Sun Conure Hormone Issues

Dyssie

New member
May 28, 2021
2
0
TN, USA
Parrots
Mimosa - Sun Conure
Whiskey - Sun Conure
Hey, I'm kind of new to forums and not too sure as to how you use them. Please let me know if I am doing anything wrong. However, I do have a question.

About 2 weeks ago, my mom brought my birds to a boarding place. We left for a week and picked them up 2 days after we got home. (The place was closed, so we had to wait.)

I get my birds back, and a LARGE problem has arisen. My birds have been mating. Prior to their boarding experience, my birds have been very good at not being hormonal. They're a bonded pair, and have been together for over 6 months now. They're both under a year old. One is DNA female, and the other is unsexed, but I am pretty sure he is male.

I'm unsure as of what to do considering I never researched breeding behaviors too often, since one of my Suns was an impulsive decision made by my mother.

I just ordered another cage, and I am going to separate them. I probably should have done this before, but since I wasn't seeing any hormonal behaviors beforehand, I thought I would be alright. I honestly thought they might have been the same sex.

Until my new cage arrives, what should I do? I have been keeping one out separately, but I obviously can't have them out all day, everyday. My cage should arrive on Monday or Tuesday. Was there something I did wrong? What should I do for the female? I don't know what to do with laying females, if that comes up.

Please help!:15:
 

noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
451
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
Remove any snuggle huts, tents, boxes etc and prevent access to any shadowy spaces. <-- try to do this when they are not looking. They may scream and get really angry, but it's important that they not have these. Adult birds should not have these (even if they hadn't mated) because their hormones are linked to behavior etc and these are triggers for single birds as well.


Remove any nesting materials (like paper shreds etc)


they need 10 hours sleep each night on a schedule *too much or too little messes with their hormones and longer days are associated with higher levels of hormonal behaviors*


Never partially cover the cage or cover it during the day. If you cover, it should only be at the moment of lights out.

Your birds weren't sexually mature originally...conures mature around 1 and everything changes...

Pet them on the head and neck only-- the rest is sexually stimulating...Do not wrap them in blankets or towels (unless for medical treatment) and don't let them hang out under your hair etc.

Look out for any changes in the female and weigh her...Track her weight and watch her poop. If she acts sickly, starts straining a lot, has way smaller poops, is eating less etc get her to an avian vet because she could be egg-bound and that is an emergency. Tail bobbing when breathing is another major red flag.


Something super important is that a female can lay eggs with or without a male (but obviously, the eggs without the male will be infertile). If she is sexually stimulated, even if she isn't "pregnant" she could lay again later. The health risks to chronic laying can be serious, so you always much watch females for signs of egg issues *even in the absence of a male*



Unrelated side note: you guys know not to use teflon/pfte/pfoa/pfcs in the same house with them, right? You said they were an impulse buy, and this stuff is so common and so damaging that I wanted to make sure you were aware...I'll post a link to my "new to birds" parrots...See my response to the OP on this thread: http://www.parrotforums.com/caiques/89726-can-i-get-1-caique-if-i-work.html and here is another thread for people new to birds : http://www.parrotforums.com/questions-answers/89863-thinking-getting-cockatiel.html (see my reply a few down from the top). This is a great website on birds and teflon- https://www.ewg.org/research/canaries-kitchen <- even if you used a pan a few times and the birds seemed fine, its important to know that this stuff permanently damages their air sacs with each exposure (even if they survive)


Here is a copy and paste written for another member whose bird produced eggs:
Leave the eggs with the bird until interest is lost (many vet websites say 3 weeks bare minimum *no matter what* even if they don't seem interested--even longer if interest is shown even if it is periodic). If they are fertile, early on, you can quickly remove them and boil after marking with a pen (to prevent hatching and inbreeding among siblings etc-- try not to let them SEE YOU do this). By marking them, you know the new from the old if more come out. It sounds like you are past that point though, so I would consider swapping them for dummys because they may get smelly if broken at this point. The dummy eggs are pretty dang good looking and the weight is right (assuming you get the right kind for your species). I would do the swap when the bird is in another room and do it right before bed so she wakes up with the new ones and has less time to notice the potential differences. I have never gotten the lovebird variety, but the ones I have purchased did not disappoint https://www.amazon.com/DummyEggs-Sto.../dp/B077DKMBLX
If you ever do need to boil fertile eggs, make sure you cool them before returning them, but do it as discretely as possible. Dummy eggs are another solid alternative and may be purchased on amazon- DummyEggs.com have really good products that they sell on their site and on amazon.
Provide access to higher calcium foods and a cuttle bone if you do not already.
Discourage future laying by making sure you have no tents, huts, coconuts, shadowy spaces, access to boxes, under furniture, low shelves, blankets etc (nothing nesty). Nets boxes and sleep tents = bad news for a variety of reasons.
Pet on the head and neck only and be very cautious about disrupting their light cycles. NEVER cover during the day (unless dealing with a bird in medical shock) and make sure they have a set bedtime and wake up schedule with 10 hours solid, dark sleep per night. This regulates hormones and mood but also is essential for keeping your bird's immune system healthy.
Avoid warm mushy foods during hormonal periods and the same should be said of easily shreddable toys like paper, wicker, balsa etc--- if it can make a nesty pile easily, avoid it. The warm food and shredding thing is short-term/during hormonal spells, but the 10 hours, petting rules, and avoiding shadows should apply to adult birds indefinitely, unless breeding is your goal.
 
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noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
451
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
Although I have boarded my bird once, if at all possible, I would avoid boarding them because there are lots of diseases out there that they can catch from asymptomatic birds at a boarding facility (through microscopic dander particles in the air-- even if they aren't near the bird spreading the disease)...It's far better to have someone come to your home if you are able in most cases. Here is a good thread on PDD/ABV http://www.parrotforums.com/general-health-care/89877-boronavirus.html ; here is another http://www.parrotforums.com/general-health-care/89912-disease.html and another http://www.parrotforums.com/general...-my-new-gcc-tested-positive-polyomavirus.html


When it comes to boarding, PDD, ABV and PBFD concern me most, as a large percentage of captive birds carry them and spread them without symptoms and for non-carriers who develop symptoms, these are terminal illnesses.
 
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Dyssie

New member
May 28, 2021
2
0
TN, USA
Parrots
Mimosa - Sun Conure
Whiskey - Sun Conure
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
Thank you! I have never had any snuggle huts or shadowy spaces. I keep my birds in a well-lit area from 7 AM to 8 PM when I put them to sleep. I only cover their cage at night when they are sleeping.

I did a lot of research prior to getting them but was only planning on getting my male Sun. The breeder I got them from had another Sun that was paid for by another lady, and then never picked up. My mom wanted to keep her, so we did. That lead me to putting off learning about breeding, because I didn't think this would happen.

I, unfortunately, had to board them because all of my family left town, and I had nobody to watch them.

I also have never used any sort of Teflon cookware as I was made aware of this months prior to getting them.

Thank you for all this information. My female looks to be doing fine. While she is fed a well-rounded diet, I will be getting her a cuttlebone for her new cage, just to be sure there are no complications. Her poops seem fine and are about as big as they usually are.


As for the diet and mushy foods, I wasn't aware of that! I'll be making a new chop batch this weekend, and I usually put sweet potato in it as she loves that, but I will be sure to avoid that from now on.

I really appreciate it, thank you so much. I learned quite a bit. I was totally clueless on some of these hormone triggers.
 

noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
451
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
So many people are! You are not alone--- parrots are so much less intuitive than most pets!! I get it! Again, glad you are here!
 

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