Sunburst! (long post)

Zettobi

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Sunburst - Sun Conure (hatched: 18/3/18)
Hello everyone,

My boyfriend and I are new(ish) owners to a sun conure named Sunburst! I’ve been reading these forums for a while now and have learnt so much about how to care for my new companion and am still learning so much and have so many questions!

Some info about Sunburst:

- Hatched 18th of March 2018
- Bought from a breeder at 5 months old
- Is now 7 months old
- Hand-raised
- DNA female
- A little underweight but still growing (97-100g)
- She is fully flighted and regularly exercises

- Diet consists of sprouted seeds, veggies and some seed daily. Along with grains, fruits and nuts every other day. No pellets, she wasn’t weaned onto them and the vet said the diet we are providing her looks good, pellets would just be extra, recommended but not necessary.

- She gets between 10-12 hrs sleep every night, she is usually awake at 6:30am and asleep between 7-8pm.

- When she wakes up, I give her the bowl of sprouts and veggies for her breakfast, let her out and leave seeds in her cage when I leave for work at 7:40. It’s cold right now so I leave them in there for the day and remove when I return at night 5:30pm. When summer comes I plan to freeze the veggies and leave them in there to thaw so they would last longer.

- She gets 2-4 hours out of cage time on weekdays or longer depending if my boyfriend is working that day or not (I work a 9-5 job). Weekends she’s out for a lot longer, but we want to encourage her to play and be independent.

- Her cage is 87 (height) x 60 (length) 56 (depth)mm with bar spacing of 19mm

She is a very sweet bird and loves to play, fly and cuddle! She has her days where she will seem more interested in my boyfriend or me, but she always ends up cuddly up to my boyfriend for a nap. Though she “plays” with me more (and tends to regurgitate for me more often, more on that later).

Here she is on the second day we had her taking a nap on his shoulder! (boyfriend doesn’t like his face being shown).
ffXITG5.jpg


And her now doing the same thing
gmiOUdh.jpg


Sunburst landing on me the night she arrived and started exploring out of her cage
X01lXfI.jpg


I tend to forget to take pictures of her since I’m too busy playing with her, haha

I do have some questions though, we spoke to our avian vet about these things but we are going to be going to another vet for a second opinion and for a blood test (first vet won’t take blood unless it’s an emergency). Meanwhile, I would like to ask all the experienced people here and get as much information as possible! The vet said there’s too much bacteria in her stools so she is currently on antibiotics, otherwise she seems healthy.

QUESTIONS:

- She wasn’t weaned until 5 months of age, which seems late? Most other SCs I’ve seen are fully weaned by 3 months.

- Similarly, she had a bald patch over her crop, looked like she never grew feathers in that area (see picture below). Vet said it might’ve been crop-stasis but since it no longer looks like an issue he didn’t do any testing. Again, all other SCs I’ve encountered are fully feathered by 3 months. But maybe she’s just a late bloomer? (all her feathers are now grown in at 7 months since she’s moulting, see picture above)

- She regurgitates for me, a lot, probably a few times a week since she was 6 months, and those are only the times she manages to bring something up. Other times she does the head bobbing and tries to bring something up but nothing happens, she does this a few times a day typically in the morning. Vet said she’s practicing for the future and just loves us. Isn’t she too young to be doing this? We do have a nest box in her cage as all the breeder’s birds (regardless if they’re breeding or not) have one and they haven’t shown aggressive behaviour towards people because of it, and I’d rather not get rid of it unless I need to. When she first arrived she slept on the perch and she fell over in the middle of the night!

Thank you to anyone who managed to read through my post! And I would appreciate any help/advice for her situation.

Let me know if you need any more information about her!

At the breeders at 4 and a half months
rUDisZL.jpg


Her now
j1nqAl5.jpg
 

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Aratingettar

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Peach faced lovebird Fionek (M)
I'm no way experienced, but definitely get rid of the nest-box. It's not needed for her, and may only cause problems later on. Same applies to any happy-huts: highly discouraged.
That's weird she felt from the perch, as it's natural for parrots to sleep this way. But let more experienced forum members kick-in.
Congrats on your gorgeous baby!
 

GaleriaGila

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Oh, good grief! How precious!

I agree with Aratingettar.

Five months? I wouldn't worry as long as it was successful.

Seems as if you are doing so well! I'm glad you are finding what you need here.

The vet didn't test? Welllllll, not to disrespect, but... is it an avian vet? Maybe check and see?
Certified Avian Vets
https://abvp.com/animal-owners/find-an-abvp-specialist/
If none are near you...
Avian Veterinarians
http://www.aav.org/search/custom.asp?id=1803
In my opinion, any of the vets listed here should be better than a regular vet.


