QP Highly Territorial and Sitting at Bottom of Cage

Rinbu

New member
Jan 2, 2022
3
3
Parrots
Gumi (Quaker Parrot)
Hello. My Quaker parrot, Gumi, has been acting differently than usual lately. She’s 3 years old and usually hangs on the bars of the cage, but recently she’s been sitting at the bottom. She’s also become highly territorial, lunging and screeching at the cats from within her cage whenever they approach and attacking us whenever we take her out. This has been going on for about a week. She’s been eating fine, her poop doesn’t look different, her appearance is the same, and she’s acting pretty much as normal except for the sitting at the bottom of her cage and increased aggression. I’ve been thinking she’s either sick or preparing to lay an (unfertilized) egg. I had the idea of starting to weigh her to track her weight, but for now we don’t have access to a functional scale. My family’s also had Covid for the past week but I’ve had no conclusive answer to whether birds can get Covid or not. She also has no exposure to any other birds, but we do have 3 cats.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated and I thank you for your time. If anything needs clarification I can answer further questions.
 

foxgloveparrot

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Hello! Sudden change in behavior can sometimes mean the bird is unwell, so maybe check with a vet just in case; I don't think that's the reason this is happening with your bird though.
Your bird is likely hormonal. At age three she is going through puberty, which causes this kind of behavior.
Link:
 

hiriki

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Oct 19, 2014
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I was going to say the same. Sounds like hormones to me.

I think it's likely just puberty but in my experience a regular light schedule can help with hormonal behavior, so if you cover her cage you should do it on a set schedule every day. I put the lights in my bird corner on a timer to make it as easy/reliable as possible. Keeping birds up late or putting them on wonky light schedules can make them act funny for some reason lol
 
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Rinbu

New member
Jan 2, 2022
3
3
Parrots
Gumi (Quaker Parrot)
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Hello! Sudden change in behavior can sometimes mean the bird is unwell, so maybe check with a vet just in case; I don't think that's the reason this is happening with your bird though.
Your bird is likely hormonal. At age three she is going through puberty, which causes this kind of behavior.
Link:
Thank you for the reply, this certainly would explain her behavior.
 
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Rinbu

New member
Jan 2, 2022
3
3
Parrots
Gumi (Quaker Parrot)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
I was going to say the same. Sounds like hormones to me.

I think it's likely just puberty but in my experience a regular light schedule can help with hormonal behavior, so if you cover her cage you should do it on a set schedule every day. I put the lights in my bird corner on a timer to make it as easy/reliable as possible. Keeping birds up late or putting them on wonky light schedules can make them act funny for some reason lol
Thank you for the reply. Her schedule has indeed been a little wonky lately and she’s been wanting to go to bed early. I’ll take your advice on giving her a more consistent light schedule. Thank you so much.
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
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1,576
Thank you for the reply. Her schedule has indeed been a little wonky lately and she’s been wanting to go to bed early. I’ll take your advice on giving her a more consistent light schedule. Thank you so muc
Hello. My Quaker parrot, Gumi, has been acting differently than usual lately. She’s 3 years old and usually hangs on the bars of the cage, but recently she’s been sitting at the bottom. She’s also become highly territorial, lunging and screeching at the cats from within her cage whenever they approach and attacking us whenever we take her out. This has been going on for about a week. She’s been eating fine, her poop doesn’t look different, her appearance is the same, and she’s acting pretty much as normal except for the sitting at the bottom of her cage and increased aggression. I’ve been thinking she’s either sick or preparing to lay an (unfertilized) egg. I had the idea of starting to weigh her to track her weight, but for now we don’t have access to a functional scale. My family’s also had Covid for the past week but I’ve had no conclusive answer to whether birds can get Covid or not. She also has no exposure to any other birds, but we do have 3 cats.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated and I thank you for your time. If anything needs clarification I can answer further questions.
Most likely, birds cannot get covid. I have been tracking nonhuman species who’ve demonstrated covid infection and have only noted it in mammals. Bats, deer, cats, dogs, primates…I haven’t seen any reports of covid in birds. They also have a higher body temperature than humans which does restrict some viruses that would replicate in humans, and vice versa.
It sounds to me like your female Quaker has decided, for some reason, that it is time to lay eggs. This could be if the bottom of her cage is shadowy, if she has something to hide in, if she has materials to shred or chew for a cage lining, too rich a diet, too many hours of light, or excessive petting that she takes as mating behavior.
I bought a plastic collar for the bottom of my Quaker’s cage years ago (to catch the seeds). The collar was even clear plastic but that still set her off somehow. My bird got very sick with retained eggs and peritonitis. I always had to keep any shreddable materials away from her or she would get nesty.
Please keep an eye on your bird and try to eliminate some of those egg laying stimuli.
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
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It sounds to me like your female Quaker has decided, for some reason, that it is time to lay eggs. This could be if the bottom of her cage is shadowy, if she has something to hide in, if she has materials to shred or chew for a cage lining, too rich a diet, too many hours of light, or excessive petting that she takes as mating behavior.
I bought a plastic collar for the bottom of my Quaker’s cage years ago (to catch the seeds). The collar was even clear plastic but that still set her off somehow. My bird got very sick with retained eggs and peritonitis. I always had to keep any shreddable materials away from her or she would get nesty.
Please keep an eye on your bird and try to eliminate some of those egg laying stimuli.
Most likely, birds cannot get covid. I have been tracking nonhuman species who’ve demonstrated covid infection and have only noted it in mammals. Bats, deer, cats, dogs, primates…I haven’t seen any reports of covid in birds. They also have a higher body temperature than humans which does restrict some viruses that would replicate in humans, and vice versa. (Reposting this omitted section due to a problem with the previous post.)
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
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USA
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Full house
Quakers go through puberty around 6 month to a year, so not puberty. But can be breeding behavior , broody.

