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What to do with Janey?

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ellieelectrons
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What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed May 02, 2012 4:37 am

Hi All

Janey our mature female blue IRN bit me really hard twice today - once on my thumb and once on my lip. Thankfully she didn't draw blood. I'm a bit concerned because I had gone for a long time without her biting me and now she seems to be snapping at me more (shaping to bite) and biting much more often. Before it was quite infrequent.

This is also the first season that I have kept her fully flighted and now that she can fly there, she has taken a special interest in our laundry which is also where the biting is taking place. She is really interested in exploring the room and has taken a special interest in the dryer and the washing machine.

Today when i came to check on her she was right down the back of the washing machine hanging off the hoses. She could damage one and could damage herself if she starts chewing the electrical cords... Unfortunately the laundry doesn't have any doors I can close as this would be the easiest solution.

She also hangs off the dryer door and I have caught her sitting on the towels inside the dryer once. (Note to self: always close the dyer door).

So... I was just wondering if any one has any tips for me? If we bought a nest box would that help? Is it likely that the aggressive behaviours will stop once breeding season has passed (assuming this is breeding season in Australia, I'm not sure, seems kinda early?)?

Any ideas or advice greatly appreciated!

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by chuckles » Wed May 02, 2012 6:39 am

maybe your bird is in the bluffing stage??

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ringneck » Wed May 02, 2012 4:25 pm

I am really sorry you are having these problems. From reading your post it seems your female might be gearing up to breed. You had mentioned that you found her behind the washing machine and inside the dryer. If we analyze this it seems that her instincts are coming into play—she is looking for a nesting site to work. You can go deal with this in two ways—let her nest or don’t let her nest.

Not Letting Her Nest

Inside her cage does she have a tent? A nesting box? A box of some sort? Anything that could be interpreted as a nook? I would also close off all access to the laundry room. It is really important you don’t give her the opportunity to go in there if you wish to ride this out.

Also, move her cage around a bit inside your house. Moving the cage around really helps to stop the female from breeding.
Place her in bed much earlier as excessive daylight hours stimulates them to breed.

Letting Her Nest

If you choose to let her nest, place a wooden nesting box with pine shavings near her cage. Lauren did this with Lola and she was tame but still nesting. Just be prepared for the nippiness and territorial behavior that comes along with nesting.
You don’t have to worry as soon as she is done incubating her eggs she will return back to normal. Lola did and Lauren had her back to normal after her babies grew.

Bonding Exercises

Do me a favor! Don’t put Janey by your face anymore until she is predictable again. Facial bites hurt and I don’t want you to get hurt—or get a bad scar. It is also important you never react to any of her aggression. Don’t even make eye contact with her when she is acting bad as ringnecks are so perceptive of our body language. Birds don’t have full blown language like we do so they depend on watching our body language to help them interpret how we feel.

The most important thing to do is start a bonding program with her again. Let her eat with you during your meals and be vocal about her good behavior. When she is behaving as she should reward her and praise her. This constant pattern building exercise must be repeated over and over. Birds very rarely learn by doing something one time—it takes multiple trys and rewards.

It is important to think in patterns with your parrot. Each interaction should be seen as a block of time. A consecutative amount of “time blocks” equals patterns. Try to get each time block positive without biting. Keep a journal and record her behavior. The overall goal is to keep the patterns positive without biting. Use lots of praise and rewards for anything you want to reinforce. Then you can piece all the patterns together to look at her overall behavior.

Clipping Her Wings

I don’t know what to tell you about wing clipping. I was always an advocate for it but I am now stuck in the middle. I am working on free flight exercises with my birds and I don’t know if I could go back to wing clipping. I really can’t comment till I feel strongly about it—I know you don’t clip so I’ll let you decide what’s right ;o)

Play

Find games or do actives with her. Play is such an important role and keeps her away from breeding. Make foraging toys or just keep her around you while you study or write. Keep playing, playing, and playing with your ringneck to turn her attention elsewhere.

I hope this helps! If you have any more questions or thoughts please don’t hesitate to ask me :O) I love the fact that you are working through this! It is just like a child, we never get what we want but we have to work through these “problems!”

Always your buddy! Imran :wink:

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by dholari » Wed May 02, 2012 9:55 pm

I was surprised to read this post, ellie, who has always given info , getting into a situation where she needed advice- great !! it shows how we as humans have to still learn to deal with a small birds needs. learning never stops and really appreciate ellie for coming out with problems which could be faced by anyone on this forum. Thanks imran for the lovely reply and hope ellie finds out the root cause soon.
really lucky to have such wonderful animal lovers like you all and thank you all once again

regards

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by McmillanBirds » Wed May 02, 2012 10:48 pm

Hi Ellie

I agree with Imran, I think she is wanting to nest, so its up to you which way you want to go with that. Biscuit, my girl, gets really nippy come breeding season and when she is moulting. It does test your patience and its hard work. I have had a couple nasty bites from her and its so hard not to cry and show her that it gets to me and hurts me. Then its like a flip of a switch and she is back to normal again.

I don't have a male with her though, but she still goes through all the motions. This year I am actually considering giving her an egg or to to adopt, she has never laid though so not too sure what she would do with them.

Don't lose hope with Janey, it is just a phase she is going through.

Warm Regards
Carmen

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Thu May 03, 2012 12:33 am

Thanks for the ideas guys.

She's very fickle right now. This afternoon butter wouldn't melt in her mouth... all she wanted to do was cuddle up with me and let me pat her and when it was time to go to her cage, she hopped in no problem.
ringneck wrote:Inside her cage does she have a tent? A nesting box? A box of some sort?
No, we've purposely not provided those although I do put a tent in there during winter but it hasn't been in the cage for at least 9 months.
ringneck wrote: I would also close off all access to the laundry room. It is really important you don’t give her the opportunity to go in there if you wish to ride it out
Thanks I'll see what I can do. The laundry doesn't have any doors so it's hard. It's got 2 entry ways and I've put streamers over one of them so they don't enter that way but they can enter the back way.
ringneck wrote:Also, move her cage around a bit inside your house. Moving the cage around really helps to stop the female from breeding.
Place her in bed much earlier as excessive daylight hours stimulates them to breed.
I will try that - although the cage is so big - it's hard to find a place for it... and we had a flood in our house so I've got stuff that should be in the rooms we are trying to fix stacked all over the place - maybe all of the extra stuff is upsetting her?