Good for you, for reaching out!
 

EllenD

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Agreed, the nest-box must go immediately, as any Happy-Huts, tents, hammocks, etc. This is probably the reason that she is already so hormonal at such a young age, and the reason she's regurgitating so much, etc. Nest-Boxes are not to be used as a toy/space for birds, but rather only for housing eggs/baby birds. Any small, dark place will cause her to become extremely hormonal, and the biggest problem it's going to create as soon as she's about a year old, maybe sooner, is chronic egg-laying, which is extremely dangerous, hard on her body, and can be fatal for a number of reasons. So please, remove the nest-box and any other small, dark places/Huts/boxes that she can get into. You should see a change pretty directly in her behavior.

***Her diet doesn't contain a regular, daily "staple", either pellets or a healthy, low-fat seed mix every day, and this is not good for her at all, and is the reason she is a bit underweight. All birds NEED a daily source of protein, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc., and the "Chops" do not nearly provide her the overall nutrition that she needs, especially since she's a female and may start laying infertile eggs at any time...If that happens and she's not eating either pellets or a healthy seed mix every single day, she is going to quickly become malnourished. Not only does she need to be eating either pellets or a healthy seed-mix every single day, but she also shouldn't be getting fruit every day, as it's loaded with sugar, which is turned into fat and stored in her liver, just as it would be if she ate sunflower seeds or nuts every day...And that's the other thing, giving her nuts every other day instead of either pellets or seed mix is not good either, as you're replacing the HEALTHY protein she should be eating with fatty protein instead...

If she wasn't weaned onto a pellet diet, then that's okay, but she still must get a healthy, low-fat seed-mix every single day as her staple diet, and then add fresh veggies or a chop with the seed-mix. OR, you can choose a healthy, Natural-flavored pellet and also buy a healthy, low-fat seed=mix, and start giving her the pellets with some of the seed mixed into it, and she will slowly adapt to eating the pellets...Either way, if you continue to only feed her veggies and fruit on a daily basis with no staple, she's going to become malnourished, undernourished, and develop vitamin deficiencies. There are plenty of healthy, low-fat seed mixes out there that contain NO sunflower seeds, NO peanuts or other nuts, and NO corn. That's what you want to buy. And let the fresh fruit be only a 3-4 day a week thing, and let the nuts be only occasional treats. But please start providing her with a daily staple of either pellets or healthy seed-mix, as she is not getting the daily nutrition that her body needs, and if she starts laying infertile eggs soon, she is going to develop a host of serious issues...

As far as her crop and the weaning goes, there's no way to really know what her breeder did here, but yes, 5 months old is extremely old for a Sun Conure to wean, they usually wean fully between 10-12 weeks old, so 5 months is quite a long time, and that combined with the crop issue may explain why her breeder kept her for so long...Often if the breeder feeds a baby bird hand-feeding formula that is too hot, it causes "crop burns", and the result from crop burns is usually a bad infection in the crop, which results in an actual "hole" in the crop that must then heal. So that's one possibility. I doubt it was "crop stasis" as your vet suggested, as that typically does not cause any external damage or cause for surgery, UNLESS she started to pull out the feathers on her crop due to an internal yeast infection or pain, that's a possibility as well. You'll never really know what happened here, but she definitely was kept for quite a long time by her breeder...

Was she the only baby that her breeder had at 5 months old, or were her siblings also kept that long? If the breeder kept all of the babies until 5 months old, then that would be less indicative of a health issue...What you always worry about if it does actually take that long for a baby bird to wean is that they are going to suffer from severe neurological issues, but you don't describe any issues in her indicating this, so hopefully, whatever the reason her breeder kept her for so long, and whatever reason her crop was bald, she's fine now.
 
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Zettobi

Zettobi

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Sunburst - Sun Conure (hatched: 18/3/18)
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Thank you everyone for the responses! I will speak to my boyfriend about removing the nest box, but are there any other kinds of beds/hiding places I can provide her that won't encourage nesting behaviour? She enjoys sleeping on her back.

I'm no way experienced, but definitely get rid of the nest-box. It's not needed for her, and may only cause problems later on. Same applies to any happy-huts: highly discouraged.
That's weird she felt from the perch, as it's natural for parrots to sleep this way. But let more experienced forum members kick-in.
Congrats on your gorgeous baby!
She's always slept in a box which might be why she isn't good at sleeping on a perch. We had quite the fright when we work up to the sound of her falling! And thank you, she is a gorgeous baby <3 we love her!

Oh, good grief! How precious!

I agree with Aratingettar.

Five months? I wouldn't worry as long as it was successful.

