Young Hormonal Amazon

Keatz

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Basil (Amazon)
Does anyone know how to deal with a young hormonal Amazon.
Basil is just over a year. Since I brought him home from the pet shop, he has always acted hormonal, billing my fingers and regurgitating on me. I've tried to discourage this behaviour to no avail. Recently, he's become aggressive. His mood is mercurial - one moment he can be really sweet and the next, he is biting me. Now I'm scared of him and don't like spending as much time with him.
 

texsize

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This to shall pass and time heals all wounds.
Keep in mind .
1 itโ€™s not personal, he doesnโ€™t suddenly hate you.
2 He has no control over the hormones causing him to lash out.

Typically Amazons donโ€™t go through puberty at 1 year old.
I think 3/4 years old is more typical.
So you may have a bird a bit older than you thought.

People selling birds want you to think they are 1 year old.
Like used car salesmen want you to think the car youโ€™re looking at was owned by a little old lady from Pasadena :p

Same thing happened with my Yellow nape.
was told he was a year old but I think the reason they sold him was he was already entering puberty and they couldnโ€™t deal with it.
No way to know for sure.
 

texsize

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I went to a bird far a few years ago.
someone had a yellow nape for I think $1,500.
He had a nice full yellow neck feathers and I asked how old?
can you guess what I was told.
yep.
Just โ€œ1 year oldโ€.
I did not bother trying to argue against stupidity.
 
OP
Keatz

Keatz

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Thank you all for responding.
It's astounding that some people try to pass off older parrots as young ones.
I do, however, believe that Basil is just over one because I got him from a reputable pet shop and he came with a DNA certificate. When I got him, he only had a little bit of yellow on his head, which has extended since then, and he has grown in size too.
I was told by a bird trainer that while it's uncommon for young parrots to act hormonal, it's not unprecedented. His behaviour certainly suggests he's acting hormonal, despite his age. I'm aware that when this happens in older Amazons, it can last a year or two, but since Basil is only young, I don't know what to expect.
His aggression only recently started, when I got home from my holiday. He stayed at my parents for two weeks and they said he was well behaved.
Sometimes I'll be sitting on the couch, and he'll be sitting on his perch, staring at me, with his eyes pinned and will suddenly fly at my face like a vampire. I cover my face with my arms and he'll start biting my arms and fingers.
There are times when he's really sweet and just wants cuddles and hugs, but because I don't know when he's going to suddenly start biting me, I'm wary of him.
 

ravvlet

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Does anyone know how to deal with a young hormonal Amazon.
Basil is just over a year. Since I brought him home from the pet shop, he has always acted hormonal, billing my fingers and regurgitating on me. I've tried to discourage this behaviour to no avail. Recently, he's become aggressive. His mood is mercurial - one moment he can be really sweet and the next, he is biting me. Now I'm scared of him and don't like spending as much time with him.

Itโ€™s hormone seasons for โ€˜zons right now. Even mine tried to eat my hand this morning over a minor offense.

Have you spoken to your vet about his behavior (is he confirmed male?)? It may just be puberty and he will settle in a few years, but some birds produce more hormones than others and there are things the vet can do to help.

Are you following the handling rules (no petting below the head, no high fat or sugary foods, 12 hrs of sleep)? That makes a big difference too!


Edit: sorry, posted at the same time as you!
 
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Keatz

Keatz

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Itโ€™s hormone seasons for โ€˜zons right now. Even mine tried to eat my hand this morning over a minor offense.

Have you spoken to your vet about his behavior (is he confirmed male?)? It may just be puberty and he will settle in a few years, but some birds produce more hormones than others and there are things the vet can do to help.

Are you following the handling rules (no petting below the head, no high fat or sugary foods, 12 hrs of sleep)? That makes a big difference too!


