Running out of ideas and honestly, patience

Krwlng

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Sep 3, 2021
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Lovebirds
Hi guys

About 2 months ago, I purchased a 6 month old fischer from a pet store.
I'm starting to get worried with her behaviour. She's in a large enough cage and has plenty of toys to forage and chew and play with.
However, all she has done over the past 2 months is sit on her perches and swings. She does not go anywhere near her toys.
She eats and drinks well.
She just spends her 12 waking hours screaming and making loud obnoxious sounds.
These sounds she make are regardless of whether I am present or not. They are really loud and shrill.
She doesn't let me touch her so I don't.
If I let her out of the cage, it takes her 5 mins to decide to come out and then she goes straight to hiding under a couch or sometimes squeezing herself between a wardrobe and wall.
I've tried moving her cage around to see if there's a spot that will keep her quiet but nothing seems to be working.
I've also tried chamomile tea and the rxparrotcalm powder thing but they don't work.

I would appreciate any advise as I'm really not sure as to what to do anymore.
 

LaManuka

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Hi Krwlng, welcome to the Forums to you and...what is your lovebird's name btw? :)

I have never kept a lovebird, but the behaviour you describe fits the HIGHLY hormonal antics that I see in my purple crowned lorikeet pretty much down to the last detail! From what i can ascertain, lovebirds hit puberty around the age of 9 or 10 months or so. My lorikeet was textbook with her hitting of puberty and beginning to hunt for secluded nesting spots smack on turning 12 months old and it sounds very much to me like your hen - and I presume her gender has been confirmed - is doing much the same thing!

Unfortunately these behaviours are hard-wired into their brains and there is only so much that can be done to ameliorate the situation. I know that when my Lilly makes her mind up to go nesting there is very little I can do to change her mind! My strategies have been to limit energy dense foods (tricky with a nectar feeder!), plenty of exercise (we both get lots of that as I chase her out of nesting sites!), bathing so that she uses up energy doing that plus preening afterwards. I also take preventative measures to stop her accessing little hidey holes - again tricky with such a little bird - and do things like strip all the cushions off my couch to stop her burrowing in behind them. She also most certainly does not have access to anything that might bear even a passing resemblance to a nesting spot in her cage, like those "happy hut" things that seem like a good idea at the time but can cause all sorts of undesirable hormonal reactions!

Hopefully someone experienced with lovebirds will weigh in with some info for you. But, having a little lorikeet much the same size as your lovebird who shows pretty much all of the same tendencies, that would be my read of your situation. I wish you all the very best of luck with your little hen!
 

wrench13

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Nov 22, 2015
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Welcome and be welcomed. Parrots can try the patience of even Job (from the Bible). Example - it took me a whole YEAR, of 365 days, to get my little Amazon to accept wearing a harness. 2 months is nothing. Most often success with parrots is the slow incremental one, with a lot of 2 steps forward and 1 (or 2 or even 3 !) steps back.

Have you determined her favorite treat or food? That is your ambassador with her. That should now only be used in training, first for stepping up and handling actions and later to involve her in other actions, shaking hands, waving hello and so on. Look into target training too, a good tool used in training, especially at first. Training should be a) consistent - always use the same triggers, reward and method b) immediate - always reward immediately when there is any progress even a slight one. Have the treat ready and c) Realistic - She is not going to learn to step up in 1 training session ( but she may surprise you), especially at first. Once most parrots understand that training time is time to learn, their ability to absorb the lesson skyrockets. It;s not unusual for my Salty to learn a new trick in 1 or 2 sessions.

Toys. If she has never seen other parrots playing with toys, she might have no idea of what to do with them, Silly as it sounds, try playing with them yourself in her vie, making all sorts of ecstatic happy sounds and noises. Also works for introducing new foods. This does work, as parrot learn a lot from observation. Again - patience is needed.

Also LaManuka's comments on puberty and hormonal influences is spot on, and I think that you will see marked change once she is thru and past her puberty. That first hormone season is the worst for most parrots.
 
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Krwlng

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Hi Krwlng, welcome to the Forums to you and...what is your lovebird's name btw? :)

I have never kept a lovebird, but the behaviour you describe fits the HIGHLY hormonal antics that I see in my purple crowned lorikeet pretty much down to the last detail! From what i can ascertain, lovebirds hit puberty around the age of 9 or 10 months or so. My lorikeet was textbook with her hitting of puberty and beginning to hunt for secluded nesting spots smack on turning 12 months old and it sounds very much to me like your hen - and I presume her gender has been confirmed - is doing much the same thing!