Seems as if you are doing so well! I'm glad you are finding what you need here.

The vet didn't test? Welllllll, not to disrespect, but... is it an avian vet? Maybe check and see?
Certified Avian Vets
https://abvp.com/animal-owners/find-an-abvp-specialist/
If none are near you...
Avian Veterinarians
http://www.aav.org/search/custom.asp?id=1803
In my opinion, any of the vets listed here should be better than a regular vet.


Good for you, for reaching out!
My vet was a specialised avian vet, I've only managed to find 1 certified avian vet close by and are booking an appointment. The second link did provide me with a couple of places I hadn't heard of that I will contact about their practices. Thank you!

***Her diet doesn't contain a regular, daily "staple", either pellets or a healthy, low-fat seed mix every day, and this is not good for her at all, and is the reason she is a bit underweight. All birds NEED a daily source of protein, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc., and the "Chops" do not nearly provide her the overall nutrition that she needs, especially since she's a female and may start laying infertile eggs at any time...If that happens and she's not eating either pellets or a healthy seed mix every single day, she is going to quickly become malnourished. Not only does she need to be eating either pellets or a healthy seed-mix every single day, but she also shouldn't be getting fruit every day, as it's loaded with sugar, which is turned into fat and stored in her liver, just as it would be if she ate sunflower seeds or nuts every day...And that's the other thing, giving her nuts every other day instead of either pellets or seed mix is not good either, as you're replacing the HEALTHY protein she should be eating with fatty protein instead...
I think I didn't explain her diet properly... Every day she is given veggies, sprouted seeds and a seed mix. I only remove the seeds in the morning to encourage her to eat the veggies and sprouts, but I put them back in before I leave for work so she has food available to her all day. Nuts are only given to her every other day and she receives a fruit salad one day a week. We do give her sunflower seeds every day but mostly as training treats. Currently we are feeding her exactly what the breeders feed all their birds (we buy our mixes from them)

I have been unsuccessful in finding a low-fat seed mix in my local pet stores, I will ask the vet if they know of any brands that they would recommend. I will also ask about if sunnies are meant to have a higher fat diet than other birds since that's what I was told when I purchased her.

Was she the only baby that her breeder had at 5 months old, or were her siblings also kept that long? If the breeder kept all of the babies until 5 months old, then that would be less indicative of a health issue...What you always worry about if it does actually take that long for a baby bird to wean is that they are going to suffer from severe neurological issues, but you don't describe any issues in her indicating this, so hopefully, whatever the reason her breeder kept her for so long, and whatever reason her crop was bald, she's fine now.
No, she wasn't the only one, their other young birds are in a similar situation and all the adult birds look very healthy, happy and friendly which is why we were so impressed with them. They raise very friendly and lovely chicks!

Thank you for all the advice, you've given me a lot to consider and to ask the vet when I go see them again
 

Laurasea

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I an outlier here in that I provide huts that I made myself or reconstruted for my birds. I had two females one for 17 years and the second for seven, I haven't had them lay eggs or act hormonal...I'm sure backlash will follow, but we will have to agree to disagree on that. You could provide a shelf perhaps. For fabric and fuzzy huts they can ingest the threads and fuzz over time this can impact their crop.. and lead to death if that happens. Your picturest are beautiful, congratulations on your baby! I do agree you need to offer pellets along with all your other wonderful veggies and such.
 
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Zettobi

Zettobi

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Sunburst - Sun Conure (hatched: 18/3/18)
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I an outlier here in that I provide huts that I made myself or reconstruted for my birds. I had two females one for 17 years and the second for seven, I haven't had them lay eggs or act hormonal...I'm sure backlash will follow, but we will have to agree to disagree on that. You could provide a shelf perhaps. For fabric and fuzzy huts they can ingest the threads and fuzz over time this can impact their crop.. and lead to death if that happens. Your picturest are beautiful, congratulations on your baby! I do agree you need to offer pellets along with all your other wonderful veggies and such.

I don't think you need to remove them unless there's a problem developing! Which I think is unfortunately the case here :( I would love for her to have a safe place where she can get away from things - she was always the shyer one at the breeders. Definitely no fabric in her cage! I've read way too many horror stories about those that I'm not going to risk it.

Thank you very much, I will pass your compliments over to Sunburst~

About pellets: When I read the ingredients on the packaging they're mostly all the bad stuff like corn, soy and wheat. The only good thing about them is all the vitamins and minerals which is why people feed pellets, but then my question is what makes pellet better than say, the vitamins you can add to the water? Since then you're not adding the extra bad stuff into their diet.