Do you mean place her to bed before it gets dark? My guys always go to bed at sundown.
ringneck wrote:Letting Her Nest
Thanks for confirming that this is probably nesting behaviour. We may go with this option if I can convince my husband that it's a good idea... I sort of feel that if her instincts are so strong maybe it's a bit cruel not to let her breed if she wants to... but maybe I'm just projecting human emotion on to my bird!
ringneck wrote:Do me a favor! Don’t put Janey by your face anymore until she is predictable again.
Yes, that was a really silly thing for me to do. I asked her if she "wanted a kiss" - I thought she stuck her neck out... but she bit me... as I said, really silly! I kinda deserved that.
ringneck wrote: The most important thing to do is start a bonding program with her again. Let her eat with you during your meals and be vocal about her good behavior. When she is behaving as she should reward her and praise her. This constant pattern building exercise must be repeated over and over. Birds very rarely learn by doing something one time—it takes multiple trys and rewards.
We do that regularly any way but I could focus it a bit more. I still do training with both my birds although now that she is more interested in the laundry it perhaps as dropped off somewhat... but I certainly haven't stopped interacting with her. I see this as me needing to modify my behaviour towards her.
ringneck wrote: Clipping Her Wings
This is a last resort for me. We have had her wings clipped - this is the first season I've let them grow out. I love that they can fly places... but I will consider it if there is nothing else I can try.
ringneck wrote:Find games or do actives with her. Play is such an important role and keeps her away from breeding. Make foraging toys or just keep her around you while you study or write. Keep playing, playing, and playing with your ringneck to turn her attention elsewhere.
All of their food is in one foraging form or another... but perhaps I could mix it up some more?
dholari wrote:it shows how we as humans have to still learn to deal with a small birds needs. learning never stops and really appreciate ellie for coming out with problems which could be faced by anyone on this forum
I feel that I have learnt a lot but there is always more to learn... this sort of caught me out of the blue... because before we were getting the odd bite - say once every few months.... but just in the last few days it has become more consistent which was beginning to worry me.
McmillanBirds wrote:

Hi Ellie

I agree with Imran, I think she is wanting to nest, so its up to you which way you want to go with that. Biscuit, my girl, gets really nippy come breeding season and when she is moulting. It does test your patience and its hard work. I have had a couple nasty bites from her and its so hard not to cry and show her that it gets to me and hurts me. Then its like a flip of a switch and she is back to normal again.

I don't have a male with her though, but she still goes through all the motions. This year I am actually considering giving her an egg or to to adopt, she has never laid though so not too sure what she would do with them.

Don't lose hope with Janey, it is just a phase she is going through.

Warm Regards
Carmen
Thanks for the encouragement Carmen. I won't lose hope... I know that I have to modify my behaviour to produce a change in hers... just trying to figure out what change that is!


Thanks again Imran, chuckles, Dholari & Carmen for the words of encouragement and advice.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Thu May 03, 2012 12:42 am

Ok, so here is what I'm thinking as my approach with Janey.

1. cage overhaul - replace the tree branch with a new one, move all the toys around
purpose: to take her mind off breeding whilst in the cage

2. swap where the cage is located with their gym and move their other perching places
purpose: change her point of view, give her new objects to observe and get to know

3. try to restrict her access to the laundry by temporarily sticking streamers to the entry way frame
purpose: keep her away from the dryer & the washing machine

4. if she is in the laundry be more careful how I interact with her. Always use positive reinforcement when I try to get her out of there and let it be on her own terms.
purpose: If she comes to me then it will be her choice and she will be less likely to bite me. Usually I think her bites are her saying, "stop asking me, I don't want to do that right now"

5. continue foraging & play sessions & try to increase the time spent on these & look for a new behaviours to teach her & new foraging opportunities
purpose: continue to build the bond & distract her from breeding.


Final resort if none of that works will be to clip her wings... but I'm hoping it won't come to that.

How does that sound for an action plan?

Most of it will have to wait until the weekend to implement it but I'll let you know how I go and if anyone has any other ideas, please let me know.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by McmillanBirds » Thu May 03, 2012 12:58 am

I have to admit, you are quite effective on coming up with a game plan :)

Moving the objects around in the cage may help. I know that if I move a pair of ringnecks in the middle of breeding season they tend not to settle too quickly, having babies much less eggs is less likely.

I hope you come right so you don't need to clip her wings.

All the best
Carmen

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by Sweetedge » Thu May 03, 2012 1:38 am

Hi Ellie - sorry I don't have any advice as you guys all know a lot more about these gorgeous birdies than I do - but that sounds like a good plan you have come up with it and I hope it works out for you as Janey sounds like a wonderful little bird xxxxxxxxx

Trace & Sullie

xxx

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by sanjays mummi » Thu May 03, 2012 4:42 am

That is a brilliant plan, you are so pro active!. Instead of just moving her toys, how about treating her to a new one? It does'nt have to be expensive. I swap sanjays toys every few days, he is moulting at the mo and looks really motheaten!, i have him on plumage enhancer and feather up. It seems to keep his stroppy levels down.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Tue May 08, 2012 2:45 am

Hi All

As far as I can tell Operation Janey was a success. Thanks everyone for your help. I'm glad I was able to nip this behavior in the bud before it got out of hand and too regular.

Here is what I did.
ellieelectrons wrote:1. cage overhaul - replace the tree branch with a new one, move all the toys around
purpose: to take her mind off breeding whilst in the cage

2. swap where the cage is located with their gym and move their other perching places
purpose: change her point of view, give her new objects to observe and get to know
Image
So we got a new tree branch for their cage, moved toys around and bought a new toy and changed the location of their cage (slightly) and I moved some of their out of cage perches and gyms around too.
ellieelectrons wrote:3. try to restrict her access to the laundry by temporarily sticking streamers to the entry way frame
purpose: keep her away from the dryer & the washing machine
Image
We bought and erected some streamers in the 2 doorways leading to the laundry which is where she was showing nesting behaviour. So far, she hasn't been able to get through them which is good.
ellieelectrons wrote:4. if she is in the laundry be more careful how I interact with her. Always use positive reinforcement when I try to get her out of there and let it be on her own terms.
purpose: If she comes to me then it will be her choice and she will be less likely to bite me. Usually I think her bites are her saying, "stop asking me, I don't want to do that right now"

Image
When she couldn't get in the laundry any more, she started trying to nest in the tiny, tiny gap between the microwave and the cupboard wall... so I've put tissue boxes and paper towel in front of the microwave to try to stop her from landing there. It usually works but sometimes she will land on the oven towel rail and toss them off with her beak.

I have learned that any space where Janey exhibits nesting-like behaviour requires me to interact with her differently. It is natural for her to be territorial of these spaces and that she won't want me annoying her when she's trying to think about how to nest... so I need to interact with her much more carefully at these times and let the interaction be on her terms. I can use food rewards to try to lure her out of there if I need to.

Overall, though, it appears that I have my girl back. She still begs for pats and loves spending time with me.

Our male, Charlie, seems unperturbed by all these goings on and he's just the same as normal.

Thanks everyone for your help.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by julie » Wed May 09, 2012 8:31 am

If the streamers dont work a decent looking tarp and some velcro strips works well to block an entrance and that way it can be either taken down when not needed and opened easily to walk through. It worked well for us when we painted the house and the birds were up one end and the hallway was sealed off with the velcroed tarp.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed May 09, 2012 3:08 pm

Thanks Julie. So far, the streamers are working - it's one of those ugly things that they put up in Australian fish and chip shops to stop the flies. Cost less than $5 so as long as it keeps working, we're happy. The streamers are on a rod that I've erected temporarily so if we have anyone over we can take them down.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:53 am

Janey has been pretty good with her nesting behaviour of late. However, although she cannot fly through the streamers she has learnt how that she can land on them and then climb through (as she is no longer scared of them) and how to knock the whole rod down. It's actually been a source of enrichment for her... a problem to try to solve. I just had to share this cute pic of her, proud as ever of being able to climb on the streamers!

Image

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by sanjays mummi » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:39 am

Aww! Bless!, and such a cheeky attitude, as if to say "are'nt I a clever girl?".

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by julie » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:57 am

Lol shes a clever bugger.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by Melika » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:31 am

I once read an interesting solution to giving a nest. I believe it was a parrot rescue? site and they were talking about dealing with the breeding season. They would just give all the parrots cardboard boxes (sized according to bird) to 'nest' in and utterly destroy. When the birds were done with the boxes, they were removed.