Weight checks would be very important here, digital kitchen scales I've seen sold from 6-20 bucks. A female carrying eggs would have a big jump in weight. And health issues usually have weight loss.

Adult Quaker do get very aggressive around cage, but should revert to normal away from it. You can attempt to throw her out of egg production, reproduction behavior by moving the cage, even a few feet. And re arrange all perches and toys, really change it up. This has worked for me and my girl.

If you have had a cold snaps , bird's are very sensitive to that. Sure wild population adapt, but they overnight in a colony nest that is warm from all their bodies and by design. Its quick changes they are sensitive too.

I freak out if any if mine were spending time on the bottom, other than destroying a toy that fell or grabbing dropped food.
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
1,024
1,576
Quakers go through puberty around 6 month to a year, so not puberty. But can be breeding behavior , broody.

Weight checks would be very important here, digital kitchen scales I've seen sold from 6-20 bucks. A female carrying eggs would have a big jump in weight. And health issues usually have weight loss.

Adult Quaker do get very aggressive around cage, but should revert to normal away from it. You can attempt to throw her out of egg production, reproduction behavior by moving the cage, even a few feet. And re arrange all perches and toys, really change it up. This has worked for me and my girl.

If you have had a cold snaps , bird's are very sensitive to that. Sure wild population adapt, but they overnight in a colony nest that is warm from all their bodies and by design. Its quick changes they are sensitive too.

I freak out if any if mine were spending time on the bottom, other than destroying a toy that fell or grabbing dropped food.
I freak out if my birds are spending time on the bottom of their cage, but not if they are incubating a toy in a pile of chewed up newspaper, puffed up and either snapping and lunging at me or clucking seductively (Lucy, female Quaker). Or puffed up, bowing, and snakedancing around an empty tissue box (Jasper, male Meyers parrot). In that case, the bird is showing reproductive (hormonal) behavior which can be fixed if you remove the exciting object. be warned that the bird will not be pleased with you.

So if your bird is on cage bottom looking quiet, limp and bedraggled, not eating or drinking, it is a different kind of concerning (very sick) vs. puffed up and excited, guarding a ‘nest’.

If a female bird has a nest on the cage bottom, starts to look distressed, keep an eye on the bird for egg binding: big wet poops, a wide rear end, dilated cloaca and a straining bird (trying to push something out of cloaca). Egg binding is an emergency! But in that case, your bird would likely be depressed and quiet, not trying to remove your fingers.
 

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