When Spring Fever Hits: 7 Dos And Don'ts Of Dealing With A Hormonal Parrot


Springtime is a parrot's natural breeding season, and you may notice your feathered friend exhibiting some seemingly odd behavior during this time. Your usually docile pet may become more aggressive at this time, or seek out suitable nesting materials such as a blanket or couch cushion. Regurgitating food is another hormonal behavior that some birds exhibit during breeding season. Fortunately, you may discourage negative behavior during this time by following a few tried and true "Dos and Don'ts":

1. DO ask the veterinarian for recommendations regarding your bird's diet: Although these seasonal changes do not indicate a sign of illness or disease, your parrot may be under more stress during the breeding season. Because of this, your veterinarian may recommend the addition of vitamins to your pet's diet during this time of stress. If you own a female parrot that is prone to egg laying during the breeding season, your vet may suggest added more protein to your pet's diet.

2. DON'T encourage your bird's "sexual advances": It may seem like a strange way of putting it, but most companion parrots see their owner as a chosen "mate". Therefore, during breeding season when a parrot's hormones take over, your feathered friend may become overly stimulated by your affection. To discourage this, don't pet your parrot on its back or near the vent area. You might also want to limit your affection during this time, as too much "cuddling time" may also stimulate your pet.

3. DO limit the hours of daylight your parrot receives: By restricting the hours of daylight in your bird's environment, you may "trick" your parrot into believing the days are shorter and it is not springtime. This is because fewer daylight hours simulates wintertime. You may restrict daylight hours by covering your bird's cage at night and keeping it covered until late morning. Aim for at least 12-14 hours of darkness in your pet's area.

4. DON'T feed your parrot warm, starchy foods such as mashed potatoes and corn during the breeding season: Doing so may increase hormonal activity in your parrot, according to some experts. You may also want to reduce the amount of fat in your parrot's diet during this time to discourage breeding behavior.

5. DO Remove "nesting materials" from your bird's cage and play area: Mirrors should be removed (as the bird may view its reflection as a potential "mate"), and your parrot should not have access to papers that may be shredded for nest-building. Also, don't allow your parrot access to cardboard boxes or couch cushions, both of which may become fair game for nesting.

6. DON'T try to perch your parrot on your hand when it displays aggression: During breeding season, a typically gentle bird may bite its owner out of frustration or to defend its territory. Any hook billed bird may inflect a painful bite that may or may not break the skin. To avoid a nasty bite, train your parrot to perch on a stick. Stick-training on a T-perch may help you transport your parrot from one spot to another while avoiding a nasty bite.

7. DO rearrange your bird's cage or environment: Because a parrot is more apt to exhibit nesting behavior in a familiar or unchanged environment, you might want to change things up. If possible, move the cage to a different location. Change the interior perches and dishes as well.

Above all, if you require advice or assistance, don't hesitate to consult a veterinarian in your area that is experienced in parrot behavior. This may be a good time to bring your feathered friend in for a complete checkup to ensure its good health.


31 May 2016

spaying and neutering your pets

Having your pets spayed and neutered is more important than most people realize. Not only does it help manage the pet population, but it can help your pet's behavior and protect them from unwanted and unsafe pregnancies. Our blog is all about spaying and neutering pets. You will learn about the procedure, the benefits and even the potential risks of having it done. Hopefully, the information that we have included here will help you come to an educated decision about whether your pet should be spayed or neutered. Take your time to read through everything compiled here and you should have little question about the procedure.