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Old 11-24-2018, 06:36 PM
Bek Bek is offline
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Wink Eclectus Parents

Hello all,
We are the caretakers of a 19 year old female Eclectus named Pebbles.
Her mate Rocky, sadly passed away unexpectedly several months ago.
It was a heart wrenching discovery that we still haven't recovered from, nor understand.

They were bonded to each other and would breed each year from November to January. We could always see the signs and would add the breeding box and let them take over.

She has begun plucking her chest recently and I know she wants to be nesting. It is very sad to watch so I'm hoping for advice on whether we should bring the box and let her lay eggs and sit on them. The first eggs were often infertile so that would probably not be a problem.
If it would help her be happy then maybe we could, and then pull the box at the usual time?

This may not be the place to post this, but I'm new and just looking for help.

Thank you kindly and I look forward to being a part of this group.

Brian and Susie.
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Old 11-25-2018, 12:18 AM
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Re: Eclectus Parents

Welcome Brian, Susie, and Pebbles. My deepest condolences for your loss of Rocky. I assume sufficient time has transpired to identify whether the cause was a contagious illness.

Is Pebbles' plucking a known issue prior to nesting or new? I suspect you'll receive varied questions to the nest-box question. What are your long-term objectives - let her become a companion exclusively or pair her in the future? If the former, now would be a great time to permanently remove the box. Some parrots, however, can casually breed and remain close companions
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Old 11-25-2018, 04:42 AM
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Re: Eclectus Parents

What Scott said: if you are certain she is not harbouring any pathogenes and want to breed her some more... get to a few rescues and find a nice (tested for diseases) older/experienced male.

If you want to just keep her as a pet... just like some parakeets the female eclectus have this reputation of "going chicken" (keep laying eggs, almost continuously).
With no male to feed her while she is going through the usual process of nesting, egglaying, brooding etc. she might get into trouble (nutritionally-> physically).
I know plucking is heartwrenching to watch- but loads of parrots react to hormonal surges one way or another.

If at all possible I would try to tone down the hormones naturally: make her nights longer, do not feed too many extraas, no nestbox ... anyhting that tells her "this year is not good for nesting".

But if you have your heart set on chicks (and more ekkies in permanent residence) .. go grab a few males and let her pick one.
(Or more, in the wild they do not care- as long as the guys bring food they are welcome.)

Last edited by ChristaNL; 11-25-2018 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 11-25-2018, 08:51 AM
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Re: Eclectus Parents

Welcome, and I'm very sorry for your loss...

I would absolutely NEVER put the nest-box back in the cage with a hormonal female only, because it's only going to make her issues much worse, and the chances are that she will start laying infertile eggs inside of it and then do it continually, over and over and over again, and it will be very difficult to stop her. Nest-boxes and "breeding materials" should only ever be put into a female bird's cage when there are actually going to be babies, not for infertile eggs. The last thing you want is her to become Egg-Bound or develop all kinds of nutritional deficiencies and lose a ton of weight, etc.

If you do find infertile eggs in her cage somewhere, you just want to let her lay on them on the bottom of the cage. She'll most likely start laying on them after she lays 2-3 of them, let her do that until she figures out that they aren't going to hatch and she loses interest in them and stops laying on them. Only then should you remove them. This should hopefully knock her out of breeding-season and stop her from laying anymore eggs...And if it doesn't stop her and she does continually lay them, then you really do need to consider hormonal therapy with your CAV.

***I don't know why she's suddenly started plucking, but as already mentioned above, you won't know that it's not any other physical reason until you get her to her CAV for a Fecal Culture/Gram-Stain and routine Blood-Work, as this is always the first thing a CAV does with a new plucker, to rule-out an illness/disease...And if she is very hormonal (they can see this either by running the proper Blood-Work or simply by taking an X-Ray and looking at her bones), then that's when you need to talk about a hormonal-implant to shut her reproductive system down. This may also take care of the plucking, assuming all infections/diseases are ruled-out.

***Something else that I'll mention quickly, just in-case you've been considering it...You absolutely do not want to go and buy/bring-home another male Eclectus FOR HER...A lot of people will do this when they have a pair of birds that are bonded and one of them dies...The truth is that you will have no way of knowing whether she and the new bird will bond that closely, or at all...They may love each other and breed, they may like each other but not bond closely, they may simply tolerate each other but want nothing to do with each other, they may hate each other and ignore each other totally, or they may hate each other and be violent and aggressive and not able to be together at all...Birds bond/form relationships like people do, and you just can't guess or predict how a new bird will get along with her, or vice-versa...So if you do bring home another bird, make sure it's because YOU GUYS want another one as a pet for yourselves, and that you're completely set-up with a separate cage, bowls, toys, etc. for the new bird BEFORE you go and get one, because you won't be able to just house them together...I don't know if you've been thinking about this or not, but it is definitely NOT the solution to her plucking...YOU need to be her flock/flockmates right now and get her through this...
"Dance Like Nobody's Watching".
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