Unfortunately these behaviours are hard-wired into their brains and there is only so much that can be done to ameliorate the situation. I know that when my Lilly makes her mind up to go nesting there is very little I can do to change her mind! My strategies have been to limit energy dense foods (tricky with a nectar feeder!), plenty of exercise (we both get lots of that as I chase her out of nesting sites!), bathing so that she uses up energy doing that plus preening afterwards. I also take preventative measures to stop her accessing little hidey holes - again tricky with such a little bird - and do things like strip all the cushions off my couch to stop her burrowing in behind them. She also most certainly does not have access to anything that might bear even a passing resemblance to a nesting spot in her cage, like those "happy hut" things that seem like a good idea at the time but can cause all sorts of undesirable hormonal reactions!

Hopefully someone experienced with lovebirds will weigh in with some info for you. But, having a little lorikeet much the same size as your lovebird who shows pretty much all of the same tendencies, that would be my read of your situation. I wish you all the very best of luck with your little hen!
Thank you so much for the welcome and the tips, LaManuka. Her name is Mali :)
I definetely did know about this puberty issue and I sure hope it's just a phase.
I'll definetely remove those straw huts from the cage.. Not that she is going anywhere near them and will be sure not to let her play with paper as well.
 
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Krwlng

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Welcome and be welcomed. Parrots can try the patience of even Job (from the Bible). Example - it took me a whole YEAR, of 365 days, to get my little Amazon to accept wearing a harness. 2 months is nothing. Most often success with parrots is the slow incremental one, with a lot of 2 steps forward and 1 (or 2 or even 3 !) steps back.

Have you determined her favorite treat or food? That is your ambassador with her. That should now only be used in training, first for stepping up and handling actions and later to involve her in other actions, shaking hands, waving hello and so on. Look into target training too, a good tool used in training, especially at first. Training should be a) consistent - always use the same triggers, reward and method b) immediate - always reward immediately when there is any progress even a slight one. Have the treat ready and c) Realistic - She is not going to learn to step up in 1 training session ( but she may surprise you), especially at first. Once most parrots understand that training time is time to learn, their ability to absorb the lesson skyrockets. It;s not unusual for my Salty to learn a new trick in 1 or 2 sessions.

Toys. If she has never seen other parrots playing with toys, she might have no idea of what to do with them, Silly as it sounds, try playing with them yourself in her vie, making all sorts of ecstatic happy sounds and noises. Also works for introducing new foods. This does work, as parrot learn a lot from observation. Again - patience is needed.

Also LaManuka's comments on puberty and hormonal influences is spot on, and I think that you will see marked change once she is thru and past her puberty. That first hormone season is the worst for most parrots.
Thank you, Wrench13 for the training tips.
She doesn't have a favourite treat. She was only fed seed mixture at the pet store and I slowly converted her to kaytee exact pellets and now switched her to roudybush daily maintenance because of all the ants the kaytee pellets were attracting. She also doesn't touch fruits and nibbles on greens once in awhile.
I actually have tried playing the toys in front of her. Even hid seeds in those foraging toys but she won't have any of it. She'll look at me for all of 5 secs and go back to screaming. I suppose that's more fun for her :)
If she's going through puberty and having those hormonal changes, should I just wait it out before trying to train/tame her? How long do you suppose puberty lasts?
 

wrench13

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Nov 22, 2015
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Defeatist attitude. You haven't found the favorite treat YET. One way find that out is to place one of each treat and let her choose. DO that a few times and you'll probably see her preference.

Yeah I'd not initiate training during the middle of puberty, her mind is not going to be focused much. Salty, my amazon, will refuse training during his mating season, once in awhile. The thing with puberty and mating season is to try and not let temporary behavior become permanent behavior. Like screaming and rewarding it with attention.
 
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Krwlng

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Defeatist attitude. You haven't found the favorite treat YET. One way find that out is to place one of each treat and let her choose. DO that a few times and you'll probably see her preference.

Yeah I'd not initiate training during the middle of puberty, her mind is not going to be focused much. Salty, my amazon, will refuse training during his mating season, once in awhile. The thing with puberty and mating season is to try and not let temporary behavior become permanent behavior. Like screaming and rewarding it with attention.
What are common treats that lovebirds enjoy?
 

Kitekeeper

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Jun 19, 2021
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Welcome Krwing

You received the best possible advices in this thread. I would like to join the discussion with some perspective.

Can you remember how she was kept with the previous owner? Was it a big cage considering her current cage in comparison? Did she have many other birds sharing the cage? Is she alone in the cage now and are there any other birds in the house or in the neighbourhood?

