How do I find a mate for my rainbow lorikeet?

ennovy

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May 15, 2019
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Hey ,
I have 2 rainbow lorikeets about the same age and roughly 2 years and a few month old. They are both very tame and lovely towards me. Unfortunately not towards each other. When they were younger they would get along but fight a bit. Then when the male reached maturity he got very hormonal and aggressive. He once found a sex toy kind of (my foot)and the female wanted to approach while he was hissing and pinning his eyes towards the foot ( by that time the female was 8 month I guess and only wanted to play). He got super aggressive and bit a part of her beak of.( she is fine now and the beak grew back).
Since then they are always separated. He also tried to get me and chased me through the room and bit so I would bleed very badly. But that stopped after 2 weeks ( I made some changes with daylight and he was cuddly again) He however usually tries to stalk her when he is outside the cage and tries to strike when he thinks he can get her.( with intent to kill I think. )No worries she is safe. But in the morning or evening he seem calm and since he is not so hormonal anymore he seems rather interested and not so aggressive towards her. He however started to show some other behavioral abnormality. He is feeding his foot with spit up food and then licks it of and plugs out the feathers that have the foot on them. She does the same. I want them both to have a partner , but am not sure if I should try reintroducing them or get two other birds. They have huge cages 2x3 meters, each and a huge room just for them. I spent 2.5 hours with each bird per day were they are outside playing, but it would be better if they could be outside together. Please advice :) Thanks already in advance.
 
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LaManuka

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Hi ennovy, it’s good to see you back here, but I’m very sorry for the circumstances.

As you know I have one little purple crowned hen. I have not ever owned rainbows, and pretty much for the reasons that you’ve described. My poor little hen had a highly stressful breeding season this year, she was VERY keen to nest in each and every nook and/or cranny around the house that she could find and was not above exhibiting extreme and shocking violence towards me when I didn’t let her. I certainly would not like to be around her if she was the size of a rainbow – she would inflict some serious damage!

Unfortunately what you are describing here is not just particular to lorikeets, in terms of whether two birds will get along once those hormones kick in. Some will take to each other and welcome you as part of their flock and everybody’s happy, and some pairs will bond with each other and exclude you completely. It seems that you might just have the third scenario happening here, where they do not get on and are aggressive towards each other, requiring separate out of cage time for their own safety. Whether your current pair will ever be able to be trusted together again without a repeat performance of the violence they’ve already shown towards each other is quite frankly unknowable. Adding another bird or two to the flock is a completely unknown quantity, since you cannot know who might get on with whom or not, and who might just get injured in the process.

I once had a pair of cockatiels, Fang whom we still have, and our beautiful Twinkle who passed back in 2014. They got on just fine together until the much younger Fang hit sexual maturity and would pursue Twinkle all over the house and get hugely aggressive towards her because he wanted to mate and she was really not that interested. Upon discussion with out vet he administered a long-acting hormonal implant in Twinkle to lessen those very subtle come-hither signals that she was giving Fang, and it worked very well in almost completely eliminating his hyper-aggressive response towards her. Of course cockatiels are nowhere near as aggressive as rainbows can get, but you might perhaps speak to your avian vet as to whether that’s a possibility for your hen.

I’m very sorry to say that I don’t think 2 and a half hours out of cage time for each bird per day is sufficient for lorikeets, and if you were to add another bird or two and they all ended up hating each other, or indeed loving each other just a bit TOO much, that time would likely be reduced yet again. I have seen other owners of lorikeet pairs who have had to rehome one bird when faced with a similar situation to yours, and I can’t help but wonder if this ultimately might be a better solution here.

Wishing you, and them, the very best of luck with whatever you decide.
 
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ennovy

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Hi ennovy, it’s good to see you back here, but I’m very sorry for the circumstances.

As you know I have one little purple crowned hen. I have not ever owned rainbows, and pretty much for the reasons that you’ve described. My poor little hen had a highly stressful breeding season this year, she was VERY keen to nest in each and every nook and/or cranny around the house that she could find and was not above exhibiting extreme and shocking violence towards me when I didn’t let her. I certainly would not like to be around her if she was the size of a rainbow – she would inflict some serious damage!

