Regurgitation Question

kme3388

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2021
646
1,154
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
I have a jenday conure, and have had her for 11 years. I adopted an Ekkie who’s always regurgitated sense I’ve had him. He also mates with blankets, perches, and can be quite the horn ball. My conure has never behaved this way in the 11 years I’ve had her (I just had her vet checkup, and will find out if my conure is a male or female shortly). Now my conure is regurgitating, and mating with her toys. She’s became very protective of her cage, and becomes very upset when I try to clean her perches. She’s behaving more like my Ekkie. Do birds mimic other birds, or learn behaviors from other birds? Is birds regurgitating unhealthy?
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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I have a jenday conure, and have had her for 11 years. I adopted an Ekkie who’s always regurgitated sense I’ve had him. He also mates with blankets, perches, and can be quite the horn ball. My conure has never behaved this way in the 11 years I’ve had her (I just had her vet checkup, and will find out if my conure is a male or female shortly). Now my conure is regurgitating, and mating with her toys. She’s became very protective of her cage, and becomes very upset when I try to clean her perches. She’s behaving more like my Ekkie. Do birds mimic other birds, or learn behaviors from other birds? Is birds regurgitating unhealthy?
I don’t think that regurgitation is really a learned behavior but the bobbing and noises and posturing of your Ekkie may be very stimulating for your conure.

My old female Quaker, Lucy, had extra hormonal type behavior and aggression when she could hear baby finches in the nest. They were not even similar type birds but were still exciting in that way. She was not normally a very horny bird but at that time she was. She was also more bitey around her cage.

I was worried that my regurgitating boy conure might get food poisoning when he would hump or feed his bird cuddle buddy and then clean it up later (yes, gross). He was also more naughty when revved up. I didnt think laundering the furry buddy was very hygienic so I ended up throwing it out. That conure had some aggression issues and they were better if he didn’t have the toy he was focusing on.
 
OP
kme3388

kme3388

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2021
646
1,154
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
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I don’t think that regurgitation is really a learned behavior but the bobbing and noises and posturing of your Ekkie may be very stimulating for your conure.

My old female Quaker, Lucy, had extra hormonal type behavior and aggression when she could hear baby finches in the nest. They were not even similar type birds but were still exciting in that way. She was not normally a very horny bird but at that time she was. She was also more bitey around her cage.

I was worried that my regurgitating boy conure might get food poisoning when he would hump or feed his bird cuddle buddy and then clean it up later (yes, gross). He was also more naughty when revved up. I didnt think laundering the furry buddy was very hygienic so I ended up throwing it out. That conure had some aggression issues and they were better if he didn’t have the toy he was focusing on.
I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what is triggering my Ekkie. I haven't been successful in figuring that out. He tends to be hormonal year round, and consistently. My conure is a female for sure now. Which explains her clucking behaviors. She doesn't exhibit this behavior very often. Mostly in spring, and fall. The regurgitation is new for her. I at this point just ignore both of them when they are behaving this way. I've tried to put them back in their cages, or change their toys around when they start being hormonal. I just feel like they pick a new object after I do that like a perch. I just wanted to make sure that these behaviors don't cause health issues, or anything harmful to my parrots. I don't feel like I am going to be making progress correcting the behavior.
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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I think the best thing to do would be to minimize hormonal triggers. Minimize the signals of ‘spring’ and breeding season your birds get. This means that you shorten their photoperiod (daylight), adjust diet to reduce fatty, protein heavy, rich foods, avoid ‘suggestive’ cage items like shadowy corners, boxes, shreddable nesting substrates, egg like items (for your female), possibly remove special toys your ekkie is fixated upon…

Birds come into breeding condition when their bodies receive signals saying that the environment is right for reproducing. For pet birds,That means a longer daytime (light available in bird’s habitat), especially rich or hand fed or gloppy food, nest site stimulus (dark corners or boxes or stuff to shred), petting on sexual body areas.