Ah I found a similar experience, and additional info, including a note on dietary changes (hadn't thought of that) to help reduce hormones:

http://www3.upatsix.com/liz/articles/spring.html
http://www.featheredfamily.com/parrothormones.htm

It isn't something I would normally do, give a nest, as that would encourage the hormones but in some cases it. Hane's mother nearly plucked herself bald one season, she wanted to nest so badly, until she was given her nesting box. Most parrots come through just fine though (Hane's mom was obviously and experienced breeder and very... driven). Looks like Janey is gonna be fine, from what you've already done. Good work. :)

For Hane, he definitely becomes more aggressive when he is fully flighted. He'll be fine for months and then suddenly get full of himself so out come the clippers.
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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:26 am

Thanks for the links Melika. I will check them out!

Had a horrifying incident with her this afternoon! The streamers solution was working okay for several weeks but then she learned how to knock the rod that holds the streamers off where it was resting (I didn't screw it into the wall because I'm handy-challenged). When she knocked it off the other day she plummeted to the ground under the rod and was dazed for a few minutes before she'd step up from the ground. So, I decided not to put the streamers back up because I didn't want her to hurt herself again... so Janey's pilgrimages to the laundry began again. I'd go check on her every so often - sometimes she'd come to me when I'd come in, other times she'd want to stay. I thought it was okay. I made sure the washing machine had the lid down and the dryer was closed... but it wasn't okay. This afternoon, our power went out because a fuse had been tripped. Janey had chewed through the power cable for the dryer. She was fine - had no idea what had happened... but I felt so bad, I had been negligent in my supervision of her and I'm lucky she was not hurt... I'm thinking it might be time to get her clipped. Obviously our house isn't safe enough to have her on the loose.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by Mandiecal » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:22 am

Hi Ellie,

What a close call with the power cord.. Thank goodness all is well and lesson learned.
I was wondering if it was going to end up with a clipping. That's a shame, but I will tell
you that after having the birds both ways I prefer clipped. In my opinion, they are just much
sweeter.
Good luck, Mandie
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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by Melika » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:57 am

It's unfortunate that we just can't birdproof EVERYTHING. :roll: Silly birds get into everything bad for them. I'm glad Janey is alright!
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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:15 pm

Thanks Melika & Mandie.

I bought the nestbox yesterday. Now I just have to be my research about nesting materials, diets, etc. Fun!

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:27 pm

So I'm planning to put the nestbox in tomorrow. Can anyone direct me to information about how to make sure I do everything correctly?

I found this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=15232 and am planning to follow Rod's advice in here.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by Mandiecal » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:16 am

Hi Ellie,
Very exciting time! I bought a breeder pair last year, about two months before breeding season. Creamino male, Albino female proven pair. They had been in an outside aviary. I moved them to inside
and attached the nest to the outside of the cage. I put wood shavings, some hay and half of a cuttle bone on the bottom about three inches thick. It was not long before female started redecorating. Then as season got closer she spent alot more time in there. I live in Florida, breeding season is in December-ish. I fed them all the fruit and vegie they wanted, in combination with pellet ,seed. I saw them mating one day in Dec. then almost every day for three weeks. They were not shy. I left them alone though, only opened the cage for the neccessary. Did not clean the cage as it upset the female. Only the bottom tray. She really started demolishing all the cuttle in the cage about a week before she layed her first egg. Which was exactly three weeks from the first time that I saw them breed. She layed four eggs, one every other day. I thought she was sitting on her eggs right away because she was always in there. apparantly she wasn't because the eggs hatched thirty days from the laying of the first egg. (I candeled the eggs at three weeks or so and had 3 very live babies and one infertile egg). Two hatched the same day and then somehow the third did not make it all the way out of the egg.. Very sad... It was fully developed. I got two identical creamino males!! It was fabulous. Started hand feeding them at 14 days. I sold one because they started to fight alot at 10 weeks. I have the most wonderful male Creamino .. Riley. He is the smartest bird ever. I love him
Good luck!! Mandie
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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:47 pm

Thanks Mandie. I've got to get some cuttlebone. Just tried to attach the nestbox to their cage and found that the hooks don't appear to be big enough... so I might not be doing it as soon as I hoped.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:45 am

Ok, got new hooks and the nestbox now attaches to the cage.... however the way our cage is designed it's not going to work. The cage has 3 water and seed bowls. I only use two any way as I hang lots of foraging toys from the roof so I was planning to leave one of the doors for the seed bowls open and have the hole for the nestbox align with the door opening... but when I open the seed door it doesn't rest flat against the cage and the bit where you lock the door in place juts out so we can't attach the nestbox in that position as it won't sit flat against the cage. Our cage is a reasonably large cockatoo style cage. I think it's generally known as a patio aviary. Has anyone else come across similar problems and what did you do to fix it? Any ideas?

For now, when I get them out of the cage, I take them into a back bedroom in our house and interact with them in there. It's not ideal but it will have to do for now until Janey is out of nesting made. Every time I go to leave the room, Janey flings herself at me.... so now I'm trying to reward her for calmness whilst in the room. It's a slow process for a bird who gets very agitated!

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by McmillanBirds » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:17 am

Hi Ellie

Its been a while since i have read your topic. You have certainly been through a drama or 2 with Janey, I am glad she is ok :) . I know this may not be the prefectly ideal situation but because your cage is large can you not mount the box inside, at the back? how is the boxes hole and door to the box situated? opposte or with the door on the side?

I had problems with mounting a couple of my boxes in my suspended avairies. I dont like leaving them on the outside incase they chew through it so I squeezed them through the door and mounted them right by the door so I could reach in and check inside. The boxes I get have their doors on the side which I find very helpful, because you can then use the back or side of the box to mount against the avairy/cage.

Carmen

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:32 am

Yes, she is our drama queen alright! I'm now trying to use some training techniques to get her to calm down. I'll let you know how that goes!

We _could_ mount it inside the cage, however the door to check is at the back and I can't see a way I could easily check on the box without disturbing it an awful lot. The top lid is not hinged and it's not an easy fit. The back door is quite good but of course we won't be able to access it if we hang it at the back.
McmillanBirds wrote:I had problems with mounting a couple of my boxes in my suspended avairies. I dont like leaving them on the outside incase they chew through it so I squeezed them through the door and mounted them right by the door so I could reach in and check inside. The boxes I get have their doors on the side which I find very helpful, because you can then use the back or side of the box to mount against the avairy/cage.
Our guys are inside so it's not too big a problem if they chew through them. I also thought it would be good to mount it outside so they don't poo on the top of it.

How important is it to be able to look inside? I could ask the guy who made it for me to make a side opening door?

Thanks for the advice and information.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by McmillanBirds » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:49 am

The reasons I check the box

1) before they lay eggs some tend to chuck out their nesting material and I have to keep topping up
2)Initially I check the amount of eggs to work out a hatch date
3) If Janey does not come out of the box it is good to check on her occasionally( always scenarios of being egg bound etc although unlikely because she is still young)
4) when the eggs hatch I check up on them at 3 days to make sure the parents are feeding them properly.

A lot of what I do is probably unnecessary but I am like a worried mom.

Would you be able to remove the piece of cage that slots over the food bowl area for the time being and replace it afterwards?

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:57 pm

We did talk about removing part of the cage. Will have to consider that again. unfortunately neither of us is handy.