Bacteria growth is a concern, but some parrots dip their pellets into the water anyway which can also cause bacteria growth?
 

Laurasea

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Thought full questions. I get bummed about ingredients I pellets to. I would not add vitamins to the water, it easily leads to yeast overgrowth and bacteria. In nature the birds would "graze" all day on vegetable and plant matter, more than we can provide and a greater diversity by an offer if magnitude! Pellets seem to bridge the gap. I to would like a better way....you've got a growing young one, who is a bit under weight and might have had a delayed start. I would just want to make sure she is getting all the nutrition she needs right now. But you have gotten advice from your avain vet, and some people do veggies, some nuts and health seeds and occasionally fruit too, with healthy birds.
 

Jen5200

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Well I have to say that Sunburst is adorable! She’s obviously well-loved :)

I can’t help much with the baby questions as my suns came to me as adults. I can share that mine do very well maintaining a healthy weight with a good pellet, veggies, sprouts, fruit, and seed. I consider the pellet to be the staple that supplies any nutrients that I might miss in their chop and other foods (I’m by no means an expert at assessing specific vitamins and mineral content in fresh foods lol). There are some good pellets out there, and some don’t have things like wheat and soy in them. Maybe check this out as an example? https://topsparrotfood.com/pages/in...aPwmCAO6kf-KfwpuKJIYQKYCmIVCqh1RoC6_UQAvD_BwE.

I do have to agree about the nest box not being a great idea in the long term - both Baby and Bindi tend to have more hormonal behavior with a hidey-spot to sleep in (they are both female and around 6-7 years old, live in separate cages). Once they got used to sleeping on perches, it did seem to help with the hormones overall. They still regurgitate once in awhile but it’s much less frequent.
 
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Zettobi

Zettobi

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Sunburst - Sun Conure (hatched: 18/3/18)
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EllenD: I found a diet budgie mix from the online store I buy my toys from (Parrot Rescue Centre). It contains Pannicum, White French, Jap and Hulled Oats. I could add some sesame seeds as well since I've heard good things about them. Do you think this is a good mix or should there be more variety?

Thought full questions. I get bummed about ingredients I pellets to. I would not add vitamins to the water, it easily leads to yeast overgrowth and bacteria. In nature the birds would "graze" all day on vegetable and plant matter, more than we can provide and a greater diversity by an offer if magnitude! Pellets seem to bridge the gap. I to would like a better way....you've got a growing young one, who is a bit under weight and might have had a delayed start. I would just want to make sure she is getting all the nutrition she needs right now. But you have gotten advice from your avain vet, and some people do veggies, some nuts and health seeds and occasionally fruit too, with healthy birds.
Well I have to say that Sunburst is adorable! She’s obviously well-loved :)

I can’t help much with the baby questions as my suns came to me as adults. I can share that mine do very well maintaining a healthy weight with a good pellet, veggies, sprouts, fruit, and seed. I consider the pellet to be the staple that supplies any nutrients that I might miss in their chop and other foods (I’m by no means an expert at assessing specific vitamins and mineral content in fresh foods lol). There are some good pellets out there, and some don’t have things like wheat and soy in them. Maybe check this out as an example? https://topsparrotfood.com/pages/in...aPwmCAO6kf-KfwpuKJIYQKYCmIVCqh1RoC6_UQAvD_BwE.

Yeah it's a shame, one day we'll hopefully have a pellet that doesn't include all the filler ingredients, inexpensive AND is available everywhere! TOPs is unfortunately not readily available in Australia :( and expensive! The one place I found, it was gonna cost $20 for 500g.
 

EllenD

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Sesame seeds are also extremely fatty due to the oil in them...Think of seeds, nuts, and corn this way:

We as people fry our foods in oils, including Sunflower Oil, Safflower Oil, Sesame Oil, Corn Oil, and Peanut Oil...Now what are the fatty, unhealthy ingredients in seed-mixes...

There are actually quite a few wonderful, healthy seed-mixes that are recommended by Certified Avian Vets. The first rules obviously again are no Sunflower Seeds, no nuts of any kind, no corn/cracked corn...then avoid Sesame and Safflower Seeds as well...

As far as the healthiest seed-mixes out there, they include Tropimix (which also contains Tropican pellets in it, so as to get the bird eating a healthy pellet while eating a seed-mix), Higgin's California Gold, LaFaber Pelletberries, SunSeed VitaSeed with No Sunflower Seeds, Zupreem Sensible Seeds, pretty much all of the Volkman seed-mixes, and most from Harrison's.

