my poopy rat child has humped EVERY bowl we have tried. help?!

Rico_Tiel

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it is winter here, his diet is pellets, the occasional fruit and veg (I'm working on getting him onto chop), he has plenty of toys (14 in total in his cage, ordering more next month), he has nowhere to be nesty, he isn't exposed to mirrors unless he's in the living room and he flies by it in the hall, he has a flight cage with 7 perches (natural wood) and a swing, he's got a cuttle and a minny (mineral block), he goes to bed at around 9 or 10pm and wakes up at 9:30 ish, MAYBE 10 or 11 AM (I live in Alaska and this is around when the sun rises, it sets at 5pm but I keep my Christmas lights on and turn 'em off at 9 or 10), and i do not touch him anywhere but the head or neck. he continues to hump his bowls! deep bowl, shallow bowl, square bowl, rectangular bowl, etc. is there any un-humpable bowls out there? am i doing something wrong?
 

texsize

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It’s not an easy behavior to keep from happening.

Because your bird is male you don’t need to worry about egg bind or anything.
It’s not going to make him go blind or anything.
I would say just roll with it.
 

zERo

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Agree with above

My male cockatiel Romeo humps his perches, no matter the perch, just which ever one is in front of his chop bowl.
Some days he does it 2+ times.

What pellets does he eat? If soy or corn is a main ingredient it can make some birds especially hormonal.
 
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Rico_Tiel

Rico_Tiel

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It’s not an easy behavior to keep from happening.

Because your bird is male you don’t need to worry about egg bind or anything.
It’s not going to make him go blind or anything.
I would say just roll with it.
i dont want him doing this because hormones are not something i wanna deal with. and if i am correct, enabling it will cause hormonal aggression
 
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Rico_Tiel

Rico_Tiel

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Agree with above

My male cockatiel Romeo humps his perches, no matter the perch, just which ever one is in front of his chop bowl.
Some days he does it 2+ times.

What pellets does he eat? If soy or corn is a main ingredient it can make some birds especially hormonal.
corn and soybean
 

HeatherG

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One thing that might help is covering the cage to avoid ALL light during sleep hours. My first vet said any light triggers hormone release. I’m not sure if that’s true but it’s worth a try.

Willow screws his perch and a couple hanging toys, particularly when I go say “good morning” to him. I suppose I might cut back his cage aggression if I eliminated all light for 12 hrs with a flannel cage cover. But I let them be regulated mostly by natural light as their behavior is ok.
 

texsize

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One thing that might help is covering the cage to avoid ALL light during sleep hours. My first vet said any light triggers hormone release. I’m not sure if that’s true but it’s worth a try.

Willow screws his perch and a couple hanging toys, particularly when I go say “good morning” to him. I suppose I might cut back his cage aggression if I eliminated all light for 12 hrs with a flannel cage cover. But I let them be regulated mostly by natural light as their behavior is ok.
With all due respect I would not do this.
My Cockatiels get night frights frequently.
I do cover my Tiels, I cover all my birds but only 1/2 to at most 3/4 is covered. But I make sure some light gets into their cages.
 
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Rico_Tiel

Rico_Tiel

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One thing that might help is covering the cage to avoid ALL light during sleep hours. My first vet said any light triggers hormone release. I’m not sure if that’s true but it’s worth a try.

Willow screws his perch and a couple hanging toys, particularly when I go say “good morning” to him. I suppose I might cut back his cage aggression if I eliminated all light for 12 hrs with a flannel cage cover. But I let them be regulated mostly by natural light as their behavior is ok.
my tiel is very susceptible to night frights and ive got super bad experiences with cage covering (uncovering the cage and seeing my budgie dead on the grate, uncovering it and finding my second budgie dying, covering the cage and rico losing his mind and destroying all tail feathers, etc.) would dimming my tv help? i turn my xmas light off at night but i keep my tv on to help myself sleep and it barely illuminates his cage. i can see his silhouette but not much more.
 

HeatherG

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my tiel is very susceptible to night frights and ive got super bad experiences with cage covering (uncovering the cage and seeing my budgie dead on the grate, uncovering it and finding my second budgie dying, covering the cage and rico losing his mind and destroying all tail feathers, etc.) would dimming my tv help? i turn my xmas light off at night but i keep my tv on to help myself sleep and it barely illuminates his cage. i can see his silhouette but not much more.
I think that cutting down light as much as you can will help with overproduction of sex hormones that lead to breeding condition. If your bird has night frights and light helps, of course you shouldn’t put him/her in the pitch dark. But if bird doesn’t have night frights but has problems related to being in breeding condition, cutting back light is an option to try.

Other options to try are petting and cuddling your bird less, making sure it has no dark hidey nesty places to go, nothing to shred, and maybe feeding less protein or fat-rich foods.
 
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Rico_Tiel

Rico_Tiel

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I think that cutting down light as much as you can will help with overproduction of sex hormones that lead to breeding condition. If your bird has night frights and light helps, of course you shouldn’t put him/her in the pitch dark. But if bird doesn’t have night frights but has problems related to being in breeding condition, cutting back light is an option to try.