Edit: sorry, posted at the same time as you!
Thanks. Don't be sorry. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
I've been in contact with a bird trainer. They suggested things you did, like diet and sleep, and there are improvements I could make. He could use more sleep, as his cage is in the living room. (My eclectus sleeps in the spare room. I guess it wouldn't hurt for them to sleep in the same room, even if they do hate each other and squawk at each other from separate cages.)
Basil went to eat my hand today too. All I did was put my hand in his cage to let him out and I got a nasty bite.
As you can tell, I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to Amazons. My eclectus, Oscar, doesn't bite, and before Oscar, I had a cockatoo, who also didn't bite. I've never had to deal with this type of aggression before and am befuddled by it.
 

ravvlet

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Amazons are kind of like an overexcited ADHD toddler. Both my human kids had awful biting phases - they bit when they were mad, sad, happy, excitedโ€ฆ

We also had a trainer help us with our yellow nape amazon, but sheโ€™s in her forties (the bird, not the trainer lol). She still is very bitey, BUT importantly sheโ€™s never flown to someone to try to bite them, or tried to chase them down - she only bites if we are touching or reaching for her.

The flying to bite you behavior sounds super hormonal to me; the local parrot place has a male YNA named Baby, of all things, who took a chunk out of a customer whoโ€™s got loads of amazon experience with little warning - he flew to him and bit his collarbone! Last I chatted with them they were pretty sure it was a hormone imbalance of some kind.

If this isnโ€™t just extra-spicy hormones from puberty, it may well be worth a vet visit to rule out something like that. It is odd for such a young bird to be so reactive - I apologize if I missed it but what species of amazon is Basil? I see his photo in your PFP, is he a yellow crown? Iโ€™ve never handled anything besides a yellow nape, an orange wing, and briefly a blue front. Our yellow nape and the blue front were much more โ€œspicyโ€ than our orange wing.
 
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Keatz

Keatz

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Amazons are kind of like an overexcited ADHD toddler. Both my human kids had awful biting phases - they bit when they were mad, sad, happy, excitedโ€ฆ

We also had a trainer help us with our yellow nape amazon, but sheโ€™s in her forties (the bird, not the trainer lol). She still is very bitey, BUT importantly sheโ€™s never flown to someone to try to bite them, or tried to chase them down - she only bites if we are touching or reaching for her.

The flying to bite you behavior sounds super hormonal to me; the local parrot place has a male YNA named Baby, of all things, who took a chunk out of a customer whoโ€™s got loads of amazon experience with little warning - he flew to him and bit his collarbone! Last I chatted with them they were pretty sure it was a hormone imbalance of some kind.

If this isnโ€™t just extra-spicy hormones from puberty, it may well be worth a vet visit to rule out something like that. It is odd for such a young bird to be so reactive - I apologize if I missed it but what species of amazon is Basil? I see his photo in your PFP, is he a yellow crown? Iโ€™ve never handled anything besides a yellow nape, an orange wing, and briefly a blue front. Our yellow nape and the blue front were much more โ€œspicyโ€ than our orange wing.
Hi, thanks. Yes, Basil is a yellow crown. I think you're right about a vet visit. He does act like he has ADHD. He seems to get over excited and that's when the attacks happen. The other day, he was playing on his stand and seemed very excited, attacking his toys, before he suddenly flew at me and attacked me. Even when he sits on me now, he starts pinning his eyes and I get nervous. I think he has very unusual behaviour for a young parrot. When I first brought him home, according to his DNA certificate, he was less than three months old. He'd bill and chew my fingers. My theory, which is probably wrong as I am always am wrong, was that he wasn't ready to finish weaning. The way he put his beak over my fingers was like how a baby parrot is fed with a syringe. I wonder whether this means anything, or perhaps it means nothing? But he's always exhibited hormonal behaviour which I've futilely tried to discourage. Every time he sits on me, he wants to chew my fingers, ears or face; he won't just sit still. I tried distracting him with a toy, but then he started regurgitating on the toy. The other day when he was doing it, I put him on my hand and placed him on the back of the couch, and then he flew at my head and attacked me. I've never had to deal with this type behaviour before and don't know what to do about it. When my eclectus and cockatoo became sexually mature, they're behaviour didn't change.
 

ravvlet

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Thatโ€™s a lot and definitely doesnโ€™t sound normal. It must be really hard to deal with. It sounds like youโ€™re being very proactive and patient with him. I hope one of the more experienced amazon people have some good tips for you!
 