Most of the above are available at any Petco except for the Volkman and the Harrison's. I used to feed all 4 of my guys Zupreem Natural pellets along with Higgin's California Gold (which is available at Petco, and if you look at the California Gold seed-mix, it looks nothing like a normal seed-mix, and my guys loved it), and then my CAV of 25 years told me about Tropican pellets and Tropimix seed-mix, which he started feeding his Macaw, and which he was told about by his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania Vet School, who had a hand in developing it. It's an all-natural, low-fat, whole-grain, fruit and veggie based pellet and seed-mix which is fortified with only the vitamins, minerals, amino acids/digestive enzymes, etc. that Pet/Captive Parrots need to eat every single day, but with much of the natural sugar removed. So I switched them over and they loved both the pellets and the seed-mix right away...But any of the above are good choices.

As far as the nest-box thing, you really need to get rid of it, as your bird is already showing signs of hormonal stress at only 8 months old which is directly related to the nest-box. Nest-boxes are made the way they are for a very specific and purposeful reason, which is to allow birds to sit safely, calmly, and in total darkness with their babies, which encourages them to become even more hormonal to feed their baby birds...

Here's something you should try that I've not had any trouble with at all since I put one in both my Senegal's cage and my Green Cheek's cage...They both had a "Death Hut", or "Happy Hut" as the company likes to call them, until literally thousands of pet birds, specifically conures, were killed by slowly ingesting little bits of the fabric they are made of, which is totally undigestible and which builds-up inside of their bodies and eventually causes either a GI Obstruction which kills them, or a GI Perforation, which kills them. They are actually labeled on the packaging by the manufacturer now as "Not intended for use with Conures", because most species of Conures become very hormonal when inside small, dark places and they love to be in them, and they were the species that the "Happy Huts" were killing the most (though every species of small to medium parrots have been killed by these things, they're dangerous and there are many class-action suits and lawsuits in small-claims court against the companies that make the original "Happy Huts/Snuggle Huts", as well as clone-companies)...

So I immediately removed both of their Happy Huts the second I first read this webpage (which is only one website of hundreds if you do a Google search): Happy Hut Warning

But Bowie specifically had a real issue with not having his "Hut" to sleep in, so I started looking for an alternative that would not only NOT KILL HIM, lol, but that would also not cause such horrible hormonal behavior in him (Green Cheeks are as bad as Suns when it comes to hormones caused by small, dark places)...And then I found the solution at Petco...

****I bought 2 Ferret Hammocks at my local Petco, one for my Senegal and one for my Green Cheek! These Ferret Hammocks are not only made from a safe material with no exposed strings, and no little fuzzy, furry bits that they can chew-off, and they are obviously not rigid and have no sides, and are extremely difficult for them to climb on or hang on, so they don't ever show any interest in chewing on them or just hanging out in them except to sleep in them at bedtime, BUT they are also open, unlike the "Huts" or any type of nest-box, so even though they can lay down in them to sleep, they are never encased or covered by anything, and they are never in darkness at all in them, therefore lowering the risk of hormonal activity to pretty much zero. They are I believe Petco brand, they come in several different sizes by the inch (I bought one 12" and one 14" I believe), as well as several different patterns/designs/colors. They come with 3 metal clips to hang them from any of the cage bars on the top of your bird's cage. My two guys love them, they go right into them at bedtime, and I've had no hormonal behavior at all caused by them.

I'd give one of the Ferret Hammocks a try, and please ditch the nest-box. I've not ever heard of anyone ever using a nest-box with their adult bird as just a place for them to sleep, and there's a good reason why. If your female Sun is already this hormonal at only 8 months old, BEFORE she actually goes through puberty, can you imagine what type of situation you're going to have once she does go through full puberty??? Something else that you and your boyfriend need to keep in-mind is that her hormonal behavior is not just annoying to you guys, more importantly it is extremely frustrating to her, and this constant sexual frustration very often results in the bird starting to become very, very aggressive and violent with their owners/people, and they often suddenly start biting their people constantly, every time they are handled, strictly out of sexual frustration! You guys need to realize that if she is this hormonal now at only 8 months, once she gets over a year old, once her body naturally goes through full-puberty, the regurgitation is going to very likely turn into constant head-bobbing, constant regurgitation, and constant masturbation, usually on the person she is regurgitating for...And what happens is once the bird starts to constantly try to masturbate on you, and she realizes that it's not going to happen/doesn't work, that's when things are going to get ugly for all 3 of you, mostly for her, because her sexual frustration will go through the roof.

