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Old 09-04-2014, 10:15 AM
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Question Nestbox Required and Foodie question!

Hi! Me again!

I have been reading quite abit about nesting boxes and am abit confused as to whether my pair should have one or not. I was told that they are about a year old and my female has been displaying very strong nesting behaviour (also doesn't help with her nipping issues!) Some sites say do not put one in if you dont want babies, others say its a good thing for rest. I also want to add that I found an egg on the bottom of the cage this morning!! I guess they are comfortable in their new home? (I have only had them for 5 days!)

I am uncomfortable with the idea of babies this soon after getting them - I am a newbie lovie mum afterall! So, what do I do to make them more comfortable? They currently perch on the top of their swing at night, so hoping a box would help with that too.... ???

And the previous owner said they didn't like fresh fruits/veggies, so everyday I have been putting something fresh in there and leaving it, hoping they might try it! Is this correct? (just put it in each day and wait for them to eventually give it a go?) I have a list of safe foodies for them and I stick to it. Any ideas of something that might eventually tempt them? And should I get a pellet diet instead of the seeds they came with??? Yikes! So much to ask! LOL

Sorry to pack so much into one post, but I am floundering abit here trying to give them an enriched life - I know they are smart little birds! They are currently enjoying the empty kleenix box I put in there to explore!
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:00 PM
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Re: Nestbox Required and Foodie question!

No box!!! Contrary to popular belief, birds do not need a nest box to sleep in, and you do not want to encourage breeding if you are not committed to producing high quality pets, which believe it or not takes an awful lot more than just keeping babies tame and physically healthy. If they are laying that is a bad sign, not a good one. Research how to discourage that in your particular species. I have never had a lovie, but for budgies and tiles you would do things like the following

Cover the cage and arrange your schedule in such a way that they get a ful 12 hours of dark and quiet every night. It might take them a little while to adjust, but long days = spring = time to make babies!!!

Put them in a bright place. Darkness, even just dimly lit areas, can stimulate breeding.

Restrict starchy, mushy foods like bananas, don't feed eggs or egg food during this time.

Be sure you are supplementing calcium for your hen! Even if you don't want her to lay eggs, they are still taking a toll on her body.

Remove the eggs. If she continues to lay beyond whatever the norm is for lovies, see a vet. Chronic egg laying is a disorder, not a sign she should be bred.

Remove all small, dark areas like nest boxes, snuggle hugs, shoes, anything, from her every day life.

Best of luck!
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:41 AM
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Re: Nestbox Required and Foodie question!

So I have done everything I feel I can possibly do to discourage breeding in these two:

I have them in a brighter place in my home, I feel the morning sun is good for them anyways. I cover them each night and try to keep it quiet (can't do that completely, I have three kids!) I removed the happy hut and am im the process of making a flat fuzzy perch for them instead (DallyTsuka's suggestion as an alternative) and lastly I have a grate in the bottom of cage to discourage shredding, but to be honest that parts not working so wel, Peaches still shreds what she can get her beak on!

Despite this, I have caught them numerous times actively mating. I am concerned that they are too far gone to prevent a clutch... will she lay regardless of no nestbox? I have found info stating that despite the mating she may not lay at all anyways, but I don't want her eggbound for holding it in due to no box. I have upgraded their diet and provided a cuttlebone since getting them.

It's also worth mentioning that she has returned to her nasty self as well, despite my best efforts (one step forward, two steps back with these two!) So much so that I am considering clipping their wings for my safety. She lands on me and starts to go for my face now as well as my hands. O.o. So frustrated!!
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:52 AM
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Re: Nestbox Required and Foodie question!

I am sure her attitude is hormone related, but OMG, she has the worst PMS EVER!!!!? :P
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:05 AM
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Re: Nestbox Required and Foodie question!

I think you're right about the wing clipping.....and if you're going to do it yourself, read all of the clipping articles you can and watch the YouTube clips on clipping...since she is actively attacking you, I would clip at least six feathers on each wing...if that doesn't slow her down, take a couple more.....

If they've been actively mating, she's not going to hold anything that will cause egg-binding.....that occurs from improper diet, creating too many eggs during the laying session, too low humidity in the house and/or a hen that's too young, though yours seems to be old enough to make her own decisions.....egg-binding is not like constipation!

With the rest of what's been mentioned I'll agree, except the covering the cage...that will give the birds privacy...privacy & darkness promotes nesting.....

Good luck.....

Last edited by weco; 09-17-2014 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:08 PM
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Re: Nestbox Required and Foodie question!

Thanks very much! I only cover at night for bed, and I know they perch and sleep. Well, pretty sure! LOL! I have one BIG problem with clipping her wings: Keeping her contained!! LOLOLOL!! I tried the "burritto" on her once and not only earned myself a few good nips, she wiggled out as well! Any other way? I will definitely look at videos and articles well before I do the wings - and instill my hubby's help as well to hold. I have worked in a few Petstores with birdie "experts" (I also knew them personally, they owned birds too) and have seen the clips done before. Not unlike nail trimming - but do not hit a blood feather!! That's BAD, BAD, BAD!! This will definitely be a pre-meditated clipping.