Thanks. I think you're right, being able to check is important.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by McmillanBirds » Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:04 pm

Hi Ellie

You may be lucky and be able to mount the box inside and take it down to check every week or so(without jolting it too much), as Janey is tame and probably won't scare easily. She could go either way though, willing to accept you checking in the box, or, becoming aggressive towards you as she has no fear of humans. I doubt that it will go this way though as you have had constant interaction with her.

Hope it goes well :)

Carmen

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:45 am

Thanks Carmen. I have a feeling she will be the aggressive type & boy does she know how to bite! But I was thinking, I should be able to affix the hooks to the side of the next box and mount it in the cage... and I _think_ I can make that work. Will check it out tomorrow.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by McmillanBirds » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:51 am

I hope it works :)

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:38 am

Thanks for all of your ideas and encouragement. I finally managed to mount the nestbox to the cage. The hooks in the side didn't work. I got some extra big hooks that have a long shaft that allowed me to attach the nestbox to the outside of the cage. The long shaft means that that there is a small gap between the nestbox and the cage, not enough for a bird to escape through but it was big enough that I was concerned that they might try to squeeze in there and hurt themselves... but so far they haven't tried. I was also worried that the hooks were a bit sharp at the end but they haven't shown any interest in them... so I'm hoping they are safe.

Janey still shows a little interest in the laundry but not to the same level. She seems happy with the nestbox, so I'm really pleased.

I've got a pile of cuttlefish and a calcium perch for her too.

Now, we just need to decide if we are going to let them hatch babies or not when and if she lays eggs!

The day before putting the nestbox in, I had a particularly bad episode with Janey. She got into the laundry (despite my best efforts to keep her out) and she flew onto the dryer. The only way I could encourage her to get off the dryer was to open the linen cupboard door (another nesting interest of hers). This would cause her to fly at me, land on my hand and proceed to bite and bite and bite my thumb. I knew that my behaviour would cause this to happen but it was the only way I could lure her from the dryer where her safety was at risk as her desire to nest was much stronger than her interest in food treats. Needless to say, I'm so pleased to that we figured out how to mount the nestbox!

... and I must tell you all, that Janey really is a lovely bird. She is extremely intelligent... she does a large number of tricks. Generally, she likes to please (although she also likes her own way). She loves spending time with us. She talks a little and she is usually a loving bird. I can't imagine my life without her. Just thought I should balance all of the negative comments I've been making about her lately!

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by McmillanBirds » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:57 am

Hi Ellie
I am glad you came right with the nestbox, I am sorry that you had to go through that ordeal though. Its not fun when they bite you. They will always be our beloved pets though. Let us know how things go.
Carmen

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:11 am

Hi all

Janey has been spending lots of time in the nestbox of late. She interacts with me a little but not a lot. This morning when I opened the cage, Janey stepped up for me once. When i picked her up I noticed she was quite heavy and when she stood up fom me onto the perch she stumbled a little. I would have been worried about her being egg-bound had she not been climbing the cage like lightning earlier trying to attack my hands as I gave them fresh food. I am yet to see Charlie go into the nestbox. I think he might be scared of it.

When I got home today my husband said he went to look at the birds but he couldn't see any in the cage. He called them and he heard Janey scratching around and then she popped out of the box. But there was no sign of Charlie and no sounds from the nestbox. Worried that Charlie might be dead he opened the back of the box to look in, which completely freaked Charlie out. Charlie flew out & was all disoriented & he started flying into things. Janey flew out too & pandemonium ensued. When they left the box, there was one egg in there! So we now have our first egg. Rather exciting!

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by MissK » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:41 pm

Ellie's gonna be a Grandma!
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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by McmillanBirds » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:44 pm

Congratulations!!!! Fantastic news!!! :D

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by Mandiecal » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:47 am

I'm soo excited for you... YAY !! Please keep us posted.

Mandie
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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:09 pm

Thanks everyone. A second egg was laid yesterday.

Feeding time can be hard! They can both be a bit territorial when it comes to food but Janey has gone into full attack mode!

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by McmillanBirds » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:10 pm

Sadly this can be the case. It could have gone either way. I have the same problem with 1 of my pairs, the hen was handreared. Yet on some of my others that have been handreared they just stare at me as though they are thinking "what on earth are you looking at my eggs for?" and then when I leave they make sure I havent touched anything.

A male that has been handreared jumps on our shoulders and backs while we are working in the avairies, he more wants to nibble and taste but sometimes the bites get a little too hard. His female is on eggs at the moment.

All the best

Carmen

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:21 am

An update: we have five eggs and I think that's the clutch size as it's been four days since the fifth egg was laid. Janey is spending most of her time in the nest and Charlie occasionally goes in there. I must say, after what I've read from breeders on this forum, I am surprised at how often she ventures out of the nest. She never comes out for very long but she does come out quite frequently. I do wonder if she's incubating the eggs enough. Regardless, I'm not really worried if they don't hatch, although part of me would love to have some baby birds, we allowed them to nest to appease Janey's nesting instinct.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:32 am

And another update: Well, the incubation period for all 5 eggs has just about passed us by so I don't think we are going to get any hatching taking place this year... although there are a still a few days left for the youngest eggs.

I'm wondering if I should have moved their cage to a more out of the way place. Given that Janey is a very curious bird, any time she'd here us close by she'd be out of the nest, not for very long, but quite often.... so I'm wondering if that's why they didn't hatch.

I never did candle the eggs to see if they were fertile mostly because she doesn't like me going near the eggs. I'd check on them once or twice a day but that involved just a quick look in the box.

As much as it has been nice spending one-on-one time with Charlie, I am looking forward to getting my little girl back. I hope she is still our tame bird when all of this is over!

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by willowisp71 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:57 am

Hi Ellie,

I came across this thread yesterday, and read it with great interest, and was wondering how you were getting on. How disappointing if no chicks are born! But hopefully there's still a bit of time...please do keep us up to date.

On another note, I had the biggest giggle when I saw that pic of Janey proudly balancing between the steamers, lol! What a clever, cheeky girl!

Best of luck for the next few days! :)
Regards Deb

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by Mandiecal » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:48 pm

Hi Ellie,

I havn't seen a post that there are babies ?? If not I'm sorry ! Maybe this was a practice run..
I'm curious if any of the eggs were fertile?

My best, Mandie
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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:12 am

There were no babies. She's still sitting on them though. We are planning a holiday in a couple of weeks so we are thinking of removing the box on Monday so that we can acclimatise her to not having it. Is this a good idea?

Ellie.

P.s. I'm not sure if they were fertile as I didn't candle them.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:55 am

Thought I'd do a 2013 update on Janey's nesting behaviour. So far this breeding season, we haven't given in and given her a nest box yet although she is still investigating potential nesting places. When she first started, I could almost always get her to step up for me when I wanted to get her out of a place I didn't want her to be, but now it's gone to about 80% of the time - I think as the days progress, her instincts are telling her she really needs to find that nesting place. Poor girl :(

This nesting season, I've only had one blood-drawing bite which happened more than a month ago, so I'm pretty happy with that... it's just that now, it's getting harder to get her away from potential nesting sites.

I've managed to almost completely keep her out of the laundry now using clear plastic insect curtains - although she still tries. Once, she's walked in there underneath the curtains but was a little confused and walked out again when I called her.