Normally owners of companion parrots want to reduce these confusing signals so their birds don’t come into breeding condition and do some annoying, disruptive, or possibly dangerous (egg laying) behavior patterns. If you wanted to breed your bird you would encourage these things. So when you see extra regurgitation, humping toys, defensiveness of ‘nest site’, etc, minimize those confusing signals in your bird’s environment and life and you can potentially reduce the hormonal problem behaviors. But, you are not a parrot and you can’t ‘see’ all the signals and triggers your birds are getting. You can only reduce those that you’re aware of. And your bird needs enough light and adequate fat and protein in his/her diet.

Another option would be hormone antagonists like Lupron, which you need to discuss with your vet. That would certainly decrease these behaviors that you’re concerned about.

The boy conure I referred to was more aggressive and bitey towards me if he was taller than me (had a really high cage) and if he was flighted. But your birds need some height and some ability to escape to feel secure and ok.

I hope this made sense? It’s late and my brain is not at its prime.
 
Last edited:
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kme3388

kme3388

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2021
646
1,154
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
I think the best thing to do would be to minimize hormonal triggers. Minimize the signals of ‘spring’ and breeding season your birds get. This means that you shorten their photoperiod (daylight), adjust diet to reduce fatty, protein heavy, rich foods, avoid ‘suggestive’ cage items like shadowy corners, boxes, shreddable nesting substrates, egg like items (for your female), possibly remove special toys your ekkie is fixated upon…

Birds come into breeding condition when their bodies receive signals saying that the environment is right for reproducing. For pet birds,That means a longer daytime (light available in bird’s habitat), especially rich or hand fed or gloppy food, nest site stimulus (dark corners or boxes or stuff to shred), petting on sexual body areas.

Normally owners of companion parrots want to reduce these confusing signals so their birds don’t come into breeding condition and do some annoying, disruptive, or possibly dangerous (egg laying) behavior patterns. If you wanted to breed your bird you would encourage these things. So when you see extra regurgitation, humping toys, defensiveness of ‘nest site’, etc, minimize those confusing signals in your bird’s environment and life and you can potentially reduce the hormonal problem behaviors. But, you are not a parrot and you can’t ‘see’ all the signals and triggers your birds are getting. You can only reduce those that you’re aware of. And your bird needs enough light and adequate fat and protein in his/her diet.

Another option would be hormone antagonists like Lupron, which you need to discuss with your vet. That would certainly decrease these behaviors that you’re concerned about.

The boy conure I referred to was more aggressive and bitey towards me if he was taller than me (had a really high cage) and if he was flighted. But your birds need some height and some ability to escape to feel secure and ok.

I hope this made sense? It’s late and my brain is not at its prime.
This does make a lot of sense. Nico my Ekkie is a very hormonal parrot. I've wondered if at one point in his life he was a breeder bird. Me saying he is a horn ball is putting things nicely. He is easily triggered. I do have him out of his cage all day everyday. In the evening he will let me know when he's ready to go to his night cage. Generally its around 5pm, and he wants his quiet time. He'll start nibbling on my fingers, run to the stairs, or do things to get my attention until he can go to his night cage. When you say to adjust his daylight how much would one want to do that?
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
2,168
3,083
How long is Nico’s day now? I would cut it back by an hour or a half hour and see if that helps with the regurgitation, masturbation, and aggression.

Bird’s bodies respond to environmental cues in order to get into breeding condition. Outside of mating season, a wild bird’s gonad (sex organ like testes or ovary) shrinks way down and is inactive. With more light or rich food or a nesting site or petting in ‘sexy’ areas the adult bird’s body responds by increasing sex hormones and the testes or ovary ‘maturing’ for the season. Then you get more hormone secretion, sexual behaviors, aggression, egg laying, etc. which are hard to live with and cause many pet birds to lose their happy homes.

Wouldn’t it be great if people worked like that and we could only get pregnant or fertile in a situation with plenty of food, a helpful mate, and a good nest site? That would make life much easier.
 

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