Being that my male is ok (he hides behind his woman!) should I do him as well?
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Old 09-17-2014, 04:31 PM
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Re: Nestbox Required and Foodie question!

Quote: Originally Posted by TweeterKat View Post
Thanks very much! I only cover at night for bed, and I know they perch and sleep. Well, pretty sure! LOL! I have one BIG problem with clipping her wings: Keeping her contained!! LOLOLOL!! I tried the "burritto" on her once and not only earned myself a few good nips, she wiggled out as well! Any other way? I will definitely look at videos and articles well before I do the wings - and instill my hubby's help as well to hold. I have worked in a few Petstores with birdie "experts" (I also knew them personally, they owned birds too) and have seen the clips done before. Not unlike nail trimming - but do not hit a blood feather!! That's BAD, BAD, BAD!! This will definitely be a pre-meditated clipping.

Being that my male is ok (he hides behind his woman!) should I do him as well?
TK, I posted a pic, to another thread, about holding a small conure or similar sized bird, it might help you with your clipping Will my greencheek's feathers grow back?

If you do clip him, it might change the hierarchy of that pair...he'll be able to get away from her more easily ! ! !
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Old 09-17-2014, 06:04 PM
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Re: Nestbox Required and Foodie question!

Thanks for the info. I will definitely look into it abit more before I do anything. My husband is home for the nest week and will work with them as well... he seems to have good luck (so far) with them. Will keep y'all updated!
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Old 09-17-2014, 06:27 PM
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Re: Nestbox Required and Foodie question!

If you do find a good way to hold her, and I tend to just use my hands and take the bites, but not everyone is comfortable with that, I highly suggest progressive trimming. The last thing you want to do to your bird is hurt her or damage her confidence, even though it might seem like that is a good thing. By clipping only a couple of feathers on each side, then waiting a few days, doing a couple more, etc, you give her body a chance to adjust, as well as her mind. Birds can take a little while to understand and adjust to a clip, and in that time they can hurt themselves, and completely lose confidence in the process of flying making them. Ore likely to be fearful, and a fearful clipped bird is much more likely to be aggressive. I cannot state how highly I recommend progressive clipping as opposed to taking away her ability to fly all at once. It is less convenient but far healthier and safer for the bird.

Also, egg binding is generally due to weak muscles in the hen, or a soft shell in the egg. These conditions can be caused by many things (studies actually show that having a flight end hen drastically reduces the chances of egg binding, but as you are not encouraging breeding, and your family seems to be in danger from the little spark plug, it does sound like clipping is a good idea here) such as the wrong humidity, nutrition deficiencies, stress overload on the hen's body, etc, but it will not be caused by holding eggs in. If the eggs form, she will lay them

If you do end up with eggs on the cage floor, you have a couple of options. The first is the one I suggest most, it is not as easy but it is more likely to work in my experience, and healthiest/least risky to your hen.

1) right now, before she lays anything, find artificial eggs online. Not craft eggs, but eggs sold just fear the purpose of placing under hens, often when eggs are being pulled for artificial incubation (a practice I do not support except in extreme cases). If you can't find them for lovies you can probably find them for English budgies and that should work in a pinch. They are not very spendy and are well worth it. Keep me on hand, if she starts to lay, replace each egg as it is laid with a fake egg, and dispose of the egg she laid. Be sure to find a way not to let her see you do this, even if that means showing her into the corner of the cage with a cloth. The result would most likely be that when the eggs don't hatch, she moves on with life. If she does NOT move on with life, you need to take her to the vet, or at least consult with an avian vet.

The second option is easier, but riskier to the bird because it is less likely to work. That is to simply remove the eggs, either one by one, or once she has finished laying, and. Not provide a replacement egg. The danger with this is that it is much more likely that she will continue laying. I once dealt with a chronic laying a cockatiel when I was a kid, she laid over 40 eggs in one year, and even though we were eventually able to stop her, I believe that led to her early death at 5 years old.

It is important to note that chronic laying is a disorder. Unfortunately many people look at it as a sign that "she was made to be a mother" or spew thing to that effect, but i reality it is a flaw, a problem, and a danger not only to that. Rid but all her offspring. Your dont seem to be doing that right now, just being nesty and normal, but I just felt I needed to mention it. I applaud you for being so responsible in trying to prevent a clutch. I wish more people in my area were more like you. Instead we have people breeding lovies by the hundred in aviaries for years, and then trying to sell the wild inbred babies, often giving them away by the dozens if not the hundreds "free when you buy the cage."
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Old 09-17-2014, 06:28 PM
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Re: Nestbox Required and Foodie question!

Also I just read my first post, please forgive the typos, I struggle to type on the iPad.
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