Sudden male aggressiveness

BayDj

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Mar 10, 2024
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5
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Cockatiels
Hi everyone. I have a bonded pair of cockatiels, male and female, been with me for almost 3 years now, both tame, always wanting to hang out with me, asking for scratches etc etc. Lately the male has been a bit unruly, I'm guessing hormones, so today he just refused to step up so I could set him back in the cage, so I had to grab him with a towel to put him back in. Since that moment, all he does is chase the female around the cage and won't stop, for what I've researched, he now sees me as a menace and tries to keep her away from me, wich seems a bit extreme for me, since I've had him for a few years now and has never been aggressive with me, except maybe the first few weeks after I got hom home. Right now I've housed him in a different cage next to their usual cage, but I'm worried about how long this behavior may last, or if my assessment is correct for that matter. Do you guys have any insight that could help me? Thanks in advance.
 

LaManuka

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Queensland, Australia
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Fang ({ab}normal grey cockatiel), Valentino (budgie), Jem (cinnamon cockatiel), Lovejoy(varied lorikeet), Peach (princess parrot)
Hi everyone. I have a bonded pair of cockatiels, male and female, been with me for almost 3 years now, both tame, always wanting to hang out with me, asking for scratches etc etc. Lately the male has been a bit unruly, I'm guessing hormones, so today he just refused to step up so I could set him back in the cage, so I had to grab him with a towel to put him back in. Since that moment, all he does is chase the female around the cage and won't stop, for what I've researched, he now sees me as a menace and tries to keep her away from me, wich seems a bit extreme for me, since I've had him for a few years now and has never been aggressive with me, except maybe the first few weeks after I got hom home. Right now I've housed him in a different cage next to their usual cage, but I'm worried about how long this behavior may last, or if my assessment is correct for that matter. Do you guys have any insight that could help me? Thanks in advance.

You are very wise to have separated your 'tiels. I experienced something similar quite a few years back with one of my current 'tiel roosters, named Fang, and my then 'tiel hen, Twinkle. Fang was much younger than Twinkle, and they always had separate cages and generally got on quite well, but pretty much as soon as Fang reached sexual maturity he became VERY possessive of Twinkle, and very aggressive towards both her and me. He was SO keen to have "relations" with Twinkle that he would chase her around the house to the point of exhaustion if she ever gave him even the slightest "come hither" look, and those looks that hens give are sometimes far too subtle for us humans to see. And Fang would also quite vigorously attack me for trying to come between him and Twinkle! Your rooster's extreme behaviour may subside with his hormone production, but at least with Fang it did fluctuate year-round and I always had to make sure Twinkle had her own separate cage she could retreat to for her own safety. It might be an idea for you to make more permanent separate housing arrangements for your hen too, your pair can still have plenty of together time outside their cages, perhaps with a little more supervision now that this behaviour has started, but in my own personal experience this is the best way to go for the sake of your hen's safety.

Welcome to the forums, and I hope this helps!
 
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BayDj

New member
Mar 10, 2024
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5
Parrots
Cockatiels
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Thanks a lot for your reply, it really helps to hear solutions to similar situations, its just puzzling to me how all of a sudden he's become so possessive of her to even hurt her pecking her just to keep her away from me, after all, they've been housed together and playful with me for so long, maybe they aren't as bonded as I thought? Anyway, I'll keep them separated for now, hopefully he will relax eventually.
 

LaManuka

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Staff member
Super Moderator
Aug 29, 2018
25,933
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26
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Queensland, Australia
Parrots
Fang ({ab}normal grey cockatiel), Valentino (budgie), Jem (cinnamon cockatiel), Lovejoy(varied lorikeet), Peach (princess parrot)
Thanks a lot for your reply, it really helps to hear solutions to similar situations, its just puzzling to me how all of a sudden he's become so possessive of her to even hurt her pecking her just to keep her away from me, after all, they've been housed together and playful with me for so long, maybe they aren't as bonded as I thought? Anyway, I'll keep them separated for now, hopefully he will relax eventually.
Yep, unfortunately once those hormones start flowing it can turn even the most peaceable rooster, or hen for that matter, into a creature quite unrecognizable from it's previous personality! And unlike their wild cousins where mating behaviours are dependent on seasonal availability of food and changing temperatures etc, it can happen randomly at any time because of the more constant temperatures in our homes and the fact that their food supply is much more reliably available. So now that it's started you'll need to keep a closer eye on them :)
 

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