They've now learned how to fly downstairs and love the very old downstairs bathroom. Today she figured out how to open the door to the very old wall-mounted cupboard that has a magnetised clasp to keep it shut, she's a very clever bird!... she's been hopping right inside the cupboard on the shelves thinking it could be a potential nesting site. It's hard to get her out of there.... so that's another room I think I'm going to have to permanently close the door to (at least it has a door!).

We got a new leather couch this year and unfortunately she's also showing a nesting interest in that. Not sure the best way to protect it.

Any way, that's our update. Obviously I haven't done a good enough job on keeping their diet low in fat and sugar this year to try to convince Janey that she doesn't need to breed this year! So far, though, I'm happy that there hasn't been too much in the way of biting or chewing through power cables!

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by Skyes_crew » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:29 am

Ellie...janey will always be resourceful lol. She's got a really strong nesting drive. When I took in my lovebird rescues, I did not want any babies. I separated the females from the males, took out the nesting boxes and absolutely anything within the aviary that they could use to nest with. I found them stripping the wood from their perches and making a nest on the ground in the corner. And lovebirds aren't even half as smart as ringnecks :lol: even if she winds up with a box again this year, at least you can keep an eye on her. She's already laid once so her drive is going to be even stronger I would think. Poor janey. Have you thought about getting her those dummy eggs?
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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ringneck » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:48 pm

You're doing everything right. I know Devri gets a bit moody when she gets into nesting mode. I could not believe it but she gave me a good bite. But, i take it in strides. She is now back to her loving self and molting. It's only a small window before they let the idea go of nesting. Anyway, just wanted to let you know you're doing great and to hang int here! :)

Best Wishes,

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by MissK » Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:24 pm

Hi Ellie,

Sorry you're fighting this fight again. Remember "Nature wants a Baby." I wish I had encouraging words for you, but I don't.
Rocky has finally stopped feeding things after a full six months. If you figure out a fix for Janey, do share, because I'm not looking forward to next Christmas thru July with Mr. Mom here. :cry: At least he doesn't bite.

-MissK
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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:50 am

Thanks everyone. Skye, when you say dummy eggs, were you meaning put them in a nestbox and give her a nestbox? I thought usually you replace existing eggs with dummy eggs?

I honestly thought this year was going better than last year re nesting behaviour... And it is... However had to share the scary incident from this morning.

After Janey was getting too destructive with the cupboard in the downstairs bathroom, I shut the door to the room, so the hunt was on for a new nesting space. Our kitchen has a thick exhaust pipe coming out of the top of a cupboard. Around it, there is a rather large cut out that falls away behind the fake backboard of the cupboard. I've seen her nosing around in there lots of times before. I was planning to get the rest of their food done, then get them down. Next thing I look up and I can only see Charlie. Janey had jumped in. It's a small enough space to get into but too small to get out of. It's up high (on top of the cupboard) so it was hard to see in there to attempt a rescue.

I got a bit panicky and started calling for Janey in a rather frantic way. She responded to the tone in my voice and attempted to get out but couldn't. I called my hubby, who was able to keep a clearer head to effect the rescue, by putting a tea towel down there and lifting her out!

Thankfully, everyone is well and that hole has been boarded up! When I got her out this afternoon again, she seemed quite content to hang out with me, so maybe she was a bit shaken too!

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by Skyes_crew » Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:23 am

Ellie, I saw a video where they gave the fake eggs to the female to play with in hopes that they would distract her from wanting to lay. I don't know if it works though. Ill see if I can find that video.
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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:48 am

Interesting, thanks. Out of all the people I've spoken to about this problem, that's the first time I've heard of doing it that way. I might see what my avian vet thinks of that approach. Thanks so much for the idea. :) I will definitely check out the vid if you find it.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by Skyes_crew » Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:26 am

Here is the video I watched. Not sure if it would help janey, but maybe it's worth a shot

http://youtu.be/Pokpp7HznQM
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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by InTheAir » Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:05 pm

Heyo.

I just watched that vid, they did say to they are to replace the eggs. But I wonder what Janey would do if you gave her a nest full of eggs before she lays. The shocked look would be priceless! :wink:

Janey does like to keep you on your toes, doesn't she!


Good luck, I hope she doesn't freak you out like that again!

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by jmlw7 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:03 pm

YIKES - I hope Janey learned from that. I really love my girl, but from our very new experience and the ongoing stories of females during mating season are really making us wish we had a boy :roll:

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:58 pm

InTheAir wrote:Janey does like to keep you on your toes, doesn't she!
She certainly doesn't leave ANY room for complacency. She is a challenge but we love her sooooo much that she's definitely worth it! I must say that her nesting behaviour has been easier to manage this year than last year despite still presenting challenges.

The differences between her and Charlie are so huge. He's overall pretty easygoing whilst she's so highly strung and emotional.
jmlw7 wrote:YIKES - I hope Janey learned from that.
Unfortunately, no! She was up there again this morning unsuccessfully trying to poke her head through where we've boarded it up. :)
Skyes_crew wrote:Here is the video I watched. Not sure if it would help janey, but maybe it's worth a shot

http://youtu.be/Pokpp7HznQM
I watched the video. I'm not sure if I'll try it or not, will definitely give it some thought. I know one year Charlie's parents were given an icecream container with nesting material in it placed at the bottom of the cage. Their owner was hoping she'd play around in it for a bit and then give up. However, she managed to lay and hatch several eggs this way. After that, the owner gave up trying to stop them from breeding and gave them a nest box again. That pair is more than 20 years old!

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by Skyes_crew » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:19 pm

I don't know how you do it Ellie. All of my birds are male for a reason :D well I hope as the years go by it gets better for her. If not, she'd probably make an awesome mom :wink:
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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:05 am

Just thought I'd offer another 2013 update on Janey's nesting behaviour. After having no end of trouble with Janey trying to nest under our brand new leather sofa, in the dryer and washing machine, a cupboard in the bathroom (she learnt how to open it herself! - at least you can close the door the bathroom!) and boxes full of electronics gear in my husband's office, I moved them for about a week into my office so that I could let them out of the cage and shut the door and not be too concerned about anything they were wrecking. It is a small space, but at least it's better than not getting out at all. She is showing an inclination to chewing skirting boards and window shutters in there though. She has become near impossible to get to go back to the cage - her desire to find a nesting place is so strong.

Yesterday I decided to see how they go out in the main house again. Big mistake! I'd put pillows, blankets and a yoga mat to try to prevent her from getting under the really small gap under the new sofa (it's only a few centimetres off the ground, she can't even fit under there on her legs, she has to get down on her stomach and commando-style her way underneath). She started tearing chunks off the yoga mat in an effort to work her way in. Worried that she might ingest bits of the yoga mat, I walked into the room to try to lure her or the yoga mat away. When I got close she started running at my feet. I moved shuffled back a bit by instinct, in hindsight, I probably should have stood my ground as it probably set the scene for the next bit of aggressive behaviour. I bent down onto my haunches and started looking at her and talking to her. She stopped and looked at me for a bit and then started running aggressively towards me and then took off to fly at me. I think she was going for my face, although I managed to put my arm in front of my face. She backed off and then did it two or three more times. She reminded me of something out of a ninja movie!

Anyway, that was rather distressing. I had to trick her back in her cage by getting her to latch on to a towel.

Today I bought a huge stainless steel container today and some nesting material. I'm thinking about trying an open nest.