We see this all the time on here, people who are so upset, frustrated, and just sad because their once snuggly, cuddly, loving little bird suddenly and without warning has started to bite them. Hard. All the time. And it happens out of nowhere...And then we find out that the bird has been regurgitating and trying to masturbate on them for quite a while, and the owner didn't relate the two behaviors. They don't start biting you and being aggressive because they are angry at you or because they don't love you anymore, or aren't closely bonded to you anymore, it's because their hormones are so out of control that they feel like they NEED to mate, and who do they try to mate with? The person who they chose as "their person"; and when it doesn't work or when the person stops them and puts them down or back in their cage, their sexual frustration only gets worse and worse, and that's when the uncontrolled aggression towards their "person" starts. And it's not like it's a behavior that you can correct with Target-Training or by using the Shunning-Method, because they aren't purposely doing it. It's never, ever a good idea to punish, scold, yell at, or act negatively towards your bird when they show hormonal behaviors, because it's not their fault, and this will only cause confusion and other behavior issues. But once they get so frustrated that they start being aggressive with their person, to the point that they can't even step-up for their person without biting their hand very hard and drawing blood, that's often far enough along that the bond is damaged between you, and it takes quite a while to repair it. So the fact that your Sun has already started to show a lot of hormonal behavior at only 8 months is enough for you to start worrying about her, and starting to make the necessary changes to her environment, her diet, and her schedule/routine to lower her hormones ASAP, because this is not only dangerous to your relationship/bond to her, but even more dangerous, extremely dangerous to her physical health...and her psychological and emotional health as well.

Since the "Happy Huts/Snuggle Huts" are an even more dangerous option for any number of reasons (you don't want a suddenly dead bird either), I'd absolutely give the Ferret Hammock at least a try; and please make sure that you completely remove the nest-box ASAP as well as any other "Huts", tents, boxes, and any other small, dark places inside her cage that she has access to, BECAUSE if you put a new Ferret Hammock inside of her cage, which is open, and she STILL has access to any totally enclosed, small dark place, she's going to totally ignore the new Hammock and just go back to the nest-box, the "Hut", etc. Just remove every other box/tent/hut etc. from her cage, put the Hammock in, and give it a good month for her to get used to it...And in the meantime, pay attention to her hormonal behavior and whether or not it has declined in frequency and intensity since the removal of the nest-box, huts, etc.
 
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EllenD

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Senegal Parrot named "Kane"; Yellow-Sided Green Cheek Conure named "Bowie"; Blue Quaker Parrot named "Lita Ford"; Cockatiel named "Duff"; 8 American/English Budgie Hybrids; Ringneck Dove named "Dylan"
By the way, realize that her current diet is also likely influencing her hormones, not nearly as much as the nest-box, which is absolutely the #1 problem, but other factors of your bird's overall life all play a part in her very early hormonal behaviors....

****Specifically, not getting enough protein every day, not getting the necessary amino acids/enzymes from her food every day, and possibly suffering from other nutritional deficiencies all play a part in her hormone levels.

***Also (and this may or may not be an issue, I don't know), but making certain that your bird not only gets a full 10-12 hours of restful sleep every night, but also that she is on a "Natural Light Schedule", and that the cage that she sleeps in is located in a place with a window and where she can actually see the light changes at both sunrise and sunset is extremely important and has a direct-influence on her hormones.

While 95% or more of her premature hormonal behavior is being caused by her having access to a Nest-Box and other types of "Huts" or small, dark places inside of her cage. Other factors like her regular, daily diet, having her on a Natural-Light-Schedule, etc. are also extremely important, but obviously the first thing is to find a safe alternative to the nest-box and any "huts" inside of her cage before her hormones and her sexual frustration get out of control and she becomes aggressive towards you guys, and is at-risk for chronic egg-laying, nutritional deficiencies, and fatal health conditions, such as Egg-Binding.
 
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Zettobi

Zettobi

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Sunburst - Sun Conure (hatched: 18/3/18)
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By the way, realize that her current diet is also likely influencing her hormones, not nearly as much as the nest-box, which is absolutely the #1 problem, but other factors of your bird's overall life all play a part in her very early hormonal behaviors....

****Specifically, not getting enough protein every day, not getting the necessary amino acids/enzymes from her food every day, and possibly suffering from other nutritional deficiencies all play a part in her hormone levels.

***Also (and this may or may not be an issue, I don't know), but making certain that your bird not only gets a full 10-12 hours of restful sleep every night, but also that she is on a "Natural Light Schedule", and that the cage that she sleeps in is located in a place with a window and where she can actually see the light changes at both sunrise and sunset is extremely important and has a direct-influence on her hormones.

