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Old 01-13-2016, 04:47 PM
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a worry

hi..I need advice..I have a 4yr old eclectus who last year began at every opportunity climbing down from her cage and chewing to bits the bottoms of my kitchen cupboards.Someone suggested she was trying to gather materials to create a nest as at the same time she was spending ages scratching around one corner of the top of the cage. I was given a nest box last April and basically she disappeared into it and has laid a series of eggs since then,sitting on each for 4/6 weeks before they disappear. She comes out to eat,preen a little, and she looks well...but she didn't get out to her outdoor cage at all last summer.. also she becomes quite territorial about the nest box. I would really appreciate any comments about this...thanking you in anticipation.....
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:46 PM
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Re: a worry

Any reason you want to provide her with the nest box? Unless there are medical reasons like trying to prevent egg binding in case she has infertile eggs while without a nest...I would seriously consider taking the nest box out. You are encouraging this behavior by having the box in her cage. I would also recommend that you do some research on preventing hormonal/breeding behavior in parrots as that might also help you resolve these issues.
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:22 PM
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Re: a worry

Mallory is spot on, here. You don't mention a male, so am I correct in assuming that you are not breeding her? If not, placing the nest has definitely encouraged this behavior and could possibly even lead to an egg binding situation.

I also suggest the removal of the nest box so as to ease back on these behaviors. Again, unless I'm reading your post wring and you actually are breeding... which would be an entirely different conversation.
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Old 01-14-2016, 01:03 PM
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Re: a worry

Quote: Originally Posted by Mallory View Post
Any reason you want to provide her with the nest box? Unless there are medical reasons like trying to prevent egg binding in case she has infertile eggs while without a nest...I would seriously consider taking the nest box out. You are encouraging this behavior by having the box in her cage. I would also recommend that you do some research on preventing hormonal/breeding behavior in parrots as that might also help you resolve these issues.
thank you Mallory for your response. I took Stella in when her owner could no longer keep her..there is no male parrot..the tearing apart of kitchen cupboards and scratching at corner of cage had been going on a month. would this have stopped naturally..? the first egg was laid within two days of getting the nestbox. I will check up on breeding behaviour as you suggest. Again, thank you.
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Old 01-14-2016, 01:18 PM
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Re: a worry

Quote: Originally Posted by Anansi View Post
Mallory is spot on, here. You don't mention a male, so am I correct in assuming that you are not breeding her? If not, placing the nest has definitely encouraged this behavior and could possibly even lead to an egg binding situation.

I also suggest the removal of the nest box so as to ease back on these behaviors. Again, unless I'm reading your post wring and you actually are breeding... which would be an entirely different conversation.
thank you Anansi..no male parrot..I was trying to eliminate the shredding of cupboards and continual scratching on the metal corner of cage top by giving her the nestbox thinking it would satisfy her instincts...a parrot owner did tell me she might go on to lay 2-3 eggs..should I not have given her the nestbox at all ?
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Old 01-14-2016, 01:31 PM
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Re: a worry

You're welcome.

And as for the box, I definitely would not have. I think it exacerbated the issue by putting her into full nesting mode. Remember, birds have to be taught how to live alongside us. What she's doing is only her natural behavior. In the wild she'd have been shredding away. It's what they do.

The only way they learn otherwise is through repeated lessons. Whenever she begins an unwanted behavior, you tell her "no" in a calm, yet firm, voice. And then you move her away from whatever she's shredding. By the same token, if she behaves appropriately while standing near the cupboard, you should praise her and give her a treat. What you want is to make the association in her mind that NOT chewing on the cupboards brings about treats and praises.

Another thing is to provide enough soft woods and shreddable toys for her to carve and tear to her heart's content. Distraction works wonders.

But the first thing I'd do, personally, is remove the box. If there are currently eggs, I'd replace them with fakes. Then once she realizes they won't hatch and abandons them, I'd remove the box completely and give her a boatload of toys with which to play.
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Old 01-14-2016, 02:33 PM
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Re: a worry

Totally agree with all of the above. Parrots are not like dogs and cats with a desire to have a cozy private enclosure unless they are in a breeding situation. Many years ago I made a similar faux pas with Angel, my female Vos. Thought a nest box would be a comfy place of refuge, until placement instigated an undesirable dynamic. Removed the box and she went back to her young self!
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Old 01-15-2016, 03:14 AM
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Re: a worry

[QUOTE=Anansi;542966]You're welcome.

And as for the box, I definitely would not have. I think it exacerbated the issue by putting her into full nesting mode. Remember, birds have to be taught how to live alongside us. What she's doing is only her natural behavior. In the wild she'd have been shredding away. It's what they do.

The only way they learn otherwise is through repeated lessons. Whenever she begins an unwanted behavior, you tell her "no" in a calm, yet firm, voice. And then you move her away from whatever she's shredding. By the same token, if she behaves appropriately while standing near the cupboard, you should praise her and give her a treat. What you want is to make the association in her mind that NOT chewing on the cupboards brings about treats and praises.

Another thing is to provide enough soft woods and shreddable toys for her to carve and tear to her heart's content. Distraction works wonders.

But the first thing I'd do, personally, is remove the box. If there are currently eggs, I'd replace them with fakes. Then once she realizes they won't hatch and abandons them, I'd remove the box completely and give her a boatload of toys with which to play.[/QUraOTE]

Thank you. I will take all your advice on board.
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Old 01-15-2016, 03:15 AM
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Re: a worry

Thank you ! I will take all your advice on board !
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Old 01-15-2016, 03:23 AM
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Re: a worry

Quote: Originally Posted by Scott View Post
Totally agree with all of the above. Parrots are not like dogs and cats with a desire to have a cozy private enclosure unless they are in a breeding situation. Many years ago I made a similar faux pas with Angel, my female Vos. Thought a nest box would be a comfy place of refuge, until placement instigated an undesirable dynamic. Removed the box and she went back to her young self!
That is good to know. Thank you Scott.
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