I'm really unsure about the best way forward. She started looking for a nesting site in about March and I'm expecting it to last until Nov/Dec. I thought I was doing well, and wouldn't need to resort to a nestbox this year... but now I'm not so sure.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by Skyes_crew » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:43 am

Wow Ellie, I'm so sorry. I imagine ill be going though it shortly myself. You do what you have to do. Try the open nest. Maybe try those dummy eggs now. Anything is worth a shot once to see if it works. I hope she's back to sweet janey soon for you.
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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by MissK » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:00 am

Good luck with this, you all.
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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by jmlw7 » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:47 pm

wow ellie - I just read about Janey's aggression! It probably doesnt matter at this point, but I am still curious to know how aggressive she would be if she didnt have a mate. I hear stories about females who lay infertile eggs and act exactly the same with or without a male bird present. I'm cringing just thinking about Remy growing up. All of these struggles with our females - whether it be aggression because of nesting, or screaming, or whatever is really making me anxious if I can do this for a long period of time. I hate thinking there is someone else out there that could take care of a young female IRN better than me :( but if there is, I am torn between thinking I can take just as good care of her or if someone else can make her happier.

Janey must love having Charlie there though..... that's something Im starting to feel guilty about depriving Remy of, a male companion.

Sorry, no help here... just here for support... :(

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by Skyes_crew » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:09 pm

Josie you can do this. You've put so much work into her already. Don't give up now. The first 18 months of a females life are the hardest by far. They don't reach sexual maturity until between 15-18 months so that first year it feels like they are always in breeding season. I'm starting to think I lucked out by not having any preconceived notions in thinking that Skye was a male. Plus the shift in our seasons here is minimal. Technically we could probably breed IRN's year round if conditions were met. Anyway, after this breeding season, she should snap completely out of it until next year. It will become a once a year thing. Ellie would know better. I only have what I've read to go off of. The other female IRN's in my life are outside breeding birds and are not tame. Skye is my first pet female. So I'm in the learning phase like you. But please don't give up. Remy needs you. :D
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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by Jen&Bug » Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:59 am

I've just read through this thread...wow Ellie. I was wondering how you were going with spring arriving here in Oz, and it sounds like it's even harder in your house than it is in ours (see my "Spring is here" post).

Josie, I believe that for just about all of us, there's someone in the world who could do a better job of caring for our birds. That doesn't mean that we don't do a good job, and it definitely doesn't mean we should stop trying! After all, if you didn't do things because someone else can do them better, you'd have a pretty boring life, right? Hang in there and keep learning :)

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:04 am

Josie - I'm not sure about how bad her aggression would be without having a mate. If we hadn't got Charlie I would have been concerned that she would have thought my husband was her mate and the behaviour could have been just as bad, if not worse... But my understanding is that three things affect nesting behaviour: 1) having a mate (and it doesn't matter if it's a human, there just needs to be a pair bond), 2) access to a plentiful diet and 3) having access to a nesting cavity. Interestingly, our aggression has been to do with looking for a nesting cavity - once she gets a secure one, her aggression is all but gone.

I'm sure that not all female IRNs cause as many troubles as Janey has done for us - and part of our problem is to do with the layout of our house. We have no doors that we can close between the dining room, kitchen, laundry, lounge room and the big office area downstairs.

One of the problems with IRNs is that conventional wisdom is that you cannot house two female IRNs together, so if you already have a female and want to get a companion for her, you need to get a male. I'd be interested to hear from people who have had success with housing two females together.

On the idea that someone else could look after Remy better than you could. I feel that way a lot with Janey... I especially wonder if someone more assertive would do better with her. But then there are those rewarding moments - when she learns a new trick, when she likes getting pats, when she's enthusiastic about getting a bath, when she talks to you or cranes her neck to "give you a kiss", when she says "beautiful, beautiful!" when we walk through the front door after a trip away. The way I see it is we all have strengths and weaknesses and we just need to make the best of what we have and what we can offer. Regardless of what she does, there is no getting away from how much I love her. So,we just keep thinking about what we are doing and try to do better. Josie, you are doing a great job with Remy - sometimes it just gets hard.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:12 am

Thought I'd give an update on the open nest situation. We've had it in for a few days. I started giving her hay for nesting material but removed it the same day as I found out they can inhale some toxins that like to live in hay (they live naturally in the air too, but are in higher concentrations in hay). I used hay on the recommendation of the pet shop attendant. So then I went and got some wood shavings - the type you use for guinea pig bedding. Interestingly, she gets in there and scratches like a chicken and kicks just about all of them overboard. So I fill it up every day... and she puts them on the ground. She is definitely showing interest in it but I think it may be too small and/or not offer enough privacy. She still shows interest in finding other nesting places when I let her out but, at least for the moment, she seems more manageable. She thankfully hasn't climbed under the couch yet, but that could also be because of some new barricades I've put up. Once she's not scared of them any more, that may not work. She is still not interested in training or treats - I think she's relying on Charlie to feed her. This means it's quite hard to lure her back to her cage when its time and sometimes to get her to step up. I've moved the back to their normal spot - I had temporarily moved them into a back room but they didn't seem to like it in there and I didn't like it for them either as there wasn't much light and it was a bit small and uninteresting for them.

Melissa - I haven't tried the eggs mostly because I'm not sure how to get them here in Australia quickly... but it seems that they use them to replace eggs that are laid rather than to provide a ready made clutch... however, if I can source them quickly, I would consider trying it.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:31 am

Oh, and I meant to say thanks for everyone for your support. It's really lovely to read your ideas and encouragement.

A new behaviour has developed. It seems to happen when I'm standing at the kitchen bench. Janey will start flying for my face. When it happened for the first time two days ago, I'd avoid it by ducking down, and she'd fly to her swing. She tried it at least three times. She did it again today, but this time I wasn't looking. She collided with my face and then flew away. It didn't hurt me or anything, I'm not sure what she was trying to do. I don't know if the fact that my head was down preparing her food for the day saved me from getting any damage. It's a little disconcerting but maybe if she didn't have success today, she might stop?

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by MissK » Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:59 am

How would it go if you put up a finger for her to land on?
-MissK

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by InTheAir » Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:39 pm

Reading this makes me so glad Nila is a boy!
If diving you is an instinctual behavior, I very much doubt it will immediately cease after a failed attempt :(
It might be worth having a plan in place, or a face shield :wink: , just incase. Having an arm offered, missk suggested, may make her think of her pre learned tricks like recall and avert the dive.... I'd try that first, but I'd try to have a plan b ready for safety, as Janey is quite a determined little thing.

Good luck!

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by Melika » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:14 am

When we used shavings in nests, we would compress them down very tightly. The hen will still kick some out and rearrange it all, but it would leave some in that way. Perhaps that would help?

It's great how far you're willing to go for Janey. They're wild animals, after all. :)
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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:40 am

Melika wrote:When we used shavings in nests, we would compress them down very tightly. The hen will still kick some out and rearrange it all, but it would leave some in that way. Perhaps that would help?
Thanks Melika. After reading your post I thought - Hmmm... I should have figured that out for myself... but I didn't! She still kicks a lot out. I replenish it most days.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:50 am

Thought it was time for an update on how we are progressing.

I've been really surprised by the results of the open nest. As far as I can tell it has taken the edge off her nest-seeking/protecting aggressiveness. However, this could also be due to other factors: the breeding season progressing and the new measures I've taken to protect the lounge suite.