While 95% or more of her premature hormonal behavior is being caused by her having access to a Nest-Box and other types of "Huts" or small, dark places inside of her cage. Other factors like her regular, daily diet, having her on a Natural-Light-Schedule, etc. are also extremely important, but obviously the first thing is to find a safe alternative to the nest-box and any "huts" inside of her cage before her hormones and her sexual frustration get out of control and she becomes aggressive towards you guys, and is at-risk for chronic egg-laying, nutritional deficiencies, and fatal health conditions, such as Egg-Binding.
The ferret hammock sounds like an excellent idea! We will be going to the pet store this weekend and while we're there we will find something similar to what you describe. We will remove the nest box and place the new bed in the same spot once we find an alternative. We don't have Petco here (Australia), but I will look for the brands you mentioned both online and in the stores I go to and see if I can order them in.

What do you think of sea grass mats, or are those too dangerous as well for a bed?

At the moment since it's daylight savings, this is a natural light schedule, we have fly screens over all our windows here in Aus so we have the option to have the glass windows open so she can receive unfiltered sunlight even while she's out of cage. I don't leave the window all the way open at night however, since the nights can get super chilly right now while the day is hot, but I leave the curtain open so she can wake up with the rising sun.

Another thing that is probably adding to her behaviour, is that right now we are trying to train her to be used to being held/grabbed in case of emergencies and vet visits. Which means that we are placing our hands on her back and wing during training sessions.

EDIT: You've given me some very good information and it's helping me compile a list of questions to ask the vet. Thanks for such an informative post!
 
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Laurasea

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Be sure this regurge is an I love you or hormonal thing. Because regurging can also be a symptom of illnes.... I am not sure your experience level, so just wanted to mention that. The happy love you or you are my mate regurge is usually after some head bobbing and happy look and usually directed to your face or hand like they are trying to feed you. The sick kind they might still bob as they bring it up but it's more random, and they may shake their head and fling it. Sometimes they will regurge the lovey kind to an object or toy but still like they want to feed it. Such a pretty girl, hope you get a great vet visit . Glad to have you here!
 
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Zettobi

Zettobi

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Sunburst - Sun Conure (hatched: 18/3/18)
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Be sure this regurge is an I love you or hormonal thing. Because regurging can also be a symptom of illnes.... I am not sure your experience level, so just wanted to mention that. The happy love you or you are my mate regurge is usually after some head bobbing and happy look and usually directed to your face or hand like they are trying to feed you. The sick kind they might still bob as they bring it up but it's more random, and they may shake their head and fling it. Sometimes they will regurge the lovey kind to an object or toy but still like they want to feed it. Such a pretty girl, hope you get a great vet visit . Glad to have you here!

I usually give her scratches on the head/neck area in the mornings, when my finger is at the corner of her beak she vibrates rapidly against it which is then followed by a head bobbing and regurgitation. Which is why I believed it was a love thing. She doesn't really "offer" it though, she just eats it, though if it ends up on my finger I examine it and it's thick and white. The past couple of days I've been avoiding letting her vibrate against my finger to minimise the regurgitating. It always happens after vibrating on fingers.

Nevertheless, I will confirm with the vet.

And thank you :) I'm glad to be here, no better place to learn!
 

Laurasea

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Ok does sound like the lovey kind ;) :) you can also have the parront joy of sniff testing it lol. If it smells bad or sour then you worry lol they also make a corner wood shelf she might like for sleeping.
 

Davesgirl93

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Comet, 4 year old sun conure
if your bird enjoys being on her back, I purchased the hammocks for ferrets or other small animals and instead of putting the furry side up, I put the slick side up. It took comet a while to get used to the surface but he does hang out there (really he mostly uses it as a way to cross his cage without going around the bars) :eek:

*oops, I see they were mentioned - sorry I didn't read all the way through before resonding!
 

EllenD

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Senegal Parrot named "Kane"; Yellow-Sided Green Cheek Conure named "Bowie"; Blue Quaker Parrot named "Lita Ford"; Cockatiel named "Duff"; 8 American/English Budgie Hybrids; Ringneck Dove named "Dylan"
I apologize, as I didn't realize you were in Australia..I'm jealous though, lol.

Sea-Grass mats are fine, they are digestible, and usually they leave them alone; they are also "open" and nothing that is creating a small, dark place for him to get into, and lots of people use them in their parrot's cages/stands. As far as the Ferret hammock goes, I'm certain that they sell the same thing in pet shops in Australia, or you could easily make something similar; all the hammock consists of is a piece of safe material (nothing furry, fuzzy, etc. that they can pick the little pieces off of like the "Huts") that is cut into a perfect square shape, and then each corner has a little hole in it that is reinforced by a little metal grommet to keep them from chewing on the fabric edges around the holes, and then there are little metal chains attached to each hole with a metal clip on each chain end to attach to the cage bars. If you do a Google search for "Ferret Hammock" you'll see them immediately so you can get an idea...But the Sea-Grass Mat is also a very good idea...