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<font class="papago-parent"><font class="papago-source" style="display:none;">ecletus 3 , alexanderparrot 2 , conure 8</font>ecletus 3 , alexanderparrot 2 , conure 8</font>
์ Š์€ ํ˜ธ๋ฅด๋ชฌ ์•„๋งˆ์กด์„ ์–ด๋–ป๊ฒŒ ๋‹ค๋ฃจ๋Š”์ง€ ์•„๋Š” ์‚ฌ๋žŒ?
๋ฐ”์งˆ์€ 1๋…„์ด ์กฐ๊ธˆ ๋„˜์—ˆ์–ด์š”.์ œ๊ฐ€ ์• ์™„ ๋™๋ฌผ ๊ฐ€๊ฒŒ์—์„œ ๊ทธ๋ฅผ ์ง‘์œผ๋กœ ๋ฐ๋ ค์˜จ ์ดํ›„, ๊ทธ๋Š” ํ•ญ์ƒ ํ˜ธ๋ฅด๋ชฌ ์ž‘์šฉ์„ ํ•ด์„œ ์ œ ์†๊ฐ€๋ฝ์— ๊ณผ๊ธˆ์„ ํ•˜๊ณ  ์ œ๊ฒŒ ์—ญ๋ฅ˜ํ–ˆ์–ด์š”.๋‚˜๋Š” ์ด ํ–‰๋™์„ ๋‹จ๋…์‹œํ‚ค๋ ค๊ณ  ๋…ธ๋ ฅํ–ˆ์ง€๋งŒ ์†Œ์šฉ์ด ์—†์—ˆ๋‹ค.์ตœ๊ทผ์— ๊ทธ๋Š” ๊ณต๊ฒฉ์ ์ด ๋˜์—ˆ๋‹ค.๊ทธ์˜ ๊ธฐ๋ถ„์€ ๋ณ€๋•์Šค๋Ÿฝ๋‹ค.ํ•œ ๋•Œ๋Š” ์ •๋ง ์ƒ๋ƒฅํ•  ์ˆ˜ ์žˆ๋‹ค๊ฐ€ ๋‹ค์Œ ์ˆœ๊ฐ„์—๋Š” ๋‚˜๋ฅผ ๋ฌผ๊ณ  ๋Š˜์–ด์ง„๋‹ค.์ด์ œ ๋‚˜๋Š” ๊ทธ๊ฐ€ ๋‘๋ ต๊ณ  ๊ทธ์™€ ๋งŽ์€ ์‹œ๊ฐ„์„ ๋ณด๋‚ด๋Š” ๊ฒƒ์„ ์ข‹์•„ํ•˜์ง€
I don't have an Amazon parrot, but I'm writing because It's a rare case in a parrot less than a year old. It's a hormonal sesson, but he basically looks aggressive. I think something might have scared the Amazon parrot, and I think there might have been a story when I entrusted it to my parents' house for two weeks. Parrots are a troublemaker, but they don't show aggression for no reason.
 

wrench13

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Hi Keatz

Hormones and parrots. Each parrot reacts differently to them and not always the same with one individual. There can be mild seasons and more pronounced ones. And puberty is the biggest one by far. Give you an example, my little Amazon Salty had a very mild puberty. But his first full adult mating season was really strong. This years mating season, in North America, has been a particularly strong one, and not just for Amazons. As the advice above says, keep in mind "This too shall pass". Some things that can help lessen the severity are:
No touching anywhere but head and neck
12 hours of solid, quiet sleep
No warm mushy foods
Reduce or eliminate foods that bear sugars, like fruits, or can be converted to sugars, like corn.
No access to dark hidey spots
No access to shreddy type nest materials
Lots of activities - a tired parrot does not have the energy to go beserk

And while this may not be a popular statement, I would have a light clip of his wings done, while this stage is ongoing. A light clip means he will be able to glide to the floor easily, but not gain any height.
 