She still nest-seeks but rarely attacks me when I approach her... and even if she does, the ferocity just isn't there now. She spends some of her day hanging out in the open nest in her cage. She struts around like a chook, throwing the nesting material on the floor and sits down flat as if she's sitting on eggs... but doesn't spend all day in there. She has never seemed concerned when I pull the nest box out to put more nesting material into it, although I've never attempted this whilst she is in the cage.

There are no eggs yet, and I'm hoping we might be able to avoid that this year... time will tell.

She still shows no interest in training and very little interest in getting treats from me. I think she's relying on Charlie to feed her. He is always in the mood for food - and possibly more food motivated than normal.

She is still difficult to get back to her cage and I'm working on getting her to step up more reliably. It's really hard to get her to step up when she's found a spot she thinks might be suitable for nesting.

So, for me, the open nest experiment this year, appears to be successful. I'm slowly getting my girl back. Occasionally she'll give me a kiss, she's started talking occasionally and sometimes she'll give me a kiss too.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by Melika » Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:40 pm

Thanks for the update. I'm feeling fortunate in having a male, but only slightly, because Hane has taken to screaming at my husband again this summer (only when I'm not home). I welcome the coming winter where he will hopefully settle down. And then my husband will threaten Hane's life much less often.
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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by jmlw7 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:14 pm

ellieelectrons wrote:Oh, and I meant to say thanks for everyone for your support. It's really lovely to read your ideas and encouragement.

A new behaviour has developed. It seems to happen when I'm standing at the kitchen bench. Janey will start flying for my face. When it happened for the first time two days ago, I'd avoid it by ducking down, and she'd fly to her swing. She tried it at least three times. She did it again today, but this time I wasn't looking. She collided with my face and then flew away. It didn't hurt me or anything, I'm not sure what she was trying to do. I don't know if the fact that my head was down preparing her food for the day saved me from getting any damage. It's a little disconcerting but maybe if she didn't have success today, she might stop?

Ellie.
Ellie - Remy does this too now. She flies at our faces if we are touching it. She crashed into my face the other day while I was itching my nose and she flew right at me while she was growling in mid air and then flew away, but it wasnt anything other than weird - it just felt like feathers on my face for a second. She also flies toward our hands with a little growl when we wipe our hands on our bathroom towel, or fiddle with a sweatshirt or shirt for a longer time. Its really weird, we really have no idea what she is trying to do? Have you figured this out? If we catch it in time and put a finger up, she will land on it.. but if she comes at us from a weird angle and we dont see her, we try to dodge out of the way and look at her like she is nuts, but then she whines.

Speaking of which, does anyone's bird whine????????? She WHINES! Like a dog who doesnt want to go swimming! She whines when we stare at her or when we ask her to step up and she doesnt want to, she whines when she is tired. It is TOTALLY her way of complaining. Sometimes a little short whine, sometimes a reaaaaally long dramatic whine that goes high and low and high again. They she squawks and seems fine again. If this isnt normal, let me know and I'll try and record her one day.. but it really happens out of nowhere. She is like a little dog who whines and growls and follows us around?

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:20 am

I never figured out the flying at the face. I think she's stopped doing it now. Having said that she did crash into my face yesterday but I think she was aiming at my shoulder and missed. When she's at home with me at the moment I'm finding her pretty good to get along with now. After 3 months of pretty horrid behaviour, she's like an angel now.

Regarding the towels, Janey has a fascination for all linen and materials. I think it is something to do with nesting. When she was young, I would have problems getting her to step up to leave the bathroom after she'd had a shower.... but 90% of the time she'd step up if I had a towel over my arm.

When I was at my wits end once during the 3 month period of aggression, I had decided to towel her to get her away from our new lounge chair. But I found that just placing the towel near her was good enough. She stepped on it and then I picked it up and put her in her cage on the towel. That worked better than me using force to restrain her. So it seems Janey isn't the only bird with a linen fetish. Interestingly it seems to last all year round but is stronger in nesting season. I NEVER open the linen cupboard when she is out of the cage - she just goes crazy.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by AJPeter » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:00 pm

Hallo Ellie

I have just read though "What to do with Janey" and want to ask you about this open nest idea, did it work? You mentioned Janey whined like a dog, Billie does that she used to sing very nicely but since all this hormal thing she just whines especially in the morning when l wake her up,

Billie does not fly much and as my place is a bit small there is not the room for her to do a lot of flying.

Has Janey laid any eggs this year, and what happened last year when she had finished laying did she go straight into a moult

Did you try any dummy eggs? The eggs she laid last year did she sit on any?

Peter

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:14 pm

Hi Peter

My guys are due for their annual avian vet check so I thought I'd discuss the open nest idea with him then. Not sure if I'll do it again this breeding season. Playing around in it seemed to take the edge off her aggressiveness although it could have been the seasonal timing that did it. I noticed the Alexandrines I see once a week curbed their nesting behaviours at about the same time.

Janey didn't lay eggs in the breeding season just gone but she did the one before that. I didn't use dummy eggs. The previous year she did sit on the eggs but they didn't hatch. She had a proper breeding nest box that year.

I think someone else said their bird whined like a dog, not me.

I'm not sure exactly when the moult kicks in. Last year my birds started nesting behaviours in March and it lasted about 3 months. Then for whatever reason it stopped. They're having their full moult now but it may have started gradually after they decided to stop nesting. Charlie's parents sometimes would have a double clutch in a year and I'm told they would go into moult after the second bunch of chicks would leave the nest, which made it quite a late moult eg. January, well into Summer.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by AJPeter » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:07 pm

Hi Ellie,

Thank you for your response l have written a report in AJPeter and Billie's hormonal response

Peter

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by AJPeter » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:35 pm

Hi Ellie,

Two weeks have gone by, is Janey any better? When l read through your thread l could so much of Billie there, but Billie does not bite of fly at my face, she laid 7 eggs she stopped after l moved tha cage and is still looking for a nest site. Billie suffers from hormonal attacks, did Janey have hormonal problems?

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:34 am

I thought it was time for a 2014 update. So far this breeding season I've had two bites which is a huge improvement on previous seasons. One was a misunderstanding (she thought I was shoving my thumb in her face when I was actually offering her a treat) and the other involved me trying to help my husband whilst she was defending prime nesting territory in the bathroom.

She's still cavity seeking but thankfully seems to have lost interest in under the couch. She's still interested in the laundry. The streamers in the door ways to the laundry slightly delay her entry into there... but it's not that uncommon for me to retrieve her from there more than 10 times in the morning whilst I do their food. The strategies I have employed so far are:
1) shutting the door to the bathrooms when she is out (these are prime nesting territory for her)
2) giving her an open nest and putting nesting material in it
3) retrieving her from the laundry or any other potential nesting place as soon as I can after she goes in there
4) I'm working on variable reinforcement for training and trying not to show the treat / lure her with a treat when I ask her to do something
5) encouraging her to do more training
6) trying to strictly manage time out of the cage when my husband is present as his presence seems to stimulate her
7) less time out of the cage (sadly) but I'm still letting them out twice a day.

On the whole, I've found that she will come to me reasonably quickly when I go to retrieve her from the laundry. It may take two or three times sometimes but that's way better than it used to be with any attempt to remove her from there attracting a bite.

I don't know if the open nest is having an affect. I don't think she sees it as a viable nest but she does spend some time playing in it. When I put nesting material in there she loves kicking it all out. So much so that our house has begun to resemble the floor of a barn or carpenter's workshop. I keep jamming up the vacuum cleaner when I try to clean the floor!

