers as they relate to her overall-health, along with the "Supergreens" issue...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...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 agree about the diet. I donít know what PetCo fed Orrin before I bought her. However, Orrin began plucking out her feathers immediately upon taking her home. This made us wonder if she had been doing this at PetCo too (unbeknown to us) or if this destructive process began when we took her home. The feathers she plucked out, after we brought her home, WERE wholesome and healthy-looking. The feathers that grew backóand continue to grow backóare scraggly looking. The feathers are not equal on each side of the center. The feathers are often full on one side of the center; but on the other side of the center, the feathers are not as long and not full. The colors are not vibrant either.

Quote: Originally Posted by EllenD View Post
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. .
I will have to obtain the vet records in order to answer your questions about the diagnostics performed. I took Orrin to one vet twice. That vet thought Orrin was malnourished and recommended Harrisons, which is why we started her on Harrisons. That vet checked her feathers for parasites and also looked at her stools. That vet prescribed a medication that functioned as an anti-inflammatory, in effort to break the cycle of feather plucking. He said if that didnít work he would do labs next. We found a more impressive Avian vet in Eagle River Alaska, transferred our records there. That vet, a she, seemed a lot more knowledgeable and empathetic than the Avian Vet we saw previously in Anchorage, Alaska. The female vet is henceforth referred to as Our Vet. Our Vet performed labs and found nothing wrong! In the end, she wondered if Cinnamon Green Cheek Conures just have a dull color.

Quote: Originally Posted by EllenD View Post
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...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...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...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...
Starting today, I am omitting chia seeds. Iím going to give her super greens again, along with Harrisons, and avoid hormonal triggers to see if the absence of hormonal triggers eliminates the biting, which increased after introducing super greens. Iím left, however, with the question of the never-ending molt, and why she plucks out the feathers along her sides (beneath her wings). Elsewhere, she always, always has pins. We were told by the first, male vet that giving Orrin a little bit of oil might help to ďsoftenĒ the pins up. He recommended safflower oil if any oil is to be used because of the nutritional value of safflower. Orrin wonít eat/drink plain safflower oil. But she will eat safflower seeds. We actually replaced and eliminated sun flower seeds because we noticed that those seemed to make Orrin itchy and scratchy. We switched to safflower seeds as her ďtreatĒ for pooping at the poop station.

Quote: Originally Posted by EllenD View Post
And I didn't see anything about her eating ANY fresh Veggies, or ANY fresh dark, leafy Greens, or any grains, legumes, etc...Unfortunately a lot of people think that fresh Fruit is interchangeable with fresh Vegetables and fresh dark, leafy Greens, and it's just not...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...
What is raw eating? I donít know what that is. We want Orrin to eat veggies but Orrin wonít eat ďdark, leafy greens.Ē We have tried a number of veggies, to no avail. What are dark, leafy greens, in your view? Iíll make a list and try to introduce (or reintroduce) veggies. Recently we were elated to see her eating a little bit of the flowers of broccoli. This is the only vegetable we have been able to get her to eat. Like I was saying, my wife spoils Orrin with fruit. I agree with you: fruit=sugar=not nutritious! Iíll look on Amazon for the other foods you took the time to list. I appreciate your post. Thank you.

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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 05-16-2019, 01:39 PM
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Re: Is the badness coming?

Just piping in here for EllenD - he has been sex tested, he is a good boi. And I think he has hit some sexual maturity, because he had tried to "mate" with things before. We just ended the activity and moved on. But who knows! Right now things are peaceful.
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