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Keatz

Keatz

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Jan 5, 2016
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Hi Keatz

Hormones and parrots. Each parrot reacts differently to them and not always the same with one individual. There can be mild seasons and more pronounced ones. And puberty is the biggest one by far. Give you an example, my little Amazon Salty had a very mild puberty. But his first full adult mating season was really strong. This years mating season, in North America, has been a particularly strong one, and not just for Amazons. As the advice above says, keep in mind "This too shall pass". Some things that can help lessen the severity are:
No touching anywhere but head and neck
12 hours of solid, quiet sleep
No warm mushy foods
Reduce or eliminate foods that bear sugars, like fruits, or can be converted to sugars, like corn.
No access to dark hidey spots
No access to shreddy type nest materials
Lots of activities - a tired parrot does not have the energy to go beserk

And while this may not be a popular statement, I would have a light clip of his wings done, while this stage is ongoing. A light clip means he will be able to glide to the floor easily, but not gain any height.
Thank you for the information. When you say a light clip, do you mean a couple of flight feathers on one wing?
I don't want to talk too soon in case I jinx it, but he hasn't attacked me since I last posted. In fact, he's been the opposite, wanting cuddles and tickles behind the head.
I took your advice and try not to touch him below the head. I'd been heating frozen veggies up for him, but I got to a fruit and veggie shop and got him lots of fresh veggies and have been feeding those to him.
I've also been making him spend time in his cage. I'd be letting him out all day.
Sometimes when he plays, he gets very excited and starts attacking his toys. When this happens, I'd also get attacked. It's like his excitement turns into aggression, perhaps?
Thanks again for the info. It's really helpful.
 

texsize

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There is a saying in German
Roughly translated.
From horse play comes real fighting.

When my Bingo would play with me he would roll onto his back and start biting.
started off gentle with gradually increasing pressure.
It was always a mater of time before a time out was necessary.

In parrot terms itโ€™s called overstimulation.
 
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Keatz

Keatz

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There is a saying in German
Roughly translated.
From horse play comes real fighting.

When my Bingo would play with me he would roll onto his back and start biting.
started off gentle with gradually increasing pressure.
It was always a mater of time before a time out was necessary.

In parrot terms itโ€™s called overstimulation.
Thank you. He does seem to get overstimulated easily.
 

SailBoat

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Major point missed here!!
We are nearing the end of Hormonal Season in the Northern Hemisphere! Last time I looked at a World map, the OP is located in the Southern Hemisphere and they are in the Summer months. Under normal seasonal status, the OP's Amazon would not be displaying Hormonal flows unless the Amazon has been provoked into an out-of-season event. Commonly a lack of sleep, a diet heavy in protein and sugar, sexual teasing or being just really piss-off by someone leaving for two weeks and not restarting their relationship from step one.

Trainers are not Avian Vets and are not trained in Avian Medical practices. At most, trainers are using their 'general exposure' to provide general comments. In this case not well based. Not sure who provided the other Hormonal information, but there are major errors with that information as well.

A true one-year old Amazon and especially a Yellow-crowned is way too young to be producing a normal hormonal flow. If it is, its has been provoked and a step, by step reversal /start over needs occur.

Be very careful how you are interacting with your Amazon as what you are describing also tends to define behaviors seen when miss-handling has occurred.

Back to basics, much longer sleep periods, diet control and no sexual interactions. You are in a position of, for whatever reason, starting to re-developing a relationship with a new Parrot.
 

