Parakeet Screaming Fit Over Coconut Hut- What Should I do?

rattat

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May 27, 2021
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hello world! :greenyellow:

(sorry- if this is kind of long since I feel like I should provide context, but if you want to skip to the main question I underlined it.)

so I've had my parakeet, Dexter, for roughly two years now and have been trying to tame her/at least get her to tolerate me for two years now but to no avail because 90% of the time she would run into a coconut hut that I got her (I ended up buying it for her since I thought it would offer her comfort- now I'm never going to buy something without researching it first). There's been no problems other than that up until a few months ago when she started to go into these unwarranted chirping/screeching fits which occasionally turned into full fledged screeching/hissing whenever I got close to her- but only for a few seconds until she calmed down.

there's nothing wrong with her. I took her to an exotic vet and they said she was healthy (save for her diet, which I have since changed), she never has issues molting and isn't currently molting, and she's eating regularly as per usual, but lately she's gotten incredibly aggressive.

I was looking into it online when I read something about female birds being especially aggressive when their hormones are triggered by things like coconut huts/enclosed things in the cage- so I took it out.

needless to say she did NOT like that, which is where we're at right now. She's been screeching/screaming even more constantly than before and this has been going on for a few days. She only gets more angry whenever I approach, screaming viciously at me as if threatening my life because I took her beloved coconut hut.

I'm pretty sure she won't forgive me anytime soon, but is there anything I can do to try and calm her down just a bit or is there something I should be doing in general? Or is this just a waiting game now? I feel bad for taking it away even though she appears completely healthy still since I removed it and I'm not sure how to occupy her other than playing music since she barely picks at her toys except for one and ignores fruits/veggies I leave for her like they're the plague (even going as far as screaming angrily whenever she tosses the veggies out of her food bowl whenever I leave them there).


*I'm not sure if this information is important- but I got her since she was being given away for free at a store due to her allegedly killing her cage mate at her last house. She was named Dexter for this (and also because she was believed to be a male), but I learned she was a female after she laid an egg a year ago. There was no other information about her + her background when I bought her but I feel like she was abused or at the very least hurt because whenever I rose my hand to feed her when I first got her she would flinch.

861qr8nqkoC2QzSJI0g_f1-9yunf-tFWPy-nPi0NdGkHhDlPmtEgCCzj0yHRbdEtmu0AI8kRfybkW5gHCK71IENCwIimZpO2_bfpSk11Nw6uRVmTVOcEAZsQD6v_c2L6h2OxcPhvSiXAyMnqPZVy-1bVG7-h616aoUsrda_a1pyPotutUyDNZxaOceReltGZM3e-ZFWjlGrw1FoW0H3SJ2P0xpB-kbukfPRT0lrlxxrgRSXmj9ll9wm8966tp3QLF_L6v5P1x3FNM-dgBdfNKUxXNsMqIBsscoOT4gZZ1HZd6YZNMAiglLlHOZUkvrvvGRdOrKT0Vhdvprq-UPxj1ruWCjM92ocRs3drS1s0vYMZmgZ7NjZynfj0U_y5Xz7912rqk5bFCzdLqGGaxCgZSZAKL4bCAVmitTs48lfRRkm_G2FsBfTsHzBafKHD0lLy1zg06UMEgcg0fl0Jvpyag2bDocaVHc_7abbyaj93jGrjfz0K-xv_Pjxp_Gd8WdnGNCVYCz-g7oJgNR9pMmf6b3x32wrQbj5JetlGSGoXA0PqQO-ZO0I8PoumyNvQAYJBV7ep1hz4l0OdgDXpjKE_n0tGjYJxoOLNLW4OnUoW-jLhCR4i6nQ8RQDyNGlWnehQd8NBfPcwJ6LUHZQJwIO3nIobhQIkgY-Fq2k5C-foLgSnD76bwnh274eG1JmwnuwHXWNo156SlCTJa1SRL3hWsmWt=w1840-h2684-no

Dexter during a moment of temporary peace. She is probably pretending I'm the toy and is definitely glaring at me when I took this photo.
 

Skarila

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Apr 19, 2021
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✻Csillam the rescued budgie
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Welcome to the forums!

From my experience budgies are quite hard to tame, they are such tiny birds and afraid of their own shadow... My partner found a young budgie 7 years ago, pretty much on verge of death. She survived, and since then he kept her. First 3 years she was completely wild and afraid. I remember when I moved in with him, Csilli (the budgie) would flinch and move to the back of her cage whenever we passed by. I don't remember he playing much with her toys either, she was usually fighting her tiny mirrors, which later on we removed.
In 4th year was the first time she slowly started trusting us. To this day she is still terified of hands and doesn't accept food from us, only finger wiggle which she likes. In year 5 I could give her kisses on her blue little chest and belly. Year 6 was the very first time she dared to jump on our forearm or shoulder. Now, this year (year 7) she dares to fly to us on her own. Still hesitates if we are sitting on the couch, she is still not that daring. It took us incredible 7 years for her to bond to us. It was an extremely long and painful journey but hey, we are there. She never responded well to treats or millet, so clicker training kind of never worked for her.

In your case I'd say that the coconut hut was making her more hormonal than it should, so ofcourse she is pissed that you took that one thing she likes away from her! Don't put it back, let her have her temper tantrum.
What kind of toys she have? Our budgie LOVES bells, but also both plastic and wooden toys to chew on. She became an avid chewer in last 2 years.
Probably one thing that helped me bond with our budgie is that I can whistle and make 5 types of clicking sounds that Csilli loves. She started imitating my whistles and kisses, so I used that as a base of our communication. I was always super gentle around her, even though I did get quite a few times bitten by lip and septum, and lord she can bite.

It is really unfortunate that your budgie is so agressive... it really does sound like frustrated, scared and hormonal.
 

Scott

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Welcome to you and Dexter, thanks for a detailed yet concise introduction!

I'm not familiar with parakeets so cannot advise on species behavior, but removal of coconut hut was 100% best for long term health and relationship. Any hut or nesting type device is hormonal thirst trap perpetuating the cycle, potentially leading to dangerous egg laying/egg binding.

Does she generally play with toys? I'll let our parakeet-savvy members weigh in whether coconut material toy that is not hut-like may be wise substitute. Meanwhile, a focus on trust-building and bonding may help smooth out her anger: http://www.parrotforums.com/general-parrot-information/49144-tips-bonding-building-trust.html

Unfortunately attached pic is not visible with several browsers. It is a very long url, possibly too long to decipher?
 

noodles123

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agreed with all of the above..Try to start back at square one (without any huts or mirrors) and just be as low-stress as you can. Don't force contact but try to allow her opportunities to get out daily if you can do so safely. You may find that she is less aggressive out of her cage but even if she is still scared, do whatever you can to not towel or chase etc (also trust killers). Try reading in the same room, associating yourself with favorite treats (but don't hang your hand in there if there is any hesitation). Think about the fact that a hand in the cage etc etc can be a huge stresser for a scared bird, even if there is a treat in it. In the future, I would advise removing anything when your bird is not watching you do it, but you were right to remove it (clearly).
 

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