****As far as the difference between "Regurgitating" due to hormones and "Vomiting" due to illness, it's typically very easy to tell them apart...When they "Regurgitate" they typically first do a little "head-bobbing" or "neck bobbing" motion, sometimes coupled with little chirping noises, and what comes out, if anything (sometimes nothing comes up) are little tiny, completely solid pieces of "food" that are usually completely white and don't look like anything in particular, almost like tiny little white pieces of plastic. And they typically "Regurgitate" chronically, often at the same times of day or every time a certain event takes place, such as cuddling them, petting/scratching them, etc. It may also happen after she comes out of the nest-box or the Hut...In contrast, when a bird actually "Vomits" due to illness, it happens quite suddenly without any "head-bobbing" or "neck-bobbing" motions (as they are not trying to bring-up anything purposely when they are sick like they are when they are hormonal), and what comes up does not at all look the same as the little white pieces of Regurgitated food does. Rather, it typically looks like, well, "vomit", lol...It's watery, it contains undigested food that you can recognize as food, and it smells like "vomit" does. So it doesn't look anything like the Regurgitation does, not before, during, or after the event...And Vomiting isn't typically chronic like the Regurgitating is...

Honestly you can look at the photos of your bird snuggling, laying on it's back, etc. and can tell that she is probably hormonal, and what you've described sounds just like she's chronically Regurgitating for you, which is not uncommon at all when they are provided with a nest-box or anything similar, as that's what they are meant to do, encourage hormonal behavior...Plus, once you see a bird Regurgitate and see the little white bits of stuff they bring-up, you'll easily recognize it at Regurgitation...

That being said, if she is exhibiting any other signs/symptoms of illness, such as being constantly "fluffed-up", staying on the bottom of her cage, shivering, lethargy, sleeping more than normally, little or no appetite, etc., then obviously something isn't right and she needs to see a CAV immediately...But i wouldn't worry too much that it's not Regurgitation in this particular case, as it's sounds pretty typical and normal, the only thing that is not "normal" or "typical" is her age of 8 months old, but again, since she's had a nest-box inside of her cage for a while, hormonal behavior is to be totally expected.
 

Davesgirl93

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VA, USA
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Comet, 4 year old sun conure
I apologize, as I didn't realize you were in Australia..I'm jealous though, lol.

****As far as the difference between "Regurgitating" due to hormones and "Vomiting" due to illness, it's typically very easy to tell them apart...When they "Regurgitate" they typically first do a little "head-bobbing" or "neck bobbing" motion, sometimes coupled with little chirping noises, and what comes out, if anything (sometimes nothing comes up) are little tiny, completely solid pieces of "food" that are usually completely white and don't look like anything in particular, almost like tiny little white pieces of plastic. And they typically "Regurgitate" chronically, often at the same times of day or every time a certain event takes place, such as cuddling them, petting/scratching them, etc. It may also happen after she comes out of the nest-box or the Hut...In contrast, when a bird actually "Vomits" due to illness, it happens quite suddenly without any "head-bobbing" or "neck-bobbing" motions (as they are not trying to bring-up anything purposely when they are sick like they are when they are hormonal), and what comes up does not at all look the same as the little white pieces of Regurgitated food does. Rather, it typically looks like, well, "vomit", lol...It's watery, it contains undigested food that you can recognize as food, and it smells like "vomit" does. So it doesn't look anything like the Regurgitation does, not before, during, or after the event...And Vomiting isn't typically chronic like the Regurgitating is...

Also, I'd note that when my conure was actually sick and threw up, although it really wasn't watery - it was terribly smelly. I don't notice that on the regurgitation. I mean the vomit hit me like rotten meat, it was gross. And he did it while we were napping in my recliner, and he was tucked IN my shirt, which is very unusual (the vomiting there, not the tucking :) . Sometimes the "when" is important, if its not at a time or place its ever happened before.
 
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Zettobi

Zettobi

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Oct 10, 2018
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Australia
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Sunburst - Sun Conure (hatched: 18/3/18)
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Thank you both Davesgirl93 and EllenD :) Jealous because I'm in Australia and get to see all the wild cockatoos, galahs and rainbow lorikeets? :p

I have a sea grass hammock for her, so I'll remove the nest box and place the hammock in the same spot and see if she'll take to it as a sleeping spot, it may take a while for her to adjust.

It doesn't smell bad and I've been avoiding triggering it the past few days, she isn't showing signs of illness but we'll have the CAV do a blood test.

Thank you everyone who has replied to this thread, you've given me a lot of helpful advice!
 

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