I realised that one of my flaws in my training methods has been that I tend to show the treat to them before they do the trick. I wasn't always aware that I was doing it, I just wasn't thinking about it. The problem with doing this was that they could size up the treat and then decide if they thought the trick was "worth doing" for that amount. By varying the treat and hiding it from them before you give it to them, this can produce more consistent training results. I've also started having 3 levels of treats. The highest level might be a very small bit of fruit, the second highest might be a sunflower seed and the lowest might be an oat groat. If they do something exceptional / really good, then I'll give them the highest value treat. If they did it but not in the best way I'll give them the middle treat and if they did it but rather sloppily I'll give them the lowest value treat. I've found this is making them a little better when it comes to flight recalls. Charlie usually comes immediately and Janey's response times are definitely getting better.

I've been surprised that she does a little bit of training most days. She may not do it for very long but she still shows some interest in it. Previous breeding seasons she didn't show any interest at all.

I should probably talk about diet too. I did try reducing their diet. I removed all high sugar and high fat foods (other than treats) and was sticking to pellets and low sugar veges. When it was clear that she was still engaging in cavity seeking and I gave her the open nest, I decided to go back to normal diet because I wanted to make sure that if she did lay an egg she had all of the necessary nutrients in her body. I don't know if that was the right decision, but it seems to working okay so far.

The cavity seeking ramped up a little bit today and her and Charlie have started mating... so it will be interesting to see if the aggression increases.

In the mornings I do their food. Normally I'd have them out of the cage the whole time I do it. I converted as many of their food containers to the swivel ones that I can get to from the outside and I now pull those out and refill them whilst they are in the cage. Before I did that, it was bedlam with them out of the cage whilst I was distracted trying to get their food ready. I still do the bulk of their foraging toys whilst they are out of the cage because I have to open the cage to get them in and out. They don't approve of me doing their food whilst they are in the cage - I presume it's mostly because they think they should be out of the cage not in the cage at that time, so I am getting a bit of aggression from Janey when I go to pull the food in and put it back. So, I'm working on trying to get the to learn to station - they sit on a particular perch whilst I'm doing their food. It's slowly starting to work.

Any way, I think that's all for now. I hope you are all doing well.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by AJPeter » Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:33 pm

It is good to hear form you again Ellie, tell me did you get a break in mating behaviour between last year and this, or has the behaviour been conitinual? Last Year Janey got very hormonal, how is she this year?

I have a bit of a hormonal problem with Billie, but you can read all about that in Billie the wonder parrot thread.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by InTheAir » Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:41 pm

I'm glad to hear things are getting easier every year. You are becoming an authority on feisty hormonal girls!

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:05 pm

Hi AJ

Yes, I get a break in hormonal behaviour every year. The behaviour only lasts during the breeding season (about 3 months). If you are not getting that break it could mean that your bird isn't getting the seasonal signals. You can help her with this by letting her go to sleep at sundown and rise at sun up. You'll need to let her sleep in a room where there aren't lights on.

I outlined how Janey is exhibiting her hormonal behaviour in my previous post.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:30 pm

AJPeter wrote:It is good to hear form you again Ellie
Thanks AJPeter. I am always around although I don't always have time to read and reply to posts. What I am doing is coming on the board at least five times a day and deleting spam. It's actually a pretty annoying, thankless task that one cannot seem to keep up with!
InTheAir wrote:I'm glad to hear things are getting easier every year. You are becoming an authority on feisty hormonal girls!
I'm glad it's getting easier too but whilst it is probably in part due to what I'm doing, I think a lot of it is to do with the positive relationship Janey and I have worked to develop which I'm sure is part of the reason it seems to be getting better as our relationship grows each year.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:13 pm

Ooooh, I thought I'd also add that Janey seems more likely to step up for me from the laundry when Charlie is already on my hand. Not sure why... but my Charles is very helpful that way. He doesn't like her being in there either.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by AJPeter » Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:44 am

At least l do not have a laundry room problem with Billie alhtough l do leave her to shower on her own but August is not the breeding season, well l hope not l think l was making the same old mistakes and the drastic action l took has nipped the problem in the bud, for the time being. She got rather attached to a cat box and wanted to go in it more often, even atacked me when l bought it into the room, so l have weaned her off that, partly because she has bitten through the plastic slats and it is no longer safe to hold her when l sit out in the garden. I am looking for a wire cage cage with handle.
She started to suffer hormal attacks again so l changed the cage around and these have stopped. She sleeps in the dark from 7 pm until 9 am although l cover her at 5.30 pm.

She wants to sit on my shoulder more often and have a neck scratch in my lap both l try and discourage, also l had to stop her butting me in the ear this could be a prelude to masturbating on me so she gets thrown off when she tries that. Recently she has joined me at meal time sitting on the table eating off my plate.

She weghed in today at 241 grams, the same for the last six months. She was very interested when l cut my nails with clippers l even put the clippers on one her talons but chickened out at cutting her nails, she showed no fear.

BTW Ellie well done on the spam clean up, it has been a lot better recently.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by InTheAir » Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:08 am

I'm birdy sitting for Ellie atm.
Janey has been a little angel for the last week at our place. The training must have paid off! She has a nest box in her cage, as she wanted to nest in my oven ( and I don't eat chickens). She takes treats nicely from me and Dave now and lets us change her food dishes. She has been really good with Sapphire, even when Sapph went into her cage to do the foraging that was left there and clean the dishes (pellets out of someone elses dish always tastes better). I can't say Janey looks happy staying with us, but she is tolerating it. She has also cottoned on to the fact that birds that come to the front of the cage when we walk by get treats.
Charlie seems to having a great time. Since Janey is busy he comes and joins training with our 2, tries to talk like them, flies to me when asked and seems pretty well adjusted already.

Sapphire is obsessed with them and their cage. She has totally ruined their sex life by landing on their cage and staring creepily. I can guarantee there will be no fertile eggs!

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by AJPeter » Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:37 pm

First well done on the spam cleam up. Can anyone delete spam?

Second what you experience with Janey is what l have to look forward to with Billie. So please continue to share as l have a lot to learn.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:26 am

We picked Janey and Charlie up from Claire and Dave's today. Thank you to them both for looking after them. I believe they both managed to get a Janey bite during the visit unfortunately. She's a bit hard to deal with at this time of year. Her greeting to me was to fly to my hand and bite into it too. Thankfully, no blood was drawn. We found the best way to transfer her was in the nestbox. We covered the hole with something and transported her home with the nestbox in a cage. She climbed out of the box and sat on top of it whilst in the cage. Charlie came home on his own in the normal travel cage. No eggs yet, so we'll see what happens. Janey seemed especially happy to see Mr Ellie. She kept saying "beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Wotchadoin'" to him when she saw him.

Ellie.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by AJPeter » Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:15 pm

How lovely, is Janey biting on purpose to draw blood or is her biting more informal? How long ago did you put her nesting box in, and that was a good idea for moving her in it. Billie has not got to the Janey stage yet, is not interested in the nesting box either.

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Re: What to do with Janey?

Post by ellieelectrons » Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:24 pm

I couldn't tell you what's going through her head when she bites but I can tell you she was riled up and I believe the behaviour is instinctual based on her need to protect her nest. She bites hard!

I didn't put the nest box in. I left it with Claire and Dave in case they wanted / needed to do it to manage her behaviour whilst we were away. They put it in several days ago.

Ellie.

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