My lovebirds quite often like to have some degree of flock contact. They are flock birds in nature, although they can have a mate for life, they need the group to feel comfortable. Besides what LaManuka and Wrench brought in, which might be well the situation for Mali she may also be trying to contact birds in the area or keep screaming to attract her flock.

I know lovebirds can be very loud and I understand well what you are going through, but these birds like to have other birds close. It doesn´t need to be another lovebird if you don´t want to add more decibels. I have a couple of peachfaced lovebirds that love to have my pair of linnies close to their cage.

Regarding what they may like to eat, you can try kale, brocolis, corn cob, scarlet eggplant and solanum gilo.
 

Skarila

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What are common treats that lovebirds enjoy?
In your case I'd try with some millet, since you said she doesn't like fruits yet (try leaving the fruit there for a while, birds need some time and trust to actually try new things)
I say millet as treat since you're feeding her pellets which is amazing :D
Just keep trying to offer daily, trust me, one day she will try it. Try offering sweet fruits like apples, maybe even nectarine or peaches. Try some berries as well if possible. Is she comfortable with stepping onto your hand at all or is she very hand shy?
 
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Krwlng

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Welcome Krwing

You received the best possible advices in this thread. I would like to join the discussion with some perspective.

Can you remember how she was kept with the previous owner? Was it a big cage considering her current cage in comparison? Did she have many other birds sharing the cage? Is she alone in the cage now and are there any other birds in the house or in the neighbourhood?

My lovebirds quite often like to have some degree of flock contact. They are flock birds in nature, although they can have a mate for life, they need the group to feel comfortable. Besides what LaManuka and Wrench brought in, which might be well the situation for Mali she may also be trying to contact birds in the area or keep screaming to attract her flock.

I know lovebirds can be very loud and I understand well what you are going through, but these birds like to have other birds close. It doesn´t need to be another lovebird if you don´t want to add more decibels. I have a couple of peachfaced lovebirds that love to have my pair of linnies close to their cage.

Regarding what they may like to eat, you can try kale, brocolis, corn cob, scarlet eggplant and solanum gilo.
Hi kitekeeper. I bought her from a pet store. The picture in the link below shows the exact type of enclosure she was in. There were roughly 20 to 30 birds in there.

 
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Krwlng

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In your case I'd try with some millet, since you said she doesn't like fruits yet (try leaving the fruit there for a while, birds need some time and trust to actually try new things)
I say millet as treat since you're feeding her pellets which is amazing :D
Just keep trying to offer daily, trust me, one day she will try it. Try offering sweet fruits like apples, maybe even nectarine or peaches. Try some berries as well if possible. Is she comfortable with stepping onto your hand at all or is she very hand shy?
Hi skarila. Thank you for your response.
Nope, she does not come anywhere near my hand.
If I put my hand in her cage to change the food and water, she flies off to the opposite end of the cage.
 

johnbirds

New member
Dec 11, 2020
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2
Hi guys

About 2 months ago, I purchased a 6 month old fischer from a pet store.
I'm starting to get worried with her behaviour. She's in a large enough cage and has plenty of toys to forage and chew and play with.
However, all she has done over the past 2 months is sit on her perches and swings. She does not go anywhere near her toys.
She eats and drinks well.
She just spends her 12 waking hours screaming and making loud obnoxious sounds.
These sounds she make are regardless of whether I am present or not. They are really loud and shrill.
She doesn't let me touch her so I don't.
If I let her out of the cage, it takes her 5 mins to decide to come out and then she goes straight to hiding under a couch or sometimes squeezing herself between a wardrobe and wall.
I've tried moving her cage around to see if there's a spot that will keep her quiet but nothing seems to be working.
I've also tried chamomile tea and the rxparrotcalm powder thing but they don't work.

I would appreciate any advise as I'm really not sure as to what to do anymore.
If you have to buy from a Pet store make sure the bird is tame to start with. I owned a bird store way back.Their business runs on money they have to sell to pay bill remember that. So age of the birds tameness may not alway be correct. Buy from a breeder who know the correct age and can tell you at what point the baby was hand feed. I have hand feed over 100 babies at a time. all incubator hatched now that's a hand feed baby many can't or just don't want to pull babies before there eyes open. In all the years of hand feed almost all parrot type birds It make a difference in pet quality. You also have to handle a baby bird in a manner that you will for the life of the bird. People buy babies spoiled them them lock them in a cage because the new wore off this leed to bad behavior feather plucking.
 
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