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Old 08-28-2018, 12:18 PM
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Hormonal Parrotlet 😩

Hey yall, my little guy Keo is going through a VERY hormonal stage. Hes about a year old now, Id attach pictures but Im on mobile atm (if you know how to upload images correctly via mobile feel free to let me know!) but anyways!

Im doing everything I can to discourage Keo from this behavior, I ONLY give him head scratches so theres no body touching. I also know Parrotlets are prone to wiggle necking (lol) but he does it a lot and almost always in the middle of head pets, he regurgitates to the point where I can see food come up.. eww, and hes always chirping up a storm when he does it. Sometimes he even stands himself up straight and does what looks like a mating dance, he side steps back and forth with super straight posture, making funky little chirps like hes singing and dancing to me lmao. As amusing as it is to watch, this is obviously not okay behavior and Im wondering if theres anything else I can do to prevent it?

This might be in hand with the hormonal-ness, but he is VERY nippy in the most bipolar way, in the sense that I could be petting him or holding him and everything is nice and calm and then CHOMP he pinches my finger and goes all open beaked at me (I have to give him beak pets to calm him down again)

Any advice or insight on his behavior will be GREATLY appreciated!!! Thank you!
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Old 08-28-2018, 12:24 PM
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Re: Hormonal Parrotlet 😩

Oh the joys, Just keep discouraging the behavior as soon as he does it. I always put mine back to play stand or on top of cage so its known I'm not agreeing with the regurgitating/hormonal ways. Good luck dear :-)
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Old 08-28-2018, 03:21 PM
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Re: Hormonal Parrotlet 😩

Bumble has been acting a little squirrelly too. More wiggle-neck than usual and I think she was about to, uh, get busy on my hand the other day. I set her down pretty quickly which surprised her and apparently ruined the mood. Thank goodness!




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Old 08-28-2018, 05:12 PM
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Re: Hormonal Parrotlet 😩

I'm not sure what kind of hormonal we are talking here, but any sexual behavior should be redirected/discouraged WITHOUT scolding (you can be gentle about it, but you don't want to be too nice or you could lead him on and you definitely don't want to provide extra attention as a result of this behavior; even if it is well-intentioned)--I definitely minimize contact when I notice sexy things happening (vet was scared my bird was having a seizure when she toweled her for the first time- that was a fun thing to explain to someone whose qualifications exceeded my own LOL-- she was convinced when she put my cockatoo on the table and the bird proceeded to happily trot off towards me)....Generally, ignoring regurgitation or directing attention to a (non-sexual) toy- some would advise distancing yourself from the bird as well (I feel like that is a bit harsh, but I do the same thing when my bird starts to vibrate, so whatever works). Avoid providing dark hiding places, extended petting (even on the head sometimes), blankets, bags, boxes or piles or shredded stuff (nesting), remove mirrors if you can do so without upset, remove any toys that have become a source of sexuality, Provide ample opportunity for enrichment/activity (chewing etc...maybe less shredding, depending on the situation)....If the bird gets sexual, try to distract it or place it on its cage etc. I always change my voice to that of an overly-enthusiastic kindergarten teacher when trying to change the subject-- "OH LOOK AT THIS FUN BELLLLLL *RING RING RING*!!!! WOWWWWW FUNNNNNN" or, "Oh, I have to go make dinner, be right back". Make sure you aren't petting it in a way that is stimulating (cockatoos= head is the only safe place)...provide exposure to other people if possible (not necessarily interaction, but guests etc), make sure you follow a structured sleep schedule (cycle of natural light and dark (+QUIET) ---bird lamps in a pinch)---PS: sun through windows is not as good as sun through screens (supervised) and sun via harness (direct) is even better, avoid squishy, warm foods..in some birds, excess bathing can simulate the rain that would occur during mating season, so look out for that if you think it is a possibility, don't reciprocate any form of mating dance ...AND...WAIT IT OUT...

Not an expert, but those are the things that come to mind.