Unfortunately what you are describing here is not just particular to lorikeets, in terms of whether two birds will get along once those hormones kick in. Some will take to each other and welcome you as part of their flock and everybody’s happy, and some pairs will bond with each other and exclude you completely. It seems that you might just have the third scenario happening here, where they do not get on and are aggressive towards each other, requiring separate out of cage time for their own safety. Whether your current pair will ever be able to be trusted together again without a repeat performance of the violence they’ve already shown towards each other is quite frankly unknowable. Adding another bird or two to the flock is a completely unknown quantity, since you cannot know who might get on with whom or not, and who might just get injured in the process.

I once had a pair of cockatiels, Fang whom we still have, and our beautiful Twinkle who passed back in 2014. They got on just fine together until the much younger Fang hit sexual maturity and would pursue Twinkle all over the house and get hugely aggressive towards her because he wanted to mate and she was really not that interested. Upon discussion with out vet he administered a long-acting hormonal implant in Twinkle to lessen those very subtle come-hither signals that she was giving Fang, and it worked very well in almost completely eliminating his hyper-aggressive response towards her. Of course cockatiels are nowhere near as aggressive as rainbows can get, but you might perhaps speak to your avian vet as to whether that’s a possibility for your hen.

I’m very sorry to say that I don’t think 2 and a half hours out of cage time for each bird per day is sufficient for lorikeets, and if you were to add another bird or two and they all ended up hating each other, or indeed loving each other just a bit TOO much, that time would likely be reduced yet again. I have seen other owners of lorikeet pairs who have had to rehome one bird when faced with a similar situation to yours, and I can’t help but wonder if this ultimately might be a better solution here.

Wishing you, and them, the very best of luck with whatever you decide.
Hello la Manuka,
thanks for answering :)
Happy to be back...
I just wish there was an easier solution. But I resigned from my job and got an other one which allows me more time for them now starting Nov and I thought since their cage is so huge it might be enough. But you are right that it is not. I will talk to the vet about the implant and see :) Thanks again !
 

LaManuka

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No worries ennovy, I hope something helps you!

The hormone implants don't work in every scenario - I have discussed the it, (from memory I think it was Suprelorin, but it was a while ago now since Twinkle had it done), for Lilly too. Her vet ultimately decided against it in 2019 as she was still very young. It was mentioned by another vet at the same clinic for her this year but I've decided to again continue to try to manage her behaviours myself by eliminating any perceived nesting sites, not petting her anywhere other than her head or neck, and trying to limit highly energy dense foods - which is very tricky when it comes to lorikeets as you would know! She gets a lot of leafy greens rather than fruit to try to lessen her sugar intake and it works to an extent but as sugars form such an integral part of their diet there's really only so much that can be done there. Of course her situation is different in that she does not have a same-species mate, she only has me, and I seem to spend 6 months of the year as her mum and the other 6 as her "boyfriend" :rolleyes:

I hope you can work something out to restore peace within your flock :)
 
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ennovy

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Thanks for the extra info.
You made me laugh so hard I almost spilled my coffee :) (the boyfriend thing)
I am currently working on reducing the daytime by a lot. Because with my old job I left them stay awake for a long time so I could spent the extra time with them . I think I already see results. The hormone treatment will only happen as a last resort. I just really hope I find a way so they can both be happy. Thanks for always answering so fast and with so much advice. Have a great day :)
 

LaManuka

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Glad I made you laugh ennovy, it's good to know my suffering at the hands (claws?) of that mad, maniacal, rampaging little green lunatic of mine is useful for something. I think if I really was her boyfriend I would have every grounds to have her arrested for domestic abuse! Hoping that household amity and reconciliation will be yours soon, and that you have a great day too :)
 
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ennovy

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Lol :) thanks.Hope you and your little monster have fun. She looks so cute. Btw. I never thought my feet were that sexy but my lory build up my confidence I guess :)I`ll update once I found a solution . I am really grateful for your advice:)
 

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