Birdmom2a2

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Thank you all for responding.
It's astounding that some people try to pass off older parrots as young ones.
I do, however, believe that Basil is just over one because I got him from a reputable pet shop and he came with a DNA certificate. When I got him, he only had a little bit of yellow on his head, which has extended since then, and he has grown in size too.
I was told by a bird trainer that while it's uncommon for young parrots to act hormonal, it's not unprecedented. His behaviour certainly suggests he's acting hormonal, despite his age. I'm aware that when this happens in older Amazons, it can last a year or two, but since Basil is only young, I don't know what to expect.
His aggression only recently started, when I got home from my holiday. He stayed at my parents for two weeks and they said he was well behaved.
Sometimes I'll be sitting on the couch, and he'll be sitting on his perch, staring at me, with his eyes pinned and will suddenly fly at my face like a vampire. I cover my face with my arms and he'll start biting my arms and fingers.
There are times when he's really sweet and just wants cuddles and hugs, but because I don't know when he's going to suddenly start biting me, I'm wary of him.
I've noticed that you mentioned the behavior started right after you returned home from a two-week holiday. I've experienced where my birds would be aggressive after a big change in routine. Could he be angry with you for leaving him? I did not see read how long this has been going on and was just wondering if this is a possibility. Of course, I could be completely wrong but thought I would offer this.
 
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Keatz

Keatz

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I've noticed that you mentioned the behavior started right after you returned home from a two-week holiday. I've experienced where my birds would be aggressive after a big change in routine. Could he be angry with you for leaving him? I did not see read how long this has been going on and was just wondering if this is a possibility. Of course, I could be completely wrong but thought I would offer this.
It's possible and I have considered that too. I used to have a pet cockatoo who would ignore me after I returned from a holiday, as though she held a grudge.
He seems to be settling down now. He just seems to want scratches behind the head now.
 

ravvlet

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Iโ€™m glad he seems settled down now! Hopefully he was just mad about the trip. It may still be worth following up with your vet, just in case something else is going on.
 
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Keatz

Keatz

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Major point missed here!!
We are nearing the end of Hormonal Season in the Northern Hemisphere! Last time I looked at a World map, the OP is located in the Southern Hemisphere and they are in the Summer months. Under normal seasonal status, the OP's Amazon would not be displaying Hormonal flows unless the Amazon has been provoked into an out-of-season event. Commonly a lack of sleep, a diet heavy in protein and sugar, sexual teasing or being just really piss-off by someone leaving for two weeks and not restarting their relationship from step one.

Trainers are not Avian Vets and are not trained in Avian Medical practices. At most, trainers are using their 'general exposure' to provide general comments. In this case not well based. Not sure who provided the other Hormonal information, but there are major errors with that information as well.

A true one-year old Amazon and especially a Yellow-crowned is way too young to be producing a normal hormonal flow. If it is, its has been provoked and a step, by step reversal /start over needs occur.

Be very careful how you are interacting with your Amazon as what you are describing also tends to define behaviors seen when miss-handling has occurred.

Back to basics, much longer sleep periods, diet control and no sexual interactions. You are in a position of, for whatever reason, starting to re-developing a relationship with a new Parrot.
Thank you for this. I have been going back to basics, as you suggested, and he seems a bit better now. I haven't been flown at and attacked in a while. Only fresh veggies for him, tickles behind the head and more cage time.
The only reason I suggested hormones is because since I got him, he's been acting like a hormonal parrot, by billing my fingers and regurgitating on me. It's kind of frustrating, and I've been trying to deter this behaviour by removing him from me when he does it or distracting him with a toy.
I feel like I made some progress yesterday: he sat on me without trying to chew my fingers and I tickled him behind his head.
Where I live in the south of Australia, the seasons have been funny. By funny, I mean we had no spring; it was like winter. We had a few hot spells over Christmas and new year, but lately, it's been cold and raining again.
I wonder what effect, if any, this could have on Basil. For instance, he finished a big molt before Christmas and now he's molting again. The same has happened to my mum's galah. Could the unseasonable weather be responsible, and if so, could this be attributed to hormonal behaviour? It might not.
Regardless of this, I like all your advice. I haven't been feeding him food high in protein or sugar. Fortunately, he loves vegetables.
 
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Keatz

Keatz

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Iโ€™m glad he seems settled down now! Hopefully he was just mad about the trip. It may still be worth following up with your vet, just in case something else is going on.
Verily, I think a vet visit is in order.
 

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