Other options to try are petting and cuddling your bird less, making sure it has no dark hidey nesty places to go, nothing to shred, and maybe feeding less protein or fat-rich foods.
could providing more toys help? because none of the alternatives are issues and i constantly rearrange his cage. maybe he's getting bored of toys? idk tho...
 

HeatherG

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I hear that rearranging the cage can help to make a bird less cage territorial or broody. Maybe it would help. I suppose you could try.

Why do you want to cut back on this behavior?? Do you think your bird is being more aggressive or loud?
 
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Rico_Tiel

Rico_Tiel

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I hear that rearranging the cage can help to make a bird less cage territorial or broody. Maybe it would help. I suppose you could try.

Why do you want to cut back on this behavior?? Do you think your bird is being more aggressive or loud?
I will do this when I'm feeling less cruddy (bronchitis)

the reason I want to try and disable this behavior I do not want any hormonal trouble
 

Talaya

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It’s impossible to disable hormones. There is as yet, no safe way to neuter a parrot. He’s a complete boy and so has his hormones. They are triggered by daylight & an abundance of good food for breeding. Showing he is fit and strong & food for the babies. So reducing light & high calorific/sugar foods is the only way to help reduce it.. but you will not be able to disable it completely. Sounds like your boy is feeling very happy, strong and virile. Instead of using a deep bowl, you could use a flat saucer type of dish on a raised platform instead.
I never covered my tiels either, in the evening we did watch tv in the dark !
 
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HeatherG

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From Parrots: the science of sleep (Chewy.com):

“When I’m dealing with a behavioral problem, I’m going to bring out all the big guns — nutrition, sleep, etc.,” Athan said. “I think the sleep issues is way overblown… I’m more likely to manipulate diet and rainfall.”

I think Athan is mistaking influence of photoperiod with “sleep quality” but she points out that she uses other methods to alter behavior. My question is if your cockatiel “humping” his food bowls is a behavior problem and “worth” modifying. I mean, he’s not going to go blind or get hairy feet. Maybe it’s just not worth worrying about.
 
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Rico_Tiel

Rico_Tiel

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It’s impossible to disable hormones. There is as yet, no safe way to neuter a parrot. He’s a complete boy and so has his hormones. They are triggered by daylight & an abundance of good food for breeding. Showing he is fit and strong & food for the babies. So reducing light & high calorific/sugar foods is the only way to help reduce it.. but you will not be able to disable it completely. Sounds like your boy is feeling very happy, strong and virile. Instead of using a deep bowl, you could use a flat saucer type of dish on a raised platform instead.
I never covered my tiels either, in the evening we did watch tv in the dark !
I believe I found the issue! the headlights outside were disturbing his sleep! and there was a lot of light outside due to some drunk kids crashing their car, cops being called, a firetruck with bright lights, a tow truck, etc. a few days ago and it was the day he violated his food dish. I've covered the back of his cage and swapped his bowl out for a smaller, shallower bowl. so far, he's doing alright.
 
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Rico_Tiel

Rico_Tiel

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From Parrots: the science of sleep (Chewy.com):

“When I’m dealing with a behavioral problem, I’m going to bring out all the big guns — nutrition, sleep, etc.,” Athan said. “I think the sleep issues is way overblown… I’m more likely to manipulate diet and rainfall.”

I think Athan is mistaking influence of photoperiod with “sleep quality” but she points out that she uses other methods to alter behavior. My question is if your cockatiel “humping” his food bowls is a behavior problem and “worth” modifying. I mean, he’s not going to go blind or get hairy feet. Maybe it’s just not worth worrying about.
perhaps... idk, i suppose it could happen in the wild but idk, I've always heard it should be discouraged.
 

Oopsadaysey

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In a tiel's natural environment, it is never truly dark, even in the dark sky reserves, as the stars and a bright moon can be like daylight. I went through a period of night frights with the girl but I solved that by taking her to my room, light cover and left the cage door open. She could fly out if she really got a fright. Eventually she seemed to outgrow them, I think it was a combination of owls and other night predators being active and she could hear them.
Now she is in the lounge room, heavier cover but with an amber led night light on so not completely dark.
We have had to forcefully stop her humping our hands. She has laid 6 eggs over the years, 3 when we were in Europe and then the last 3 were 2 years ago, no matter what we did, she kept laying including one off my knee and onto the floor.
The complete dark may work with a male but in my experience with other bird breeds no. You may have to just let nature take it's course and hopefully he will stop.
We had a Fischer's african peachface that humped everything that it could grab hold of, we couldn't break him of the habit, and his mate just used to attack him if he got too close and she wasn't in the mood which was normal for her.
 

KingTiel

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It’s not an easy behavior to keep from happening.

Because your bird is male you don’t need to worry about egg bind or anything.
It’s not going to make him go blind or anything.
I would say just roll with it.

This was gold
 

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