Last edited by noodles123; 08-28-2018 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:56 PM
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Re: Hormonal Parrotlet 😩

This sounds like perfectly normal behavior for a Parrotlet that is around a year old and that is just now going through puberty. Their first bout with hormones is usually the worst, sometimes it's always bad, but the important thing that you need to know is that his behavior is completely normal, and it's not his fault. And this includes the nippyness.

As already mentioned above by Noodles, the key here is to discourage the hormonal behavior but to never, ever scold him or punish him for it, as he's not causing it and it's not his fault. So you need to figure out a strict "routine" as to how you are going to handle the hormonal behavior when it happens, and then you must stick to your routine and execute it every single time it happens. Usually the best course of action is to simply put the bird down/back on their cage or stand, the second they start to display any hormonal behavior, such as the rubbing against you/humping you, regurgitating for you, etc. Don't scold him or tell him he's "bad", simply just put him back on his cage or his stand and let him cool-down for a while. When the "moment" has passed, lol, then you can pick him up again or put him back on your shoulder, whatever it is you do, but as soon as it starts again you must put him back down again, etc. Eventually they get the idea that it's not going to happen, and they figure out that they're going to be put back on their cage/stand if they do it, so they then start to learn to control it a bit better. Sometimes they can't control it, and simply putting him down or back on his cage until it stops is the best you can do. You just don't want to encourage it by continuing to hold him/pet him/ etc.

As far as things you can do to try to knock him out of breeding-season a bit early, the best one that typically works within a week or two is putting them on a Natural-Light Schedule. This is ensuring that he not only gets at least 12 hours of sleep every single night, but that he wakes-up with the sunrise and he goes to sleep with the sunset, and that he can see both from his cage. This schedule will get his "rhythms" coordinated and this helps to ease the hormones. Also, making sure that he's getting a very healthy diet that is low in fat and that includes lots of fresh veggies is always good.

***Just on a side-note, if you have already gotten him DNA-tested and you know for sure that he's a male, then that's great...If he hasn't been DNA-tested and you don't know the gender for certain, then I highly suggest that you spend the $20-$30 and get the DNA test done ASAP, because if he actually turns out to be female and continues to have regular hormonal periods, which will probably be the case, you certainly want to be prepared for egg-laying, and making sure that you're providing ample Calcium with a Cuttlebone, Mineral Block, and also by providing Egg-Food as a part of the daily diet before, during, and after any egg-laying, as to try to prevent Egg-Binding.
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Old 08-29-2018, 02:25 PM
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Re: Hormonal Parrotlet 😩

Parrotlets are sexually dimorphic. No need for DNA testing.


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Old 08-29-2018, 02:50 PM
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Re: Hormonal Parrotlet 😩

Quote: Originally Posted by Inger View Post
Parrotlets are sexually dimorphic. No need for DNA testing.


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Ha, I did not know that...I'm Googling right now!

Well scratch that part of my post, lol...I have not ever even had a Parrotlet at the Rescue I volunteer at, now that I think about it I don't think I've ever even held one or seen one in-person...I like it when I learn new things though, as I truly had no idea you could sex a Parrotlet visually.
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Old 08-29-2018, 02:54 PM
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Re: Hormonal Parrotlet 😩

You dont need to google it - I can tell you. Males have bright blue feathers under their wings and females do not. Not quite as dramatic as the difference in a male and female ekkie, but pretty straightforward.

Some people believe that blue around their eyes or on their rump also indicates male, but thats not true. Only under their wings.


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Old 08-29-2018, 05:09 PM
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Re: Hormonal Parrotlet 😩

Hey! Thanks for all the helpful tips, but in terms of dimorphism... Keo is an American White mutation(?) so I’m not sure if that complicates sexing him since he’s all white lol
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:56 PM
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Re: Hormonal Parrotlet 😩

A bit more complicated, but should still have at least some pale blue on the underside of his wings if hes a boy. One website says may be a washed out blue. If you got him from a breeder and they told you male, theyre probably correct. Im in a FB Parrotlet group that has pics of all mutations including underside of wings and corresponding sex.


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